A VHS Trilogy

P1100010Still cleaning out the garage: uncovered these old VHS tapes of the Original Trilogy Star Wars when they first came out in Widescreen: which was a pretty big deal back then. The studios had suddenly cottoned on to the fact that they could resell us films all over again if they released them in widescreen. It was a trick they’d later develop to a fine art across all sorts of home video formats then-undreamed of.  Mind, this was the ‘nasty’ Widescreen, non-anamorphic and limited to, what, likely less than 450 horizontal lines on VHS? Imagine how ugly that would look now on any panel over 32″ (the PAL format had 625 horizontal lines, but considering the huge black bars top and bottom of the screen on those old non-anamorphic tapes, that film-image isn’t going to benefit from many lines: kinda puts the DVD/Blu ray comparisons to bed for awhile).

Of course, its not lost on me that even though they probably look horrible, they date back to the pre-Special Edition era, so none of them have any tinkering by Old George. Yep, these old plastic boxes have the Original Original Trilogy, the ones I grew up with and Old George locked away in a box buried somewhere in Marin County.

Oh well. I can never play them (unless I become really retro and buy a VHS machine) but I guess I’ll keep them for old times sake. For now, anyway. Excuse me, I have to go tidy up that garage…


One thought on “A VHS Trilogy

  1. Matthew McKinnon

    Yeah, I had these. I got them (plus Alien and Die Hard) for Christmas 1991 from various family.

    Though I had to take the Star Wars ones back, as they’d bought them from Woolworths so they all had the wrong films in. SW had a 4:3 edition of SW, ROTJ a 4:3 ROTJ, and ESB just had another SW inside. Good old Woolworths.

    It’s worth remembering it was the laserdisc collectors ‘boom’ that gave us widescreen VHS: it was when films were being transferred in widescreen for LD connoisseurs that a few extra bucks were to be made putting that transfer out on tape as well. I could never afford LD, but was very happy with my widescreen tapes.

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