Sign In

Star Wars mania in 1977

Author
Time

Sadly I was not born until late that year. For those who were alive at the time, and still have memories, what was the Star Wars phenomena like?

Author
Time

What made it great to me was that it was a craze for nerds.  It made things like science, space travel, robotics, computer programming, etc., all seem cool and fun.  It wasn't like other crazes involving celebrities or rock stars or sports or clothing, or other things that made the popular kids even more popular. It was a real, bona-fide craze, for us nerds!

The other thing I remember about it is that it lasted so long.  Star Wars was playing in theaters for something like a year, or more.  It seemed like for a long, long time, any time you wanted to see Star Wars you just pop on down to the theater and it was there.

"Close the blast doors!"
Puggo’s website | Rescuing Star Wars

Author
Time
I was six years old.  I remember it so vividly because everyone was talking about - my older siblings, their friends, TV news, my friends.  Everyone was so enthusiastic about it and so excited - especially the "super fast spaceships at the end" that was the talk of the town (from my perspective).  I felt excluded from what everyone was excited about and begged my mom to take me.  Luckilly, she agreed and I went with my older siblings who were seeing a repeat (the first of many).  There was a line and the audience in the theater was completely sold out and everyone's excitement was palpable.  When the Lucasfilm LTD logo came up, wild applause ensued.  Then total silence as the "Long time ago..." came up.  You could hear a pen drop.  Suddenly, the earth shook!  The Star Wars logo burst on screen and this tremendous blast of the B flat major trumpets shook me.  The music made an immediate impression that has literally changed my life (I'm a composer today and that was my earliest musical memory).  I remember it so vividly.  The film was thoroughly entertaining and completely held my attention.  I thought it could end after the rebels escaped the Death Star.  Then the even bigger climax of the attack against the death star happened.  It was a total thrill ride and I was blown away and wanted to see it again right away.  I had to tell all my friends in school.  It was all any of us talked about.  We all had action figures and play ground was full of re-enactments for months.  I remember all the promotions - buy a burger and get a poster!  We did all those things.  Great times that I will never forget.  I also remember hearing they're making another one and thinking 1980 is so, so far away.  Then they would leak concept art and it completely filled my imagination - the strange alien planets, new aliens and adventures. 
Author
Time

I was a little young to remember very much detail (I was 5 in 78), but I really remember being so excited about the Holiday Special, being captivated through the whole thing, and not being the least bit aware of any shortcomings.  Such was the power of Star Wars (or extreme youth).  I also remember the head came off my Luke action figure early on, so every time I played with it, Luke had to get decapitated somehow.  Good times.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

Author
Time
 (Edited)

i was 10 when it came out..

 

waited a few months from when it opened in canada.

most of my friends had seen it already. but they were

talking about it all the time..

 

we used to have lightsaber battles. and bought

action figures. my original r2d2 and c3po figures

are on my kitchen counter, and i see them 

everyday... i also still have my star wars bedsheets 

in good condition! ha ha ..

 

i collected all the bubblegum card

sets. i remember coke had a promo of matching

characters with a plastic picture that you peeled

out from under bottle caps and you could

redeem them for money.... bought the comic

books. read the novel. there was a newspaper

comic strip that had different adventures..

 

and when splinter of  a minds eye came out,

that was really cool to.. i remember hearing the

meco 'disco' theme from star wars on the radio.

 

i bought the soundtrack on vinyl, which had

a cool poster... i drew all kinds of artwork on

my own.. i always wanted to be luke as the

character i associated with..

 

i only saw it once originally in the theater.

and the second time was for the re-release

in 1979 before 'the empire strikes back' came out.

when they added the episode IV to the crawl.

 

that was it... never saw it in the theater again,

until the SE came out.. i've still only seen the

original less than 5 times to this day.. and yet

it's my favorite movie of all time.. and i can't

wait to see a restoration of it.

 

later

-1

[no GOUT in CED?-> GOUT CED]

Author
Time

I was but disparate gametes waiting to be formed.

Ah ... good times those were.

“Okay, I’m goin’, takin’ off. See ya… bye….” — Chip Douglas

“This concludes our broadcast day. Click.” — Chip Douglas

Author
Time

I was 6 when it came out and I didn't get into SW until '82, but even though I wasn't really paying attention in '77 I still remember that it was THE cool thing at the time.

I remember going trick-or-treating (probably Halloween '77) and my friend's little brother dressed as Luke, complete with a "litesaver." Another friend of mine had ALL the Star Wars toys at the time (he once put his hamster in the cockpit of a Tie-fighter and called him Darth Hampster) & he also had a bootleg videotape of SW that I'm sure his father procured for him.

My older sister had a friend with 2 sons and I remember seeing a landspeeder toy for the first time at their house.

SW was just everywhere and there wasn't much else to compete for the public's attention in the same way.

