Nearly every filmmaker of my generation was influenced by Star Wars in some way or another, so no surprises there. But there is one aspect of Star Wars in particular that greatly inspired the story of The Mercury Men.

Imagine standing before a giant fence. On the other side of that fence is a great world you've never seen before. Luckily, you discover a small knothole and peek through. Though you can't see everything, you catch small glimpses of fantastic people and places. THAT is the original Star Wars film. George Lucas' Star Wars screenplay hinted at many things, mostly through the stories of old Ben Kenobi, which wouldn't be seen during the film's running time, including the powerful Jedi, the Clone Wars, the great Anakin Skywalker, and the evil Emperor to name a few. Han spoke of dangerous bounty hunters and a great crimelord, Jabba the Hutt. While many of these things have since been revealed (unfortunately so), at the time they created a deep sense of mystery and curiosity. It engages your imagination. As a viewer your mind starts to wrap a story of your own around these names and places.

Beyond flying laser bolts and masked villains, the first volume of The Mercury Men is similar to Star Wars in it's knothole approach to the greater world. We will reveal bits and pieces of the grander story, which we will explore further here on the site with digital props and even more so in volume two of the series. We'd even like to have the community of viewers contribute to the story. Can you imagine if George Lucas had asked one of us to come up with Boba Fett's backstory?

Here's a loaded question: best Star Wars movie?

UPDATEScott Parker shared his own fantastic take on the Star Wars "knothole" experience, which included these great excerpts:
"Of all the thirty years living with Star Wars, my favorite time is still the years between the first two films, after those chunks of imagination had been opened."

"There is something fun about having to rely on magazines, comics, and trading cards and not having an Internet with the world’s knowledge at one’s fingertips. It was like searching for treasure in every new issue of Starlog just to see if they had some new photo of Star Wars."
Read the post in it's entirety HERE.


  1. I cannot agree more. For me, the best time to have been living with Star Wars were those wonderful, mysterious years between 1977 and 1980. In those few short years, the Star Wars galaxy was infinite. I recently reviewed the original novelization and commented on the knothole idea you write about. Splinter of the Mind's Eye was another kink in the fence as were the issues of Marvel Comics before the adaptation of TESB. All of that makes 1977-79 the best years of Star Wars.

    Just watched the trailer for your film (as linked by Lou Anders). All I can say is WOW! The vibe is exactly the kind of thing I'm looking to do in print. Bravo! Keep up the good work.

  2. Great point about the novelization and Splinter of the Mind's Eye. Is your review somewhere online? I'd love to read it.

    And thanks for kind words re: the series. Hope you enjoy!

  3. The best part of the original trilogy for me would have to have been making up my own back stories for the characters in the action figure line. The good old days when Walrus Man was once the owner of the Mos Eisley Cantina, how Dengar would recruit the Death Star Droid to aid him on his hunts due to his severe injuries, or how Boba Fett's helmet could never be removed because nothing you could imagine would ever live up to the expectations! ( sorry Temeura Morrison)

    also it was great of the Imperial Commander do double as Uncle Owen!

  4. Chris - My original blog is http://scottdparker.blogspot.com. It's now my crime blog. I've started a new SF-related blog: http://sf-safari.blogspot.com. I re-posted the SW novelization review there today.

    Curt - I can so totally remember those days. I still have my action figures and, when my son started playing with them, many of those 'old stories' returned to my memory. I don't know about y'all but I really dug the Cantina playset from Sears. It was the one with the different Snaggletooth (can't remember if the tall blue one or the short red one was in that collection). And I always had Hammerhead as this strong-as-Hulk alien. Glad I'm not alone.

  5. Scott
    Yes! The Sears Cantina set was the Blue Snaggletooth! Man I'm a geek! Hammerhead was a tough dude, but he was no match for the "Cyclops-Style Optic Laser" that could shoot from Hoth Stormtrooper's helmet. ha ha

  6. Interesting. After seeing the new STAR TREK (four times so far) and reading articles about it in Newsweek and online, it occurred to me that the big problem Roddenberry (and later Lucas) made was in seeking to map out every square inch of their imaginative universes... and removing much of the wonder and mystery to them in the process.

    Now I'm wondering if there is a certain type of fan that responds to that sort of obsessiveness to detail. I know I'm not one.

    My favorite time to be a fan of STAR WARS was between release of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and RETURN OF THE JEDI. Much of this centered around the awesomeness and unknown capabilities of Boba Fett. I couldn't believe it when Lucas gave him such a lame sendoff in JEDI after the way some of us built him up in our minds.

    Also, Lucas's insistence at including the scene between Jabba and Han Solo in the Mos Eiseley spaceport in his later versions of the movie never made sense ot me. Jabba worked so much better when you only heard about him for two movies only to have him revealed in the third.


  7. ESB is in my mind the best of the SW movies, as you get the absolute best of the Jedi philosophy, plus the shattering reveal of Vader's true identity. And the Han/Leia love story, of course.

    In those heady days of early SW fandom, I was also reading a lot of Edgar Rice Burroughs (John Carter) and Robert E. Howard. Talk about expanding worlds...


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