I remember when the movie first came out, which in itself is remarkable because I was six years old. But I remember the very first time I saw it, in a cinema in New Jersey with my mom and grandma, a little later that summer.
Strangely, it wasn't that big a hit at first. But my happy little world was soon full of little plastic X-wing Fighters and Darth Vader lunchboxes, courtesy of marketing deals between Lucas, 20th Century Fox and Kenner - and lots of me driving my mom and grandma nuts about Star-Wars-this and Star-Wars-that.
In my estimation, there has never been a film, before or since, that could match it. And for my two bucks, there probably never will be. There's a certain flair and romance in the world of make-believe as I remember it from those days that I think is completely gone today. There was never a better villain combo than Darth Vader and Peter Cushing, never a hotter leading lady than Carrie Fisher's Leia, and never a more identifiable (more easily identified with) hero than the dreamy-eyed farmboy Luke.
I can't say there haven't been better films in the last thirty years, but between the concept, the story and the execution, there's never been another film that captured my imagination and took me someplace else, quite the way Star Wars did when I was six.