Culture

The Original Star Wars Trilogy Due for Re-Release This Summer

Image courtesy of Sutterstock

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema announced today that the chain would screen the original Star Wars trilogy throughout the month of August. The limited release includes A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi.

Alamo Draft House is the perfect company to present the films. Wikipedia notes:

Alamo Drafthouse is famous for enforcing a strict policy on behavior while in the theater. Children under the age of two are not allowed, nor are unaccompanied minors in movies rated not appropriate for age. The cinema also prohibits talking and texting during the film. Anyone who violates this policy is subject to warning and potential removal from the premise.  Alamo made national headlines in 2011 when the rantings of one angry customer who was ejected for texting were included in its “Don’t Talk or Text” PSA shown before films. “When we adopted our strict no talking policy back in 1997 we knew we were going to alienate some of our patrons,” Tim League posted on the cinema’s website. “That was the plan. If you can’t change your behavior and be quiet (or unilluminated) during a movie, then we don’t want you at our venue.”

Finally. Putting those infuriating texters and talkers in their place! Good for them.

Alamo appears to be approaching the re-release with the right attitude:

“It’s always been a dream to show the original Star Wars trilogy again – somehow, someway,” says Alamo Drafthouse’s VP of Special Events, Henri Mazza. “Seeing the original trilogy on the big screen for the first time is a real life-altering event and just a supreme amount of fun. When the films became available to book for screenings like these, we jumped at the chance to do something big.”

Plus, the films will serve as a big-screen refresher on the adventures of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) between The Force Awakens and the 2017 release of Episode VIII, where he’s expected to play a significant role (or, if you prefer, the chance to see the Death Star in its previous incarnations before the release of Rogue One in December).

The films will be presented in their 1997 re-release format. Tickets for most markets will go on sale at ReturnOfTheTrilogy.com on May 4 – aka, Star Wars Day. (You know, “May the 4th Be With You”?) Each screening will feature curated video content before and between films, contests, props and other “special surprises.”

Sounds like fun. Unfortunately, it’s not coming within 500 miles of where I live in Illinois so I can only dream.

I never could understand why anyone would want to watch a film made for theatrical release on a smartphone, or even a tablet. Even  a 55 inch HDTV can’t do a film like Star Wars justice. I first saw it on the big screen in a Des Moines theater, it was packed to the rafters so the only seats we could get were down front. The moment the star cruiser passed literally over my head, I was hooked. You can’t get that experience on the small screen, which makes any opportunity you might have to see it in a theater not to be missed.

Even though I’ve seen each of the originals at least 30 times, something compels me to keep watching. It must be something similar to how people responded to traveling troubadours who would play the same songs about Robin Hood, and Siegfried, and the other mythical heroes who were popular at the time. Around bonfires or sitting in the village square, people demanded the familiar, the comforting allusions to myths that became part of them.

It’s too bad the themes present in Star Wars and other western myths are given short shrift by the ignoramuses on campus today.