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Watching the red carpet, jealous and excited - #4 in a Star Wars series - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

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Watching the red carpet, jealous and excited - #4 in a Star Wars series [Dec. 14th, 2015|11:30 pm]
Zoethe
A long time ago, in a state pretty far away....

I was a freshman in college when the first Star Wars trailers appeared in the theaters. I was still living at home, and had a job, so my best friend and I had disposable income and a mutual love of movies. We went to lots of them. At one, we saw a trailer for a science fiction movie about "a boy, a girl, and a galaxy!" When it ended, I turned to my friend and delivered my first impression of Star Wars:

"Wow, that looks stupid."

By the time it reached us in Portland, the first rush of excitement had been conveyed on the evening news. Everyone was abuzz with Star Wars fever. The only theater it was playing at in Portland was clear over on the other side of town. My best friend and another friend dragged me across town, where we discovered a line that wrapped all the way around the building.

"Well," they said, turning to me, "since you have to go to work at 6am, we should probably come back another day."

"Oh, hell no," I growled. "You dragged me all the way here, we're bloody well seeing this movie."

In reality, the line had caught my attention. Something was going on here. We couldn't get into the 7pm show, and the theater people came out and counted heads, figuring out who could get into the 9:45 show. We were beyond that mark, and nowhere near the end of the line. After a huddle of the managers, they announced that they would, in fact, show the movie again at 12:15--unprecedented.

Again, my friends suggested we leave. Again, I dug in my heels. We sat on the sidewalk and played cards with another group of determined viewers. Finally, very tired, we dragged into the theater--the biggest theater screen I've ever seen, by the way. We were wowed.

The lights went down. The first words appeared. The music started. I was tired and still skeptical. A small ship flew into sight, bright lights flashing behind it.

Then a Star Destroyer flew in over the tops of our heads and my mouth hung open. I remember thinking, "I'm watching movies change forever."

Star Wars gave us something that can never be duplicated. It was a watershed moment in cinema. That kind of magic is not going to strike again.

But the other thing that Star Wars gave us is an entire galaxy to play in. George Lucas almost killed the love with the prequels, but the Expanded Universe showed us that there are a million stories to tell, not just the ones of our three heroes. On Thursday, those stories move into a new generation.

Tonight starwars.com livestreamed the red carpet of the premier--sometime tomorrow someone will put up Carrie Fisher and Oscar Isaac's interview, and you should absolutely find it and watch it; they are hysterical. Anyway, watching the excitement of all those people waiting to see the movie, fans who are at least as rabid as I, I'm reminded of those lines so many years ago. We get to share it again.
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[User Picture]From: fallconsmate
2015-12-15 09:46 pm (UTC)
before we got to see the movie (but after i had met mark hamill), one of my brother's friends gave him a cassette tape. SOMEONE in the kid's family had snuck a tape recorder into the movie theater and recorded the movie. sound only. and the kid recorded a copy for each of his friends.

i remember the big scene where all the pilots were acknowledging that they were standing by...and getting into a HUGE fight with my brother about which voice was luke skywalker. i'm better with voices than he is, and remember slugging him in the shoulder and declaring i was RIGHT in the theater when we finally got to SEE the movie.

it was, and remains in my mind, a Very Big Deal, and as you say, changed movies forever.
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[User Picture]From: dr_phil_physics
2015-12-17 02:17 am (UTC)
Well into the summer of 1977, weeks after Star Wars opened, my late brother-in-law bopped into our house at 11:30pm and wanted to know if i wanted to hit the midnight showing. It was a hot North Carolina night and when we got to the Janus theatre, sort of an early small muktiplex. There was a huge line. When the staff counted, we weren't in. But then the manager said he could open a smaller theatre and run a 12:20 showing, but they'd be rewinding the reals and passing them to the other projector -- i think thy shared a booth -- and there might be delays between the reels. We stayed. Got some of the last seats, front row center, only ten feet from the screen and looking up. Darth Vader was huge. We had a great time.

It was magic.

Dr. Phil
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