When Star Wars came out in 1977, it was a revelation. People had never seen anything like it and in the process it changed the way the mainstream thought about science fiction. Until then Sci-Fi had really easily dismissed as stuff of cheesy, low-budget garbage geared towards a bunch of kids, even if it wasn’t true. After Star Wars people took the genre more seriously, and in the process it spawned a lot of attempted copycats.
The Black Hole, for instance, was an attempt to get in on the Star Wars phenomenon. So was Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. And apparently, so was Mork & Mindy.
Robin Williams recently spoke to Moviefone about some of his older characters. The character of Mork was originally a guest star on Happy Days who later got his own, spin-off show. And that show, in turn, made Robin Williams a huge star. But none of it would have happened if not for Star Wars. Here’s how Robin explains it…
It came from Garry Marshall’s kid who saw ‘Star Wars,’ and he went to his father and said, “Dad, why can’t they have an alien on ‘Happy Days’?” And Gary was like, “I don’t know, it will be weird.” But I think he did it as kind of a shout out to his son, as a one-off thing, and, I guess, just because it was just so strange.