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Topic: STAR WARS: The 40th Anniversary! (May 25, 1977) (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 21 May 2017 at 2:25pm | IP Logged | 1  


Okay, I think we all know the official 40th anniversary of the original STAR WARS is this Thursday (5/25/17), so until then, let's try a little something over the next few days (in an effort not to open two different threads):

Rather than talk about the film or your original viewing experience just yet, I wanted to ask the Forum how they were planning on celebrating this week, this Thursday, or throughout the year... what are your plans, what have you been purchasing or collecting, are you traveling anywhere (cons, pilgrimages, screenings, etc.)--anything you'd care to share!

(And on Thursday, I'll update this thread title and we'll all go hog-wild, sound good?)

For me, I'm definitely planning on sitting the entire family down on Thursday and watching the original (albeit the Special Edition--grrr), which I would imagine a lot of you will be doing as well.  I'll also be blasting the CD soundtrack out of my car all week, to and from work.

And yes, as I'm apt to do during any of the big anniversary years (20th, 25th, 30th, 35th), I've been allowing myself to pick up a few select things here & there... some t-shirts, the new Hot Wheels die-cast vehicles, a mug or two, as well as posters.  (And as noted in another thread, I've been setting-up little displays all around my man-cave this past week.)  Really having some fun scouring around in stores & online and picking some stuff that would look good at home or at my desk at work... I was holding off, but I may need to start grabbing some of the 40th Anniversary "Black Series" action figures in the retro '70s Kenner packages--they really look fantastic!

How 'bout you??

(Edit:  New thread title)






Edited by Shaun Barry on 24 May 2017 at 9:49pm
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 21 May 2017 at 2:51pm | IP Logged | 2  

Watching the original film in its original form on the 25th. Maybe order some more parts for my in-progress FX lightsaber prop build, and crack open a Bandai starfighter kit or two.

And I really need to reread Rinzler's THE MAKING OF STAR WARS, as well as first-time-read THE MAKING OF EMPIRE and JEDI.


Edited by Greg Kirkman on 21 May 2017 at 2:52pm
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 21 May 2017 at 2:55pm | IP Logged | 3  

Also, I saw some of those 40th anniversary Black series figures, recently. The Vader with the Early Bird set packaging looks especially sweet.

Not entirely sold on Tatooine Luke with the soft goods tunic, though. Luke's always been a bit problematic in that area--a sculpted, faux baggy plastic tunic looks kinda wonky, but a soft goods/cloth tunic looks cheap and out of scale.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 21 May 2017 at 4:01pm | IP Logged | 4  

Hadn't really planned on anything. 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 21 May 2017 at 5:22pm | IP Logged | 5  

I think it may have been as late as September of '77 before I saw STAR WARS for the first time.
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 21 May 2017 at 6:03pm | IP Logged | 6  

Yeah, it took months before we finally got in. I remember going to Allen Park theater wearing a jacket so probably the fall.

As for May 25th my son will want to celebrate it like 5/4 . We watched the original 3 while playing Star Wars trivial pursuit.
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Joe Boster
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Posted: 21 May 2017 at 6:12pm | IP Logged | 7  

Wookie Cookies, A sale at my store. Star wars game demos. Despecialized on the TV. 
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 21 May 2017 at 6:26pm | IP Logged | 8  

I saw Star Wars as an infant in the UK, and it wouldn't have been any earlier than 1978. It took a good while for films to make its way over from the US to the UK back then!

The 40th anniversary hadn't really been on my radar. Might draw a picture or something.
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 22 May 2017 at 9:32am | IP Logged | 9  

I`m not certain but i don`t think we got it in the U.K.
until early 1978 as Peter said.I know we had the Marvel
Star Wars Weekly comic in 1977 so our anticipation was
at a high level! I also recall eagerly watching any
awards show,magazine show etc to catch a clip!
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 22 May 2017 at 10:33pm | IP Logged | 10  

It opened in London just before Christmas '77. It didn't go national until '78. Ah, the cinema of the past. Anyone in the UK remember we waited a month for TPM? Unthinkable nowadays.

Anyway, I've been making my way through the movies and will watch Star Wars on Friday. A day late, but I'm working away until then.
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 23 May 2017 at 12:23am | IP Logged | 11  

Yes James,if i recall correctly we waited 6 months for
Robocop! At least us getting the Marvel movies a week or
so earlier than the U.S. is some form of payback!
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 23 May 2017 at 6:48am | IP Logged | 12  

When Phantom Menace came out I knew more than one person in London who took a trip to New York just to see it. Disappointment abounded!

Edited to add: and thinking on it a little, a month-long wait for Menace was an improvement from a decade before. I remember waiting nearly two months for Batman in 1989 and a similar stretch for T2 in 1991. Summer blockbusters would often arrive in August in the UK. That same summer as T2 we got Silence of the Lambs (about 3 and a half months after the US release!).


