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Indy Guy

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The only remaining opening night performance of ESB at the Hollywood Egyptian with tickets was the 5AM showing. As wae sat eating "breakfast" donuts, the 2AM show let out. That audience was filled with children that seemed wired by what they just experienced. We tried to avoid overhearing plot points between eager kids and their parents, as they were obviously delighted. We all wondered if they would be made to go to school after 2 hrs of such visual stimulation and meeting a new character every child immediately fell in love with. I know I had a very hard time staying focused at work that day myself, as the ending left me anticipating what would happen next!
 
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PMF

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Different topic altogether.

MPAA still decided the rating. They didn't let the studio choose.

Plenty of movies have had MPAA change ratings after appeals.

That's not MPAA saying "we wanna give you a 'G' but we'll let you decide!"
True. Just another variation on the MPAA and Studio rating system topic from the angle of All the Presidents Men.

On the initial topic, I never stated this to be of MPAA or Studio fact - which is why I opened the topic for any current insiders to confirm or dismiss - but, simply, that it was said to me in 1991 by a principal on the set. To be clearer to the readership here, I’m not married to the outcome of the story in either direction; except to say that I found this to be interesting upon its actual utterance.
 
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Walter Kittel

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Memory can be a funny thing, so take all this with a rather large grain of salt...

I viewed Star Wars twice on opening day, once in the afternoon by myself with a partially filled auditorium and later that same Friday evening on the same screen in a completely packed theater with a movie going friend. Was awestruck by what I experienced.

Cut to three years later and my friend and I stood in line on a very hot day in West Houston for three hours before being admitted to a showing of Empire, on a Saturday afternoon.

While I love both films and give a lot of props to Star Wars for being the film that got the ball rolling, I immediately preferred the darker, more adult tone of Empire and nothing that has happened since 1980 has changed that opinion. Empire gives us a glimpse of a more serious space opera that could have been, and for that I will always love this film. Vader was so much more dominant in the second film, and that gives Empire a lot of its power.

I believe, relatively speaking, that all three films of the original trilogy were well received with perhaps Jedi being criticized the most for certain elements such as the Ewoks and some aspects of Jabba's palace. Just my general impression.

- Walter.
 

PMF

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I’m exceedingly happy with these 4K/UHD editions of the original Star Wars trilogy.
 
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Wayne Klein

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Memory can be a funny thing, so take all this with a rather large grain of salt...

I viewed Star Wars twice on opening day, once in the afternoon by myself with a partially filled auditorium and later that same Friday evening on the same screen in a completely packed theater with a movie going friend. Was awestruck by what I experienced.

Cut to three years later and my friend and I stood in line on a very hot day in West Houston for three hours before being admitted to a showing of Empire, on a Saturday afternoon.

While I love both films and give a lot of props to Star Wars for being the film that got the ball rolling, I immediately preferred the darker, more adult tone of Empire and nothing that has happened since 1980 has changed that opinion. Empire gives us a glimpse of a more serious space opera that could have been, and for that I will always love this film. Vader was so much more dominant in the second film, and that gives Empire a lot of its power.

I believe, relatively speaking, that all three films of the original trilogy were well received with perhaps Jedi being criticized the most for certain elements such as the Ewoks and some aspects of Jabba's palace. Just my general impression.

- Walter.
Plus there was that twist reveal with Vader and Luke.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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I like the way plastic saint Luke is too good to get his hands dirty with anything too morally dubious, and hews to the horsepuck Jedi philosophy Yoda pontificates.
Good thing for him the most evil character in the first two films suddenly does a completely unmerited and unfounded 180 to save his useless hide.

Oh right, Luke is so good and pure that he was a beacon of light that reached into Vader's suppressed, formerly child slaughtering, daughter torturing, genocidal soul.

I'm sorry. Where so many see powerful feeling, I see saccharine and insipid sentimentality that is a harder to swallow fantasy than anything else in these movies.
To me, this nonsense is a betrayal of the thought and effort that went into fleshing out these characters. In the prior film especially.

Everything about this film will always be a lazy and uninspired cash-out to me. And that goes double for the Luke/Vader plot line/resolution.

I don't know... but seems like you're maybe waaay underestimating the weight of the father-son thing (perhaps especially under the circumstance where Vader would presumably never father another son... as far as he knows), which was already clearly expressed in ESB, not just RotJ. Likewise that Luke would strongly desire to turn Vader.

Doesn't need to be saccharine nor mere "insipid sentimentality" at all for that to weigh heavily on Vader (or any particularly evil being) or Luke for that matter. And there was never a clear indication of quite how evil Vader actually was to preclude that either.

_Man_
 

Lord Dalek

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Yeah, it wasn't in the early drafts of Empire.
Yes it wasn't in the Leigh Brackett draft but WAS in George's uncredited 2nd draft rewrite (in fact a good 50% of what makes Empire Empire didn't show up until George had to write three drafts himself before hiring Kasdan to do another rewrite at the last minute).
 

Walter Kittel

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Thinking about this thread today, reminded me of the topic of spoilers and The Empire Strikes Back.

ESB had been out for around 10 days in the Houston market. I was working an afternoon / evening shift (great for matinees, BTW) and one of the guys on days (Charlie) had not seen the film yet, so a few of us were keeping quiet around him about the big reveals. A friend who worked evenings with me (Dale) came into the pass down meeting and loudly exclaimed to the entire room - "What's this crap about Vader being Luke's father?!" (Mocking the plot point.) Charlie moaned and said "Oh you f**king a**hole!" at which point the room exploded into uncontrollable laughter.

