We’re going to be screening the original Star Wars print from 1977. This copy was scanned from an original 1977 release print, so it’s not going to be the cleanly artificial-looking versions you see on the current releases. There’s film grain. There’s camera weave. There’s dirt hits and reel change marks. Technically this version is far from perfect.
This also doesn’t reflect the constant tampering that Lucas has inflicted on the current releases. There’s no Jabba the Hutt. Han quite clearly shoots first. And most significantly, this movie is not “A New Hope”.
When Lucas released this movie, no one in Hollywood understood it. Everyone expected this movie to fall flat on its face. Even Lucas, terrified at the prospect of a multi-million dollar flop, escaped with his buddy Steven Spielberg to Hawaii opening weekend. He was so sure the movie would fail, they sat around all weekend and talked about starting another film, something they decided to call “Raiders of the Lost Ark”.
But Star Wars was a success, and changed American filmmaking to this day. There would be no ‘summer blockbuster’ without Star Wars. No merchandising. No Marvel.
Star Wars became a phenomenon in the United States, and eventually most of the world (notably, it doesn’t do well in China). It completely transformed what we think of as a Hollywood mainstream film, and brought Science Fiction into mass public acceptance. It was not thought of highly at the time, and most mainstream filmmakers rejected it. The Oscar for 1978 went to Annie Hall, even though Star Wars won several technical awards.
So come hang with us on 22 May and watch a ground breaking film.