“Star Wars” stormed into theaters when I was just ten years old. The movie completely mesmerized me and had quite the impact on my young imagination, as was the same for most children in the summer of 1977.
I can still recall the excitement of finding a true treasure on a trip to the Sears store in the Twin City mall in Palm Beach, Florida–an LP titled “The Story of Star Wars.” I begged my parents to purchase this delightful disc and was not disappointed when they did. I still have my original copy, complete with the sixteen pages of full color images inserted into the center of the LP’s jacket.
“The Story of Star Wars” was a dream come true for my little ears. Over and over the sounds of Darth Vader, Luke, Han and so much more were brought back to life with each turn of the record player. I think it was at this time that I also discovered stereo and speaker placement advantages. I listened to this abridged adaptation of “Star Wars” so many times that I could speak along with Roscoe Lee Browne’s Obi Wan Kenobi-like voice.
“The Story of Star Wars” was an amazing thing for its time. First, it used audio tracks directly from the feature film, including actor’s dialogue, score and sound effects. Second, it was really the only way to re-live the excitement of the film as there were no computers for digital on demand downloads, Blu-Ray, DVD or even Laser Discs. There wasn’t even VHS or Beta Max to provide video replay of the movie.
This 50-minute adaptation of “Star Wars” was split into two segments. Side A of the LP contained part one with 25:19 minutes of audio and part two played for another 25:02 on side B. Originally released on 20th Century Fox Records, additional LP releases were printed by Buena Vista Records, Cassette tape (20th Century Records), and 4 track Stereo 7” reel to reel media (also 20th Century Records)–all available in the same year of the movie’s first release.
“The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi” also received their own LP and cassette releases around the same time that the respective films were first shown.
“The Story of Star Wars” can still be purchased (both new/mint condition and used copies) in LP version. They can be found on various websites, including Amazon.
A simpler style of entertainment from a more civilized age, this archaic vinyl recording could easily be said to represent the DVD or Blu-Ray of its time. It certainly was a wonderful way to enjoy the excitement of George Lucas’ space saga in the late 70s.
Did you own a copy of “The Story of Star Wars”? Please tell us about your stereo space saga in the comments below.