Listen to an audience react to Star Wars for the first time in 1977


I still get goosebumps. lol…am I crazy?


Did she get a ticket?

No. I goosebumped too.

I was about 15 when Star Wars came out. I’d already read gobs of Niven, Poul Anderson, Heinlein . . . even Stapledon’s Star Maker for cripes sake. So “Star Wars” should have been greasy kid stuff beneath my notice.

But oh damn, it was not only slick and cool and funny like no other SF movie before it, “Star Wars” showed a sprawling interstellar society (well bits of it and hints of more) and ships churning through hyperspace. That was a real validation.

Plus, cool shit like light sabres. I mean, damn. Even my father, who hated SF&F with a passion, thought that Obi Wan and Vader KISH-KISH-KISSHHHHHHing at each other was the fucking bees knees.


Yeah, I missed the first showing at the now-gone Cine Capri in Phoenix which was full, I heard, and by the time I got there for the second showing, the line was already long and eventually down the street, by the time we entered the theater. When we exited the line was even longer, going around a corner and out of sight. And all this without a lot of advertising about the film.


After all these years you probably thought you got away with it, YouTube user William Forsche. You just won a free trip to Guantanamo courtesy of the MPAA.


Wow, that brings back memories. I was one of those kids that saw it over and over and over, and I remember knowing all the gasp/laugh/cheer points.

Certain things you might not see as all that funny watching at home now would cause those early audiences to predictably EXPLODE with laughter. Like R2’s sad wail and dead-pan long tip to the ground after all the noise and electricity of the Jawa’s shooting him. Or that scene in the death star where the little rolling bot comes zipping along, only to emit a loud squeak and zig zag away when it sees Chewie. Seeing Star Wars in the first 6 months was invariably loud, and you were going to miss some dialog for sure in all the crowd noise. (But it was the good kind of noise–not like the gabby, cell phone talking audiences of today who think they’re sitting on their own god damn couch instead of a public theater. Grumble grumble. Get off my lawn, grumble, grumble.)


In 1977 I was 17 years old. We waited in line to get tix for a show later in the day. Messed around Boston for a while and then went to the movie. I was 100% underwhelmed. Meh. The next two I liked even less.

I guess I’m weird.

No, no, you’re fine. To each their own. Not weird at all… to, you know…


… like…

…Star Wars.

[Backs away slowly, then runs screaming from the deviant]


It’s ok. I’m the guy that likes all the poop jokes in CAH. :frowning:

Odd, I don’t remember many poop jokes in Calvin And Hobbes.


For me it wasn’t so much the theater as the car ride home. I’m surprised my mother didn’t toss us out into the street for saying “Watch your mouth, kid, or you’re gonna find yourself floating home” at least a dozen times.


Is cheering and applauding at a movie really a thing over there? Here in the UK that shit wouldn’t fly

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I’m afraid it often is, though it depends on what, when and where. (Big country after all). THAT stuff doesn’t bother me as long as it’s an honest reaction to the movie. In fact, it can enhance the whole experience, like any live audience does.

But… almost universally I’ve found that talking, texting, bringing crying infants, and eating from very loud bags of candy and popcorn is the norm in U.S. theaters. Gotten so I won’t see a “quiet” movie because I know all that shit will drive me crazy. I only go see the loud explody ones that will drown out the idiots, and save the others for home.


no, i do, too. that pretty much captures what it felt like for me, too, back in '77.

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My favorite story about a Star Wars audience reaction relates to the character of Nien Nunb, Lando’s pancake-faced alien copilot in Return of the Jedi. He was voiced by a Kenyan exchange student, and instead of using a made-up alien dialog Lucas just had him say his lines in his native language Haya, a language spoken by about 0.01% of the world’s population.

By all accounts when the film finally screened in the regions of Africa where Haya is spoken the audiences totally went bonkers during those scenes. Presumably it was the first time that many of them had ever heard their own language used in film at all, let alone one of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters of all time.


but what does he SAY??

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I like to think it was “those white guys can’t shoot for shit!”


The only 2 times I’ve ever experienced anything similar to that were seeing the Les Misérables film for a couple of years ago where a few people sheeplishly applauded at the end, and when I went to see the live satellite broadcast of Billy Elliot the Musical.

I mean yeah the funny bits will get a giggle, or jump scares will get a reaction, but something like the death star boom? nothing.

Maybe UK football games should be held in movie theaters then.