Star Wars made its UK television Premiere on Sunday October 24th 1982 at 7:15pm and would later become a regular fixture in ITVs 1980s Christmas/New Years holiday lineup being shown again on Sunday December 30th 1984 at 2:45 pm, Thursday January 1st 1987 at 1:15 pm, and Friday January 1st 1988 at 6:45 pm. (Star Wars was not shown during the 1983 and 1985 holiday seasons).
As I was exploring these old TV guides I also came across two broadcasts of "From Star Wars to Jedi: The making of a Saga", the first on Friday December 28th 1984 at 1:30 pm and again on Tuesday 30th December 1986 at 12:30 pm.
The Empire Strikes Back made it's UK television debut on Christmas Day 1988 on ITV at 3:55 pm and the following Year Return of the Jedi premiered at 2 pm on Boxing Day (Tuesday December 26th 1989). Return of the Jedi would be back again the following year at 5:30 pm Saturday December 29th. In 1989 my family finally bought a VCR, and by 1991 I had bought all three films on VHS and no longer had to wait until Christmas to watch them, but I will always remember how much fun it had been to buy that bumper issue TV and Radio Times and carefully plan out all the movies and TV shows I wanted to watch.
But back to 1982. I was 7 years old. My next door neighbor was kind enough to give me a copy of that weeks TV Times, which I kept it for many years until it finally fell to pieces and my mother insisted on throwing it away. 30 Years later I was lucky enough to find another one:
The Force Comes to ITV
Sunday: Star Wars
Illustrations by Martin Asbury
The blockbuster space film gets its firs British TV showing, so here we set the scene as the great adventure starts. We introduce the characters and, on later pages, meet some of the actors who play them. On page 10: your chance to meet Darth Vader and win a galaxy of prizes in our great £10,000 space competition.
Once upon a galaxy...
Farm boy who is persuaded by Princess Leia's cryptic message into a battle against the Empire, led by the Grand Moff Tarkin and Darth Vader.
Before the rise of the Empire, Kenobi was a great warrior but, even in old age, still has a special power - the Force - that can threaten the new regime.
Robot servant/ friend to Princess Leia. A metre tall, it has a face that’s a mass of computer lights, with a radar eye. Talks dnly in electronic sounds.
Personifies the evil of the Empire. The awesome, malevolent henchman of Tarkin, who hides his face permanently behind a grotesque mask.
Strong-willed and intelligent, Princess Leia Organa is a unifying force in the rebellion by the Alliance against the Empire. . . and is thrust into great danger.
Grand Moff Tarkin
Governor of the Empire's Outland Regions, whose insatiable ambition for power drives him to construct the ultimate weapon, the Death Star.
Humanoid robot who speaks thousands of galactic languages and can also communicate electronically with other robots such as R2-D2.
Drones of the galactic army who carry out a reign of terror among the disheartened worlds of the system. They are hidden behind white armoured space suits.
Courageous captain of a pirate starship. With his companion, Chewbacca, he plies as a mercenary outside the restrictive laws of the Empire.
Han Solo's co-pilot, a huge creature called a Wookie, with an ape-like appearance but large blue eyes which help to soften his daunting appearance.
RED LEADER TO ALL ALLIANCE STAR SHIPS, WELL DONE! OUR FIRST GREAT VICTORY! NOW... BACK TO HOME BASE!
MEANWHILE AN ALLIANCE SPY TAKES A BRAVE GAMBLE...
MUST TRANSMIT THESE DIAGRAMS OF THE DEATH STAR TO THE PRINCESS, OR... WHA?
BEFORE HE DIED, LORD VADER, HE MANAGED TO BEAM DETAILED PLANS OF DEATH STAR TO THE STARSHIP OF PRINCESS LEIA... HOWEVER IT DOES FLY A DIPLOMATIC FLAG!
FOOLS! PREPARE MY BATTLE CRUISER! WE MUST FIND THAT SHIP! NEITHER IT NOR PRINCESS LEIA ORGANA CAN ESCAPE!
Unveiled: the most famous faceless men of films
'Star Wars' is the film that made world celebrities out of three almost unknown actors - without ever showing their faces. Peter Mayhew, who plays Chewbacca, Kenny Baker and Anthony Daniels, R2-D2 and C-3P0, tell Jan Etherington how the film transformed their lives.
Before Star Wars and Chewbacca, Peter Mayhew was a hospital orderly, so the film has made a tremendous difference to his life.
