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What Do You Remember From Your First Viewing Of The OT?

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For those of us who are old enough to remember the halcyon days of the original releases of the OT, what genuine memories still stick out after all these years?

Because of the profound effect these films had on me, I still have very stark recollections of certain moments in all of the films. I'll show you mine if you show me yours!

Star Wars. I saw this with my dad in 1977. I actually thought he was taking me to see my grandmother who lived in Bootle (which, if you know anything about my part of the world, is a pretty grim place). I was not looking forward to it at all. As we stepped out of the door, my mum told me that we weren't really going to see my gran. She then launched into a very passable rendition of the Star Wars theme - which everyone knew at the time. I almost wet my pants. Of the film itself, I only remember the cantina scene (that music and all those exotic aliens). Also, at one point, a long-haired man (well, it was the seventies) walked up the aisle and passed our seat. I thought it was Chewbacca going for a pee between scenes! The next day, in school, it turned out that everyone had seen the film over the weekend. Everyone knew the names of the lead characters except me. Luke? Han? I imagine it was all just too much for my five year old brain to take in.

The Empire Strikes Back. As a birthday treat for one of my school mates, his dad took a bunch of us to The Odeon in Liverpool to see the movie. I remember looking at the poster in the foyer and wondering who all the characters were - both Boba Fett and Yoda caught my eye. The only memory of the film was the duel between Luke and Vader. I found Luke to be a bit of a drip, really, and desperately wanted Vader to beat him. Leaving the cinema, my mates berated me nd said it was my fault that Luke got his hand chopped off.

Return Of The Jedi. I saw this with my dad at a cinema in Southport. He'd bought me a Luke Skywalker figure before we went in - the one with the cloak and the green lightsabre. Oddly, the only moment that still lives with me is when Luke has gone to see Vader and we see an AT-AT walking through the forest. "An AT-AT?" exclaimed the kid behind me. On leaving the cinema, my mum was waiting for us. She asked us about the film and my dad said "Well, there won't be any more. Dark Vader dies at the end." His comment didn't go down too well with the queue of people waiting outside to see the next showing.

That's some bad hat, Harry
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I saw Star Wars in '77 in Belfast, I was 9...I went with my mate Cavey and his dad, I remember getting a paper Chewie mask and 'The Official Souvenir Magazine' 

Empire.....I saw on holiday in Blackpool twice.....I remember all the toy shops & the new figures....I was too old to get them, but my step-brother got some, I remember Luke in fatigues.

I saw Jedi in the ABC Cinema in Belfast...Now Jury's Hotel....Darth Vader made appearances before the screenings.....I remember the sticker book collections.

J

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Ahh, "fatigues" - which we used to pronounce "fatty-gews".

I never did complete my ROTJ sticker book but I did get the official "making of" book at the foyer in that cinema in Southport. I still have it, in fact, and it's a marvellous read.

That's some bad hat, Harry
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I still have most of my stuff in attic

J

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I saw all the theatricals when I was like 5 years old.  I can just remember the sheer thrills and excitements of the films.  Being that little of course, I was really scared of people like Darth Vader, the Emporer, Boba Fett, Jabba.  Sometimes I just wish I could go back to being five and watch them for the first time all over again.  Never had any memories like these for the PT, then again I wasn't five, so I don't know.

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Apologies, what do you mean "like" five years old? Do you mean you were younger when you saw the films?

Are you an "oldie" like me? :)

I don't know whether I have improved memory skills - my wife marvels at the stuff I can remember - or if it's simply a question of being able to recall the stuff that's affected me most but I can recount memories not just of seeing the original films when they first came out but also the '97 re-releases and the releases of the prequels. However, I can't say the same about the amount of times I've seen them on video, DVD or Blu-ray because that is time without number.

That's some bad hat, Harry
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Easterhay said:

Apologies, what do you mean "like" five years old? Do you mean you were younger when you saw the films?

Are you an "oldie" like me? :)

I don't know whether I have improved memory skills - my wife marvels at the stuff I can remember - or if it's simply a question of being able to recall the stuff that's affected me most but I can recount memories not just of seeing the original films when they first came out but also the '97 re-releases and the releases of the prequels. However, I can't say the same about the amount of times I've seen them on video, DVD or Blu-ray because that is time without number.

I saw all the theatrical versions when I was five (give or take two years either way) but never in the theatres (missed out on SE"s).  My family knew someone who back in the day owned a local movie theatre and had pristine 35mm copies of all 3 films.  Sadly these copies were lost after guy went through a divorce.  I still am really hoping to see the 3D rereleases in the theatres, even if they are not the originals.

