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1977: In a galaxy far, far away...

Star Wars has always inspired the loyal - some would say obsessive - type of fan.

Addicts of the epic series are often willing to travel thousands of miles to see premieres of new episodes and many admit to watching them tens - or even hundreds - of times.

It all began in 1977 when Star Wars was released to enthusiastic audiences in the United States.

The eagerly anticipated film finally arrived reached Britain on 27 December.

Did you go to watch the film when it first opened? Have you been a Star Wars fan ever since?

Your memories

I remember seeing that incredible poster in 1977 at the theatre. I couldn't even remember what movie I had just watched because my mind was awhirl with the possibilities of what that romantic/epic poster implied.

I ached a whole year before I actually saw the original film (and it was in the basement of the firehouse), but it lived up to expectations.

Shame the prequels do not today.
Doug, USA

I was 10 years old in 1977.

I remember the visceral feeling I had in the opening scenes of the movie, how incredibly realistic and exciting it was.

Of all the movies of my childhood, Star Wars stands out as the most exciting and still most loved to this day.

I left the theater that day knowing that I had seen the birth of an icon. I would see the movie 21 more times before it left the theaters.
Irving Steinberg, USA

I was 17 when Star Wars was released and still in high school.

Reading the news of the that day brought all excitement and thrill right back.

I am ready to return to a galaxy far, far, away. Thank you for choosing that article to re-publish. It made my day.
Lisa Marie, USA

We went to see the film in Newcastle when it first opened, on the first day of the showing. People had been queuing all Saturday night for the Sunday afternoon performance.

Even the manager of the cinema came out on stage to introduce the film and at the end the audience stood up and gave it a standing ovation. I was 17 at the time and at college. Over the course of the next few months I bunked off lectures to go and see the film (on my own!) 13 times!
Claire Simson, UK

I was five. I remember seeing a trailer where the Tuskan Raider WHACKS Luke with his gaffi stick. This scared the living daylights out of me and when my dad offered to take me to see it I refused point blank - on the grounds that this new movie was obviously FAR to violent and scary.

Eventually I saw the movie on TV and then later at the cinema. I still don't like Tuskan Raiders but I am alright with going to see the films all on my own now :O)
Robson, England

I can remember my father taking me to se this - my first ever big cinema film. From the moment the film started, I was captivated and transported to another world... As Luke's skyhopper appeared on the sand dunes, my father leant over to me and said, "They put mirrors around the wheels so that they don't show" - almost spoiling my viewing experience.

But I have remained a fan of the true Star Wars trilogy ever since.
Sanchia, UK


" It was quite simply one of the defining moments of my childhood "

Graham Elder, UK

In early January 1978 my parents took my brother and myself on a weekend away to London (we lived in Newcastle). The highlight of the trip turned out to be my dad's idea of filling a couple of hours while my mum was shopping in Harrods.

He took us to see Star Wars at the Odeon in Leicester Square. It was quite simply one of the defining moments of my childhood. I'd never seen anything like it, and it introduced me to the glory of the movies. I have been an enthusiastic cinema goer since that day, and for several years after Star Wars figures and toys were always on the Christmas and birthday lists.

I can still remember the neon display with moving laser beams that the Odeon had built on its frontage for the occasion.
Graham Elder, UK

I queued to see the first Star Wars film. It was the birthday treat for one of my friends who was eight-years-old on 30 December and it was the first non-Disney film I had ever seen.

I was also eight. We saw the film at Staines Cinema (where I also saw Grease). I remember it so well, even the party food beforehand. The film was just amazing and I have been a fan ever since.
Richard Dennys, UK

We were taken to see the first Star Wars film at Newark cinema - four screens, three of which would be showing soft-core porn and the other, a children's film and now sadly closed.

Towards the beginning of the film, where Luke goes looking for R2-D2 and is attacked by the sand people, there was a bomb scare at the cinema. We were evacuated and asked to stand next to a plate-glass window; ideal if there had been a bomb. They didn't stop the film!

Once the cinema had been searched we were allowed back in, to find that somehow Luke had met Obi-Wan. It took a repeat seeing of the film some years later to find out what had happened.

After we were allowed back in, one of Newark's finest walked up and down the aisle saying in a loud voice how silly it was to make prank bomb threats. We all just wanted to see the film and besides, it was clearly not us who'd made the call!
Dan Welch, UK

I was only five when Star Wars came out. My mum had taken me to visit some relatives in Oxford.

We were going to the cinema in the afternoon and she asked me what I wanted to see. Star Wars was all I wanted to see. We had to queue round the block to get a ticket and once inside and the lights went down I never moved once.

I just wanted to take in everything that was happening. I can't remember anything else when I was that young but Star Wars was definitely a defining moment for me in my life. I still have the original ticket stubb from when I went.
Andrew Ferguson, UK

I was 15 when I saw Star Wars in Huddersfield in 1977 and I can still remember a palpable feeling of disappointment of what was an incredibly hyped film. I cringed at that awful ending which seemed tacked on.
Max Kershaw, UK

I was five years old and my uncle took me to see Star Wars in Tunbridge Wells; my first trip to the pictures. I was completely blown away from the incredible first scene of the Imperial Cruiser chasing Princess Leia's ship right through to the not-so-enthralling awards ceremony at the end! Sadly not all my subsequent trips to the big screen have been so impressionable!
Tim Light, Sussex I saw Star Wars when it first came out in 1977 and I was twelve years old. I was really into science fiction at the time and I remember being absolutely blown away by the film, it was way ahead than anything else I had seen.

Before I went to see it I had really enjoyed the Star Wars music that was in the charts, but I didn't know that the music was not the same that was in the film itself (the chart version was more of a montage of different sound bytes from the film).

I remember being disappointed at first because the film did not start with that music, but my disappointment was soon forgotton in the opening sequence when the rebel ship gets swallowed up by that huge imperial battle cruiser which looms overhead and seems to go on forever and ever.

I was so enthralled by the film that I went to see it again several times and even watched it twice in the same sitting at the cinema, I just sat there when it had finished and hoped that the staff would not notice. I was really gleeful when I got to stay for the next showing!

Whenever I left the cinema afterwards I noticed how dull and dreary normal life was in comparison. Star Wars - an absolutely brilliant escape from reality! I also enjoyed the two sequels but nothing since has ever compared to the absolute thrill I had watching the first one.

I have found the recent prequels to be no hopers in general, probably a combination of me getting older and , plus I don't think George Lucas invented anything extra in the new films, it was all just a boring use of special effects I thought.
David Blackmore, England


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