Your experience seeing the SE of the OT on the big screen (1997 only)

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by obi-rob-kenobi4, Feb 10, 2010.

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  1. obi-rob-kenobi4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2007
    star 4

    Seeming as you would have to be in your late 30's to have seen the OT in the theater i thought it would be better to have a topic for sharing stories from 1997 when EVERYONE actually got a REAL fair chance to see the OT. For example i was 9 years old and i got to see the trilogy the "right" way. By that i mean i actually got to see it in the theater with mad hyped up people and IN ORDER, witch is important.

    I thought it would be better talking about the Special Edition re-release of the trilogy because this way A LOT MORE posters on here can be involved in the discussion because 97 wasn't that long ago. Also i would like to add that this topic is NOT about discussing the SE changes in any way, for good or bad. Its just about the fact that people got a real 2nd chance to see these movies on the big screen and even got to take there children to see the very movies they themselves grew up on.

    Please include the following...

    1.)When you first found out and all the anticipation.
    2.)A story of your experience seeing it at the theater.
    3.)How many times you went to see each film.

    So....SHARE YOUR STORYS!!![:D]
  2. StampidHD280pro Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2005
    star 4
    I think it was 1995. It was early in the morning about 6 o clock, I was on the couch just waking up. Half-dreaming I heard the news on the TV. They were talking about Star Wars to my surprise! But why? Oh, they've started filming scenes for new special editions. I probably didn't shut up about it for months, along with everything else Star Wars related.

    Early 1997 ANH: Saw it at an evening screening. I do believe it was the first showing in the town I was living in. The show was sold out. Everybody loved it. Never saw it in theatres again.

    ESB was delayed a week, someone on the bus told me holding his brand new CD copy of Weird Al's Bad Hair Day. Whoa. CD's. Futuristic.

    Early 1997 ESB: Watched it once with mom. And I missed ROTJ, instead seeing ESB again with an adult friend who'd never seen the trilogy. He ended up falling asleep anyway.

    Early 1997 ROTJ: Had plans to catch a screening at the local drive-in (!!!!) but it ended up raining real bad that night.

    1st Day of School Fall 1997 VHS: Came home and watched all three. Good times.
  3. obi-rob-kenobi4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2007
    star 4
    I was at some random movie i didn't even want to see with some family members when all of the sudden they showed the trailer for the SE and i went nuts with excitement. Needless to say i was bugging out. One thing i vividly remember was how happy i was because ALL the kids at school were into it too and that halloween EVERYONE in my class dressed as star wars characters. I remember i useto get excited every time i saw a commercial for it so all i useto do was talk about star wars.

    I saw ANH with my mom and my two uncles. It was a real family thing and we were all so happy. It was nice because back then star wars didn't seem so complicated so i never had to explain a thing to my mom or uncles because they all just kinda..."knew". Maybe it was because they saw it before i was born or maybe just because ANH is such a simple movie but idk. I also think i took it all for granted because the actual movie blew me away on the big screen. I think it was partly because i didn't know there were going to be new scenes in it (i was a 9 year old kid) but then it made sense to me why everyone kept calling it the "special edition" lol. Another reason why i was so entranced was because it was the first time seeing it in widescreen so it felt so much BIGGER and i was seeing things i never knew were there before on the left and right sides. I saw it one more time with my mom before TESB came out.

    When TESB hit theaters i went with just my uncle but we saw a lot of kids from my school there too so we all hung out for a while talking about the movie and annoying our parents lol. Even though i had seen all 3 movies before on vhs, it was still an exciting experience because for me back then (and this was just my imagination running away with me) i really thought something different could happen at any moment, like for example ever watch a horror movie you already seen but when the killer is about to strike there's a little part of you thats hopeing the victim might do something different and escape? Well yea it was kinda like that for me. I felt like if i didn't root for luke hard enough that maybe the AT-AT will actually squish him this time[face_laugh].