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Saw all three on VHS (theatricals) when I was two. I do not remember it. My older brother told me that he locked me in my living room and forced to watch them. We would then watch them pretty much everyday.

My memory is that I don't remember a time in my life when I had not seen all three OT films. I literally cannot remember a time when I did not know Star Wars.

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I saw SW in June 77.  I was 17, and in Logan Utah for a summer math program with 50 other high school kids.  We all saw it as a group when it hit the local theater.  To get to the theater, we had to walk from the dorm through a cemetary.  Saw it two more times that week, walking through the cemetary each night with a group of friends.

A few weeks later, when I went back to California (Greyhound bus each way), I dragged my parents to the theater to see it.

Since then, I've deduced that the Logan showing was 35mm mono mix, and the later showing in CA was probably 70mm.

"Close the blast doors!"
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I wasn't an "original fan" having been born in 1989, and so I only saw the theatrical editions maybe once each growing up, likely at different times; Star Wars (maybe the whole trilogy, though I only remember seeing Vader for the first time in Star Wars) was first, probably in 1995 or around then. Just before the SE came out, and probably I saw it due to the hype surrounding it.

My earliest Star Wars memories were seeing Darth Vader for the first time,  stepping onto the Tantive IV; seeing all the Shadows of the Empire stuff (and there was a lot of it, toys, books, vinyl statuettes) in my local supermarket before I really even knew what Star Wars was; and my very first Star Wars action figure, which was a Kenner Power of the Force ROTJ Luke with the detachable cloak and lightsaber. I also remember seeing at least part of ESB (because I only remember the wampa attack) in the theaters with my cousin for the re-release of the films.

My brother and I got the gold Darth Vader helmet boxed set of the SE for Christmas (I think) one year, so I really grew up with the SE, having no idea the difference between from the OOT (even though they all had the little documentary about the process and changes in the beginning of each VHS tape); things like the Jabba scene in ANH were all just normal to me, and I remember the droid hitting the other, flying droid being funny. I watched those tapes on the daily, just about.

The gold boxed set was the crappy, cropped version of the film (as opposed to the silver widescreen box), sadly; and I remember, to this day, when Luke said, "There are Sandpeople, alright; I can see one of them now" while watching the banthas through his macrobinoculars, I could never see the sandperson and wondered what the heck he was talking about. I grew up never seeing that guy.

The first time I remember noticing a difference between the versions was watching a friend's "Faces" VHS of ROTJ at his house as a little kid, and hearing the "Yub-Nub" song at the end for the first time and remarking how it was "not the right song" but not really registering that it was a different version of the films; so I just remember being really confused about the song being weird and dumb and the ending being shorter.

Because I'd grown up with the SE, and only the SE, I didn't ever really come to notice all the changes or the plight of the OT until a couple years ago, and it took me awhile to really appreciate the older version because the SE was so baked-into my brain. The more I saw of the OOT, though, the more I appreciated how much additions like the longer Mos Eisley scenes made the film drag. I didn't own a version of the films between my very first SE boxed set as a child to the fan edits of today.

Now I'm converted to an OOT purist; the guy who tells everyone about the changes and the plight of the OOT, and who carries Harmy's DEED versions around on a flash drive just in case I get into a conversation about the OT and need to evangelize, haha.

Keep Circulating the Tapes.

END OF LINE

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I don't remember my first viewings. I think I watched ROTJ the most when I was a kid, though (which is probably why it's my favorite). I don't remember watching SW or ESB quite as much before 1995.

I remember the glorious day of going to Best Buy with my mom and buying that 1995 THX trilogy box set the day it came out. As soon as I came home I popped that bad boy in, and I think that's when the love really took hold.

Two years later Greedo shot first...

“Grow up. These are my Disney's movies, not yours.”

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I watched the original VHS versions of Star Wars when I was about five I think. About all I remember from ANH was Ben's original hut exterior and the ending. This was on a rental tape, so it was probably really grainy. Today I absolutely love the flickering lightsabers. I think that ANH was the only Star Wars movie where I can imagine the Jedi being genuinely mysterious warrior-monks; anything ESB onward feels somewhat like a video game with respect to the Jedi quest.

When I first watched ESB, I was so scared when the ghost Vader's helmet exploded that I had to run from the room. For the next several viewings, I always left the room at that scene. Luke getting his hand cut off was no biggie in comparison. That movie was always the "most boring-est" until I rewatched it some years ago with remote in hand to fast forward through the boring bits, and realized that there was no boring scene in the movie.

ROTJ was probably my favorite of the Star Wars movies when I was little, simply because it had a cool space battle in it. I also remember the AT-AT in the woods on Endor, and I always wondered why that was there, acting arthritic and out of place. It was only a few months ago that I realized that it was carrying Luke to the base, and was in the process of docking. Anyway, like many people have said, the movie seems less interesting now. I feel like it's where the Star Wars universe started to fall apart from its own structural instabilities. And Ewoks.

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My parents took me to see ANH back in 77' when i was 4.  I dont recall much of it, but was dazzled by the DS assault.

Parents took me again to see ESB in 80' when i was 7, at the same theater that showed ANH.  Loved the hoth battle and remember cringing in my seat when Luke hit the ground in a bloody mess after getting swiped by the wampa.  I still remember the theater crowd oohing and ahhhing during the asteroid chase.  I was most shocked during the "I am your father" scene.

My dad took me and a friend to see ROTJ in 83' when i was 10.  Was mesmerized how Luke advanced his fighting skills and his new green saber during the barge rescue.  HATED that bobafett fell into the sarlac(and still do).  Was mesmerized by the emperor and how wicked he sounded.  LOVED the space battle and talked about it with friends for weeks!  I remember loving that Luke defeated Vader and together they defeated the emperor.

Some of the fondest memories of my childhood!

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

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My mom was watching Star Wars (no ANH that I recall???) on VHS and I kind of joined in. I remember the first thing I ever saw of SW was Obi-wan kneeling down over Luke and calling out to R2. This was the unaltered version, likely with the splice but I can't remember. The box itself was labelled only "Star Wars". Pan&scan, PAL, with pitch correction which is a nice touch. We also had unaltered versions of ESB and ROTJ on VHS, also pan&scan although I do not recall if they had pitch correction as well. English isn't my first language bear in mind, and my mom insisted on getting versions without subtitles (not that I could even read at that point) so for the first very many viewings I did not understand a word of what was said but I still loved watching. I did have my mom translate on the go for me once. That was kind of nice.

After that she got the Special Edition box set. The quality was better obviously and it was in proper cropped widescreen. Had a documentary at the beginning of each film detailing what was improved. Still not so good at english at that point and once again no subtitles, so I didn't notice too many changes although Jabba was indeed hideous and the ESB shuttle insert was wierd.

I also recall seeing the ROTJ special edition in the theater, but the only thing I really remember from that was that I almost pissed my pants because I really really really had to go, but it was during the sail barge action scene and I sure wasn't going to miss that final explosion on the big screen. T'was glorious too!

I also remember that for a long time my current favorite colour was dictated by whichever lightsaber I had last seen in a Star Wars film. :D

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I saw the films out of order, and never in the theatres.

First Star Wars film I saw was TESB, back sometime in the winter of '96/97. It was on a poorly-made home recording the family borrowed from some friends - I remember the picture going a blank blue at several points throughout the film, so it was a pain in the ass to watch. I also remember not liking Yoda - I found him stupid-looking at the time.

I next saw ROTJ, in August of 1997 (the night Princess Diana died, actually). It was on a French-language channel, though, so I couldn't understand a word. Regardless of all that, though, I enjoyed the film immensely. Weird thing, though, is that I remember seeing Luke's lightsaber as blue, not green; the tint on the TV must have been off.

Saw SW for the first time, I believe, in the spring of '99. The VCR we had at the time was defective, though, and kept shutting the video off. I liked the movie, but was disappointed that "The Imperial March" wasn't in there and that Vader's armour wasn't as glossy as in the sequels.

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DuracellEnergizer said:

...but was disappointed that "The Imperial March" wasn't in there and that Vader's armour wasn't as glossy as in the sequels.

Haha, I had those same gripes as a kid.

Keep Circulating the Tapes.

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:P It's even dirtier in ROTJ though. The only time it's ever really shiny is ESB.

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I guess you missed this part of ROTJ?

Keep Circulating the Tapes.

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I saw starwars in theaters in 77. I can only remember the major parts, like the  Mos eisley cantina, Ben and Vader fighting, and the death star battle. I don't remember any scene in particular that stood out as most memorable.

Saw empire in 1980 in theaters. Can remember seeing quite a bit of it. Most of which ( again ) where the highlights. The hoth battle, asteroid field, space slug, Cloud city, Ben and Luke fighting, Luke training on dagobah and meeting yoda.  I believe the Hoth Battle was the only thing that really stood out for me. No one had ever seen anything like the AT-AT's, or snow walkers, as I use to call them back then.

Saw Jedi in theaters in 1983. I remember the news talking about the THX sound system. I stood outside the theater ( at night ) for two hours, in the rain with a line stretched around the building and back around. People where sneaking back in to see it twice. All the good seats where taken also. Had to sit on the extreme right side of the theater if I recall, but it was worth it.

