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George Lucas Ruined My Childhood...
May 24th 2005, 15:28 CEST by Ergo

...or not. Seeing the original Star Wars film in a movie theater WAAAAAY back in 1977 as an eleven-year-old-kid was a defining moment in my life. Where did you first see the movie? How old were you? What did you think of it?

My parents tried to take me to see the movie on three seperate occasions, only to be turned away each time because the shows were sold out. In 1977, multi-screen metroplexes were almost non-existent, and in my home town Star Wars was playing at exactly two theaters. It played at those same two theaters for well over a year, which was unheard of then (and now).

My oldest brother finally came to the rescue one spring day and pulled me out of school so I could finally see it. For a geeky kid like me, it was glorious. X-Wings! Tie Fighters! Lightsabers! Blasters! Darth Vader! RAWK! Opver the next year, I managed to con various relatives in to taking me to see it again about 10 times. I have never again had so much passion for a movie.

How about you? Where did you first see it? Big screen or TV? How old were you? What did you think?
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#1 by yotsuya
2005-05-24 15:34:04
I absolutely loved it.

Why is it that every time something happens that the fanboys didn't anticipate or wish for, they always call it "disappointment"? I think it's more a matter of having unrealistic expectations.
#2 by Mad_Dog
2005-05-24 15:38:59
ANOTHER Star Wars thread? Yeash.
#3 by Caryn
2005-05-24 15:40:48
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
I was only 5 when the first movie came out so I don't remember seeing it in the theater. My dad did take me to the second and third ones, though. I totally loved them, partially because I had a crush on Han Solo. Oh, he was dreamy. I remember being old enough to have a crush on him but still young enough to be a bit confused as to why I felt this weird butterfly feeling in my tummy whenever he came on screen.

Current novel status: 8500 words
#4 by Chunkstyle
2005-05-24 15:43:49
I saw the original on a big screen at nine years old.  My parents were never big on the movies, but all my friends had seen it, and their friends kept telling them it was great, so finally they took my seven year old brother and I.

I was stunned.  Just stared at the screen with my mouth open.  I cheered out loud when the Death Star blew up.  I convinced my parents to buy me a gazillion Star Wars figures, and that Death Star playset which was too damn cool.

That was the only movie my father ever saw in a theater more than once.  He took us 3 times.  Good job, Mr. Lucas.  This newest one wasn't bad, either.

Game Developers: Don't forget the zombie monkeys.
#5 by Funkdrunk
2005-05-24 15:48:37
jflavius@bellatlantic.net
When did the first one come out again?  77?  I was either six or seven when it came out, and I remember my parents didn't want to take us until the lines died down a bit.  We went to see it a week or so after it came out, and I think we went to see it a total of 4 times in the theater.  We loved that movie.  I recall a year or so later, I was at the dentists office and there was a magazine that had some spoiler images from Empire, including Han locked in a block of something.  I freaked out.  That image scared the crap outta me.

Funk.

I have never met Napoleon
But I plan to find the time
#6 by LPMiller
2005-05-24 15:56:13
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
We were in the processes of moving to Minnesota from californa when it first came out. So it was about 6 months before we finally saw it.

It was a Saturday, and my dad took us to the old Terrace theater. The lines were still huge. I was nine years old.

Sitting in that theater was like finding religion. I loved it.

I don't have a huge love of Star Wars today, though I have fond memories. What star wars did do was give me a love of science fiction, fantasy, and action, and opened up my imagination to the future. Even though let's face it, the science sucks, the fantasy it cliche, and the action by todays standards weak, to my 9 year old eyes, it was pure magic.

When LP says he's bringing Armageddon, he brings fucking Armageddon. - Caryn, 6/01/2004
#7 by TheTrunkDr.
2005-05-24 15:56:46
I think I was somewhere between 4 and 6 and I don't remeber it all that well. Either way my family was visiting some friends, they must have had one of the very few projection systems at the time. It had a screen that rolled down and the three coloured projectors that slide out of a drawer at the bottom. They had a VCR or some such device hooked up and we watched it on what was probably 40 inch screen, which was absolutely huge in the early 80s. They also had a good stereo system hooked up to it so it was probably as close to a theater experience I could have had. I loved it and I now own the original trilogy (non-special edition though THX remastered) on VHS and the special editions on DVD.