'It was my first film as a major character and I received my Equity card to play the role. Right from the beginning, there were enormous changes. I was travelling, meeting people, living a life I would never have done without Star Wars. If you are used to working a nine-to-five job, as I was, the most difficult discipline to learn is that on a film set you have to concentrate 100 per cent for a short period and then you might do nothing for hours. Suddenly, when you've been waiting perhaps all afternoon, you have to switch into character in seconds. That was very hard for me.
Invisible man’s debt to C-3PO
'We had no idea, until it opened, whether or not the film would be successful and when it was, it made more difference to me, I think, than to the more established actors. It gave me greater financial freedom to do things, I like nice things, for example, but I haven't gone madly extravagant and, because I never realised this would happen to me, everything is a bonus. I still live near my parents but I have been able to buy a house and feel more secure about money.
'Playing Chewbacca does lead to appearances, commercials and other off-shoots and, even though I know it won't go on for ever, I will enjoy it while it lasts, knowing that I will alv. ays have this experience to remember.
'Travelling around America and filming in the beautiful forests of Oregon in the third Star Wars film, Revenge of the Jedi, made me realise just now lucky I am.
'Appearing in Star Wars gave me a lot more confidence than I've ever had before. I feel I can sum up people a lot easier now, and I don't mind being the centre of attention in a crowded room. I suppose I've been brought out of my shell.
'For me,' says Peter Mayhew, 'Star Wars has made not only financial but social differences and, to my way of thinking, I've made the best of an opportunity that comes one's way only once in a lifetime.'
Kenny Baker didn't want to become R2-D2 when it was first suggested -'I had never played a robot before and I was very busy with cabaret and television,' he explains. 'I turned it down a couple of times, but they kept coming back until eventually I agreed to fit it in with my other work.
'It took a bit of getting used to, learning all the controls inside " Artoo'', but since then the cables have all been neatly tucked away, the nuts and bolts are cleaned off, there's a seat inside and grab handles. It doesn't look any different from the outside but we've ironed out the wrinkles.
'Today, I'm very glad I did it. I've got very attached to Artoo, and it's like being back home again when I get inside him. They can use the robot without me - anyone can operate him -but I still feel he's a part of me.
'Artoo and I have had a long commitment to each other, in the five years since Star Wars began, and I'm introduced as "Artoo-Detoo” all the time. I don't mind that. It is a rather
nice responsibility to have.
'I've done a couple of public service commercials with Artoo in America - on smoking and immunisation - and I like his influence for good and the way children respond to him.
'My son loves Artoo and the fact that he's me. We've got Artoos all over the place at home - remote-controlled ones, miniature ones, moneyboxes. I'm tripping over Artoo all the time in the house. My wife gets pretty tired of dusting all the robots in our family!
'The success of Star Wars in America has given a big boost to my cabaret career over there,' says Kenny Baker. 'They're much more likely to know who I am now, one of the stars from Star Wars - "the biggest little act in the business!"'
T^he greatest advantage to Anthony Daniels from Star Wars is that the income from his role as C-3PO subsidises other work he does, 'because there is a lot of very enjoyable work in the theatre which is not very well paid/ he explains.
Some people have an arts subsidy, I have a Star Wars subsidy. I also have a rather beautiful house which I would never have been able to afford without Star Wars.
'Along with all that, I still have my privacy. It took me a long while to realise that in comparison with, say, Mark Hamill or Harrison Ford, I'm luckier than I thought.
'I wanted to congratulate Mark on a marvellous performance in a stage role recently but I had to talk to his bodyguard before I could get through to him. Because I have become successful "face-lessly", I have been able to appear in plays like Priestley's Dangerous Corner.
'Apart from the money, one of the reasons I have stuck with "Threepio" through the three films is that I'm quite fond of him. I nearly didn't do the Star Wars sequels, The Empire Strikes Back and Revenge of the Jedi, but then I realised I'd miss him. He's so correct and so vulnerable It sounds schizophrenic, but I've never played anyone I've liked half as much.
'The only disadvantage,' says Anthony Daniels, 'is that people sometimes think I just play robots.'
Are you brave enough to accept our Darth Vader challenge?