    I was obsessed with luke back then and couldn't understand why everyone always sed they wanted to be han solo...of course now im a han man lol. Another big thing for me back then was this was the first time since i originally saw the movie that darth vader was able to scare me a little. I could definitely feel the darkness in it when compared to ANH. Particularly the scene on degobah in the cave rekindled my fear and respect for vader lol.

    Last but not least i saw ROTJ. I had to beg my mom to bring me because by then she was like "how many times are we going to have to take you to the movies to see star wars?" lol she just didn't understand i guess. It was my favorite back then mostly because of luke and how cool he was now that he was a real jedi and also because i thought it had the best action. I remember the thing that stood out the most about ROTJ was the end space battle. It absolutely rocked the whole theater with how loud the explosions were. Ya know how little kids always cover there ears on the 4th of july? Well after seeing and hearing that space battle on the big screen i never covered my ears again, srsly. Another one of the things i was surprised and mystified by was the new ending celebration with all the planets. Ever since then when ever i watched the vhs it just wasn't the same without the celebration, idk it just always felt like something was "missing" from the ending. Witch is why i treated my golden box-set of the SE like my most prized possession when i latter got it for x-mas.

    So it was 2 times for ANH and only 1 time each for ESB and ROTJ sadly, but it was a hell of a ride. Everyday i wish i would have been able to see them more times but im grateful i got to at least see them on the big screen once. It was a great experience and looking back it was the defining moment in my childhood. All i did was play star wars. All i did was dream star wars. Awesome.[face_p
  4. DookuIsTyranus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2001
    star 2
    I first found out about the Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition while I was reading an issue of Starlog Magazine (remember that magazine? it's gone now, replaced by a website) at work at Starlog Universe. I think I might have caught the trailer at a few movies that came out at the time (I remember only seeing Star Trek: First Contact and Mars Attacks at the time, so I may have seen the trailer then).

    I saw the Star Wars Special Edition on January 31 at a late morning/early afternoon showing.
    This was the one and only unique experience I had when I saw them, as I never again had the experience I had that day with the other two special editions. I was in line with some teens who were only 7 or eight years younger than me (I was 25 at the time); and yet, they had not seen them initially or don't remember seeing them; so, I regaled them with my stories of seeing them the first time around; they told me I was so lucky and one young female had even suggested that she interview me for her high school newspaper regarding that, but sadly that never came about. I remember a few of the guys were making jokes about a particular line that the old puppet version of Sy Snootles sang in the original film version of the Song Lapti Nek (I won't say it here, but it was about eating some body part; whatever, lol). Anyway, one of those guys won the "limited edition" Jedi Luke Hasbro action figure that was given away at the time for the first person in the lines for Star Wars Special Edition. Everyone else got the Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition button. I think I might have that packed away in a box, I'm not sure. I remember everyone clapping and cheering when the Twentieth Century Fox Fanfare and the main title played. It started quieting down after that. That was some good memories. I only saw that one only the one time, at the United Artists Southlake Cinema 8.

    For some strange reason, The Empire Strikes Back Special Edition was the only one in the trio that did NOT make it to the Southlake Cinema 8; it opened at the Litchfield/Regal Cinemas Riverdale 10 Cinema, so that's where I had to go to see it; I saw it maybe one more time at the Cineplex Odeon Southlake Festival Cinema 6 when it opened there; I remember it was at the Souhtlake Plaza 3 as well for a little while.

    And the Return Of The Jedi Special Edition was at Southlake Cinema 8 so I saw it at least two times there I believe.

    All in all, it was a great experience.
  5. ezekiel22x Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2002
    star 5
    The 97 release was my first chance to see the OT theatrically after countless viewings on VHS. My favorite part of the experience was spotting the new stuff that Lucas added. I thought it was insanely cool to be seeing new material (in particular the glimpse of Coruscant in Jedi wowed me). At the time I had no idea that the additions would prove to be so controversial for many fans.
  6. Blur Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 1999
    star 4
    I was old enough to have seen the OT in the theatre back in the day, and loved them at that time.