I really remember vaders entrance in Jedi because every cheered as he walked down the ramp from his shuttle. The space battle was the second most memorable because nobody had ever seen any thing like it on screen. There was so much stuff going on in the battle. Lukes Green light sabre was a crowd catcher also. Everybody laughed when the Ewoks did something. I believe the speeder bike chase was probably the most memorable part of Jedi aside from the Space battle that really had an impact on me.

The I think I saw Jedi a couple of time in theaters, but cant remember exactly how many times. The details of all 3 movies start getting a bit fuzzy right after the VHS versions came out for rent because after watching those, you start to forget what you first saw in theaters, as opposed to what you saw/ remember from VHS.

Venerable member of the “Red Eye” Knights

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I remember the first time I saw Star Wars at the cinema, we went on the train over to the Guildford Odeon. When I came out of the station, there was a billboard with the poster on it.

We took the trek up the big hill to the cinema at the top and there was a line all around the back of the building. There was a big standup display of Luke, Leia and Han just inside the main doors.

My dad bought me the programme before we went up the stairs to the waiting area. The film was still playing to the previous crowd, and I remember jumping up and looking through the glass panel in the door. We had a support film called 'Fast Company' about car racing,bikes or something like that. As we all know the film was awesome and changed my life from that moment.

I saw The Empire Strikes Back, first on holiday at Weymouth. I bought the vinyl album (single disc) first and tried not to look at the picture sleeve inside and spoil the film for myself. That night, I was second in the line for the film showing. There was an intermission in the film just before Luke is training with Yoda on his back. I was the last one out of the cinema at the end as I wanted  to watch all the credits to the end. There was no way that Darth Vader was Luke's father I thought. He's lying !

The Star Wars/Empire Strikes Back double bill,I saw at Reigate Majestic Cinema.

Return Of Jedi, I first saw at Guildford again. Front row of the balcony. Same screen as Star Wars.

When I saw the triple bill at Guildford, people had packed lunches with them. They would not allow that today !

Amazing times !

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First of all, my memory generally stinks, but here's what I got.

I was 3 when Star Wars came out, so I don't remember it at all.  My dad said my little brother started crying so we had to leave early.

The Hoth sequence probably stuck with me more than anything else from ESB.  I don't recall a huge reaction from "I am your father".  An odd thing I remember from ESB was collecting the Burger King stickers to put together on a big foldout sheet of different scenes.  Probably still have it somewhere.  Oh also the Burger King glasses.

I loved the heck out of RotJ when it came out, especially the 3 simultaneous battles at the end.  First saw it at the theater near NC State I believe.  It was also the first movie I saw 3 times in the theater, only other ones with that distinction are Last Crusade and Fellowship of the Ring.

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I first saw the Star Wars SE in theaters at age 8.  I didn't like it.  Darth Vader weirded me out, and the fantasy elements like the Force turned me off.  I was more of a hard sci-fi fan, and even then the non-realistic elements bothered me.  (Why didn't the x-wing pilots wear spacesuits?!?!)

My cousins later encouraged me to watch ESB and ROTJ on VHS at age 12.  I really enjoyed ESB.  I suppose at that age, the more mature story of ESB was able to appeal to me.  Unfortunately, I don't remember if the father revelation was a surprise to me.  ROTJ was fun, but I knew I liked it the least.  I rewatched the trilogy many times that summer, and my cousins even gave me the VHS set.

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Well...I originally saw Star Wars at the drive-in theater when it first came out. I was two or three years old. The most significant thing I can remember from my first viewing of this sci-fi classic was the giant trash bag full of popcorn that we brought with us...Oh, what memories!

I next saw Return of the Jedi in a regular movie theater during a friend's birthday party (loved it! "Oh no! The Rancor!")...

Sometime later, I saw the Empire Strikes Back on laserdisc at my Aunt's house (so when Darth Vader reveals he is Luke's father, it didn't phase me at all..."Of course, he's your father...and Leia's your sister!" That's just the way Star Wars rolls!)...

So, not exactly the ideal or preferable sequencing of the films, but I enjoyed them nonetheless... 

 

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Re: ANH, I was 6, and we were late getting to the theatre because my Mom had a meeting, so we missed the shootout aboard Princess Leia's ship. My 3 year old sister fell asleep en route and cried when she found out she missed the Jawas.

Re: ESB, I remember a lineup that went halfway around the block to get in, and my mind being blown by the end revelation of Luke's parentage, as well as being on a massive adrenaline rush after the flight through the asteroid field.

Re: ROTJ, I read the novelization first and was profoundly disappointed by the film. It just wasn't as exciting as the other two, and given that I had seen them the previous fall on a double feature, my memory was pretty solid.

 

Princess Leia: I happen to like nice men.
Han Solo: I'm a nice man.