So it's early 1977, and I'm in school. A kid I didn't even know that well — and honestly, I can't even remember his name — comes up to me and says, "Hey, you like science fiction and comic books, right?" Since this was usually followed by an ass-kicking, I sheepishly said yes.
He then explained that his dad worked at one of the studios, Fox, and had given him a poster for an upcoming movie, called "Star Wars." It looked stupid to him, so he wondered if I wanted it. I took the thing but had no real use for it, taking it home and putting it in the closet. It wasn't even rolled up properly, just kind of tossed in there.
Several months later, the drumbeat for "Star Wars" builds. My brother sees it and says I have to. I wind up waiting in line for a couple of hours at the Avco Theater in Westwood and sitting there, transfixed. I would wind up seeing it — in the theater, mind you — another half-dozen times that summer.
Some time after seeing it, I remembered the poster, and rummaged through the closet to find it. Frankly, I had some problems with the art — it augmented Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher's physiques in very flattering ways — but I decided I better get the thing framed, just to preserve it.
Based on some collectors websites and chats with dealers at Comic-Con, the poster now goes for somewhere north of $2,000, although I'm not sure mine would fetch that, given how it was abused in its pre-release life. Not that I'd sell it, since it's easily the classiest piece of "Star Wars" memorabilia in the house, although I'm still kind of partial to that double-ended light-saber toy I bought after "The Phantom Menace" came out.
So belatedly, thanks kid, whoever you were.