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To live vicariously through you "senior" Star Wars peeps 
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Post To live vicariously through you "senior" Star Wars peeps
I am 34 years old. That means I came into existence shortly after Star Wars did. I actually have memories of attending a theatrical viewing of Episode VI:Return of the Jedi, but the memories are fuzzy at best.

I have questions for you "older" Star Wars fans. Or really even movie-goers in general. I don't know the average age of you regular JBers here, but I know there has to be a number that these apply to.

Before the premier of Star Wars, was it even on your radar? Was there a level of excitement there for you? Or was it a word-of-mouth kind of deal?

What about the big twist of (THREE DECADE SPOILER ALERT) Darth Vader being Luke Skywalker's father? I have this vision of it being an absolute grand, mind-blowing reveal that everybody would have been talking about ... like it would have just been a really special thing to be a part of. Was it?

Thanks for letting me live vicariously through you.


Last edited by Taleswapper on Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:35 pm
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Post Re: To vicariously through you "senior" Star Wars peeps
I worked with a guy who saw it the week it came out. He told me that the theater was barely a quarter full; there was no anticipation for the movie at all. Star Wars spread almost entirely by word of mouth; he told me that a month later you couldn't get in the theater.

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Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:52 pm
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Post Re: To live vicariously through you "senior" Star Wars peeps
I was 9 years old when it came out. The first I'd whiffed of it was on TV commercials and I thought it looked stupid (why were those guns shooting light...what good was that?) Then my 11 year old brother and 13 year old sister went to see it probably in mid-June and it was all they could talk about. About 2 weeks later I finally got to go see it. We'd arrived at 1:30 for the 2:30 show and they let us go in to the movie already in progress. I was 9...what the hell did I know? So I watched the last 45 minutes of it, and then watched the whole thing. Back then movies stuck around for a while if they had legs. I'm pretty sure Star Wars was STILL playing the following Spring. In those 10 months I must have gone to see it between 8 and 10 times. I had the Star Wars bed sheets and the collector cards and the Kenner action figures and the board game...the whole 9 yards. Still got a bunch of it in the basement in an army footlocker. It's been played with so it's probably not worth much. Will probably hand down to my kids to destroy once they're old enough for the movies.

As far as the "I am your father" bit, I remember lines out and around the the theater for the night-before opening of Empire Strikes Back and the midnight show. Not that I was there, mind you...but I recall pictures on the front page of the local section in the paper. I think I actually read the novel-tie-in before I got to see the movie. And I recall a People Magazine spread a few weeks before the movie opened showing Luke training with Yoda so there was no big surprise there when Yoda was trying to trick Luke into thinking he was an obnoxious toad. The "I am your father" reveal WAS a pretty big deal (if nothing else it was Lucas' big step into throwing continuity out the window). I even recall a "Ziggy" cartoon from a few months later with Ziggy standing at a store information booth with him asking "Is Darth Vader really Luke's father?" Part of it was, like Luke, many people thought Darth was BS'ing Luke and screwing with his head. There was a lot of ambiguity till Jedi.

Return of the Jedi was the only one of the original trilogy I saw on opening day. It opened on a Wednesday and I went to a private high school that let out in the 3rd week of May. At 11:45AM I was at the theater, which was packed. I probably saw Ep 4 between 10-12 times between the original run and the re-releases between 1977-1980, Ep 5 maybe 5 times during its original run and Jedi probably 4 or 5 times. Ah....youth!


Sat Jun 08, 2013 1:17 am
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Post Re: To live vicariously through you "senior" Star Wars peeps
I was not a fan at the time and am just chiming in with my fuzzy recollection. I didn't actually see Star Wars until many years after its release and was never a fan of the franchise until my son and I watched all six over a two week span a couple of years ago.

I was 14 at the time of release and was completely unaware of the movie until news stories about the long lines outside of theaters started being shown a few weeks after it opened. It was word of mouth with additional fuel added by intense media focus after the crowds started becoming huge. I still don't know if it was spontaneous media buzz or some deliberate post launch marketing campaign.

From what I remember, Darth revealing that he was Luke's dad was a huge surprise and was highly leveraged in the post release marketing of the film. It was so big that it has been parodied to death for the last 30 years - so much that even those who hadn't seen the movie (I didn't see it until some time in the 90's) became very familiar with the scene.


Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:20 am
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Post Re: To live vicariously through you "senior" Star Wars peeps
Thanks, everyone. The Force was strong with those responses. :)

CasualDad wrote:
I didn't actually see Star Wars until many years after its release and was never a fan of the franchise until my son and I watched all six over a two week span a couple of years ago.


Why did it take so long for you to come around to them?


Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:29 pm
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Post Re: To live vicariously through you "senior" Star Wars peeps
Taleswapper wrote:
Thanks, everyone. The Force was strong with those responses. :)

CasualDad wrote:
I didn't actually see Star Wars until many years after its release and was never a fan of the franchise until my son and I watched all six over a two week span a couple of years ago.


Why did it take so long for you to come around to them?


I was 15 when the original came out and thought it was probably a movie for younger children when it came out. Star Wars just didn't have any cool factor to it when I was in my late teens and early adulthood - I seemingly only wanted to see R rated movies during that time of my life. Later, when my son started to become interested in Star Wars through friends at school, we decided to watch the whole saga together since I didn't have any knowledge to provide him on the subject. I now have a great appreciation for Lucas's work on these films and enjoyed 1-3 just as much as 4-6. I love III and V the most and VI and II the least, but think all of them are very good to great.


Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:20 pm
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Post Re: To live vicariously through you "senior" Star Wars peeps
My dad was 18 when Star Wars came out. He and his brothers all went to see it. I don't think there was any media hype involved, but my uncle (19 at the time) is something of a movie buff, so he instigated a lot of trips to the cinema back then. He had the inside track on a lot of stuff that people might not have known about.

My favorite story is how he pestered my grandmother into taking them to see The Godfather during its first run. Hell of a movie for a bunch of rambunctious kids to go to with their mom.

CasualDad wrote:
I was 15 when the original came out and thought it was probably a movie for younger children when it came out. Star Wars just didn't have any cool factor to it when I was in my late teens and early adulthood - I seemingly only wanted to see R rated movies during that time of my life. Later, when my son started to become interested in Star Wars through friends at school, we decided to watch the whole saga together since I didn't have any knowledge to provide him on the subject. I now have a great appreciation for Lucas's work on these films and enjoyed 1-3 just as much as 4-6. I love III and V the most and VI and II the least, but think all of them are very good to great.

Have you seen the other two movies he directed? I think they're great, though admittedly they're not much like Star Wars.

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Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:40 pm
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Post Re: To live vicariously through you "senior" Star Wars peeps
Ken wrote:
Have you seen the other two movies he directed? I think they're great, though admittedly they're not much like Star Wars.


I saw American Graffiti about 10 years after it was released and thought it was a great film. A club at my college projected it on the auditorium screen. I haven't seen it since and really need to watch it again. I've never seen THX and, for some reason, haven't even been curious about it until you asked this question.


Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:18 pm
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