T*he spectacular Star Wars is on screen this Sunday, and you can watch those intrepid heroes Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Ben Kenobi try to rescue the beautiful Princess Leia from the sinister Death Star. And by entering this competition you could win the chance to meet Darth Vader, the evil and terrifying henchman of Grand Moff Tarkin, who strikes fear into the hearts of even the bravest of spacemen. TVTimes Magazine, in association with Palitoy, is offering our young readers, aged 16 or under, the chance to join in a free £10,000 Star Wars contest Each of the 10 first prize winners, with a companion of their choice, will travel to London to meet Darth Vader - if they dare - and not only will he present them with a Darth Vader Collector's Case, with its full range of Star Wars action figures, but he will transport them to an exclusive screening of the sensational The Empire Strikes Back, sequel to Sunday's film.
But that's not all. From the amazing range of Palitoy Star Wars (and Empire Strikes Back) toys there is a whok host of other prizes. These include 50 second prizes of replica models of the AT-AT (All Terrain Armoured Transport) and the Snowspeeder, and 100 third prizes of the Millenium Falcon. There are also 1000 runners-up prizes of Darth Vader and Luke Sky walker action figures.
First prize for each of the 10 winners is to meet the sinister Darth Vader, illustrated here, and be presented with the Darth Vader Collector's Case, pictured on the left with its full range of Star Wars action figures. Then there's a visit to see the Star Wars sequel, The Empire Strikes Back. There are 50 second prizes of the Snowspeeder (second left), used by the rebel forces to defend their secret base, PLUS the 17V2in high, 22in long AT-AT (All Terrain Armoured Transport), third left, which is a replica of the giant Imperial monster, with moveable hips, knees and ankles and many other features. The 100 third prize winners get the 21in long Millenium Falcon space craft pictured right.
here's how you could be one of our 10 brave winners who will meet Darth Vader. You've heard about the movie. Now, to give you the best chance in our competition, tune in to Sunday's screening of Star Wars and it could help you answer the six questions below.
For example, if you think the answer to question No 1 is Chewbacca, then write the letter C below No 1 on the coupon. When you have completed all six questions just add your name, address and age in block letters, cut out the coupon and send it to TVTimes Magazine/Star Wars Competition, PO Box 40, Market Har-borough, Leics LE16 9NJ, to arrive not later than Friday 5 November 1982.
To join the official Star Wars Fan Club, write to PO Box 284, Maldon, Essex CM9 6EY.
The first 10 correct entries examined after that date will each be awarded a first prize. Second prizes will be given to the next 50 correct entries and third prizes to the following 100. Runners-up prizes will go to the next 1000 correct entries.
Here are the questions:
1. To whom does Princess Leia entrust vital, secret plans?
2. Luke Skywalker is attacked by the Sandpeople and rescued by
B Ben Kenobi
3. Who owns the Millenium Falcon?
A Han Solo
B Darth Vader
C Luke Skywalker
4. What is the name of the Empire's deadly new weapon?
A X-wing Fighter
B Tie fighter
C Death Star
5. Who meets Darth Vader in a laser duel to the death?
C Ben Kenobi
6. What is The Force?
A The rebel army
B An energy field
C The Imperial stormtroopers
RULES The TVTimes Magazine/Star Wars Competition is open to anyone resident in the UK aged 16 and under except employees and their families of Independent Television Publications Ltd, TVTimes Magazine printers, ITV programme companies and any other companies connected with this competition. Entries must be in ink on entry coupon. No cash substitute for prizes. No correspondence can be entered into and no entry returned. The decision of the Editor of TVTimes Magazine is final and legally binding. Winners will be notified by post as soon as possible after the closing date. A list of first, second and third-prizewinners will be available on receipt of a sae which must be sent separately from your entry.
TVTimes Magazine/Star Wars Competition,
PO Box 40, Market Harborough, Leics LE16 9NJ
‘I’m a female Woody Allen' says Princess Carrie
After Star Wars started raking in millions of dollars across the world in 1977, Carrie Fisher couldn't potter about the streets without someone calling out 'Hi, Princess!' which made her feel like a poodle. 'See, my grandmother had a poodle called Princess,' she explains.
Now, after two Star Wars sequels - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and the yet-to-be-released Revenge of the Jedi - she more or less pricks up her ears and responds like a poodle named Princess.
'As far as most people are concerned I'm Princess Leia for life,' she says with a resigned shrug. The only trouble is that producers seem to have that image of her, too. The candid, wise-cracking Carrie would like it known that she's equally at home playing temptresses whose mouths shoula be rinsed out with soap and water. Her first screen role, for example, was as a teenage seductress in Shampoo (1975) with Warren Beatty, which sent her mother Debbie Reynolds into shock. She also played a murderous mystery woman in The Blues Brothers (1980). Her television appearances include comedy (the zany American series Saturday Night Live) and dramatic roles (Come Back Little Sheba with Laurence Olivier and Joanne Woodward).
