Official STAR WARS Saga (episodes I to VII) Discussion Thread: Part 5

TravisR

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The Phantom Menace has the best score by far. It's magical. John Williams couldn't do the same for the next 2 movies.
The Phantom Menace is, overall, probably the best PT score but Revenge Of The Sith has Battle Of The Heroes which is one of Williams' finest pieces. And when you're talking about John Williams, that's saying something. :)

 

SamT

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From The Phantom Menace, it's Anakin's Theme that I love the most. It's truly magical.



No score from Episode II and III can grab my imagination like this track.
 
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Sam Favate

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Though the movie is often maligned by fans, I will hold up Across the Stars from Attack of the Clones as one of the finest compositions done for the entire saga.

Say what you will about the prequels or sequels, but John Williams never let us down.
 

Chuck Mayer

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I’ll malign the heck out of AOTC while agreeing that Across The Stars is a great piece of music, and further agreeing that John Williams delivered 9 wonderful scores, varying from very good at the bottom to numerous iconic classics.
 

TravisR

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Sad news, Charley Lippincott has died from COVID-19. He's not particularly well known but he was the marketing genius that had the foresight to take SW to the San Diego Comic Con the year before its release and got the novelization, the Marvel comic book adaptation, the toys, the shirts, the Official Star Wars Fan Club, etc. all going in 1976 and 1977. Without him, there's a fair chance that Star Wars might not have become the cultural juggernaut it is.

 

Sam Favate

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One day I have to finally read J. W. Rinzler's making of.

You really should. It's great. It's also strange to me that the paperback of Once Upon a Galaxy: The Making of the Empire Strikes Back by Alan Arnold (published in 1980) was never reissued.

I was near the end of the 7th Grade, and Star Wars had consumed most of the last three years of my life. I had one of those desk calendars where you turn the page each day. I wrote a countdown on each day for about 90 days before Empire premiered. As it turned out, my class was going on a field trip the day the movie came out. It was to a dude ranch. I had no interest in going. Somehow, I convinced my mother that going to see Empire on the day it came out (a Wednesday) was the best use of that day, and we did. I regret nothing. A few days later, on Saturday, my father and I went to see it in New York City, at the old Murray Hill Theater on 34th Street. We waited in line for two hours. I'll never forget the guy hawking "sou-VENEER pro-GRAMS! The Empire STRIKES BACK! Right HERE! Sou-VENEER pro-GRAMS!" (And it wasn't even the movie program he was selling, it was the Marvel comic book magazine adaptation!) Anyway, we went in and sat down and it was one of the greatest movie experiences of my life. The audience cheered loudly every time one of the characters was on screen for the first time. It was even better than a similar experience I had five months earlier seeing Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Lesson: Go see movies with New Yorkers.

Like the first movie, I saw Empire about 30 times in the theater over the next year and a half/two years. As I tell my kids, those were the days before home video or streaming, and when a movie left the theater, it was gone. As in, you might never see it again, or if you did, it might be on TV in like 3 years in an edited version. Only classics like Wizard of Oz could you count on being shown regularly every year, and Star Wars was not yet that. (Not to mention that TVs sucked in those days, all square and blurry.)

BTW, this is my favorite poster from the film, even though it is not the original release. I think it originated in Japan. It's the one I have hanging outside my home theater.

 

Greg.K

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I too remember vividly seeing TESB on opening day. I was in 8th grade. It was so great to finally have MORE from the galaxy far, far away.
 

SamT

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I only read the first one on release, A New Hope. Since this is the ESB 40th anniversary, it is going to be the perfect time to read it this year. How is it compared to the first book?
 

Chuck Mayer

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We’e been planning to watch Empire tonight for the past few weeks. Star Wars (1977) itself brought energy and the characters, setting the stage for what the universe would become. ESB brought the pathos and thematic scope. Empire remains one of the best fantasy films ever made, building expertly on the foundation Star Wars laid. It cast a shadow so long, Stat Wars has struggled to live up to it for the past four decades. It raised the stakes on ALL of the character relationships, it deepened the history and lore, and delivered a magnificent second act, all with breathtaking visual effects and character work.

It also had the best posters and introduced the Love theme, the Imperial March, and the Force theme. I liked it when I first saw it, but fell in love with it when I got a decade older. Still a classic in every sense of the word.
 
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TravisR

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StarWars.com has a couple nice articles up:

There's a breakdown of the three shots added to the 35mm prints that came out in the middle of June after the 70mm release on May 21:

Also, The Digital Bits has a roundtable discussion of TESB:
 
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Chuck Mayer

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Thoroughly loved the revisit. Hadn’t seen Empire in a few years. Beautiful film. I was especially enchanted by the Yoda scenes this time. The puppet is so expressive, his dialogue is so crisp and meaningful, and the early playful Yoda is mischievous as heck. The whole film is magnificent, though, every bit of it. And it never sag, squeezing in plenty of characterization and growth among the entire adventure, which starts right away.
 

