Amazon.com Widgets The Star Wars Trilogy | Star Wars Network TV Premiere on CBS 1984

The Star Wars Trilogy

A Digital Star Wars Scrapbook.

18. July 2013 06:16
by jedi1
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Star Wars Network TV Premiere on CBS 1984

18. July 2013 06:16 by jedi1 | 0 Comments

Star Wars had been released for Home Video rental in the US sometime in 1982. Most reports say it was for rental only as early as May 1982, but there is some evidence that it may have been later that summer:

Within the next few weeks, Twentieth Century Fox will announce that it's releasing the all-time box-office smash Star Wars on videocassette. It could be the hottest cassette ever and may spur other VCR sales. The Star Wars cassette will be specially designed and coded so that copying it will be extremely expensive, if not impossible, according to a Fox spokesman. And, if copies are made, tracing the source tape will be possible. Although the marketing details have yet to be worked out between Fox Video and George Lucas' Lucasfilm Ltd. studios, the cassette probably will be released only for rental and not for sale.

- Rolling Stone, June 10th, 1982.

 Regardless of the exact date, it was initially released only for rental officially, although some video libraries worked around this limitation by offering a "lifetime rental" for about $120. By September of 1982, however, this limitation was lifted and a retail version was available for about $80. This sounds like a lot by today's standards but at the time most video tapes were produced for video rental libraries, not individuals and that price would not have been considered overly expensive. Indeed, many fans happily paid to own their own copy of Star Wars.

In August 1982, the Original Star Wars was re-released in Theaters and by September 1982, Star Wars was made available on some of the few pay-per-view channels in existence in some parts of the US. Subscribers to The Movie Channel could watch Star Wars in Stereo in February 1983 and that winter it was also available on HBO.

Star Wars had made it's network television premiere in the UK in October 1982, but it wasn't until February 26th 1984 that CBS finally aired Star Wars for the first time on network television in the US. Unfortunately for CBS (and kids whose parents only had one TV), ABC was airing the first part of its racy mini-series "Lace" at the same time and would easily win the time slots best ratings, so between that and all the other ways to watch Star Wars by that point, CBS did not expect (or receive) the kind of ratings it might have hoped for had it been able to air the movie sooner.

A teaser for Star Wars on CBS:

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However, as a special bonus feature for those who did tune in, the film was book-ended with a special featurette. The first part ran before the movie, and is about 6 minutes long. Hosted by Mark Hamill, it discusses the phenomenon of Star Wars:

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Here are a few screen caps from the 1984 network TV premiere of Star Wars:

Screen Shots from the movie on CBS 1984

After the movie (but before the End credits), Mark Hamill is back to take us behind the scenes of the Star Wars trilogy:

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NBC would premiere The Empire Strikes Back on Sunday, November 22nd 1987 and Return of the Jedi on Sunday, March 19th 1989.

 
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The Star Wars Trilogy | documentary

The Star Wars Trilogy

A Digital Star Wars Scrapbook.

22. October 2014 09:40
by jedi1
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Star Wars Special Edition Press Kit B-Roll

22. October 2014 09:40 by jedi1 | 0 Comments

Made available to the press in early 1997 around the same time that the Star Wars Special Edition trilogy was about to hit theaters, this 6 minute snippet of behind the footage shows us what "State of the art" technology looked like almost twenty years ago... [More]
Star Wars Special Edition Press Kit B-Roll
 

6. October 2014 11:43
by jedi1
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Plastic Galaxy: The Story of Star Wars Toys

6. October 2014 11:43 by jedi1 | 0 Comments

When Star Wars landed in the theaters, it introduced audiences to a galaxy filled with heroes and villains, robots and space ships, and a dizzying variety of alien life. But when the lights came up, they all disappeared... Unless you had all the toys. In which case, the adventure never had to end... [More]
Plastic Galaxy: The Story of Star Wars Toys
 

29. August 2013 10:36
by jedi1
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Sci-Fi Channel Special - The Force Returns 1997

29. August 2013 10:36 by jedi1 | 0 Comments

Yet another TV special from 1997, this time from the Sci-Fi Channel (before it became SyFi), once again exploring the Star Wars phenomenon and the technical wizardry behind the new Special Edition re-releases. [More]
Sci-Fi Channel Special - The Force Returns 1997
 

5. August 2013 06:49
by jedi1
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Star Wars An MTV Movie Special (1997)

5. August 2013 06:49 by jedi1 | 0 Comments

Another TV special from 1997, this time on MTV, exploring the Star Wars phenomenon and the technical wizardry behind the new Special Edition re-releases. [More]
Star Wars An MTV Movie Special (1997)
 

21. July 2013 06:47
by jedi1
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Walter Cronkite's "Universe" Visits ILM

21. July 2013 06:47 by jedi1 | 0 Comments

If you watched the first part of the featurette that aired on CBS with the US network television premiere of Star Wars, you may have seen a short clip of Walter Cronkite meeting with George Lucas and visiting Industrial Light and Magic (ILM). We have tracked down and done our best to restore the whole segment of Cronkite's "Universe". [More]
Walter Cronkite
 

3. June 2013 07:38
by jedi1
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Star Wars: The Magic and the Mystery

3. June 2013 07:38 by jedi1 | 0 Comments

A week after the release of Star Wars: The Special Edition, Fox Television celebrated the re-release of the original trilogy of legendary films by airing Star Wars: The Magic and the Mystery on Thursday February 6th 1997 at 8:00pm. In this one hour special, host Howie Long took viewers on a tour of the "Star Wars" universe and explored the making of the Special Editions. Download and watch the full US and UK versions. [More]
Star Wars: The Magic and the Mystery
 

27. May 2013 22:47
by jedi1
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The Making of Harmy's Despecialized Edition

27. May 2013 22:47 by jedi1 | 0 Comments

A lot of work went into restoring Star Wars for Harmy's Despecialized Edition. Watch this making of Documentary which details some of the sources and techniques that went in to bringing back the Theatrical Version of Star Wars. If you have been happily watching the official releases since 2004, you may be surprised by some of the changes you see corrected here... [More]
 

27. May 2013 06:53
by jedi1
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Re-live The Release of the Star Wars Special Editions - part 1

27. May 2013 06:53 by jedi1 | 0 Comments

Using archival magazine articles, part 1 of TheStarWarsTrilogy.com's "Relive the Release" series takes you back to 1996, [More]
Re-live The Release of the Star Wars Special Editions - part 1
 

12. May 2013 06:52
by jedi1
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The Making of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

12. May 2013 06:52 by jedi1 | 0 Comments

J. W. Rinzler's The Making of Star Wars Return of the Jedi is now available for Pre-Order. Hardback and Kindle versions will be available October 1st. [More]