But she will always be grateful to Star Wars and its sequels, which are making her a lot of money and introducing her to the sort of fame her parents had to cope with in their younger days.
The first child of Hollywood's showbiz couple, Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, Carrie was the reason for her mother's secret bulge when she was filming the aptly-titled Bundle of Joy (1956) - and she made her first screen appearance in a carry-on part at the end of the film. She wasn't quite two when Dad ran off with Mom's best friend, actress Elizabeth Taylor.
If that trauma and the subsequent years of publicity affected her, Carrie Fisher is completely over it now. At 26, she's funny, and clever, independent, tiny and talented, with acid observations of life in Hollywood ('I was 14 when I met Warren Beatty; it's a prerequisite for being female and living in Beverly Hills'), New York ('I couldn't live anywhere else; I can never wait to get home and get mugged'), her looks ('I have the appeal of a female Woody Allen') and her show-business childhood ('Other kids washed cars to get their allowance; I worked in my Mom's nightclub act').
When she was first auditioned for Star Wars she was told she wasn't pretty enough for the role. That sort of comment might have destroyed other young actresses. Carrie went home and waited for the producers to change their minds.
'I know I'm not pretty,' she says. 'I don't need anyone to tell me that. I was a very plain child. Mom was terrified, me being her first baby, and she kept over-feeding me. I weighed 301b at six months.
'I got the nickname Puppy Flesh when I was working on Shampoo - my bustline was huge for a 17-year-old but luckily I've lost that now. I never cared that I wasn't a glamour girl.
'I wanted to look like Katharine Hepburn but wasn't devastated when I realised I wasn't even going to reach her shoulder.'
Carrie, whose younger brother Todd is a recording engineer, is close to her mother and has now repaired the long rift with her father. He stays with her in New York and says she's the best cook in town.
Steady boyfriend Paul Simon, of singing duo Simon and Garfunkel fame, is said to have mentioned marriage more than once. But for the time being Carrie Fisher says she is still far from the 'Hi honey, I'm home' syndrome, although she says she wants a family before she reaches 30.
This super-colossal science-fiction pantomime smashed box-office records all over the world. And, like most pantomimes, it's a lot of fun. Director George Lucas ensures that it all moves with the speed of light, with the aid of many trusty cinematic devices under-used since the days of Flash Gordon. The film's adrenalin-raising drive makes it well-nigh irresistible.
MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU TONIGHT!
MARK HAMILL * HARRISON FORD * CARRIE FISHER ALEC GUINNESS * PETER CUSHING
In a distant time and galaxy, where a benevolent republic has been replaced by an oppressive empire, Princess Leia Organa — a member of a rebel movement — attempts to escape with the plans of the Empire's deadly weapon, the Death Star. She is captured by Grand Moff Tarkin and his evil henchman Darth Vader, but her two robots, C-3PO and R2-D2, escape to a barren planet where they are sold to farmer Owen Lars and his nephew Luke Skywalker. R2-D2 projects, for Luke, Leia's plea for help to Ben Kenobi, a former Jedi knight of the Republic. In the desert Luke finds Ben, who speaks of a mystical 'Force' which was an article of faith with the Jedi knights. . .
See pages 4-11 and 37
Luke Skywalker...................Mark Hamill
Han Solo.........................Harrison Ford
Princess Leia Organa.............Carrie Fisher
Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi...............Alec Guinness
Grand Moff Tarkin................Peter Cushing
Lord Darth.......................Vader David Prowse
Owen Lars........................Phil Brown
Beru Lars........................Shelagh Fraser
Chief Jawa.......................Jack Purvis
Vader's voice....................James Earl Jones
Gen Dodonna......................Alex McCrindle
Gen Taggi........................Don Henderson
Gen Willard......................Eddie Byrne
Red Leader.......................Drewe Henley
Gold Leader......................Angus Mclnrus
Gold Two.........................Jeremy Sinden
[Source: TV Times Magazine 23-29 Oct 1982, P.1, 4-11, 37, 41]
[Broadcast Date Sources: TV Times Magazine 12/17/83-12/30/83, 12/31/83-01/06/84, 12/22/84-01/04/85, 12/21/85-01/03/86, 12/19/87-01/01/88, 12/17/88-01/01/89, 12/23/89-01/05/90, 12/22/90-01/04/91, see pages below.]