May 20, 2009
Fledge is reminiscing about waiting in line to see Star Wars ep 1, ten years ago when it came out.
I remember when I saw ep 4 for the first time. (At the Westgate Theater, in Beaverton OR, which seems to have been torn down while I was away.) It wasn't opening day, but I think it was that weekend. And in particular it was before all the buzz began. Star Wars wasn't yet a legend, wasn't yet a franchise. It was just a new SF movie, a bit retro, not really yet on the radar. It was still something of a geek movie, not yet the breakout hit it eventually became.
I'd seen trailers for it, and amongst us young engineers working at Tektronix at the time there was pretty firm consensus that it had to be seen. But no one really knew what it was. No one I knew saw it before I went. I was expecting to be entertained but I wasn't expecting what really happened, what I really experienced.
Of course it blew me away. But what I remember most was that when the Death Star exploded, the way the audience burst into applause. I don't think I've ever heard an audience do that, before or since.
That was my second year after leaving college. I think Fledge might be too young to remember that weekend, 32 years ago.
When the original came out, I was 8 or 9 years old. When the Death Star went 'boom', the crowd went nuts and I was hooked. I eventually saw it 12 more times in the theatre. It's actually the first film I remember seeing.
Come to think of it... I think I've only seen it once since then, when I forced Ph.Duck to watch it for the first time a few years back.
Posted by: Wonderduck at May 20, 2009 10:00 PM (hlGBx)
Posted by: Doyen at May 20, 2009 10:14 PM (GTo9u)
The Westgate was one of the early multiplexes, back when they started taking big theaters and subdividing them. It has one big screen and several small ones, and Star Wars was on the big screen.
There wasn't any line when I saw it. In fact, the theater wasn't even full. It was like a Saturday afternoon showing the first weekend.
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at May 20, 2009 10:23 PM (+rSRq)
Posted by: Tiberius at May 21, 2009 03:49 AM (TXmvK)
Posted by: azizhp at May 21, 2009 07:28 AM (UKXf2)
And yeah, the (full house) preview crowd cheered. Multiple times. Just like a Saturday afternoon kids' show.
Posted by: Old Grouch at May 21, 2009 08:24 AM (TTce3)
Posted by: madmike at May 21, 2009 09:00 AM (F0SXU)
Then, it only got worse, when HBO started showing Ep 4 almost non-stop for free on C-Band satellite around 1986 (a few years before they came up with scramblers and started charging money).
Posted by: BigD at May 21, 2009 09:05 AM (LjWr8)
Star Wars... I never saw the original three in the theater at all ('course, the first one I wasn't around for). Played the VHS until they wore out, though. Waited in line for ep 1, and shouldn't have bothered; 2 and 3 were perfectly all right in the sense that they were worth the price of admission in an entertainment sense, but they weren't worthy of the name.
Posted by: Avatar_exADV at May 21, 2009 09:39 AM (vGfoR)
Posted by: ColoradoJim at May 21, 2009 10:12 AM (AkBlA)
There was actually one other case where I saw that kind of audience reaction.
I went to a wargame convention in SF one time, and they showed "Waterloo". The crowd treated it like a sports event, and (of course!) were rooting for the French. So, for instance, they cheered when the French lancers counter-charged the Scots Grays.
But that wasn't really the same kind of thing.
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at May 21, 2009 12:08 PM (+rSRq)
Shows my youth in that my first exposure to the Star Wars universe were the Ewoks and Droids cartoons in the late 80's (Ep 4 was out 4 years before I was born). Wierdest event at a cinema was when I went to see ep 2 at a midnight screening during my final year of uni, and 2 guys in jedi costumes had a duel in front of the screen before the programme started.
Posted by: Andy Janes at May 21, 2009 12:15 PM (fk7dT)
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at May 21, 2009 12:24 PM (/ppBw)
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at May 21, 2009 01:29 PM (+rSRq)
I didn't get to see it until after the craze had started (just a kid with no car back then), but I was hooked as soon as the camera panned to show the desert planet from orbit, and it looked so real....
Posted by: Siergen at May 21, 2009 03:03 PM (mXN0Z)
The biggest audience cheer I've ever personally encountered was during the scene in Indiana Jones where he caps the guy with the sword.
Posted by: Toren at May 21, 2009 04:31 PM (/ykD9)
Enclose all spoilers in spoiler tags:
[spoiler]your spoiler here[/spoiler]
Spoilers which are not properly tagged will be ruthlessly deleted on sight.
Also, I hate unsolicited suggestions and advice. (Even when you think you're being funny.)
At Chizumatic, we take pride in being incomplete, incorrect, inconsistent, and unfair. We do all of them deliberately.
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