Star Wars Premieres for the Memorial Day Weekend... May 25th, 1977... 35 Years Later
Rick Vinyard
United States
Las Cruces
New Mexico
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Ahhh, the summer of '77. Nothing sticks in my mind more than my adventure to see it for the first time.

Anything I say regarding the history of Star Wars' debut would be redundant or cliche... George Lucas changed the world... Star Wars was a mind blowing experience... Fox had to pressure theaters to even show Star Wars...

So instead I'll relate my first encounter with the Star Wars universe from that glorious summer of '77.

The geeklist is open, so feel free to add your own first encounter with the power of the Force.
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1. Board Game: Star Wars: Escape From Death Star Game [Average Rating:4.73 Overall Rank:10695]
Rick Vinyard
United States
Las Cruces
New Mexico
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I didn't see it on the release day, in fact it wasn't until the third week of June that I finally saw it. Star Wars was a "kids" movie, and the daughter of one of my parent's friends had just gotten her driver's license. I was six, and since she didn't want to go to a kids movie by herself she asked my mom if she borrow me.

I still find it incredible how much I remember of the trip there... the theatre, the crowds, and most especially the movie. Everything about it was incredible; the light sabers, the blasters, the story, the droids. In some ways I still think it was the perfect age to see the movie.

And the adventure didn't even stop after the movie. As we were leaving the parking lot, poor Susie Peters with her new driver's license rear-ended a car. It was quite a minor fender-bender, but she was terrified... not of her parents, but that I had been hurt. It was actually very minor, and I wasn't scared at all. In fact, I was still entranced by the Death Star, R2D2, C3PO and jawas.

If seeing a movie could be considered a life altering experience I think Star Wars qualified. Perhaps altering isn't quite the right word... mind opening, and to a six year old's imagination it certainly was. Every time I watch it again I still feel the same wonder as I did when I was six, from the opening 20th Century Fox trumpet fanfare to the closing credits.

So, here's a thanks to Susie Peters 35 years later for sending this most avowedly geeky Computer Scientist and Roboticist further down the path of true geekhood...

... and yes ...

May the Force be With You!
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2. Board Game: Don't Quote Me: TIME for Kids Edition [Average Rating:5.83 Unranked]
Todd Warnken
United States
Harrison
Ohio
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I read about Star Wars in Time Magazine. I was still 15 so I had to talk my dad into taking me to see it. My ten year old brother also went (but not my eight year old brother I think). We saw it that Saturday. My dad didn't get it at all. My brother and I loved it. He would get most of the toys for the next three or four years.
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3. Board Game: Beat the Parents [Average Rating:4.55 Overall Rank:10205]
Greg Gresik
United States
Bolingbrook
Illinois
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Well, my two brothers and I (ages 6 and 7) had to beg unmercilessly for our parents to take us. They didn't like to go out much - especially on a night when it would be crowded (dad worked a lot especially during the week - so Friday or Saturday night was it.) The movie theatre was packed - the busiest I had ever seen to that point. We had to sit way in the back. We also got in late, as parking was a bear and we were running late - the movie had already started. As we walked in, I saw Darth Vader's face full screen...heard his voice. I was hooked.

Over the next few years, Kenner made a fortune off of me, my brothers and our cousins. Games, figures, you name it - if it had a Star Wars logo on it, we bought it, asked for it for Christmas or played with it at somebody's house.

We even watched the Christmas special. ninja

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4. Board Game: Risk: Star Wars Original Trilogy Edition [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:1234]
Diz Hooper
Japan
Osaka
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I was four years old when I saw Star Wars in the theater. Of course, all of the other kids in my preschool had seen it as well. We lived and breathed Star Wars. Recess time meant live action Stars Wars role playing (or just playing Star Wars as we called it back then).

As a kid, for some reason I was really impressed with Darth Vader, so when it came time to choose who we were going to play I shouted out that I was Darth Vader. Suddenly, about a half dozen kids shouted out that they were Luke Skywalker and then initiated combat with me. Needless to say, poor Darth Vader was captured and imprisoned in the Death Star (jungle gym). I was frustrated at the time because I thought there was no way that Luke Skywalker could defeat Darth Vader.