I SAID PURPLE, BITCH!
#8 by Charles
2005-05-24 16:00:56
www.bluh.org
My earliest memories are watching a taped copy of Star Wars on loop.

Videogames!  Why waste good technology on science and medicine?
#9 by Gunp01nt
2005-05-24 16:03:55
supersimon33@hotmail.com
I remember when the first movie came out. I was at that time of the very young age of -7.

Well, actually I first saw the movies on TV (on public dutch tv without commercial breaks) when I was 8 years old or so. And I was pretty much sold on them. We recorded the movies (still have the VHS tapes) and I watched them hundreds of times.

The only thing that could possibly make me less frightening, is if someone made three movies about my childhood, pointing out how much of a retarded, non-threatening pussy I used to be.
 - Darth Vader
#10 by CheesyPoof
2005-05-24 16:09:50
I don't remember when I saw ANH for the first time. It was too long ago.  I was on 2.5 when it can out so I doubt I saw it in the theater.  For some reason I can recall seeing TESB in the theater, but not sure if I am misremembering it.
#11 by Greg
2005-05-24 16:10:02
The first time I saw parts of Star Wars, I was 8 or 9 at the time, it happened to be on HBO. Now, I had just gone with my family to one of my sister's first confession or something. We got back in the middle of the movie. Right when the Death Star blew up Alderaan. Not knowing what was going on, I thought it was Earth and got completely freaked out.

So yeah, George Lucas ruined my childhood.

こんにちは
#12 by Matthew Gallant
2005-05-24 16:14:10
http://www.truemeaningoflife.com
I voted NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

"All I've ever wanted to be is a monkey of moderate intelligence that wears a suit. That's why I'm transferring to business school!"
#13 by UncleJeet
2005-05-24 16:35:22
I saw the first one at a drive-in.  Rock.

Accipere quam facere praestat injuriam...
#14 by Sgt Hulka
2005-05-24 16:36:07
I was ten years old. My grandfather called my brothers and I on a Saturday afternoon and said he was taking us to the movies.  I had no idea what I was about to see, had never even heard of Star Wars before.  We had to drive downtown to the Eastwood theater because back then the film only showed on like 5 screens per city, or some other small amount. It wasn't as widespread of a release as it is now  due to Lucas's pickyness about projection and sound systems. Only the best theaters got that film back then.

Once the STAR WARS suddenly appeared on screen and the blast of music hit my ears, I was hooked.  A giant spaceship shooting at a smaller one in front of it grabbed my interest.  Darth Vader walking aboard the ship, the laser guns, it was all so new to me.  By the time the end rolled around, and Luke had done his job, I as well as the entire theater were clapping! I'd never been part of an experience like that before. I was a HUGE Star Wars fan as a kid, hell, I even met Darth Vader (He's not as tall in person)..

 I loved Empire as well, was super pissed when Han got frozed.  That was the ultimate in bad guy moves.  Jedi started to lose ground for me.  The Story started fizzling out, and the introduction of those insipid Ewoks irritated me to no end.  I still have nightmares about them.  I loved Star Wars, I tolerate the prequels.

#15 by Penguinx
2005-05-24 16:50:12
I don't remember the moment, but one of the happiest snapshots of my youth is a picture of me in pleather pants, wearing a Knight Rider shirt, sitting on my bed which was housed in Smurf sheets, bowl hair-cut in tow, and playing with the ewok's village playset.

I wish I still had that photo.

Penguinx is a licensed and ordained Elder for the Church of the Living God's Global Pacific Diocese.

Should you need to find Jesus, I likely have a map.
#16 by UncleJeet
2005-05-24 16:51:39
Pleather?  Real men were wearing parachute pants back then, you dirty little whore.

Accipere quam facere praestat injuriam...
#17 by Hugin
2005-05-24 16:57:49
lmccain@nber.org
Watching Star Wars is one of my earliest memories, I must have been 4 years old when it came out.  I was too young for irony, too young for understanding cliches or traditions or tropes or anything of the sort.  Everything was taken at face value, everything was new.


Darth Vader seemed unstoppable to me, I honestly and truly had no expectation that Luke or the rebels could win.  Vader beat Obi-Wan!  Vader had that voice!  No way!

Honestly, when the Falcon dove out of the concealing glare of the sun and cleared things out for Luke..that was probably the purest moment of surprise and pleasure I've ever experienced in my life. Han came back!  He was a good guy after all!