It pays to see those big films early. :)

- Walter.
 

Wayne Klein

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Although it remains to be seen if Lucas knew that when he wrote Star Wars.
He didn’t. They were two separate characters. The sequel novel Splinter of the Mind’s Eye by Alan Dean Foster which was based on an idea Lucas had for a cheap sequel if the first film didn’t do well, clearly points to Lucas not having developed those ideas yet much less Luke and Lea being brother and sister.
 

Walter Kittel

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clearly points to Lucas not having developed those ideas yet much less Luke and Lea being brother and sister.

My recollection of the production details of The Return of the Jedi was that the concept of Luke and Leia being siblings was developed as a means of motivating Luke to confront Vader in the Imperial Throne Room after he had refused to fight him. Something that Lucas and director Marquand developed to provide a reason for Luke to fight Vader.

I think this was discussed in the 'Making of' show that accompanied Jedi in the summer of '83 or perhaps in a later documentary on Star Wars.

- Walter.
 

Colin Jacobson

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He didn’t. They were two separate characters. The sequel novel Splinter of the Mind’s Eye by Alan Dean Foster which was based on an idea Lucas had for a cheap sequel if the first film didn’t do well, clearly points to Lucas not having developed those ideas yet much less Luke and Lea being brother and sister.

Yop. As much as Lucas wants us to believe he had a Big Old All-Encompassing Plan from the start, he made it up as he went along.

I'm always a little surprised how many people buy the idea that GL had everything organized before/during the shoot for "Star Wars"

Heck, it seemed clear that was BS when he forced poor Obi-wan to claim his story about Anakin and Vader as 2 different people was true from a "certain point of view".

Anyway, I love the movies but it's always been patently clear that GL shifted story/character ideas on the fly.

That's a problem with the Prequels: he needed to find crazy and convoluted ways to make the puzzle fit.
 

Colin Jacobson

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My recollection of the production details of The Return of the Jedi was that the concept of Luke and Leia being siblings was developed as a means of motivating Luke to confront Vader in the Imperial Throne Room after he had refused to fight him. Something that Lucas and director Marquand developed to provide a reason for Luke to fight Vader.

I think this was discussed in the 'Making of' show that accompanied Jedi in the summer of '83 or perhaps in a later documentary on Star Wars.

- Walter.

I think the Luke/Leia siblings thing also came from GL's decision to wrap up the saga with "RotJ".

Back when he wanted to make 9 movies, he intended "the other" to become part of Episodes VII-IX, IIRC.

And the Emperor was gonna be part of those films. (Which ended up as the case, but in a different manner.)

GL got so burned out on "Star Wars" by 1982 that he said "eff that" and scuttled plans for the PT and ST.

For that time, at least - obviously he eventually decided to make the PT, and he allowed the ST to be made as well.

But if GL hadn't bailed on those other 6 films in the 80s, I don't think Leia ever becomes Luke's sister.

Or if she does, that doesn't get revealed for a while.
 

David_B_K

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Thinking about this thread today, reminded me of the topic of spoilers and The Empire Strikes Back.

ESB had been out for around 10 days in the Houston market. I was working an afternoon / evening shift (great for matinees, BTW) and one of the guys on days (Charlie) had not seen the film yet, so a few of us were keeping quiet around him about the big reveals. A friend who worked evenings with me (Dale) came into the pass down meeting and loudly exclaimed to the entire room - "What's this crap about Vader being Luke's father?!" (Mocking the plot point.) Charlie moaned and said "Oh you f**king a**hole!" at which point the room exploded into uncontrollable laughter.

It pays to see those big films early. :)

- Walter.
I remember hearing rumors of the Luke/Darth Vader relationship before the film opened. Several friends and I in our early twenties saw the movie the week it opened (can't remember if it was opening day) on the big curved screen of the Alabama theater in Houston. We had heard no confirmation of the rumor (which we had dismissed as BS) when we saw the movie. As the movie progressed, it became apparent that the rumor was true. We were rather shocked to see it play out

Also, we did not have an unfavorable reaction to the ending. The movie had so much edge-of-seat action going on in the last portion we were practically out of breath by the time it ended. We felt it was rather ballsy to end the movie with the Empire ascendant again and so many plots left unresolved.
 

Walter Kittel

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Also, we did not have an unfavorable reaction to the ending. The movie had so much edge-of-seat action going on in the last portion we were practically out of breath by the time it ended. We felt it was rather ballsy to end the movie with the Empire ascendant again and so many plots left unresolved.

My friend and I viewed ESB at the Westchase 5 (which is now closed). It was a fairly new theater at the time (opening in October '77) and was pretty spiffy for 1980. As I recall it had (sort of) reclined seating which tilted your view of the screen and this was incredibly immersive during the search for Han and Luke on Hoth that featured the contour flying.

I would agree about the idea of being amped up by the action and the reveals through the course of the film, there was no room for being disappointed by the ending. :)

- Walter.
 

David_B_K

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My friend and I viewed ESB at the Westchase 5 (which is now closed). It was a fairly new theater at the time (opening in October '77) and was pretty spiffy for 1980. As I recall it had (sort of) reclined seating which tilted your view of the screen and this was incredibly immersive during the search for Han and Luke on Hoth that featured the contour flying.

I would agree about the idea of being amped up by the action and the reveals through the course of the film, there was no room for being disappointed by the ending. :)

- Walter.
I think all the great Houston movie theaters are gone now. I don't think I ever went to the Westchase. The one I really liked was the Windsor, which also had those sort of rocking seats and the big screen (can't remember if it was curved).
 

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