Star Wars - CBS

CBS Netting Star Wars Airing Rights Was A Pretty Big Deal In 1982!

In 1982 the little film franchise we know as Star Wars was…well…kind of a big deal. The Empire Strikes Back had hit theaters two years earlier and Return of the Jedi was but a year away, of course at that point it was being called Revenge of the Jedi.

Revenge of the Jedi

It was CBS who finally secured the the right to show the original Star Wars on their television stations, their contract with Twentieth Centry Fox allowed the network to air the film a total of three times starting in 1984. How was this deal accomplished? By loosening the network’s purse strings and paying a whopping 25 to 26 million dollars!

Judging from this article in a 1982 issue of Starlog, it seems that The Empire Strikes Back was also up for grabs…or was it? The article below states that Lucasfilm Ltd. couldn’t do anything to stop the selling of the airing rights for Star Wars but would not grant access to The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi as they felt the only way to see the films properly was in the theater.

Star Wars - Starlog 1
Star Wars - Starlog 2

Now we’ve shared that epic night when CBS first aired Star Wars on the site before…but what about the promos CBS made to crow about showing the film?

[Via] Old 17 Productions

Also…it seems that at some point Lucasfilm Ltd. changed their mind about selling the rights to the Empire Strikes back…because here is the absolutely amazing intro to NBC’s Sunday Night Movie Event!

[Via] Grand Jedi Master 7860

“Blast it, Biggs, where are you?”

Subscribe to the Retroist Newsletter

* indicates required