What was it like watching Star Wars in 1977?

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by VietAnh1111, May 23, 2023.

  1. VietAnh1111

    VietAnh1111 is playing his guitar on the MTV Thread Starter

    Hanoi, Vietnam
    I'm a 20-year-old Star Wars fan. Recently, I watched the original, unaltered Star Wars when it wasn't titled A New Hope through a fan-edit version called 4K77, which is a film preservation project upscaled to 4K. When I looked back, it was a great experience compared to the special edition, which featured unnecessary CGI and several controversial changes to the film. I'm curious what it feels like to watch Star Wars on the premiere day. Can you share your experience?


    P/S: Han shot first.
    Last edited: May 23, 2023
  2. A Grain of Sand

    A Grain of Sand Forum Resident

    Riverside, CA
    Waiting in line to get in.
  3. steveharris

    steveharris Senior Member

    I was 3 1/2 years old with my parents older brother and sister.I was frightened when “Doctor Vader” was choking people.I was amazed but really confused by much of it to be honest from faded memories.I loved the cantina scene for the jazz music and monsters.
    I remember how cool the words were in the beginning but I couldn’t read yet.The Star destroyer flying through space captured my imagination.We soon had the comic book adaptions wich made things even more bizarre almost psychedelic looking.That movie was a pivotal cinematic experience in my life.Empire Strikes Back and Raiders Of The Lost Ark would be the other big ones for me.
  4. I seen the movie 18 times when it came out. :edthumbs:
  5. Leepal

    Leepal Forum Resident

    Swindon, UK
    It didn't go on general release in the UK until 1978. I remember going to see it at the cinema with a friend and his older brother, I would have been 8 or 9 at the time. I don't think I fully understood what was going on with the plot, but the special effects and characters were entertaining enough for me to enjoy the experience.
  6. mwheelerk

    mwheelerk A mindislikeaparachuteItdoesn'tworkifitisnotopen

    Gilbert Arizona
    I was 27 years old at the time of release. I remember standing in line in the cold of winter to get into the theater. I honestly was pretty awestruck by the special effects of this movie at that time. It seemed surreal...
  7. Andrew J

    Andrew J Forum Resident

    South East England
    It was a great experience for me - then a child at the cinema on first release.
  8. Purple Jim

    Purple Jim Senior Member

    It was terrific. Like a good comic book/graphic novel come to life with a good script and stunning special effects. A thrilling experience.
  9. TheIncredibleHoke

    TheIncredibleHoke Dachshund Dog Dad

    Brooklyn, NY
    Was 9 years old and I was instantly obsessed. Probably went to see the movie a dozen times.
  10. Overwhelming. Didn't know what it was and remember being almost unwilling to go when parents gathered us (we were playing outside with friends). The super-long line made things worse. At age 7, waiting in a big line isn't easy. Finally got in, a bit exasperated. Then the Fox Fanfare started and the scroll. By the time the opening theme music finished and the two ships came into view, I was utterly hooked. It kind of dominated my thinking for the next 3-4 years. Probably one of the best movie experiences I've ever had.
  11. dr jazz

    dr jazz Forum Resident

    park ridge,il,usa
    I was in college. I still remember looking over my shoulder when the rear sound came on with ships moving on screen
  12. Steve Baker

    Steve Baker Forum Resident

    Columbia, Maryland
    I was underwhelmed after the hype. My girlfriend didn't care for it. It was alright. Never caught the "bug" that has consumed many.
  13. S. Cane

    S. Cane Guitarist/Songwriter

    I first watched it in the mid 80s and still love it.
  14. pig bodine

    pig bodine God’s Consolation Prize

    Syracuse, NY USA
    Unlike most people, I am not a Star Wars fan, but it was such a phenomenon in 1977, that I felt I had to see it. I was 14 at the time, and I went with my brother and a group of friends. We saw it at the local mall cineplex. Although it had been out a week when we saw it, there still was a significant line to get tickets, and we had to break up into smaller groups once we got in, as there weren't large groups of empty seats. The only other film I have seen before or since that was anything like this was Jaws. I liked Jaws a lot more.
  15. dance_hall_keeper

    dance_hall_keeper Forum Resident

    Very enjoyable and very loud.
    hi_watt, longdist01 and VietAnh1111 like this.
  16. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot

    I watched it in the local theater twice every Saturday as long as it was there for a total of 16 times. It was amazing, it was like the best roller coaster on the planet. No modern CGI-infested billion dollar boondoggle could better it.

    I'm not a big Star Wars fan, I didn't see the other two of the original trilogy until many years after their release. I was a Star Trek fanatic but I don't mind saying that none of the Star Trek films (not even Wrath of Khan) was quite the stunner that the original Star Wars was.
  17. Bea Jonas

    Bea Jonas Only Visiting This Planet

    Fort Wayne
    My older brother promised to take me to see Star Wars when it opened in our hometown (which wasn't on May 25th—as a smaller market, we didn't get the pic until June 10th, 1977). Unfortunately, when the day arrived, my big brother was suffering from a stomach virus, but true to his word, he drove me over to the General Cinema at Southtown Mall (long since demolished) so we could attend the very first show.

