Throughout the troubled production of the film, Ladd resisted corporate pressure to cancel the project and maintained his confidence in Lucas. After that struggle, Ladd finally found himself in joyful tears at a preview screening in 1977 as the tremendously enthusiastic reception proved an overwhelming vindication of his faith in Lucas.
That said, while Ladd was rightly praised for his acumen supporting such a tremendous success, he was also criticized for giving Lucas highly favorable terms for its merchandising. However, that ignored the fact that film company had a poor history with that revenue stream, such as with the infamous flop, Doctor Doolittle, and Star Wars' success was all but unprecedented outside of Walt Disney.
- Alan Ladd, Jr. on Wikipedia