Walt Flanagan has made a name for himself as one of the go-to guys in comic books. He’s drawn Batman comics written by geek-icon Kevin Smith as well as books of his own. He’s even cameoed in most of Kevin Smith’s movies in various roles. But people know him best these days for his work managing the New Jersey comic book store Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash, which is the subject of the AMC television reality show Comic Book Men. On the show, he manages the store and cracks wise with the rest of the crew, talking about all things geeky.
He came by the Full of Sith podcast to talk about the new season of Comic Book Men, but I just had to ask him about Star Wars and his first experience with it.
Flanagan tells me, “The very first I ever heard of Star Wars was secondhand from my mom. She had gone to the movies and I was being babysat by my grandmother. My grandma let me stay up until my mom got home from the movies and when she got home she came in and she put me into bed and said, ‘We got preview tickets for a movie I think you’re gonna like. It’s about a werewolf in outer space. And he helps these two young kids in space.’
“And I said, ‘Oh. I think I would like to see that movie.’ To me that has always been the best. She described it as a werewolf movie, obviously she saw Chewbacca, and she referred to Luke and Leia as the two kids. So for me, I walked into that movie expecting a movie about a wolf-man in outer space, which is what I remember about my first impression of Star Wars.”
I wondered if he still liked the movie even though it wasn’t about a wolf-man, to which he told me, “I still loved it, yeah. I was crazy about it after seeing it, but it definitely wasn’t what I thought it was going to be walking into that theater. I still recall that it was more going to be like a Universal monster picture, but set in space.”
You can listen to the whole interview here. It’s fascinating for me to hear about the different interpretations people had about Star Wars before it came out. The idea that for awhile in Flanagan’s head he was walking into a theater to see a pair of kids help a werewolf in outer space is endlessly entertaining to me. And this is the second time we’ve heard a story about a mom bringing their kid to see Star Wars. Maybe mom really does know best.