Dunk driving is a real threat to anybody on the road. Most people know of someone who has been affected by a drunk-driving accident. Even more have watched with bated breath as a friend has drove home drunk from the bar or a party. In order to combat drinking and driving special groups air PSAs on TV. These PSAs often focus on the legal costs of a DUI. A police officer walks up to a car with an intoxicated driver and text slams across the screen: “Busted!” Drinking and driving is still an epidemic, so what are these PSAs doing wrong (other than not focusing on the possibility of killing someone)? They aren’t using enough Star Wars.
Dangerous Minds has found a drunk driving PSA from 1979 that features the cantina scene in Star Wars: A New Hope. The clip is complete with the iconic cantina music and was even produced by the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway and Safety Administration. The PSA uses the familiar term, “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk,” as its tagline as the Millennium Falcon teeters off into space with a drunk Han Solo at the wheel.
The clip may be goofy, but I imagine it caught the attention of more viewers than the PSAs of today. Perhaps J.J. Abrams should direct one where a bunch of cute Ewoks get run over by a land speeder. The Star Wars property is coming back in a big way and now would be a perfect time for C3PO to tell kids about the dangers of smoking. Nevertheless, keep this retro PSA in mind the next time you are knocking a few back at your local cantina. Hand the wookie your keys. Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.
Freelance writer and screenwriter living in Pittsburgh. Film buff, video game buff, and music buff, but not actually buff.