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Where were you in 1977?


You know the movie is bad when all you remember are the previews for coming attractions. I believe it was the fall of 1976; I was 19 years old, working a night job at a chili place when a high school buddy asked me if I wanted to catch a movie with him. It would of course be a matinee, no screaming monsters, err kids, and the place would not be very full.

We grabbed an overpriced drink, some popcorn, and headed into the local 5 screen movie theatre. (The place is still there, but I think they have 50 screens.)

I think there were only about ten people in there and we found seats right in the exact middle, best place to sit. We talked about your basic juvenile male stuff, girls, action movies, sports, girls, jobs and girls.

Finally, the lights dimmed, the logo for coming attractions blazed on the screen, I saw a field of stars and barely made out the now familiar logo as the voice over began: “Somewhere in space, this may all be happening right now…”

I think I froze at this point, my body shivered and I actually had goose bumps as I witnessed the teaser trailer for what was then just called “Star Wars”. Even if I didn’t recognize any star except Sir Alec Guinness.

The worst part was waiting almost nine months for its release.

Do you really need to ask?

I was there, in line, waiting on opening day with my bride to be. They barely had the room for us and we sat in the middle of the very front row. This spot just made it more awesome.

And once a month, I returned. I think I saw it about 12 times that first year, sometimes alone, sometimes with family and friends. Of course, I couldn’t wait for the sequel either. Once again I was in line, waiting for “The Empire Strikes Back.” It has been 31 years since that one came out, and once again, I saw it a dozen times, followed by “Return of The Jedi

I heard a rumor during that time that Mark Hamill, who was not a complete unknown in 77’, was contracted to appear in the last three episodes, if they were ever made. I longed for the continuation of these, and the beginning, reading my way to present and past with the books and comic books – which until about 15 years ago I had all of – and waited and waited.

When they came out on VHS (that was a tape that you put in a player and could watch the movie on your TV, very similar to DVD’s except they didn’t last as long) I bought them and proceeded to wear the tapes out, watching them as much as I could. It got to the point where I memorized the dialogue – and I still know it. (Don’t test me.)

When the next three came out – I did the same thing, but I only saw them at the theater once, and waited impatiently for the DVD’s

Lucas did a few things different when he redid the originals, but they needed to be done, except for making Han Solo shot first in the Cantina – I still have problems when I see that.

But I am happy! I have the remastered first six chapters – still waiting for the last three.

Now I even have a Blu-Ray player. But today, they announced the release of all six chapters on Blu-Ray with more extras STAR WARS: THE COMPLETE SAGA. These will be available in September (perfect timing for my birthday) but I doubt that will happen. The price will maybe be about $125.00. I have no proof of this, but that is what I am thinking.

I’m also thinking George pulled a fast one on us when he rereleased chapters 4,5 and 6. This release was soon followed by chapters 1, 2, and 3. Are 7, 8 and 9 just around the corner? It has been a little quiet at Skywalker Ranch lately.

What do you think George has up his amazing sleeve?

Where were you in 1977?