Star Wars – A Quick Ramble
The first time I ever heard about Star Wars was way back in 1977. News reports from America reporting on an amazing movie that was smashing box office records. Queues around the block, packed movie theatres, rave reviews, and all for this film set in space that nobody in the U.K had ever even heard of……
We were going to hear about it though. Were we ever. It was due to hit cinema’s over here during the summer of 77.
Scenes like these were all too familiar in Burton when the movie finally hit the Odeon. I’d wander down there most nights just waiting for shorter lines outside. Finally about six weeks into it’s residency I got there for a 5pm screening and was amazed to see no line at all. At last I was going to see this legendary piece of cinema I’d heard so much about.
Needless to say I was totally awestruck. Star Wars was the first movie of it’s kind, and it was easily the most amazing film I had seen, and it’s lived in my heart ever since.
What you have to remember is back then, in the days before video, dvd, bluray and digital downloads, the only way to see these films was in the cinema. The only way you could take any part of it home with you was if you were lucky enough to own an 8mm projector, in which case you had the choice of a b/w 200ft silent reel which had selected scenes in b/w but no sound, or if you had bundles of money you could get hold of a 200 ft colour sound reel of the same movie which lasted around 15 minutes.
I was unfortunately still at school so had no chance of being able to afford the colour sound reel but after a few weeks of saving up and pestering the hell out of my parents to help me out, they treated me to a projector and this one film for Christmas.
I was in heaven. I could actually get to watch selected bits of this awesome film in my own private cinema…….my bedroom. I can’t remember the actual scenes it included but I do remember watching it over and over again.
I also listened to the Radio 1 serialisation of the movie which was broadcast over several week on Saturdays around lunchtime.
There was also the paperback novelisation which I read cover to cover many times and they also released The Story of Star Wars on LP which I bought and listened to constantly on my old record player. I’m sure I still have both knocking around somewhere. I have to admit I never really got into the whole action figures and models scene, but if I’d have realised how much some of them were going to be worth 40 years on I’d have certainly invested in some of them.
Anyway that’s how we rolled back then. Reels of film, books and records. Then came VHS…………but that’s another story.