In the day before the internet became the fountain of all knowledge, when people wanted to find out about a movie in the cinema, they would pay attention to the specially marketed poster that was released and shown proudly inside the cinemas which played that particular movie. This sheet of A3 had to give all the information that the watcher wanted to know; its cast, its director, even most of the crew in some cases. The main point that they had to put across was the theme of the film, so that you knew instantly what to expect. However, as the poster was marketed to attract people to watch their film, they tended to include certain inaccuracies to draw us in, and some just downright lied to us.
First example: STAR WARS (Episode IV: A New Hope, to you young uns.)
This is a poster which was infamous for the lies and misconceptions it depicted. I mean, look at Luke’s chest. If I was Mark Hamill, I would replace any mirror in my house for a poster that showed me looking as buff as that. It takes the term “artistic licence” to a whole new level. It shows Luke as a full blown muscle bound action hero, which was never really the case. True, he was a hero, but he was a scrawny farm boy. Luke did try to show off what muscles he had in The Empire Strikes Back, during his Jedi training with Yoda, in a grey vest. Even then, he was no Hulk Hogan, and they were not pythons.
Then there’s Leia, who’s dress had far more material in the film than this poster. In the film, she wore a white turtleneck get up. There was absolutely no flesh on show, which was appropriate given that she was a Princess. Yet, the poster had to apply the “sex sells” method, to attract the red blooded men (and women, we live in a big world!). Which leads me nicely on to my next point.
Most people would also complain as to the pose of Luke and Leia in the film poster, as it insinuates an almost sexual relationship between the two heroes. Of course, this was not the case as they are brother and sister. I wouldn’t complain about this error though, as we do not learn that fact until Return of the Jedi. Also, Leia did kiss Luke in the first film, which is more than Han got until The Empire Strikes Back.
Speaking of Han, where is he? One of the main heroes of the film, yet he is not on the poster? Harrison Ford’s name is even billed second place, yet he doesnt get a little portrait on this poster. Come to think of it, that may be a blessing in disguise. They would probably have illustrated Han as a space pirate, with one leg, eyepatch and a little parrot on his shoulder as well.
In the end, the film became a huge success, beginning one of largest franchises in the world today. Despite the lies told in this poster above. The Force will be with you…. always.