    However, seeing the SW:SE's in the theatre from January - March 1997 was not only the pinnacle of my SW Theatrical viewing experience, but was also one of the best (and maybe the best) Theatrical viewing experience I've ever had, period.

    I first heard about the SE's sometime in Fall 1996. I remember even then I was making plans on seeing the films, which theatre to go to, etc. I also remember reading various sci-fi magazine articles talking about how much work Lflm. had in to in restoring the ANH print for a theatrical re-release, since it had degraded over time.

    By the time January 1997 rolled around, I was really looking forward to these revamped films. I had been seeing the trilogy on sub-par, non-widescreen VHS tapes for years, and so it was going to be a real treat to see them on the big screen the way they were intended to be seen.

    I actually saw the SW:ANH SE in mid-January 1997 (a couple of weeks before the official 1/31/97 release) since I was a member of the SW Fan Club, and got some free passes to a sneak preview.

    The film itself totally blew me away - the picture was the crispest, clearest print I had ever seen of the film - in addition, the theatre I was in had Dolby Digital, so the sound was truly incredible. Everything was great - the intial short battle between the Rebel Soldiers and Stormtroopers; the first appearance of DV; Tattoine & the Jawas; the Sandpeople; the Cantina scenes; the first meeting between Han Solo, Luke, and Obi-wan; the Stormtrooper attack on the Falcon and the subsequent speedy departure from Docking Bay 94; The DS; the trash compactor; the duel between Obi-wan and DV; the escape and arrival on Yavin; the final battle above the DS. Seeing this made me feel like a little kid again. Also, I specifically remember the Dolby Digital sound in the trash compactor scenes - the sound was so good you could hear every drip of the water - very impressive. And, the red Fourth Moon of Yavin was really red.

    Seeing the ESB: SE was also amazing, and out of all three films this was the least modified, so it really felt like I was back in the theatre in 1980. The Hoth scenes especially almost made you feel as if you were there in all that snow - amazing.

    Seeing the ROTJ: SE was also great - even though ROTJ is my least favorite OT film, I still really enjoyed the JTH/Sarlaac pit scenes. And, the end space battle scenes towards the end were mind-blowing, especially the scene when the Falcon flew through all of the tie fighters - intense.

    I was also impressed at the level of detail that I was able to notice when seeing these in the theatre on a huge screen - there are a lot of things you miss when seeing these on pan & scan VHS tapes.

    All told, I saw ANH at least 4 (or more) times in the theatre, and I believe I saw ESB & ROTJ at least 3 times each.

    Side notes:

    - I thought it was interesting that, because of the SE's, SW was experiencing more-than-usual media attention, i.e. newspaper articles, etc. This was especially cool since, at that time, SW had been out of the public's consciousness for years.

    - At the time I felt that Lflm. was brilliant by releasing the films in the theatres from January - March, since these three months are typically not heavy movie-going months - in fact, later I read/heard that January is typically the "dumping ground" for many movies that studios don't want to release in peak months (for whatever reason). Because of this, there weren't a lot of choices for the movie-going public to see at this time, and IMHO this was one of the reasons the SE's did big business. I'm fairly certain that these films would not have done as well if they had been released in the summer, along with a lot of new blockbusters.

