I am new here so apologies if this has been discussed before. This really is just some nostalgia from a 31 year old Star Wars from Scotland.
Star Wars premiered on ITV. ITV bought the rights for £1 500 00. The BBC were never invited to bid. The broadcast dates:
Premiere 24th Oct 1982
Repeated 15th Sep 1983
Repeated 30th Dec 1984 (before the debut showing of Duran Duran’s concert movie As The Lights Go Down)
Repeated 01st Jan 1987
Repeated 01st Jan 1988
After that the rights go to pay TV Satellite broadcaster SKY. They start showing it from 1989 onwards. ITV still have the sequels.
The Empire Strikes Back
Premiere 25th Dec 1988
Repeated 24th Dec 1991
Repeated 01st Jan 1994
Repeated 01st Jan 1995 (not all ITV regions)
Return Of The Jedi
Premiere 26th Dec 1989
Repeated 29th Dec 1990
Repeated 17th Apr 1992
Repeated 07th Apr 1996 (Central region only)
Repeated 19th May 1996 (Grampian region only)
So no Star Wars in 1985, 1986 or 1993 in the UK. It seems the terrestrial broadcasts stopped after 1994. Maybe George wanted to boost the VHS and DVD sales? SKY started showing the sequels from 2001 onwards.
I think the first time I saw Star Wars must have been the 1987 showing. I also remember getting a Darth Vader costume for Christmas. I got into Star Wars properly in the late 80’s. Sadly SKY had the rights to the first movie and we could not afford a subscription. The sequels were repeated fairly often as you can see from what I posted above. I was also given cheap ex rental copies of V and VI as gifts from my parents. I longed to see the first movie again though and finally my parents saved up and bought me a full price VHS of it from Woolworths (UK video store). I remember once the tape broke so I opened it up and repaired it with super glue.