I sat down with a friend recently and started watching A New Hope for the first time in, oh, about five years, I’d say. She had never seen any of the Star Wars films, and I had asked her which she preferred: original trilogy or classic trilogy first? As many Star Wars fans know, this is a crucial question. Watch the OT first and you get the surprise that Vader is Luke’s father. Watch the prequels first and your expectations for the rest of the series will include lots of CGI and Jedi who jump around and are superheroes, for all intents and purposes. I gave her the choice and she went with OT first. (Somewhere, I’m sure a lot of Star Wars fans are nodding in approval, but I really wouldn’t have minded starting with either trilogy.)
The movie starts as everyone remembers it: the text crawl, the Tantive IV, the Star Destroyer in pursuit. Vader is introduced. I’m really excited at this point. I even keep looking over at my friend, knowing she can’t possibly be as excited about Darth Vader as I am, but I want to check anyway. Then the droids go to Tatooine. We meet Luke. We see Jawas and Tusken Raiders and old Ben Kenobi. Aaaaaaaand my friend is asleep.