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Star Wars Day: Memories of watching the original trilogy at a young age

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Fox Home Entertainment/Business Wire

(Read caption) 'Star Wars' stars Mark Hamill (second from l.), Harrison Ford (r.), Alec Guinness (second from r.) and Peter Mayhew (l.).

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As one might expect, watching the original “Star Wars” trilogy as an adult is different than watching it when you’re a kid.

I’m part of a generation that didn’t see the original three movies in theaters, but instead viewed them at home on VHS for the first time. For me, going to see a “Star Wars” movie in theaters didn't mean seeing Mark Hamill or Harrison Ford again – it meant getting hopes built up, then being disappointed and saying, “Maybe the next one will be better.” (It was not.)

Watching the original three at home happened during a time before we knew what midi-chlorians were, is what I'm saying.

At this point, I don’t even remember when I first saw the original trilogy, which also means that, to my disappointment, I don’t remember when I found out one of cinema’s best twists, that Darth Vader was Luke’s father. Similarly, anytime I watched it, Obi-Wan Kenobi’s death at the end of “Star Wars: A New Hope” was not of huge concern to me. I knew he would be back, surrounded by blue light, pretty soon, anyway.

While I’ve watched the first trilogy many more times since, as a teenager and an adult, I do remember some first impressions and misunderstandings that arose when I first watched the original three “Star Wars” movies. Here are a few memories.

–When we first started watching the movies, my little sister was too young to be able to read the opening crawls that begin every “Star Wars” movie, so my parents or I would help her out by reading them out loud to her. This would start out leisurely, then lead to us talking more and more quickly to try to read all of it because the VHS format squashed the text, meaning you’d be halfway through a line before it would disappear. To this day, I automatically start reading the crawl at the beginning of the movie out loud before remembering that my twenty-something friends are probably capable of scanning it themselves.


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