    - At the time, I remember seeing (and later getting) a great poster that had the gold SE logo on it (with Luke holding up the lightsaber), showing the dates of all three SE theatrical releases, and at the bott
  7. EHT New Films Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2007
    star 6
    This pretty much sums it up for me too. I saw all of the OT movies in their original versions in the theater (even though I was only 3 when ANH was released), multiple times each (especially ESB and ROTJ)... I was hooked instantly. I also saw the PT movies multiple times each as they were released too, and loved them too. But to me the '97 SE OT releases were really the best movie-going experience possible. Saw them each multiple times too, with a big group of people for the first viewing of ANH. And we found a theater that was still showing ANH and ESB when they released ROTJ, so we were able to do a one-day marathon. :cool:
  8. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4
    I enjoyed it a lot more than I did when I saw it in 1977.
  9. TwiLekJedi Pretty Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2001
    star 10
    When I first heard whispers, I thought they'd remake the trilogy. Still better than some of my dumb friends, who thought it was a fourth new movie called "Trilogy" o_O

    When it came out I went to see ANH with a friend and argued about the Jabba scene, saying it won't be there, because it's not in the book (which I had read the year before). Doubly stupid as I still didn't understand the concept of the SE and it is in the book o_O

    When I asked another friend to see TESB with me, he insisted on seeing RotJ instead. [face_plain]

    Because my friends were super-lame, none of them went to see TESB with me. So, I never saw TESB in theaters at any point in my life. :(


    The best thing about the SEs was that they rereleased the soundtracks and I got one each month. :D
  10. BaronLandoCalrissian Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2006
    star 3
    There were rumors for along time. And the term "Special Edition" was being thrown around in reference to Spielberg's re-do of Close Encounters. Then it was happening, and then it grew to include all 3 movies.
    New Hope was fantastic. The Chinese theater in Hollywood, where the droids and vader placed their footprints in 77, was a total zoo, cops and news vans everywhere. I had never seen people dressed in costumes in huge numbers before. Hollywood blvd. and the restaurant/bar across the street looked like the Mos Eisley cantina, it was filled to capacity with characters. And the various rebels, imperials and creatures were all congregating in separate cliques, like Star Wars segregation. The crowd was sold out and drunk and cheering for every little change.

    Empire and Jedi were also sold out but the vibe was not nearly the same, more like a regular summer movie. Jedi Rocks was booed.
  11. EHT New Films Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2007
    star 6
    If you were a real fan, you would have gone to see it anyway, by yourself. [face_laugh]
  12. ebamf Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2009
    star 1
    I don't remember much except for seeing them in theaters with my mom, sisters, cousin and uncle.
  13. TwiLekJedi Pretty Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2001
    star 10
    In 1997, 14-year-olds didn't go to see movies by themselves. Clearly I wasn't a real fan until afterwards :p
  14. trixiebee67 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Just curious here. Why wouldn't you see a movie by yourself in 1997? I saw ESB in 1980 by myself about half of the 12+ time I saw it. Same with Raiders of the Lost Ark just a year later.
  15. ebamf Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2009
    star 1
    Seeing a movie by yourself is never as fun as seeing it with other people.
  16. DarthJohnkenobi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2004
    star 4

    In 1997, 14-year-olds didn't go to see movies by themselves. Clearly I wasn't a real fan until afterwards


    Why not?

    Seeing the SE in '97 will never top the hysteria that occured in 1977. I was 5 when I saw ANH and Star Wars permeatted every aspect of American culture, at that time. Even though I was young, I'll never forget that level of excitment. Heck, even Bill Murry did lounge singer act and sung about star wars. I remember the local newscasters signing off by saying "May the Force be with You" and that happened when the next two movies came out in '80 and '83.