I'm happy to report that the love of the Dark Side has been passed on to my three year old son. He loves to play General Grievous. He gives me the role of Darth Maul and mom is Darth Vader (I got demoted). When I asked him who his baby sister could be, I suggested Princess Leia, but he said that she had to be a darksider too, so now she plays the role of Palpatine. It feels great to pass on the Star Wars legacy to the next generation.
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5. Board Game: Knapp daneben [Average Rating:6.94 Unranked]
Bill Herbst
United States
Sayville
New York
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Star Wars was the first movie I ever saw in the theater. I was five years old at the time -- it had been out for a while before we saw it and I suppose I was into the merchanidise and had heard a lot about the movie by that time. My parents and I arrived late and missed the first few minutes of the movie. They said that we would stay after the movie ended and then see the opening scene during the next showing. When people all started clearing out though I must have become disturbed or something because I insisted that we leave. I don't know how long it was before I saw the opening scenes of this movie for the first time.
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6. Board Game: Star Wars Customizable Card Game [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:1181]
Lexingtonian
United States
Unspecified
Massachusetts
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I was eight. My father asked me if I wanted to see Star Wars. I hadn't heard of it yet, and the word "star" made me think it was going to be another science movie at the Museum of Science. I happily agreed, and we went to the regular theater, and I was blown away. The battle in the trench was particularly thrilling. Of course Star Wars was a huge thing for us kids after that, and I was particularly into the cards and figures. I still love it.

Thanks, Dad.
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7. Board Game: Cut Up Shopping Spree Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
 
Jacob Jonsson
United States
Berkeley
California
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This was a couple of years later when I remember my mom taking me and my brother to a double header of a new hope and the empire strikes back. I must have been 7 or 8ish at the time. She came to us in the intermission between the movies with take-out burgers so we never had to leave the cinema. We were excited about 4 hours of star wars wonders and she was excited to have 4 hours of shopping all alone. Everybody won!
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8. Board Game: Family Matters [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Jeff Wells
United States
Centralia
Missouri
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I don't remember now what month it was, only that it was late summer before I got to see it. I was almost 12. My Dad was dying of cancer, and had been in and out of the hospital for the last several months. At the time he was unable to take me. Several of the family were visiting for the weekend, son my Brother-in-law took me to see the movie. For that two hours, I was in a galaxy far far away, without a care except whether Luke would blow up the Death Star. When I got back home, Dad wanted to know all about it, and being an excited 11-year-old, I proceded to fill him in on every little detail.

Later on, close to Christmas season, I noticed the Star Wars watch for sale. I told Dad about it, and since digital watches were fairly new, he thought it was really cool. Somehow, although unable to get out of bed most of the time by then, he made sure there was a package under the tree with that watch in it. It was the coolest present ever! You pushed a button and the red LED lit up and told you the time! It had a picture of 3PO and R2, and came with extra stickers so you could change it! It never dawned on me at the time that would be our last Christmas together.