Edited by Peter Martin on 23 May 2017 at 6:53am
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 23 May 2017 at 5:30pm | IP Logged | 13  


This t-shirt arrived in the mail yesterday, featuring what could be my single favorite promotional image in all of STAR WARS:

Image result for star wars hildebrandt t shirt


Hildebrandt Brothers goodness, it'll be worn with geeky pride!!



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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 24 May 2017 at 6:21am | IP Logged | 14  

I love the T-Shirt, Shaun, and have always liked that image but have always been curious at how its depiction of Luke and Leia is more sexualised than in the film itself.

Was this image used in original promotional material for Star Wars or did it come out later?
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John Byrne
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Posted: 24 May 2017 at 6:41am | IP Logged | 15  

Hildebrandt paintings used to look to me like box art for Aurora model kits, and nowhere more than in that one did I regret that there was no actual kit to go with it!
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 24 May 2017 at 8:34am | IP Logged | 16  

If i remember correctly that image WAS used as original
promotional material for the film,i`m pretty sure that
poster was used in cinema foyers,also on packaging/boxes
for Star Wars themed sweets etc.

P.S. just remembered i asked for and got the plastic
container with that image printed on it of Star wars
themed chewy sweets from the Boy`s Brigade tuck shop i
attended at the time! If i still had that bit of
ephemera i guess it would be worth a few Quid!

Edited by Bill Collins on 24 May 2017 at 8:36am
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 24 May 2017 at 2:58pm | IP Logged | 17  

It also was the front cover of the Marvel published making of magazine. Which of course I still have, along with everything else I bought 40 years ago
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 24 May 2017 at 4:33pm | IP Logged | 18  


Matthew, the way I understand it is that the Hildebrandt poster was a commissioned piece at the last minute, right after STAR WARS blasted out of the gate, in order to get something (anything!) onto store shelves in the summer of '77 (I got my first copy by that August, for my 5th birthday).  The image was later reused for other merchandise, including some international movie posters, replacing the original template imagery from artist Tom Jung:

Image result for star wars poster tom jungRelated image

(Though my memory of the time is foggy, it was the Jung poster that greeted most everyone in States, at their local movie theaters, when the film was first released.)






Edited by Shaun Barry on 24 May 2017 at 5:24pm
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 24 May 2017 at 4:36pm | IP Logged | 19  


Also, I've never thought of the Hildebrandt (or Jung) artwork as "sexualized" (heck, the only one flashing cleavage in the Hildebrandt piece is Luke!)... more like glamorized or idealized.

Maybe even "super-heroic," if you will!






Edited by Shaun Barry on 24 May 2017 at 4:36pm
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 24 May 2017 at 6:24pm | IP Logged | 20  

This is the one of the most nostalgic images for me with regard to Star Wars:


Back before home video was a common thing, back before Star Wars had ever been shown on TV, this was the way I revisited the film over and over again. 
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 24 May 2017 at 9:35pm | IP Logged | 21  

I'm more partial to the Jung poster than the Hildebrandt one, mainly because the actors' likenesses are better, and also because it was used for the VHS cover.

Those posters show just how much movie posters and advertising have changed. Today, you'd have an orange and/or teal color scheme, with headshots of the entire principal cast badly photoshopped into a symbolic collage image. On the STAR WARS posters, Han Solo and Ben Kenobi are nowhere to be found, and the focus is on Luke and Leia, who were originally supposed to be the primary characters ("The story of a boy, a girl, and a universe."). There's a wonderfully pulpy, Frazetta-esque feel to the old STAR WARS posters.




And, I picked up the storybook at a school used book sale when I was a kid. Love it! It even has some stills from the famous Biggs scenes which were deleted from the film.

The cover image is very nostalgic for me, too. It's very similar to the cover for the STAR WARS Read-Along Adventures book and record set, which I also have great nostalgic affection for. My Bandai 1/12 scale models of Artoo and Threepio are posed almost exactly as they are in that image (although I also have Threepio's hand resting on Artoo's dome, for that extra touch of characterization/authenticity).
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 24 May 2017 at 9:52pm | IP Logged | 22  


I'm hittin' the hay, but I've revised the thread title... go for it, everybody:  When/where/how did you first see STAR WARS; how old were you; any & all thoughts & remembrances... bring 'em on!

HAPPY 40TH ANNIVERSARY, STAR WARS!!!



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Brian Hague
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Posted: 24 May 2017 at 10:29pm | IP Logged | 23  

My family didn't see the film during the summer, but rather during a re-release early the next year. My mom was a very reserved Trekker who was all about the optimism and hope for the future the show promised. We routinely picked up Starlog Magazine and issue #7 featured a preview of the upcoming feature. I was fairly excited. I had never seen any character with the visual fascination of See-Threepio. I loved robots. I also loved ghosts and super-heroes, but robots were just amazing to my young eyes. There was a book in the school library about robots, including those in film. It contained a preview photo of See-Threepio and Artoo-Detoo as well as a picture of the False Maria from the 1927 Metropolis, and talked about how the earlier was the basis for the latter. I was knocked out by all of it. 