There's a very limited amount of time when you can react that purely to a story like that, you know?  If I'd seen it even a year later it wouldn't have quite been the same.
#18 by BobJustBob
2005-05-24 17:02:35
I can't remember anything before my early teens. Seriously.

However, my parents claim they took me to see Star Wars in the theater. Considering that I was born in December '77, I hope it was the rerelease a few years later.

"he runs like dumbass, and jumps like moron" - fallen_child, GameFAQs
#19 by jjohnsen
2005-05-24 17:04:37
http://www.johnsenclan.com
My dad says he took me to see Star Wars in the theater, but the only memory I have was of Luke and Obi-wan in Ben's house talking about lightsabers.  Empire was a whole different story.  My dad took me to that one multiple times, I couldn't get enough.  He bought each radio performance on reel-to-reel as they came out, and that became our Sunday afternoon family time after church, for a while I looked forward to church because of what came afterwards.  I loved those radio shows.  One of my favorite toys as a child after the yellow lego castle was my x-wing.  I'dfly that thing around my room for hours making up stories.

Actually, the liberalism of the media - as a general thing - IS a major fallacy. What the media is, is a whore.  -LP
#20 by anaqer
2005-05-24 17:05:39
Knight Rider fucking rocked.

"So they don't even want to assassinate Comrade Bastya...? Am I worth shit now?!"
#21 by Penguinx
2005-05-24 17:07:52
Jeet, my memory of the photo is a little hazy. They could have been black parachute pants. Pleather sticks in my head, though.

It was in a stack of photos that also contained a shot of me in Spiderman pajamas playing with a red, plastic, classic-50's-style robot with yellow, glowing eyes.

Good stuff.

Penguinx is a licensed and ordained Elder for the Church of the Living God's Global Pacific Diocese.

Should you need to find Jesus, I likely have a map.
#22 by eggbert
2005-05-24 17:21:43
http://www.stuffresearch.com
I was alive, technically, around that time, but I never fully saw Star Wars until they were released on VHS for the last time (with the big half faces on the covers). I had seen pieces of it on TV, and had a general idea of the characters but I never saw the full thing until then. I saw ROTJ that way too. I didn't see ESB until the theater release of the SE's (yet, knew the ending pretty well by that point). So I guess Lucas just ruined my young adulthood.
#23 by McBain
2005-05-24 17:40:49
Watching Star Wars is also one of my earliest childhood memories, though I saw them out of order.  Since I was born in 1978, I saw Star Wars in 1982 on Betamax, Return of the Jedi and the Har-Mar Mall in Roseville, Minnesota in May of 1983, and then saw The Empire Strikes back on Betamax in 1984.

For we know that happiness that can only come from letting go of the impossible, embracing the possible, and telling people weve never met to go fuck themselves on the internets.
#24 by UncleJeet
2005-05-24 17:53:51
Har-Har sounds suspiciously like Jar-Jar to me.

Accipere quam facere praestat injuriam...
#25 by Anonymous
2005-05-24 18:07:02
My earliest memories are watching a taped copy of Star Wars on loop.

Telesync or Telecine?

#26 by Matt Perkins
2005-05-24 18:16:23
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
I didn't see Star Wars until awhile later after the first one, sometime after the second or third one...  I was born in '77.  But I loved them, from beginning to end.  The bad dialog and everything else seemed perfect then, now it seems great because of the rosy glasses I'm guessing.  Overall, still some of my favorite movies.

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." - Albert Einstein.
#27 by Jibble
2005-05-24 18:19:46
I remember seeing the beginning twenty minutes of Return of the Jedi about fifty times as a kid.  I never watched it past that.  The first time I saw all three originals was on a summer camp trip.  We were driving back and forth between rock climbing sites, and watched the trilogy on the way.  I remember we had to come up with a song for the campfire and one of the lines was "Porkins died, and we all cried".

A couple of my buddies and I were in line on day one for the re-release of all three original flicks.

Ahh, simpler times.

Well it beats going to the video store to rent the latest hardcore releases twice a week. - G-Man
222 lbs.  42 to go.
#28 by Ergo
2005-05-24 18:24:58
I waited in the rain for over 4 hours in Seattle to see The Empire Strikes Back on opening day in 1980. I saw Return of the Jedi on opening day in 1983 (my junior year in high school)--a friend and I conned his sister into taking us to it right after school let out for the day.