My dad lost his battle with cancer the following summer, but while he was still coherent, I filled him endlessly with stories of Luke, Han and Chewie. Although I've lost the extra stickers, I still have that watch. It still works, and it's still one of the coolest presents ever.
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9. Board Game: The Baby-Sitters Club Mystery Game [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
A. Power
United States
Silver Spring
Maryland
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At 5 years of age, I was deemed to young for a PG movie. My aunt took my older brother and cousin to see the movie opening night. I got to stay at home with my Grandaddy. I have fond memories of getting dinner at Roy Rogers, a velcro dart board game, and a stuffed animal, while the older kids were seeing the film of our generation. I remember them getting back late at night, with wild stories of Stormtroopers and "Artoo". I even got to don a pair of rabbit ears (TV antenna for the younger crowd) and pretend I was the droid, I'd yet to even see, as the other two fought over who was Luke Skywalker. I got to see the movie a couple weeks later, but 35 years ago, it seemed like it was forever.
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10. Board Game: Trivial Pursuit: Music Master Game, The Video Version (VHS) [Average Rating:2.50 Unranked]
Scott Allen
United States
Arvada
United States
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I didn't get to see Star Wars in the theaters. (That came much later when they re-did the original trilogy.) My first experience was on VHS. My father had taped the movie off of television--commercials and all--and I remember watching that tape again and again. It was many years later that I discovered that I was not seeing all of Star Wars. Our tape ended as Han Solo and Chewie were rounding a corner in the Death Star and Han happens upon a whole squad of Stormtroopers and screams. Fuzzy white snow and the tape just ended there. I was so excited when I finally saw the rest of the movie at a friends house.
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11. Board Game: Star Wars: Destroy Death Star Game [Average Rating:5.33 Overall Rank:9324]
Dave C.
United States
Maine
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I was 8 and a half years old in 1977, the perfect audience for this stuff. It really is hard to describe just how exciting, how revolutionary, how inspiring this movie was to us, and how much FUN it was to be a "Star Wars kid" back then.

My teenage brother took me to see it the first time. I knew nothing about it except that it was about "space" and everyone who saw it said it was awesome. My favorite TV shows at the time were "The Six Million Dollar Man" and "Land of the Lost." Clay dinosaurs and slow-motion stunts were the height of cutting edge "Special Effects" I had seen. My favorite movie at the time was "Midway", followed closely by "Rocky." Grainy old combat footage and a guy drinking raw eggs and getting his swollen eye cut open were the height of film "drama" I had been exposed to.

I had never seen a Star Wars trailer or TV spot or anything. I was a blank canvas.

I remember my reactions to that unbelievable Star Destroyer (Oh . . . my . . . God), then those frightful stormtroopers blasting in your face (What the heck is going ON???) and Darth Vader's first ominous entrance (Eddie, what's THAT guy?). After that, I don't remember ANYTHING about the moviegoing experience. I don't remember anything. Because I wasn't at the movies. I was gone. Transported. Transfixed. It simply swept me away in the adventure. Those amazing sounds, those mind-boggling special effects, and I must say, that kid-friendly archetypical STORY that really did make you care about it. Young people rescuing a heroic princess, and then the whole galaxy, from really scary evil bad guys!

When you're 8, and you've never seen this kind of movie, and you see Han Solo unexpectedly charge, screaming, down the hall after a platoon of white clad, skull faced evil henchmen with bright red laser bolts whizzing all over the place, or when young farmboy Luke is in those final desperate moments of that Death Star trench run, with the music pounding and the spaceship visuals rushing and the engine sounds screaming, and the tension cranking, well boy, that is some absolutely THRILLING, edge-of-your seat stuff! Really, I had never seen or felt ANYTHING like this movie before. What can I say, I was only 8 - I hadn't lived much yet!

But like I said, I was in the target audience and it scored a bulls-eye on me and all my friends. God, we played and talked Star Wars all the time. Everyone would call eachother up if they saw another screening of it to discuss some new previously unseen little detail. "Hey, I saw Star Wars again last night! Yeah! Did you ever notice that part where you can see the little Stormtroopers looking up as the Falcon is sucked into the Death Star? That was soooo cool!"

That really was part of the MAGIC. You couldn't just watch it anytime you wanted to. There was no home video. Seeing it involved money, time, parents, a trip to the local cinema. For an average little kid, seeing it really was a rare experience; one to be treasured, savored, visually devoured, studied and then shared among your pals. I don't remember how many times I saw it. As often as possible I know that.

Then there were the toys. The toys were sooooo scarce. It was months before you could buy them, but that was okay because the movie was still playing in the cinemas months after first release. We would call eachother each time someone got a new Star Wars action figure; describing it in detail over the phone until you got together to show it off. I remember friends drooling over the phone over my descriptions of how Chewbacca's "huge" laser gun clipped over the side of his arm so it won't fall out of his hand; and listening in awe to a friend tell me his mother found him a rarely seen bright green "Greedo" figure at the local drug store of all places!

