I was born the year after the original Star Wars film hit the big screen, so I didn’t get to see it during its first release. Whenever we watched the movies on TV, my dad would tell me about the first time he saw SW on the big screen.
He’d describe how fantastic it was to watch the rebel ship fly overhead, how amazing it already looked compared to anything else he’d watched. And then the huge Imperial ship appeared behind it, dwarfing the rebel ship, and the seats were vibrating from the sound, and Dad said his jaw dropped because it looked so real. He’d never seen anything like it.
I’d always wanted to see it that way, so when the special editions were released at the cinema, Dad and I went to see them. And it was exactly as wonderful as he’d always told me to see that opening sequence up there on the big screen, with my chair vibrating from the sound and that music ramping up the tension.
If I was a true purist, I’d hate the special editions. Han will always shoot first for me. But I do love seeing the cleaned up film, where Vader’s suit is really black rather than greeny-black, and Moss Eisley really looks like a busy pit of scum and villainy due to all the background details. Until I saw SW at the cinema, I hadn’t realised that the camera didn’t track between Vadar and his commander as they talked. It was clever editing to fit the shot onto a 4:3 TV screen, but it’s much better seen with the full width shot and the camera held steady.
Seeing Star Wars at the cinema for the first time was a magical moment for me, which is part of why I’m so excited to see the new film tomorrow: to recapture that magic.
Tonight and tomorrow, I plan to marathon the original trilogy. I have the day off tomorrow so it should be totally possible to do IV tonight and the other two during the day. Then it’s off to pick up my movie buddy in time for our 7.35pm showing. We’ve got our seats reserved. We’ve got our geek on. We’re ready and excited.
Bring us some magic, Star Wars.