America--They Don't Call Us The GREAT Satan For Nothing.
DVDs
#29 by deadlock
2005-05-24 18:25:13
http://www.deadlocked.org/
I was born the year after Star Wars came out, so I'm fairly certain that I didn't see it in the cinema. I'm also pretty sure that I didn't see the next two in the cinema either, though I could be wrong about that. One of my earliest memories is watching Star Wars on TV at christmas with my three cousins, which is kinda important to me (and probably them) because we've remained great friends throughout our lives despite being seperated by geography (they all moved to England in the late 80s and some of them are still living there). Throughout that time we've all retained our love of Star Wars and it's one of the things that we invariably talk about when we get together and birthday presents etc. tend to revolve around the films.

What Hugin said about his impressions of Star Wars at an early age struck me because it's similar to my experience. For the longest time, I was convinced that the award ceremony at the end of ANH was actually Luke and Leia's wedding, which caused me no end of confusion when I saw Empire without having rewatched Hope with the benefit of a little more wisdom.

I still find it possible to watch all of the original films (even in their slightly amended guises) and not be bothered by their simplicity. In fact, I think it is this simplicity that seperates and elevates them above the prequels (I haven't seen Sith yet, so assume that I'm not talking about that film). There was an advertisement on one of the Discovery channels last night about a program they were screening called "The Science of Star Wars" or something. It's about how Star Wars' made up science has influenced actual science and the ad featured a brief clip of George and his chin saying something about how Star Wars was always supposed to make people think and blah blah.

It was then that it occurred to me that my earliest misgivings about the prequels were when I first saw the ads for the "Mythology of Star Wars" exhibition; I remember thinking to myself that Lucas was assigning a lot more meaning and weight to the films than they warranted and than he originally had.

I don't need a platter I'll take it straight from the shelf
Give it to me raw I'll take it home and cook it myself
#30 by UncleJeet
2005-05-24 18:28:51
Just because you don't see it doesn't mean the meaning isn't there.

Accipere quam facere praestat injuriam...
#31 by yotsuya
2005-05-24 18:37:15
I actually TiVo'd that Discovery Program.

Why is it that every time something happens that the fanboys didn't anticipate or wish for, they always call it "disappointment"? I think it's more a matter of having unrealistic expectations.
#32 by Penguinx
2005-05-24 18:46:28
Yeah, I was in line for the rereleases too. I was an avid Star Wars CCGer at the time, immersed in the extended universe via all the novels, and a total fanboi.

One interesting note, there was a problem at the theater during the showing of ESB. When Piet delivers, "They could be on the other side of the galaxy by now." there was a weird brown out. The film skipped and Piet repeated the word other about six times. At the time, it seemed funny enough to make a friend shoot soda out of their nose at about the speed of sound.

Penguinx is a licensed and ordained Elder for the Church of the Living God's Global Pacific Diocese.

Should you need to find Jesus, I likely have a map.
#33 by deadlock
2005-05-24 19:16:39
http://www.deadlocked.org/
#30 UncleJeet
Just because you don't see it doesn't mean the meaning isn't there.

Meaning what? That I just don't get it?

The main themes in the original trilogy are straightforward and even when loftier themes are dealt with, they are dealt with in a straightforward way. I genuinely believe that Lucas bought into the Star-Wars-as-postmodern-mythology theory in a big way and the whole of the prequel trilogy is informed by that notion. Unfortunately for Lucas he doesn't have the talent as a writer (or the inclination if some of the quotes attributed to him in the other thread are to be believed) to pull it off. It's telling that when those loftier themes were dealt with in the original trilogy, they were dealt with in the two films that Lucas didn't write.

I don't need a platter I'll take it straight from the shelf
Give it to me raw I'll take it home and cook it myself
#34 by deadlock
2005-05-24 19:22:23
http://www.deadlocked.org/
And note, Jeet, that I'm not saying that the original trilogy was without meaning - I don't believe that at all.

I don't need a platter I'll take it straight from the shelf
Give it to me raw I'll take it home and cook it myself
#35 by Your Friend
2005-05-24 20:05:18
I was 6 years old when I saw the rerelease in '79 when they were gearing up for Empire.

Other than the original, I've seen every Star Wars movie on opening day.

