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STAR WARS - when exactly was "Ep IV" added on? (1 Viewer)

Patrick Mirza

Supporting Actor
Mar 12, 1999
I have my theory that the episode IV moniker was added sometime in 78/79 with a theatrical reissue. But does anyone have PROOF?
And what about 3PO's line about the tractor beam that floats in on an 84 VHS reissue...was that ever present in the theater? And if so, which sound mix had it: 70mm, 35 stereo or 35 mono?
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Jonathan Perregaux

Senior HTF Member
Oct 10, 1999
Real Name
Jonathan Perregaux
I can't prove it, but I can certainly bear witness to it. I first saw Star Wars in 1977 when I was 11 years old and sat in the very first row in a big (to me, anyways) theater. There was the crash of music and the words STAR WARS went flying out, and then the opening paragraphs crawled up the screen: "It was a dark time for the rebellion..."
I was hooked. When the star destroyer loomed overhead, I was blown back in my seat, taking it all in with saucer eyes. I remember saying "Holy shit!!" the whole time. My equally vocal friend yelped with glee alongside me when all these white armored guys blasted into the rebel ship and had a shootout, then this black-garbed evil guy came in with fists on hips, breathing all hard and stuff... later on he crunched this guy's neck because the dude wouldn't talk... and then the escape pod with the droids was launched and I actually felt vertigo... and then... and then...
Wow. What a great movie!
Flash forward to 1980. It all started out the same for The Empire Strikes Back (including front row seats), only this time my friend and I noticed the words "EPISODE V" riding above the scrawling prologue. We were like, "Huh?! Isn't this Star Wars II?"
Flash forward again. Star Wars was re-released on the big screen, only this time it sported a new chapter title, EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE. Well, seeing that certainly got my attention because I had already seen the unaltered version six times. I sat there mumbling in shock, "A New Hope? A New Hope?!"
I even left the theater when it was all over muttering, "A New Hope...? What the heck is that?"
So there you have it. No proof whatsoever, but a truthful recollection from days of old.

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