Dark Times 3 – 1988

It had already been five years since ROTJ and still not a single light saber on a new movie poster. Yet underneath the frustration, a potent potion was brewing…

Howard Roffman, head of Lucasfilm Licensing, once pointed out how all franchises would evolve in specific cycles, with the original consumer generation eventually growing out of a particular craze and the franchise concerned slowly fading away. Therefore, he argued, Lucasfilm would never push a particular item onto the market out of context, for otherwise they might waste a perfectly good product.
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Dark Times 2 – 1987

The series continues with a look at the year 1987, when new Star Wars films were more distant than the edge of the galaxy.

Imperial Dignitary
The Imperial Dignitary by Kenner, 1985

The year is 1987: With George Lucas decidedly removed from a galaxy far, far away with projects ranging from Captain EO to Tucker: A Man and His Dream, the land of all matters Star Wars was arguably barren.

At best, shiploads of the ever popular “Imperial Dignitary” action figure were eagerly awaiting happy customers at the local toy store.

Yet despite such painful malaise, there were a few indications that – however miniscule and unlikely – Star Wars had not quite become one with the Force.
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Dark Times 1 – 1986

Although thoroughly unthinkable today, there was a time when Star Wars was practically non-existent. Here is a look at how smart and patient marketing decisions reinvigorated a dormant franchise from the 1980ies to today.

It was in the summer of 1986 that I chanced upon the most precious item on earth I could have thought of. Its arms long and disproportionate, the fangs frighteningly conspicuous, a grin extended to freakish dimensions and a few shrink heads attached to a wooden staff, there indeed could not have been anything more beautiful on planet earth.

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