I was also completely enamored of the humor magazines Cracked and Crazy. Mad contained too much broad, gross-out humor for my refined palette (ahem), but Crazy has a crazy sort of energy to it and super-heroes aplenty while Cracked featured the art of John Severin which I studied intently issue after issue. Both of course did their parodies of Star Wars so I had a broad understanding of the plot. I didn't get into the comics until I saw the second Marvel Treasury for sale up at the local 7-Eleven. I ran back home to beg for the money to buy it and when it was given, I literally ran all the way back. I'd tried doing such a thing in the past, but this was the first time I'd managed that trick, which was especially impressive given the running home from there I'd done earlier. I was a bit disappointed to find that it only contained the second half of the movie, but still pored over it, memorizing as much as I could. I liked all the characters to some extent or another. 

Meanwhile, Mom's fanzines were filling up with Star Wars material which I believe annoyed her a great deal since she was paying those exorbitant fees for them and the shipping to read more about Star Trek. This popcorn titillation picture was getting in the way and consuming pages. I checked out the book from the library constantly as well as another on puppet crafting that had a chapter on robots. I got into arguments on the playground with punks who'd seen the movie and were therefore experts, no further studying required. Meanwhile, my family didn't do movies or family outings. Mom was a private person and Dad was a police officer, working odd hours all the time and had a second job as well. My parents had odd sleep schedules, and there was really no time for such a thing as family movie. 

When Star Wars left the theatre without our having seen it, I was assured that it would be back and we'd see it then. Or on television. Oh, that hurt... television? Chopped and broken into pieces with Chevrolet and cooking oil ads every ten minutes? God, no... When it finally did come back around, we again waited a fairly long time before my Mom more or less insisted we all go. Dad finally got the whole argumentative, brittle, noisy lot of us into the car and drove to the Cooper, the big screen where lines had formed going all the way around the building back in the summer. 

There was still a long line to get in for the re-release. Mom's legs were a source of constant discomfort and pain for her throughout her life so that was difficult for her. We finally got in and I was suitably mesmerized throughout. Of course I pretty much already knew everything that was going to happen, but seeing it all transpire was still a visual feast. The characters were better than I'd imagined in most respects. I really did not see See-Threepio's accent or fey mannerisms coming. I somehow thought he was going to still be something of a churlish tough guy. I loved him anyway, though, and was completely enchanted by Artoo-Detoo. It was so cool seeing the robots hold the screen for so long. And of course, Princess Leia was cool and spunky, full of snarky put-downs and an attitude born of years of better treatment than she was receiving at the time. Darth Vader was brilliant, as was Tarkin. Villainous villains doing villainous things in a villainous manner. There was no question here of who the bad guys were. 

Afterwards, of course, I had to have as many of the figures as possible and got a number of them for my birthday and Christmas as well as a Darth Vader bop bag which stood for many years in my bedroom as a constant companion. Scoring one in excellent condition on eBay ten years ago or so was one my happier collecting triumphs. He's in storage at the moment but always seems happy to see me when I visit him and the other stuff in there. My Iron Man collection began when I was allowed to shop the toy aisle at Target for a figure and went back and forth in front of the Mego dolls for what seemed like an hour or more before selecting the Iron Man one because he could double as See-Threepio. Since then, the number of representative images of both characters in my various rooms, apartments, and homes has grown to a likely unhealthy amount. Which is not good because I also collect a great deal of Superman, Wonder Woman, and Hulk merchandise as well. Darth is not lonely in that storage unit. The amount of childhood investment I put into Star Wars was considerable and the amount since unreasonable, but the rewards seem generally worthwhile. 
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 25 May 2017 at 9:39am | IP Logged | 24  

My memories of seeing Star Wars for the first time are hazy at best. In fact, for many years all I thought I remembered were the stormtroopers' feet showing as the door gets stuck before Luke and Leia swing across the gantry -- and this was most likely a false memory sparked by a later viewing.

What I do remember: a queue around the bock, the foyer of the cinema and endless adverts before the film began. That's about it! I was not even 3 yet -- and as mentioned upthread, it would have been 1978. This was in Bournemouth, what was known as the Gaumont back then and is now an Odeon.

Vintage photo of that cinema (not mine!): 


Other related memories:
Receiving R2-D2 as a present on Christmas Eve (possibly 1977, if not it was 1978). My brother got 3PO.

The second time I saw the film was on TV in 1982, having seen ESB in the cinema in 1980. Back when the UK had only 3 TV channels! The film was a major talking point at school on the Monday.


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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 25 May 2017 at 9:59am | IP Logged | 25  

I don't remember when I first saw STAR WARS. It certainly wasn't during its first theatrical run. It had to have been one of the pre-EMPIRE re-releases, as I know I did see it before I saw EMPIRE the first weekend it was released.

Could have been as late as 1979.

I was a fan. But it wasn't this life-changing milestone as it seems to be for so many guys of and around my age.


Edited by Brian Rhodes on 25 May 2017 at 10:04am
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