Where did you see the first Star Wars movie?

In the summer of 1977, I was between my 7th and 8th grade years, one of three children in my class at a two-room school called Happy Valley in rural South Dakota. I’m not sure if I saw a trailer for the new movie called Star Wars, but I do remember walking down Main Street in the closest town with a movie theater—30 miles away—and seeing this poster in the window.

StarWarsMoviePoster1977

My mother took me and my younger brother. We sat near the front; I don’t think the theater was crowded. The lights dimmed, and then ….

Looking back, I wonder how we learned anything before the internet, but somewhere I read that George Lucas was thinking of making a total of nine films in the series, each three years apart. I was thirteen, and would have to wait until I was nearly forty to see them all.

I didn’t know if I could bear to wait so long.

Little did I know that I would be able to re-visit those first three films with my son or that technology would allow me to see them whenever I wanted (!) or that at age fifty-one I’d have the thrill of anticipating yet another Star Wars episode.

To celebrate the release of the new trailer for the 7th film in the series, revisit 1977 with this documentary of the making of the phenomenon that started it all, in the words of James Earl Jones, “more than just a movie.”