George Lucas not only greatly enhanced my childhood, but through the prequels he's helped me reconnect with it a bit.

Fuck all ya'll haters.

I didn't ask for a shrink, that must've been somebody else.  Also, that pudding isn't mine.  Also, I'm wearing this suit today because I had a very important meeting this morning.  And I don't have a crying problem.
#36 by yotsuya
2005-05-24 20:09:51
Amen to #35.

Why is it that every time something happens that the fanboys didn't anticipate or wish for, they always call it "disappointment"? I think it's more a matter of having unrealistic expectations.
#37 by Ergo
2005-05-24 20:13:08
#35 Your Friend
George Lucas not only greatly enhanced my childhood, but through the prequels he's helped me reconnect with it a bit.

Well said.

America--They Don't Call Us The GREAT Satan For Nothing.
DVDs
#38 by Shadarr
2005-05-24 20:18:46
shadarr@yahoo.com http://digital-luddite.com
George Lucas not only greatly enhanced my childhood, but through the prequels he's helped me reconnect with it a bit.

Really?  Because of the prequels, I've had to re-examine the original trilogy and accept that they are not, in fact, the best movies ever made.

Sterilized for your protection.
#39 by CheesyPoof
2005-05-24 20:20:14
Guess what? Pac-Man isn't the best game ever anymore too.
#40 by Caryn
2005-05-24 20:20:57
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
Even though I didn't really enjoy the first two prequels that much (far less than I'd hoped to), I can still get behind what YF said. It's still Star Wars so it still kicks ass for me.

Current novel status: 8500 words
#41 by Hugin
2005-05-24 20:21:39
lmccain@nber.org
Well duh.  That would be Ms. Pac Man.
#42 by Ergo
2005-05-24 20:25:12
#38 Shadarr
George Lucas not only greatly enhanced my childhood, but through the prequels he's helped me reconnect with it a bit.

Really?  Because of the prequels, I've had to re-examine the original trilogy and accept that they are not, in fact, the best movies ever made.

I don't think that these two ideas are mutually exclusive.

America--They Don't Call Us The GREAT Satan For Nothing.
DVDs
#43 by LPMiller
2005-05-24 20:32:43
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
Wait, I'm supposed to believe Yot has seen Star Wars?

When LP says he's bringing Armageddon, he brings fucking Armageddon. - Caryn, 6/01/2004
#44 by Ergo
2005-05-24 20:35:50
He'll get around to it someday.

America--They Don't Call Us The GREAT Satan For Nothing.
DVDs
#45 by yotsuya
2005-05-24 20:36:24
YOU CAUGHT ME!

Actually, although Star Wars and the other films are some of MY FAVORITE movies of all time, I would in no way consider them the best films EVER MADE.

Why is it that every time something happens that the fanboys didn't anticipate or wish for, they always call it "disappointment"? I think it's more a matter of having unrealistic expectations.
#46 by Squeaky
2005-05-24 20:36:48
Return of the Jedi came out when I was six months old.
#47 by Trunks
2005-05-24 20:37:43
N00b.

#48 by Ergo
2005-05-24 20:39:23
Fuckin' kids.

America--They Don't Call Us The GREAT Satan For Nothing.
DVDs
#49 by Jibble
2005-05-24 20:41:15
OMG AGE DISCRIMINATION THREAD!

Well it beats going to the video store to rent the latest hardcore releases twice a week. - G-Man
222 lbs.  42 to go.
#50 by Your Friend
2005-05-24 20:41:59
I don't think I have a favorite (anything) that could seriously be considered the best of (whatever it is) ever made if you pull any objectivity into it.  I don't really give a fuck.  I don't have to justify my likes and dislikes.

You can argue about the bad dialog and cheesy acting until the cows come home and that will never change the fact that if I'm flipping channels and come across one of the Star Wars movies, 9 times out of 10 I'll wind up stopping on that channel and watching it to the end, despite the fact that I've got all the movies on DVD anyway and I'm generally the type of person that watches a movie (even the ones I really like) once, ever.  

Jeet's got Disney, I've got Star Wars and Nintendo.  Fanboism? Sure.  So what?

I didn't ask for a shrink, that must've been somebody else.  Also, that pudding isn't mine.  Also, I'm wearing this suit today because I had a very important meeting this morning.  And I don't have a crying problem.
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