Ever since Star Wars made a comeback in the 1990s thanks to the rise of the Expanded Universe, Kenner action figures and the arrival of the Special Edition of the Star Wars Trilogy in theaters, we’ve been inundated with new Star Wars merchandise. Whether it’s the prequels, TV shows or the new era of Star Wars movies, we’ve been getting new Star Wars merchandise non-stop for years. But back in 1987, Star Wars was essentially dying.
It had been 10 years since the first Star Wars hit theaters and four years since Return of the Jedi arrived. Believe it or not, the popular Star Wars toyline in 1985, and things like Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure and the Droids and Ewoks animated series left a bad taste in the mouths of fans. But over in Japan, George Lucas was still able to capitalize on Star Wars by filming a series of Panasonic ads in honor of the original movie’s 10th anniversary, and you can watch them below.
Here are six Japanese Star Wars Panasonic commercials with George Lucas, which are all kind of surreal to watch:
Not only do we get to see George Lucas do a bit of acting (which he’s not great at), but there are some awesome shots of him standing with some of his most iconic creations from Star Wars.
These advertisements never aired in the United States, and back in the 1980s, there wasn’t really a way for American audiences to see them. But famous directors, actors, actresses and pop culture figures do commercials for overseas products all the time (just like Bill Murray in Lost in Translation). It used to be much easier to promote products internationally because American audiences would never see them. But now thanks to YouTube, we get to experience strange commercials like this in all their glory.
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Source: Slash Film