My sister and I got the soundtrack album for Christmas 1977 and we listened to it a million times with headphones on and eyes closed, imagining the roar and blur of the Falcon racing across the galaxy while that heart-pounding music soared, or trying to recreate in our minds those unimaginable things we saw in that cantina while that CRAZY music played in the background. A classical music soundtrack was a kid's greatest Christmas present that year. That says A LOT.

Some time later, my parents got me an 8-track tape called "The Story of Star Wars" from the Columbia House 8-track Tape Club. Seriously. This had the music, sound effects, and dialog from the film edited into about an hour's worth of pure audio gold. With my big, avocado green 1970's Stereo headphones on, I could hear the whine of the X-wings engines and the raspy screech of the TIE Fighters as they seemed to rocket right THROUGH my head from one ear to the other. I listened to that thing until it was dust.

Eventually, I lost all my action figures, but I still have my 8-track "Story of Star Wars" even though it's unplayable and even though the dog kind of peed on it. I still have it because it reminds me of that wonderful time. Those wonderful few years when Star Wars fueled and ruled the imagination in ways we never thought possible. Buck Rogers, Battlestar Galactica, Jason of Star Command, The Black Hole, and the like, all tried . . . but none of them even came close to the thrill of that adventure with Luke, Han and Leia. It literaly was . . . a blast!
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12. Board Game: Student Survival [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Gavin Wynford-Jones
France
Prévessin-Möens
Just across the border from Geneva, Switzerland
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I was a student when it came out. Reading all these "I was five..." type of comments has made me feel rather old!

I saw it in London and can still remember the feeling in the audience as that massive spaceship "flew" overhead. I don't think any film had had such a dramatic, audience-grabbing opening sequence as that one!
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13. Board Game: Roller Coaster [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Evan Schwartzberg
Canada
Thornhill
Ontario
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When this new Star Wars movie came out, I didn't want to see some war movie. I was 10 years old and wanted to go see Roller Coaster in Sensurround! But two friends talked me into it and it was like nothing I had ever seen before. It was the opening weekend, Saturday afternoon. After that first shot of the Star Destroyer, I was sold! I don't think anyone knew what it would become. My parents certainly couldn't understand what I was so excited about.

Went to summer camp a few months later. Only one other kid in the cabin had seen Star Wars at that time. We became life long best friends.

I still have never seen the movie Roller Coaster.
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14. Board Game: Star Wars Miniatures [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:1044]
Paolo Robino
Italy
Dueville
Vicenza
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I was nine at the time. One of my uncles was often in the US for business: on one occasion he got home, told my parents that this movie was all the rage over there, and took me to the cinema. I was a very shy kid back then, but I was enamored of all space and sci-fi things, so I guess it didn't take much effort to convince me to go to watch SW with a relative I barely was familiar with.

We got in the cinema when the movie had already started, so the first things I saw wasn't the rolling introduction and then Leia's ship followed by the Star Destroyer - instead it was Luke scanning the Tattooine desert landscape through those binoculars. And yes, some sci-fi looking binoculars was all I needed to be sold on Star Wars! laugh

(By the way, for some reason a bunch of names were changed for the Italian dubbing, so until a later edition we knew Darth Vader as Darth Fener, Leia as Leila, Han Solo as Ian Solo, R2D2 as C1P8, C3PO as D3BO, and that Luke's father fought in the "Quotes War". )

Massive SW merchandising didn't hit my country until ESB, but it found a way into a well-established kid pastime in Italy: "figurine" (abbr.: "figu") -- think baseball trading cards, only you stick them to an album, and they're obviously about Italian soccer and not baseball. Being a geeky kid, I never enjoyed those soccer trading cards, but I surely was all over Star Wars "figu"! I completed my collection in no time, buying a complete box of the stuff for 5,000 Lire, and giving away the duplicates (to give you an idea, I could have bought 50 boxes of 1:72 plastic soldiers for that princely sum). I still have the complete album of stickers.

