I have a passion for collecting vintage Star Wars merchandise from the late 70's. Action figures, comics, trading cards etc - anything related to the first Star Wars movie. But why only until 1980? It's not that I don't love The Empire Strikes Back and beyond (I really do), but there is something about that first wave of Star Wars mania that really grips me, back when it was all fresh and exciting...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Read Along Book and Record



I don't have a record player so I've no idea how this plays but the vinyl looks in pretty good shape. There were several Star Wars read along records (eventually re-released on cassette tapes of course) covering the movies and a couple of new stories in the kiddified wake of Return of the Jedi. This one is from 1979. I was planning to scan a few pages to give a taste of what the book is like but a quick Youtube search shows that some kind soul has gone that extra mile so we can all enjoy this product pretty much as it was intended complete with scratchy pops and crackles!




Those are some pretty nifty pictures for the young Star Wars fan in the days before home video entertainment and my copy of the book is pretty well-thumbed. With only a few pages to tell the entire story of the movie, there are naturally a couple of cheeky shortcuts, most notably the quick shift from Luke discovering Leia's message to going off to visit Ben Kenobi. There is no mention of R2 running away or of any Sandpeople.

None of the original actors reprised their roles for this despite authentic sounds and music from the movie. It's really odd hearing other people voice Luke, Han and the gang (most especially strange is Darth Vader). But Corey Burton, who voices Luke, does a pretty good job at capturing Hamill in my opinion. Little trivia fact; Burton is still working closely with the Star Wars franchise by voicing Count Dooku among others in the Clone Wars.

7 comments:

C.K. Dexter Haven said...

I still have this, as well as the Empire Strikes back and Raiders of the Lost Ark entries in this series. Once again, in the days before affordable VCRs, these book and record sets were the only way to get a Star Wars "fix."

My friends and I would chuckle at the obvious differences between the storybook voices and the movies, but we still listened to these things incessantly.

Will Errickson said...

Ha, here Vader sounds a little like David Prowse himself...

Padmé Arya Éowyn Istalrí Skywalker said...

I love Star Wars, too. I actually have a few of the original comics from the '80s.
You should check out my blog...

Geoff said...

Okay, someone must have gone back in time and altered this product, because I was SURE this was recorded with the actual cast members. At least that's how the five year old me remembered it. They sound obviously different now. Thanks Internet for ruining it

wile-e2005 said...

Believe it or not, Disney actually produced these old read-along book-and-audio sets of "Star Wars." And NOW look who owns the franchise! Ironic, isn't it?

Steve 65 Mercury said...

Ah, thanks so much for this! I was trying to record the tape I have, but it's all chewed up..

Anonymous said...

I have one of these starwars hardcover kids read along books at home. It is missing the record for it. The unusual thing about the book I have is that the pages were binded into the book upside down and backwards. I'm just curious if it is worth anything?