Star Wars on Betamax

Flickr user "JayceeLoop" has a copy of the original Star Wars on Betamax, part of the 20th Century Fox Video Rental Library. According to Wikipedia, C-3PO's line "The tractor beam is coupled to the main reactor in seven locations. A power loss at one of the terminals will allow the ship to leave" was not in the original Dolby Stereo mix and therefor not on the first batch of home versions. Betamax version of the original trilogy can still be picked up for $20 or so on eBay.
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15 Responses to Star Wars on Betamax

  1. HunterZ says:

    That C3PO scene always sounded out of place every time I’ve heard it, as if it was mixed in later. Now I know it was :P

  2. oohShiny says:

    Hahaha! I still have a betamax player LOL ^___^ pretty sure it still works too! We use it for watching our old home movies, which we used to record from the camcorder to beta tapes. good times! :D

    *snake voice* “oh no! beta.”

  3. Tyler says:

    I actually have a Super 8 version of Star Wars, condensed down to about 10 minutes, with subtitles and everything. It was always a hit during family movie night. Kind of like a highlights reel of the movie.

  4. Smoobly says:

    I have one of these. Good to know it’s worth $6.66.

    Now if I still had some way to play it…

  5. Agies says:

    @3 acording to legend, that’s still the best version of the Trilogy. I can tell you that the “original” versions that come with the Special Edition DVDs are definitely missing scenes.

  6. Caroline says:

    Technogeek @ 5, oooh, CEDs. My fiancé’s parents have (present tense) not one but two CED players, and Star Wars and Indiana Jones on CED. I had never heard of CEDs anywhere before meeting him (he’s only a year older than me), and have never seen them referenced anywhere else until just now.

    For a while I wondered if maybe he was from an alternate universe. Even my parents had never heard of CEDs. Wikipedia does have a CED article, though. Turns out that only about 500,000 players were ever sold. I wonder how many still exist. Their two players still work, as far as I know.

    I’m probably one of the youngest people to still remember when you had to be careful to pick the right format, Betamax or VHS, in the video rental store. Strange to think about.

  7. obi1kenobi1 says:

    That’s nothing. I somehow came into possession of a Star Wars Trilogy “The Definitive Collection” LaserDisc set with a book and everything, supposedly the highest quality of the original version available to consumers. It’s not really for watching though, because the discs are of the feature laden “standard play” variety with only about 20 minutes per side, making the whole set like 9 LaserDiscs.


  8. technogeek says:

    A friend of mine bought one of the first-generation capacitive (not laser; competing technology) video disk players specifically because Star Wars was available in that format. I’m honestly not sure whether he ever bought any other disks for it.

  9. DEEPEYES says:

    A thousand thanks, Caroline! In the early 80’s, my folks would rent a CED player and discs from the local supermarket in our tiny, rural town. After we moved from there, I never saw or heard another reference to that format – in fact, I had no idea what they were called. I was beginning to think I’d imagined it!

    The one disc I vividly remember renting was “Popeye” with Robin Williams. Idiosyncratic, delightful, completely off the wall, highly recommended…

  10. north says:

    I’m kinda surprised I can’t find the ripped laserdisc versions on the torrent sites (but I didn’t look real hard).
    *scratches head*

  11. dculberson says:

    obi1kenobi1, I commented on your flickr page, too, but you should find someone that has a good Laserdisc player and video capture card and transfer it to digital.. that would be awesome!

    The “standard play” format gives you great resolution, and having a good quality but convenient copy of the actual original cut would be totally sweet.

    I used to have tons of Laserdiscs, but after DVD finally caught up and my LD players kept dying one by one I gave them to a friend. He’s still got a pile of them and a bunch of players. most people with LDs nowadays end up with a bunch of players because they’re not all that reliable. I guess spinning a 12″ disc at high speeds is not conducive to long term reliability.

  12. WaveyDave says:

    Ah betamax. I remember my dad (the patron saint of losers in format wars) bringing home a betamax video recorder on Christmas Eve 1979 or 1980 (I don’t remember which). I remember my mum’s reaction too – “You paid how much?”.

  13. microcars says:

    When Star Wars first came out, I saw it about 13 times over a period of 4 weeks and got to know it quite well.
    I noticed that over that time the soundtrack was tweaked several times, so Lucas was dicking around with it right after it was released and continues to do so to this day as far as I can tell.

    One day a friend showed up with a pirated Tele-Cine Anamorphic Betamax (full size Betamax) copy.
    Apparently the original footage was widescreen on a 4:3 ratio film and everyone was “squeezed” from the sides to fit”
    We tweaked the controls on the back of the TV to “squish” the image down and …voila! a Widescreen copy! I remember trying to flash my geek cred at the time by trying to pinpoint roughly when the copy was made by noticing which “version” of the soundtrack was on there.

    unfortunately I lost that power long ago…

  14. Jack says:

    I think some folks are missing the point. The original rental version of the Star Wars has these differences (at least).

    1) The title crawl has no “Episode IV: A New Hope” crap. Just “Star Wars” and the opening crawl.
    2) Aunt Beru’s voice is the original actresses voice; not a dub of another actress.
    3) C3P0’s dialogue in the Death Start/tractor beam scene is not there as pointed out above.
    4) When Han and Chewbacca are being chased in the Death Star, the chasing Stormtroopers actually say “Close the blast doors…” before they get foiled and say “Open the blast doors! Open the blast doors!”
    5) The voice of the Rebel hangar announcements is different.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Han shot first.

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