By the time ESB hit the cinemas, I had a friend to share my passion with. We bought a bunch of action figures and played on a rug in the living room of my parent's home: it was of a uniform brownish color, and if you put some pillows or other stuff underneath, it transformed in a landscape of desert rolling hills, perfect for some SW adventures! For some reason, my favorite action figures were Hammerhead and that boxy generator-droid with the clickety legs -- oh, and Boba Fett also, but that belonged to my buddy.
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15. Board Game: Liftoff! [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:2992]
I legally own hundreds of polyhedral assault dice!
United States
Austin
Texas
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I was 12 when Star Wars premiered. I recall not seeing it until a month or two had passed since the release. Even then, I was more curious about it than excited. I don't think I ever saw a theatrical trailer for it.

So a buddy and I went to see an afternoon show and arrived a little early. No lines. We get our ticket and go inside and...gray spaceships are racing through a man-made trench. "We missed the start, I think," I remember grumbling. No matter. We watched as a flying saucer with a space-cowboy flying it knocked one of the gray ships away and the rest flew apart.

"You're all clear, kid!" he shouts.

Then a kid in a flying suit hears his grand-dad telling him to "Use the Force, Luke." He turns off his goggles. Some worried guys warn him and he flips a Trek-like photon torpedo down a chute to make a hole-in-one.

Then the kid, (Luke), the space-cowboy in the flying saucer, and few others get away before a moon-sized station blows up. Cheers. Some medals from a princess. And finally a yowl from Big Foot. End credits.

"WHAT?!?" I groan. "We missed the whole movie!" says my buddy.

"Well. We'll stay to see it again?" I suggest. "May as well."

That was my underwhelming first experience with Star Wars.

...Of course, we stayed to see it from start to finish and thought it was great. But I can't deny that knowing the end and then watching as the story built back up pretty much ruined the whole "first-time" experience.

Another hurdle was that I was born in 1964. While many dyed-in-the-wool Star Wars fans watched the movies when they were 5, 6, or 7 years-old, my formative experiences were shaped by both Star Trek and, especially, the Apollo moon missions. Star Wars was undoubtedly cool, but nothing yet has matched watching Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin (with Mike Collins overhead) walking on the moon.
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16. Board Game: WTF (Where's The Fun?) [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Doc Bullseye
United States
Brownsburg
Indiana
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I do NOT know why, but no matter how much I begged, no matter how much the kids at school (I was in second grade) talked about it, no matter how much media attention it got...my parents would not take me to see it until NOVEMBER.

I need to give them some more crap about that. WTF. November?! I took MY kid to see "A Dolphin Tale" on opening weekend and she was only vaguely aware that it was a movie!
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17. Board Game: Star Wars Mos Eisley Shoot-Out [Average Rating:4.85 Unranked]
J.L. Robert
United States
Sherman Oaks
California
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I'll admit...I wasn't too interested in dealing with the massive crowds just to "see a movie" when I was 7 years old. I was more interested the Dodgers and my family's house-hunting at the time. My cousin, however, had gone all ga-ga over Star Wars, having seen it about a dozen times during that summer.

I finally got around to seeing the film during it's 1978 re-release. I remember enjoying it, but not immensely so. It was through my friends' enthusiasm for the movie and sequels that the franchise slowly grew on me.
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18. Board Game: Star Wars: Return of the Jedi – Battle at Sarlacc's Pit [Average Rating:4.92 Overall Rank:10390]
HMS Iron Duke
United States
Bartlett
Tennessee
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I wasn't born yet, though I would be the following fall so I didn't see it in theatres. HOWEVER, the first movie I ever remember seeing in the theatre was Return of the Jedi when I was 7.

