I’ve been reading about Patrick Read Johnson’s love letter to Star Wars, the appropriately-titled 5-25-77, for many years. Too many, in fact. So I was overcome with joy on a lazy Saturday afternoon when, out of nowhere, a new trailer was released confirming that what could very well be described as The Ultimate Fan Film is finally on its way to theaters this May — just in time for the 40th anniversary of release of that global phenomenon known as Star Wars.
What I loved about this casual trailer drop was that Johnson gave it to Harry Knowles at Ain’t It Cool News, who has been one of the filmmaker’s biggest champions. He could’ve given the trailer to Deadline or the Hollywood Reporter or Yahoo! or iTunes, but he didn’t. He stayed loyal to the cause and played directly to the fanbase he hopes to engage — truly passionate movie fanatics who know what it’s like to fall in love with a movie and become obsessed with it.
As Harry Knowles writes on AICN, 5-25-77 has been more than a decade in the making. Not like, a decade in development. I mean, Harry held a local screening of a rough cut of the film when it was a work in progress. The star of the movie, John Francis Daley of Freaks and Geeks fame, is quite a bit older now. We all are. And yet, doesn’t Star Wars make most people feel like a kid again? Harry calls 5-25-77 a “time capsule” of a film, and though it looks like it captures the ’70s well, it also feels timeless somehow, sort of like another movie that Knowles references, Dazed and Confused.
Johnson directed one of my favorite ’90s teen movies in the underrated gem Angus, so when Harry calls 5-25-77 “a coming of age story that tells the tale of Love and the Geek,” I couldn’t be more excited. And you know me. I’m not even a big Star Wars fan… yet.
5-25-77 will be released on the big screen, as the Movie Gods intended, on May 25. It’s a release date that should be hard to forget. Behold the trailer above, and see what true perseverance looks like.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief