MARKETING B.C.: Hit movies had to attract all ages. A.D.: Films are made for kids, especially teenage boys. Since this is also the fast-food target audience, chains like McDonald's jump at tie-in campaigns.
THE FRANCHISE B.C.: Movies were one-offs; there was no Gone With the Wind II. A.D.: Studios swing for the fences to get a mega-hit action film that can win name-brand recognition and be profitably cloned for years to come.
SPFX B.C.: Special effects were mostly mechanical toys and puppets. A.D.: Computers made movies "virtual."
TOYS B.C.: The big tie-in was Mickey Mouse watches. A.D.: Every kid has to have Star Wars action figures, lightsabers, key chains, books, etc. Lucas all but created the market for collectibles.
VIDEO GAMES B.C.: Pong. A.D.: The video-arcade biz booms with Star Wars games and rip-offs, and the huge home-video market is full of space themes.
THEME-PARK RIDES B.C.: Most Disney-style rides were slow and staid. A.D.: Here comes Space Mountain (a Star Wars race in the dark), Lucas' own Star Tours and Indiana Jones rides. Many Universal and Disney attractions are film franchises at warp speed.
SOUND B.C.: Movie houses were mainly monaural, far below home audio quality. A.D.: Lucas' THX loudspeakers, paired with the Dolby system in the projection booth, brought clear, supple stereo sound to movie theaters. THX is now in some 2,700 theaters.
REAGAN'S STAR WARS The alias for his Strategic Defense Initiative. The Pentagon now says SDI will start up by the time Episode III opens. --R.C.