My first encounter with Star Wars came in March 82 when it played on HBO. I remember staying up late one night because I was very ill and my parents wouldn't let me go to sleep (not sure if I'd wake up again, I was that sick). Star Wars was on HBO and I watched that while my parents had anxious phone conversations with the pediatrician and hemotologist while they tried to decide what to do. After the movie I went to the hospital and had a transfusion which hurt a lot for a 6 year old but with dreams of X-Wing's in my mind it didn't seem too bad.
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19. Board Game: Cosmic Wow [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
kevin long
United States
Portland
OR
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My dad was taking us to the theater. I was 15 and and can't remember if all my brothers were there. But I remember everything else. The long line and how dazed and out of it the last viewers were as they walked out. I knew we were in for something - just didn't know what. When we walked out, I understood why people had a hard time making it out of the theater with all their composure
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20. Board Game: Stock Market Game [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:4328]
andrew pollak
United States
Davis
California
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I had heard that this movie was coming out, and determined to see it the first day. It was a Wednesday. My girlfriend and I got in at the 3 p.m. showing at the Avco Embassy in Westwood, in LA. There was a line, but not like it would be in a few days.

The theater was packed. What a show! The audience applauded at the end.

At the time I was in my sophmore year at college. In discussing the fortunes of companies my Accounting professor had talked about this company, MCA. MCA was in the doldrums, not doing too well, when all of a sudden, because of one event, it turned itself around, doubled in value, and became a monster. The event was it released a movie about a shark called "Jaws."

After seeing Star Wars, I could not get the story about MCA and Jaws out of my head. I thought that this was a perfect analogy: if it happened to MCA, it could - it would HAVE to - happen to the company that released Star Wars.

So, ok, on Thursday, the next day, I called Merrill Lynch and asked about buying stock in Twentieth Century Fox. I remember the broker as being very unimpressed about this college boy sinking $200 into a movie company stock. Friends at the time told me TC Fox was selling its sets and on its way to bankruptcy-- good move, buster!

You can imagine that i was glued to the financial pages in the days after that.

TC Fox doubled in value. Then split. Investors get these periodic reports from companies, and Fox sent theirs with pictures of TIE fighters and the Falcon on it.

I sold all my stock six months later, and when i called the formerly unimpressed broker, what a change! He had all these recommendations for me and was polite as hell. No thanks, bud, I took my money and ran.

I saw Star Wars, I think, three times the year it came out.

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21. Board Game: Drive-In [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
David Sweat
United States
Inman
South Carolina
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I was actually born the year Star Wars was released. I may have been a screaming baby in the back of a theater sometime in '77 or '78, but I certainly dont have any recollection of seeing it those years.

I can actually say that one of my earliest, possibly the first, memories is of Star Wars. I remember being at a drive-in theater with my parents, presumably during one of the re-releases. I distinctly remember the image of the escape pod being jettisoned and vague images of C-3PO. Being probably under 5 at the time, the memories are a smidge vague. Still, it went on later to become one of my favorite movies of all time due to the innovation of the VHS cassette.
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22. Board Game: Trivial Pursuit: Star Wars Classic Trilogy Collector's Edition [Average Rating:5.56 Overall Rank:8824]
Cast Ll'tor
Canada
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You know, I don't recall what time of year I saw the film, only that I saw it when I was in Grade 6.

That movie changed my life.

From the opening scene of the Imperial Star Destroyer (that went on FOREVER!) to the wonder that was Chewbacca, every piece was amazing.

I used to keep a scrapbook of the advertisements of the movie from the paper that were the little black and white poster images with comments like "5th straight week!" then "6th straight week" (which back then, was a long run for a movie).

I joined the official Star Wars Fan Club and loved the posters they used to send me (I still have them).

I used to collect the Star Wars trading cards (I loved the one with Leia and C-3PO looking down at the map when Luke et al were attacking the Death Star.)


Memories. Such amazing memories. The best. A perfect storm of a little boy's imagination being fueled by this amazing universe of possibilities.



And Han shot first.
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23. Board Game: Star Wars: Stolen Plans Card Game [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:4923]
Matthew Meadows
United Kingdom
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My earliest memory of Star Wars was late seventies when our School showed an edited version of a New Hope... i was hooked.
My brother and i collected the figures and even had our own rather cr*ppy looking plastic lightsabers.

As we had always wanted real lightsabers of our own, i created a short ligthsaber battle between myself and my brother Scott (using After effects), which i included on the 'Scott's Life Story DVD' i made as a present to him on his 40th Birthday earlier this year.



