Sign In

How could I have had a VHS without "A New Hope" in the crawl as a kid?

Author
Time

Hi, so a recent discussion with someone about the fact that I never knew “Star Wars” episode IV was called a new hope until I saw the 1997 special edition.

This is totally true, when I saw the film at the cinema in 1997 I came out saying “So they’ve finally named it Episode IV then”

I was 11 granted, and live in the UK. I was already a huge fan of Star Wars (obviously) and I had old VHS tapes of the films that I watched many times as a kid and I swear that my tape simple said “Star Wars” in the craw. it was always a big point of curiosity for me “how come Empire is Episode 5?” etc.

I know all the background, I know that officially the film wasn’t released on VHS until 1982 when it was it already had the tag line attached, but does anyone know of some other “unofficial” market that would have lead to me potentially having a VHS of the version with no tag line? Maybe when it first aired on TV it was recorded to VHS at that point? Maybe there was a pirated version that was available on VHS/Betamax (probably off a car boot sale or such).

I could just have never noticed the crawl said “A new Hope” but I had never even heard the name until 1997 so I am trying to work out if there’s a widely known “unsavory” version of the film that was available pre 1982?

Cheers for any help,

Me

Author
Time

Yes, it’s possible that you saw a bootleg VHS, which we know have been around since 1978 at least. What years would you have seen this? I imagine most copies didn’t stick around much once they proper (ANH) VHS was released, as it was much higher quality.

I grew up watching the 80s VHS and television versions. I don’t really have memories of the ANH crawl, since it was just not a popular title. We simply called the film Star Wars and ANH simply felt like a chapter title rather than the proper movie title as it was for the sequels. But I’m sure if I found that tape somewhere, if it still exists, it’s ANH. But I was aware of the renaming, as my parents told me about how the crawl appeared originally.

Author
Time

Entirely possible you saw a bootleg. Did it have cover art? If so what did it look like?

It could also be your mind doing revisionist history on itself, happens to me all the time where I could have sworn I saw something one way or that something happened a certain way but then I look back at the thing in question and it turns out I was completely wrong.

Author
Time

Little related anecdote: When I was a little kid I had roman numerals really confused because of Star Wars. I though IV meant 1, V meant 2, and VI meant 3. It actually wasn’t until Episode I came out and someone explained what was going on that I realized “oh wait, IV means 4.”

Author
Time
 (Edited)

^That’s kind of amusing, 'cause in my case, the episode numbers helped me learn what the Roman numerals for 4, 5, & 6 actually were (the numerals for 1-3 were straightforward to me from the beginning).

Arrivederci.

Author
Time

Well that’s possible if was before 1981

Author
Time

I can imagine a variety of ways this might happen.
One thing I wonder is if the 1981 alteration was then universally used for TV airings? Does anyone know?
It’s possible that an airing in Europe, Australia, or some parts of Asia – say Hong Kong – might have been recorded off air in PAL.
I think an NTSC to PAL converted take would look so bad that the viewer would notice.
But a really good video off a commercial free broadcaster, say BBC. I could see that looking legit to a kid.

Author
Time

I can tell you I have the VHS set from 93 (each only watched once since removing from shrink wrap btw… Too bad bus is so low res or that would be awesome) and it was the opposite. The box only named the film ‘Star Wars’ without any mention of ‘Ep iv a New hope’ but the film still had the Ep Iv in the crawl.

I also had the faces set, which had Star Wars in big letters but ANH in small letters, where’s Esb and rotj had star wars in small letters and their respective titles big. If I’m remembering right.

Support my bandcamp page! https://jacobmartin2.bandcamp.com/

The cat in question

Author
Time

The first time I saw the “Episode IV A New Hope” crawl was on the tv, and I remember my dad and I being totally confused and wondering where we could find and watch the other three movies.
The saying be careful what you wish for has never felt so poignant.
But back to topic, there where bootlegs about you must have had one, geez youyr family must have had a few bob to have a vcr back then.

Author
Time

Either it was a bootleg or you didn’t and are simply misremembering. Every official VHS had it in there. If you were like most of us though you probably just didn’t pay much attention to it. The box, label, and marketing made no mention of it until the special editions.