Author
Time
I think unless you were there it is so hard to describe what the summer of 1977 was like.  I was 5 years old, but i just remember it was the must see movie for EVERYONE!  It didn't matter your age, your taste in movies, chances you would love it.  The movie stayed in theaters all summer long through the fall and I believe up to Christmas.  The funny thing about that time was without home video, the movie theater was the only way to see it cause you had to wait years for it to make it to TV.  It finally premiered on HBO in 1983 so I hate to wait 6 damn years to see my favorite movie of all time again!
Author
Time

My uncle, who was seventeen at the time it came out, described the world around him very different since the movie came out. All the kids had their toys on hand wherever they were, signs and tv ads everyday. He never saw it though; was too busy with my mom, other uncle, and grandparents in Europe moving from country to country while my grandpa was in the navy. He finally decided to see Empire Strikes Back, to which he replies to as "mind-blowing" and "like no other theater experience he'd ever witnessed". The craze didn't really catch on to him since he was already an adult, but he recalls small-talk on it always brought up amongst his co-workers at the power plant he worked at. He from time to time picked up a shirt or a burger king glass, but never dived into the toy mania. He also told me that, "you can bet that I was one of the first in line to Return of the Jedi". So yeah, I'm of course too young to explain the REAL mania around it, and both my mom and dad's side of the family were already a little too old.

Author
Time

My earliest memories of Star Wars were reading the Star Wars storybook and seeing Empire in theatres -  at age 3! I remember seeing Star Wars and Empire back-to-back with my father at the Tivoli in, maybe, 1982. I would have loved to have been born anytime in '58 through '65, making me the perfect age come '77.

Author
Time

I was 5 yo at the time.  The movie swept me off my feet and SW mania ensued.  I recall my friends and other grade school kids talking about:

how many times they saw the movie

who their favorite character was

what was their favorite vehicle/ship

how many toy action figures/space ships they have

the new SW disco song on the radio all the time

which SW character they were to dress up as during halloween

kids wearing assorted SW t-shirts

I also recall many playground discussions about what Vader looks like under his helmet and whether or not stormtroopers were robots or humans and what they looked like without the armor.

I had a great Christmas in 77'.  My parents got me the entire basic wave of action figs, the x-wing, landspeeder.  My friends had tons of SW toys and it was great to get together and combine them all for some huge space battles!

"There's no cluster of midiclorians that controls my destiny!" -Han Solo, from a future revision of ANH

Author
Time

I remember all of the buzz and and a steady flow of pictures coming over here to the U.K.

I started collecting all the pictures I could.

When the film was released here, Star Wars was everywhere. It was like every shop you went into had some sort of merchandise.

Some of the kids at school saw the film before me and had  window stickers with 'I've seen Star Wars' on them.

When I went to see the film, I remember coming out of the train station and there was a huge board with the quad poster on it. The cinema was packed out. We had to wait in line all around the pavement to the back of the cinema. The front entrance to the cinema had a big stand up display of Luke,Han and the Princess. I bought the programme that was for sale. There was a support film about bike riders called 'Fast Company'.

Most of the kids at school were swapping the bubble gum cards and I managed to collect the blue and red sets. Thing is..I remember collecting the red before the blue but the blue was released first !

Star Wars played for some time at cinemas only to disappear and then come back for school holidays for a couple of weeks. 

I had a nostalgia trip back to the old cinema a few years ago. It's not there anymore. A row of flats now sit in the place of the hallowed ground. Shame. Star Wars changed my life on that spot. Incredible times !

 

 

Author
Time

Just a heads up for those in the U.K.....

Saturday 5th May at 9:30pm BBC 2

I LOVE 1977  with Carrie Fisher.

 

 

 

Author
Time

TV's Frink said:

I was forty-five.

I had the weirdest dream last night, and I swear it's true.  I dreamed I met an elderly gentleman with a white beard.  It turned out it was TV's Frink!  Not joking!

 

(I met a few others here in that dream too, which means I spend too much time on this site)

Author
Time

If we ever get a convention or some other sort of thing going someday, that dream could come true! ;)

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

Author
Time

Sorry no wrinkly dogs showered my loafers.  I do recall some strange, hooded quadruped telling me he was the Jedi master who instructed Jar Jar or some such nonsense.  Of course, I'm not swearing on that one ;)

Author
Time

darth_ender said:


I had the weirdest dream last night, and I swear it's true.  I dreamed I met an elderly gentleman with a white beard.  It turned out it was TV's Frink!  Not joking!
Scratch the gentleman part, and you've described me perfectly.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Well, the man in my dream was a gentleman until he whizzed on my socks.  Sounds like I hit the nail on the head!

Author
Time
 (Edited)

The earliest thing I remember involving Star Wars (besides watching it for the first time) was the Attack of The Clones stuff. It's not nearly as much of an exciting memory nor boastful one as opposed to have seen the original trilogy way back when, yet I do remember rushing to the stores and buying my first couple of Star Wars toys during this time.

I remember my mom purchasing a Darth Vader, Chewbacca, Han Solo, and Luke hanging from a Bespin weather vane after he got his ass kicked. I still have these to this day.

Even now. it still doesn't seem like it was a very long time ago, and then I have to remind myself that I was only four or five years old at the time. Unless, it really wasn't that long ago after all...