TravisR

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Today is the 43rd anniversary of Star Wars. I can't speak to it but apparently, this is the Loews Astor Plaza on West 44th in New York City and it's now used for concerts.

Loews Astor Plaza, W44th Street, 1977 (With images) | Classic star ...




Today is also the 37th anniversary of Return Of The Jedi. This photo is from my neck of the woods showing the (now demolished) SamEric on Chestnut in Philadelphia.

10 Vintage Photos Show 'Star Wars' Fans Lining Up At The Theaters ...
 
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Sam Favate

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Today is the 43rd anniversary of Star Wars. I can't speak to it but apparently, this is the Loews Astor Plaza on West 44th in New York City and it's now used for concerts.

Loews Astor Plaza, W44th Street, 1977 (With images) | Classic star ...
What a sad state of affairs for such a great theater. Yes, this is the Loews Astor on 44th Street. It was a great old school theater that had about 1,500 seats. I saw a Star Trek marathon (the first five films plus the debut of the Star Trek VI trailer - twice!) there in 1991 with a thousand friends. Back in the 70s, I saw several films there with my father.

It closed in 2004 and became the Nokia Theater, where concerts were held. I saw a show there when it was called the Nokia. But Nokia gave way to the Best Buy Theater, which gave way to the Playstation Theater (yes, really) which is what it was called most recently. It closed its doors Dec. 31, 2019.

The Loews Astor was one of New York's great movie theaters in the 70s and 80s. When it closed in 2004, the Ziegfeld (another great one) became New York's largest.

The building itself is still active as the headquarters for Viacom and MTV. The Minskoff Theater is on the 3rd floor.
 
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TravisR

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What a sad state of affairs for such a great theater. Yes, this is the Loews Astor on 44th Street. It was a great old school theater that had about 1,500 seats. I saw a Star Trek marathon (the first five films plus the debut of the Star Trek VI trailer - twice!) there in 1991 with a thousand friends. Back in the 70s, I saw several films there with my father.

It closed in 2004 and became the Nokia Theater, where concerts were held. I saw a show there when it was called the Nokia. But Nokia gave way to the Best Buy Theater, which gave way to the Playstation Theater (yes, really) which is what it was called most recently. It closed its doors Dec. 31, 2019.

The Loews Astor was one of New York's great movie theaters in the 70s and 80s. When it closed in 2004, the Ziegfeld (another great one) became New York's largest.

The building itself is still active as the headquarters for Viacom and MTV. The Minskoff Theater is on the 3rd floor.
Thanks for the info!

I wonder if that photo of the Loews is actually from opening day May 25, 1977 or slightly later as Star Wars picked up steam and had lines for a long time back in the days of large theaters. My guess is that it's from later but it's still a fun time capsule.

The photo of the SamEric in Philadelphia is probably from May 25, 1983 as it seems like a long line and I'm sure the whole world wanted to see ROTJ immediately.
 

Sam Favate

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Thanks for the info!

I wonder if that photo of the Loews is actually from opening day May 25, 1977 or slightly later as Star Wars picked up steam and had lines for a long time back in the days of large theaters. My guess is that it's from later but it's still a fun time capsule.

The photo of the SamEric in Philadelphia is probably from May 25, 1983 as it seems like a long line and I'm sure the whole world wanted to see ROTJ immediately.
Star Wars opened in only two theaters in New York on 5/25/77: The Loews Orpheum on 86th Street, and the Loews Astor. So it is possible the photo is from opening day, although as long lines lasted for many months, it could be from any time. Lines like that would have been normal throughout the summer (and even the fall).

Yes, the other picture is likely from opening day, although Jedi opened in 1000 theaters, significantly more theaters than Star Wars (only 32) (or Empire, 126). For my second showing of Jedi on opening day, I recall there was no line at all.

There was a theater I used to go to, on Route 23 in New Jersey, that showed Star Wars from some time in 1977 through the summer of 1978. It stopped showing it upon Star Wars' first re-release, which ended in September 1978. But for Cinema 23, I would not have been able to see the movie so many times in the theater.
 
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TravisR

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Star Wars opened in only two theaters in New York on 5/25/77: The Loews Orpheum on 86th Street, and the Loews Astor. So it is possible the photo is from opening day, although as long lines lasted for many months, it could be from any time. Lines like that would have been normal throughout the summer (and even the fall).

Yes, the other picture is likely from opening day, although Jedi opened in 1000 theaters, significantly more theaters than Star Wars (only 32) (or Empire, 126).
I'm glad I wasn't old enough to see TESB in 1980 because at only 126 theaters, I'd have been waiting until June 18 when TESB hit 35mm to see it because no way would my parents have driven the 40-ish miles to Allentown or Philadelphia to see it. Maybe I could have whined my way into King Of Prussia but that would have been a long shot. :)
 
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