Watching STAR WARS At Home Before VCRs


In the days before home video cassette players, it was awful hard to see a movie once it had screened at your local theater. But for collectors of 8mm films, it was as easy as setting up a screen and threading a small projector. Eight millimeter films and projectors were the home entertainment precursors of video tape and were not that uncommon among families in middle America. In addition to cameras and film sold to consumers so that they could film family events, holidays and vacations, reels of edited highlights from popular movies were also available for purchase.

YouTube has two different versions of Star Wars that were released for fans in those pre-VCR days. The first is a 10-minute, silent black and white reel that features two sequences from the film. The first is where Obi-Wan Kenobi tells Luke about his father, the second the escape from the Death Star. Subtitles help to describe what is going on in each scene. The second is in color and has sound and is a compaction of nearly the entire film down to eighteen-and-a-half minutes.

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About Rich Drees 6943 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty years experience writing about film and pop culture.
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May 4, 2014 5:34 pm

Watching STAR WARS At Home Before VCRs

Shawn Smith
May 4, 2014 6:08 pm

That is so totally cool! Sharing this if you don’t mind. :)

Shawn Smith
May 4, 2014 6:18 pm

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Scott Van Tassell
May 4, 2014 6:18 pm

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Richard Zeszotarski
May 4, 2014 8:15 pm

Didn’t Kenner also sell a camera that you cranked and could watch a condensed version of the movie through?

Richard Zeszotarski
May 4, 2014 8:17 pm

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Michael Henley
May 4, 2014 10:18 pm

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May 4, 2014 11:50 pm

RT @FilmEksis: Watching STAR WARS At Home Before VCRs