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24. RPG Item: Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:82]
Bossko B.
England
Brierley Hill
The Black Country
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It was sometime around late '77 or early '88 that I became aware of Star Wars. I don't recall actually seeing it at the cinema. I would have been six years old, and all I knew was the bad men in white led by the bad man in black were after the good guys.

I remember having Star Wars pencils and notebooks to draw in and putting the following sticker on one of the tiles in my grandparents kitchen.

The sticker is STILL THERE! Next to the sink. How it has survived to this day only the Force knows.

My first Kenner Star Wars figure was an Imperial Snowtrooper around '80, yes, the release of The Empire Strikes back. Actually I believe I was bought Luke Skywalker in X-Wing outfit but wanted the Snowtrooper my younger brother had so we swapped. The same day my Nan, who sadly passed away recently, bought be C-3PO from a jumble sale. My first ship was Darth Vader's TIE Fighter and I continued collecting the Kenner toys up until the first wave of the Phantom Menace Power of the Force line - stopping had nothing to do with TPM, I love Jar Jar. I loved my Star Wars figures as a kid, all are played with, but all in good condition and complete with guns.

The first Star Wars film I saw at the cinema was Return of the Jedi in '83, in Teignmouth, Devon, UK. I may have been only 12 but I still remember that holiday including buying the Kenner figures of Lando and Leia in disguise using my holiday money and the ROTJ novel, which I still have along with all those Kenner toys. The first time I saw A New Hope at the cinema was at the Special Edition releases. I think I saw each film three times at the cinema despite having them on video. I even own an old Betamax copy of Return of the Jedi that I must have spent a fortune hiring out the rental store, buying it when they closed down.

My very first experience with role-playing was also Star Wars with the Star Wars 1st Ed. RPG by WEG. I have nearly all the supplements, just missing a few 2nd Ed. reprints. If it was for the Star Wars RPG I very much doubt I would be here typing this up today.

It's been great reading your Star Wars firsts. May the Force be with you all.
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25. RPG Item: Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:82]
William Hostman
United States
Eagle River
Alaska
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My path to Geekdom had already begun... but...

Our family friend Bill Justus was in town. He wanted to go see it. I wanted to go see it. Mom thought it was going to be another lamer sci-fi movie... so she said no. A week later, and the fanboys were raving, so mom finally relented. (Bill was in his 20's. And, tho' I didn't know it at the time, dying of cancer.) I was 7, soon to be 8.

So, Bill and I loaded up in his jeep... us, a few sodas, and two lawn chairs. It was a hot and sunny day. We went to the Totem Theater. The line stretched around the building... twice. So, we sat in line through (I guess) 1.5 showings... finally, Bill and I got near the window - I took the chairs to the car, and as I got back, he bought the tickets.

And the interminable previews. I don't remember a one of them, and they were all lame. Finally, the music started, the logo flew by, and the planet appeared... then the ship slowly passed "overhead" and into view... you could hear the shock and awe.

You could have heard a pin drop, were it not for the soundtrack.

Note: The crawl text had NOT been added yet! Also, the print that was shown that day had the Luke & Biggs scene on Tatooine. (I've checked with several friends - they also saw that scene in that theater that week.)

It was awesome.

Bill and I went back a week later and there was explanatory text... but no more Biggs on Tatooine.

But, in the meantime, Bill and I drove my mom crazy - two geeky fanboys, 15 years apart in age, going on about this movie...

Bill and I saw it in that theater 4 more times. Bill died shortly after Empire Strikes Back.

Mom read the Marvel adaptation of it (not by choice, really - I read it to her repeatedly, so she finally read it when she thought I wasn't paying attention), and wasn't impressed.

Well, mom finally saw it on VHS eventually... and finally understood why. It's a gem of visual storytelling - and Marvel, good as they were, failed to capture A New Hope's visual power. (They did FAR better with oBSG...)

So, Rest in Peace, Bill. And thanks! And Bill, I was right - Han DID win over Leia in the end!

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