Mark Clark speaks with the Pittsburgh Post Gazette about the Star Wars Phenomenon!

As you may have heard, today marks the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens! It’s been a busy month for Star Wars FAQ author, Mark Clark, and in this interview, he sits down with Barbara Vancheri of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette to talk about the first time he saw Star Wars and how it changed his life. Read below to learn more!

00122914As an 11-year-old, Mark Clark was a precocious reader with a taste for serious sci-fi by Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke and Robert A. Heinlein.

His Uncle Marty had introduced him to those authors along with movies such as “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “The Day the Earth Stood Still” and “Forbidden Planet.” So when “Star Wars” came along, Mark passed on what he heard was a space fantasy, just not his thing.

At the end of summer 1977, Mark and his Louisville, Ky., family visited his uncle in Zanesville, Ohio. When he learned Mark had not seen “Star Wars” — in theaters for three months by then — “he looked at me like I just sprouted antlers or something.”

The next day, Uncle Marty remedied that lapse.

“So, I went and sat there for two hours with my mouth hanging open, just completely blown away by it, and my life has not really been quite the same since then in a lot of ways,” said Mr. Clark, author of “Star Wars FAQ: Everything Left to Know About the Trilogy That Changed the Movies” (Applause Books, $24.99). “It was a very overwhelming, almost, experience to see it at that age, at that time and that moment.”

When he returned to Louisville, he caught it four more times, collected the toys, joined the Official Star Wars Fan Club for $5 and sat cross-legged in front of his parents’ console TV for the 1978 “Star Wars Holiday Special.” He saw the next two movies along with the special editions on their opening days and adds, “for better or worse, I saw the prequel movies, too.”

“Star Wars” led him to the Akira Kurosawa films creator George Lucas cited as inspiration. That fueled a fascination with foreign films and cinema and even rekindled a spiritual curiosity.

Today, Mr. Clark is 49 years old, married to an Episcopal priest named Vanessa, the father of two, and one of countless Earthlings planning to see “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

“Star Wars,” which sent ripples or outright waves into the worlds of production, moviegoing, marketing, merchandising, pop culture, toys, games, theme parks and fashion (for starters), was the right movie for its time.

To continue reading at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette website HERE




Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group, the trade book division of Hal Leonard Corporations, publishes books on the performing arts under the imprints Hal Leonard Books, Backbeat Books, Amadeus Press, and Applause Theatre and Cinema Books.

Posted on December 18, 2015, in Film & TV, Pop Culture and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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