For those moviegoers who didn’t grow up at a time when your local movie rental store didn’t figure heavily into your day-to-day viewing habits, VHS might sound like something from an old science-fiction genre film of the 1980s. But for those who are familiar with the likes of the now defunct stores like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video, cinephiles no doubt remember hours spent poring over the many colorful and artfully composed covers for many an original feature film production of yesteryear.
Of those original movie covers, none are perhaps more well known than the seminal special edition images plastered over the VHS tapes for the original Star Wars trilogy released in 1997. Featuring original artwork from Drew Struzan, many physical media fans of the late 1990s may think back fondly on those specific facets of the larger science-fiction franchise, which is why the latest bit of Star Wars: The Force Awakens fan art may be to everyone’s liking in celebration of May the Fourth.
Curated by Off Track Outlet, a lovingly recreated and artfully distressed slip cover VHS tape for director J.J. Abrams’ seminal return to a galaxy far, far away is given the full VHS treatment, in addition to a loving ode to the Struzan style with an original Rogue One: A Star Wars Story piece. Each individual VHS tape has been manufactured according to the actual physical dimensions of the real-life home video platform, making these original productions something truly special. You can check out the mock-ups of Star Wars movie VHS tapes below:
Many Star Wars fans might even feel the urge to pop up in any one of the many specifically curated pieces of movie fandom ephemera featured on the official Instagram account of Off Track Outlet, as each and every one of them highlights some of the more sensational aspects of the lost art of VHS cover design. Even as some viewers continue to select films based purely on the ingenuity and lurid aspect of certain pieces of promotional artwork, the VHS tape is where a lot of that aestheticism has arisen from over the years, making this batch of original Star Wars retro-art truly in keeping with the spirit of the franchise.
As those of us currently celebrating Star Wars day continue to indulge in one of our favorite movie watching past-times, this special look offered at what The Force Awakens might have looked like as a VHS release should prove for a more than suitable participation prize. May the Fourth be with you, however you choose to celebrate the movie-specific holiday.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is currently available to own on home video. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will see theatrical release in the U.S. on December 16th, 2016, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15th, 2017, the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018, Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019, and the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.