    The Rebel Blockade Runner had just zipped by onscreen pursued by a massive Star Destroyer when my brother turned to me and whispered, "I'll be right back..." and dashed off to the restroom.

    I nodded without taking my eyes from the screen—where two droids miraculously evaded furious blaster fire while crossing a corridor. There were explosions and at one point a menacing figure in black choked the life out of someone using only one hand, and also threatened a princess in white sporting an odd hairdo. The droids left the ship in an escape pod, only to land on a strange desert planet.

    I felt my brother return to the seat next to me, and heard him whispered hoarsely: "What'd I miss?"

    I really didn't know how to respond, as I feared any time spent recapping all the amazing things I'd just seen might cause me to miss out on the next amazing thing up on the screen.

    "A lot," was all I managed to say before falling silent.

    I returned my full attention to the movie, and over the course of the next two hours, I was vaguely aware of my brother leaving his seat suddenly and returning several more times—although I did note that he eventually stopped asking me for a recap.

    After we emerged from the darkened theater into the sunny parking lot, I wasn't sure if the miserable expression on my brother's face was because he'd missed so much of the movie we had both waited weeks to see or that pesky stomach bug (or maybe it was a combination of both). As he climbed slowly into the driver's seat of his yellow Camaro, I slid into the passenger seat next to him—and spent the ride home with a smile of wonder on my face while paging through the official program booklet for the amazing movie I'd just seen (and would see many more times that summer).
    Last edited: May 23, 2023
  18. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore

    Summer of 1977, I was 13 and at a sleepaway camp on an island in the middle of Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire.

    They took us on a boat to Meredith, NH one day to see the film at a theater. I enjoyed it just fine, but I never really caught the Star Wars bug and, to this day, I've never seen any of the sequels. (I did buy the 45 by Meco though.)

    That same summer, at the same camp on the island, I learned about the passing of Elvis Presley via one of the many portable AM radios that campers had. Elvis was the first celebrity death that shocked me, in 1977 he was still very famous and iconic.
  19. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits, Abbie & Mitzi: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    I was 10 in 5/77, though I don't think I actually saw the movie until June.

    Movies didn't "open wide" in 1977 like they do now, and apparently due to some arcane law on the books at the time, "Star Wars" came to Maryland and DC before it reached Virginia.

    My Mom and I schlepped to a mall in MD to see it - again, probably in June.

    As I recall, I enjoyed it, but I think I was a little disappointed just because it'd already gotten so much attention at that point.

    Still, saw it again and loved it.

    Saw it 6 times total across its year-plus in theaters.

    Became a huge fan of the franchise, though I recall that when "ESB" came out in 1980, I was in my brief "I'm too cool for that nerd nonsense" mode and resisted going.

    Went to "ESB" opening night because friends cajoled me - and loved it.

    That was a very short - and very weird - phase, as I was the definition of a nerd back then. And I'd been big into "Star Trek" as recently as like March 1980!

    I can't explain what the heck I was thinking.
  20. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    I saw it once the lines faded, so probably a couple weeks after opening. I much preferred Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, which was released the same year.
  21. DHawkins1590

    DHawkins1590 Well-Known Member

    London, UK
    Awesome! Had to go see it after reading the German MAD version.
    Danny Coffin, hi_watt and VietAnh1111 like this.
  22. bob_32_116

    bob_32_116 Forum Flaneur

    Perth Australia
    I don't think I have ever seen the movie right through. Why I sound unsure is because a friend swears that we both saw it in the 80s at a film festival, but I believe he's confusing it with something else, possibly a Star Trek movie.

    I was a big fan of Science Fiction, but by 1977 I had long left behind this form of SF, which I call "Space Westerns".It's pure escapism, and there's nothing wrong with that as such; it's just not my thing, especially with featured names like "Luke Skywalker". I do, however, appreciate it as art of a certain sort, and credit it with helping to kill off the craze for Westerns.
  23. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits, Abbie & Mitzi: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    Apples/oranges, honestly. 2 very different movies with very different goals linked solely because they were ostensibly "sci-fi" and big hits.
    VietAnh1111 likes this.
  24. Ginger Ale

    Ginger Ale Snackophile

    New York
    Neither of us is what you'd call a Star Wars fan, but we enjoyed it at the time, for the spectacle, the cast, and the storyline that was still a surprise back then.

    I loathed the 'upgrade,' as well as all subsequent films.
    hi_watt and VietAnh1111 like this.
  25. Anno

    Anno Forum Resident

    Very dank and dark in the local flea pit, Widnes, North West uk, not much hyped but we liked sci-fi, usual drill, Blakes7, the Dr and Star Trek, so we went on the Thursday night.
    Lay back in the mostly uncomfortable chair, on the screen, inky blackness, with a hint of white, a ship goes by,followed by another bit of white, which became a small triangle, which became a little larger, then more and more and more and f#£&in’ h#£@, does this thing never stop?!!!
    Amazing opening sequence…
    unclefred, hi_watt, cleandan and 2 others like this.

Share This Page