    In 97 when the first SE came out, I, being a good SW fan, new about it of course. It was fantastic to wait in line, seeing parents bringing thier chilren. I remember smiling to myself thinking how awesome it was that a new generation got to see SW at the theater. It was even better when the lights went down, the fanboys ignited thier lightsabers, and the entire audience became silent at once when the words Star Wars appeared on the screen. With the exception of that nasty Han/Greedo scene, I loved all the additions. It really made the dogfight at the end even better. When me and my group of friends left the theater we were all as excited as little kids. I couldn't stop my gushing appreciation for the movie and one of my friends who went, who didnt like SW, actually liked it. Another convert!!! It was one of the moments in life that can never be replaced, and I had to opportunity to expierence it twice. Whoo Hooo!
  17. jacktherack Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2008
    star 4
    sadly i never saw the star wars special editions in the theaters. i was only 6 in 1997 and i didn't see star wars untill i got the special edition vhs box set for christmas of 97. or maybe it was sometime in 98. anyway that was the first time i saw star wars or even heard about it. i got into star wars and then saw phantom menace when it came out. i was 8.. then after 2000 i lost intrest in star wars untill 2005 when revenge of the sith came out. i actually never had seen attack of the clones untill 2005 when revenge of the sith came out i saw it on tv. then in 2005 i started loving star wars again and i saw revenge of the sith in theatures. i still have the vhs boxset of the special edition. i also have the 1980 and 1992 version of a new hope and the 1995 1997 2000 2004 and the originals that came with the 2 disc 2004 edition.
  18. StampidHD280pro Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2005
    star 4
    i kinda had the same experience, perhaps its not uncommon. i kind of like how it worked out. episode III hit like a ton of bricks.
  19. Darth_Davi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2005
    star 4
    watching all three in the theaters in 1997, was more a contest between me and my brother about who could detect all of the changes. My entire family grew up huge star wars fans, by 1997, it would not be inaccurate to state that all of us had seen the entire trilogy at least 50 times, mostly on VHS, but, one of my brothers and I are old enough to have been able to see TESB and ROTJ in the theaters, originally. So, we were so familiar with the movies already, seeing it in the theaters really wasn't that big of a deal, other than the screen being huge. So, I wish I could say it was this glorious, magical experience, but, we spent the 6 and a half hours (the theater showed all 3 back to back to back) looking for the changes.
  20. Grand_Moff_Jawa Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2001
    star 5
    I saw each movie only once and enjoyed the feeling of seeing my favorite movies on the large screen one last time in my life. The magic I experienced in 1977 onward was missing, as I no longer saw the movies through the eyes of a child. I spotted some of the SE changes immediately and noticed others after they came out for sale. It was a good time, but nothing like the time I had when they originally came out. Different times.
  21. Anakin_Skywalker20 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 16, 2000
    star 5
    I was about 12 or so when the SE came out but I grew up watching the original versions. I saw all three SE versions with my dad. It was an awesome experience from what I remembered as a kid. Now, I look forward to the 3D version of all 6 films and oh yes, I'll be there when they jump to lightspeed to the nearest movie theater. :)


    There was also several times where I lost interest in Star Wars over the years but something....something it seems always brings me back to it. I dunno.
  22. Spike2002 Former FF-UK RSA and Arena Manager

    Member Since:
    Feb 4, 2002
    star 6
    I first found out about the Special Edition when I bought my first ever Star Wars Magazine, must have been sometime in 95/96 when I was around 11-13. I lapped up all the photos of the new special effects and counted down the days till it came out. Pretty soon after it was out, I went on a Saturday afternoon with one of my school friends and his little brother and seeing ANH at the cinema just blew me away. Soon after I saw the ESB and ROTJ Special Editions with the same and even more friends, and SW Trilogy SE basically summed up our summer. I'd been into EU for years, but seeing the movies on the big screen for the first time was still a pretty special moment in my life, just like all the trips I took to see the Prequel Trilogy.
  23. halibut Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    I don't really remember that much about it. I saw each of the films twice in cinemas in 1997. And then again when TPM came out, a UK cinema showed all 4 in a row. Thoroughly enjoyed it though. Can't beat seeing the OT on the big screen!

    In the original showings, I only ever saw ROTJ in 1983
  24. EHT New Films Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2007
    star 6
    In what order?
  25. halibut Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    Funny story there actually!

    They were going to show them 1-4-5-6, and I had several email "discussions" with them saying that that was wrong and it should be 4-5-6-1. But they didn't back down.

    But with just those 4 films, I think they were right. The end of ROTJ was better than the end of TPM. But I'm still a 456123 man :p
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