40 Years of Star Wars Nostalgia: A Psychologist Remembers 1977


I recently watched a Star Wars marathon for probably the 100th time and I’ve confirmed that it truly never gets old. One of the reasons I watch the original film so many times is almost exclusively about nostalgia. The film reminds me a really special time in my life and the first PG film of my life. I was 8 years old.

Seeing the original trilogy films is essentially my childhood. And so, I’ve decided to take a trip down memory lane: I present to you a psychologist’s 40 most nostalgic moments from 1977-ish.


40. Not the Christmas Special!

39. Mark Hamill on the Muppet Show. 

38. Waiting for the preorder of the Kenner action figures based on paper cutouts.

37. Famous Monsters of Filmland highlighting behind the scenes of Star Wars (from the pre-internet era).

36. My first R2-D2 stuffed animal.

35. Luke vs. Vader racetrack. I would kill to still have this.

34. The Sears Christmas Wishbook and circling all the Star Wars toys from the movie.

33. The release of the Kenner “sound effect” Millenium Falcon.

32. Going to Episode IV with someone who never saw it.

31. The news that there would be a sequel to A New Hope.

30. Braided buns and Leia as a killer female character.

29. X-Wing and Tie Fighter and the action figures fit!

28. May the Force Be With You.

27. The first X-wing lunch box.

26. Han saving Luke and the destruction of the Death Star.

25. The original comic books with a green Darth Vader.

24. The Burger King “actual glass,” glasses (don’t put in dishwasher).

23. Trading cards with behind the scenes images, gum, and if you collect them all, a puzzle.

22. Jawas and the capture of R2-D2.

21. The first time we see the Death Star Fire, “You may fire when ready.”

20. Being a child of the 70’s, World War II movies made Star Wars feel like a real war movie.

19. The Cantina Music and Han shot first!

18. My first Tusken Raider puzzle. And I never opened it…

17. Plastic models by MPG and the sweet smell of plastic glue.

16. Light sabers slid out of the toy Vader and Kenobi arms.

15. Watching Star Wars again the following summer (1978) because…no VHS.

14. The Opening Crawl.

13. The original Star Wars trailer that blew my mind.

12. Presented without comment.

11. Who colored in this?

10. The death of Ben Kenobi.

9. Turning every lego set into a Star Wars vehicle.

8. My original Star Wars album I got opening night.

7. Miniature die cast metal vehicles which I still have, and the Tie which would fly apart.

6. Telling everyone, “May the Force be with you…”

5. The very first scene with a star destroyer chasing down Leia’s ship.

4. The Attack on the Death Star.

3. John Williams theme music, the most famous of all.

2. The phrase, “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

1. Darth Vader!



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