Screenshot: YouTube

It is the late 1980s. The Star Wars trilogy, as people know it, has successfully concluded. You are George Lucas. Computer graphics have not yet risen to a point where you can finally achieve your dream of having Han Solo step on Jabba The Hutt’s tail for comedic effect, as you originally envisioned occurring in A New Hope. Hayden Christensen is merely a sour-faced boy, not a sour-faced young man. You get a call from Panasonic asking if you will appear alongside your most iconic characters in a series of advertisements. What do you do? You tell them shit yes, as long as they only appear in Japan.

The result is this series of spots for camcorders, huge television sets, and, um, the idea of the future. Some are better than others; all feature the ever-charismatic Lucas drolly intoning sentences like, “Right now, I’m surprised and entertained,” in a voice that would heavily suggest otherwise. The whole gang shows up: Chewbacca, Yoda, Jawas, Stormtroopers, Imperial guards, Darth Vader, and pretty much anyone that didn’t require an actual original actor to be present. Some of the clips trade on the idea of Lucas as a sci-fi genius; others, as a film director; others are a little harder to pin down.

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It’s a toss-up for the best between two: one in which Lucas frolics through a golden field alongside Jawas and clapping Stormtroopers, and another in which R2-D2 falls in love (?) with a shitty knockoff robot that Lucas calls “Sparky.” No matter what, though, both are better than what Lucas went on to do in the ensuing decade and a half.

[via Slash Film]