I was a ten years old boy, very much interested in Sci-Fi films, when Star Wars (later renamed A New Hope) was shown on the big screen.
For me the SW-experience started with a evening broadcast on TV. It was a monthly broadcast that featured scenes from new films to be shown in the cinema the following weeks. I was less than excited on this broadcast as there were rarely shown any films of interest for a small boy. But suddenly my world changed. A young man and a woman swung on a rope over a gap behind them guys in white protectionsuits shooting with laser weapons. Then starships flew around a big space station, firing their lasers and two guys, one in black the other in brown fighted against each other with some weapons that looked like swords made of light. A big hairy alien shouted “uuuuuaaaaaaarrrrrrrr” and some other aliens with bandages around their head and some metal parts between these bandages were seen. It was unbelievable and seemed so realistic. I had to see this movie.
I went to see it a week later. Never before I had seen such a queue in front of the cinema. I was between the lucky ones who got a ticket (I think my father was with me but I’m not to sure about this.)
The film started with a strange sequence:
A written narration that explained what was happening in the SW universe. That there was a bad bad empire and a rebellion against it. The writing disappeared and the camera angle changed, the magic started.
a yellowish planet came into sight and suddenly two spaceships appeared. Laserbeams. War in Space: Star Wars.
I remember, being puzzled about the good and the bad guys in the beginning. For a ten years old boy it is clear. Good guys: White. Bad guys: Black. Are these white guys, storming the ship, the good or the bad guys?
then suddenly there was silence and out of some mist a dark figure entered the ship and made clear who's good and who is bad.
Dart Vader was so impressive. His height. This aura of evil...
I could continue and explain my every feeling during the film but this would be too much for the forum. Let's stay to the key scenes. Scenes that followed me for the rest of my life.
The scene were Ben explains to Luke what the force is all about. That was pure magic underlayed with a wonderful discrete music. It got me goose bumps.
Mos Eisley. Not the cantina... no. The cantina was very special too. But it was the introducing sequence that was so special for me the first time I saw this movie:
Ben saying: "Mos Eisley space port. Nowhere you will find more scum assembled than here." (This is a direct translation from german. I don't know the exact words in English.)
Then the cantina scene and of course the alien who looses an arm. For a ten years old boy this was hard stuff.
This was followed by the introduction of Han . When today I see this movie, Han is my favourite character from the moment he appears. He was not at this first time. It was Luke I wanted to be.
Next big thing was the millenium falcon. Ohh man how I wanted to have this ship. To own it, to fly it and to have a buddy named Chewbacca.
Then one climax was followed by the next. The destroying of aldebaran, the first appearence of the Death Star, the fight on the death star with its humorous moments, and then Ben's death. "The circle closes." said Vader in the german version. "Once I was your student. Now I'm the master." "Only a master of evil." Ben said. "When you beat me, I will get more might than you can ever imagine." And Vader hits him and Ben disappears. Ben was dead but he was not dead. Magic again.
Until then there had been more action, more magic, more anything than in every other film I had ever seen. And the big final was still to come. The fight on the Death Star was very close to a roller-coaster experience. It was not Luke or Red-5 or Biggs, who flew these X-Wings, it was me. "Trust to your feelings." And at the end again goose bumps: "Luke, the force will always be with you."
When I left the cinema I was completely exhausted and excited at the same time. When I came home I tried to get the force work for me. I closed my eyes and tried to trust my feelings. It never really worked, but it was always fascinating to try. I saw the movie four more times, before it was cancelled at the cinemas in my town. I bought the comic and the book and the radio play. I had some of the action figures, a light saber and Han's pistol as well as a stormtrooper weapon. Most time of my childhood there existed two worlds. The real world and a Star Wars universe. I was living in both of them. Until today Star wArs A New Hope is the film I have seen most in my live. At least 14 times on the big screen (including the SE). And though my age has changed, the magic of this movie never did. I will be a lucky man if my children will have the chance to get a similar experience of magic in their live.