Greensboro man makes ‘movie about a movie about Star Wars’

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- "Nobody was clamoring for the Patrick Read Johnson story. It wasn't like the world was, 'When will we hear that?'”

Maybe Patrick Read Johnson needs to get out a little more because it seems plenty of people want to see his story – well, a story about his story.

Johnson is a film professor at the North Carolina School of the Arts and a lot of people think his latest movie is about Star Wars, but that’s not quite accurate.

“This is a movie about a movie about Star Wars,” says Joe Scott, the owner of the Geeksboro Coffee House in Greensboro, where Johnson recently had a screening of his film, “5-25-77.” Now, that’s a date Star Wars fans will know: the date the film was released.

Most film critics will tell you, Star Wars isn’t exactly great art.

“It isn't,” says Star Wars fan, Joseph Wade. “But it's entertaining theater and I think that's the point - that's what matters most.”

For Johnson, Star Wars’ success was all about its timing – its release, in mid-1977

“We were all still reeling, whether we wanted to admit it or not, from having lost the Vietnam war -- the first war we'd ever lost. We found out that the people we trusted to govern our country were corrupt, with Watergate,” Johnson told us. “And our own parents who, by the way, were the first generation to suddenly, en masse, start divorcing each other. So you had an entire generation of adolescents who were dealing with their whole world having been destroyed. Wherever they were, usually in small towns all over the country, wanted out. But what was out there, what the hell was out there that they could trust? Their grandparents, Obi-Wan Kenobi.”

But Star Wars was only one of the films that inspired Johnson to get into the movie business … in which he’s played a variety of roles, besides being the writer and director of "5-25-77."

See clips of Patrick Read Johnson’s film in this edition of the Buckley Report.