Chatsworth Luna Cinema: Star Wars

It’s a privilege to live so close to one of the most beautiful country houses in the UK. It’s even more of a privilege to watch classic cinema in the grounds during a majestic August evening! Luna Cinemas have screened several films at Chatsworth over the past several weeks, including Pride and Prejudice, and The Greatest Showman. Sunday the 22nd featured the first instalment of the Star Wars franchise, the 2011 Blu-ray remastered edition, not the 1977 original release, but more on that later. Needless to say, I adamantly refuse to refer to this film as A New Hope.

Viewers took in foldout chairs, blankets, and of course plenty of food and drink to enjoy during the course of the film. As with any Star Wars screening there were plenty of enthusiastic fans dressed in elaborate costumes. Wandering across the lawn you could spot a couple of Imperial Death Troopers, Rey, Obi-Wan, Darth Vader, Boba Fett, and even a little lad expertly wielding the Darksaber! Combine the gorgeous Derbyshire scenery with a passionate fandom and what you have is a recipe for a cracking evening.

That atmosphere certainly helps, for me at least, when watching a Star Wars film. I watched the originals in order on VHS as a kid, and was swept up in the magic, although age and numerous terrible additions to the franchise have softened my passion significantly. Although we were watching George Lucas’ newer version (which irritates me beyond words), the lively atmosphere and the beautiful surroundings made for a terrific evening. The magic I’d felt watching Star Wars for the first time was restored.

It would be wonderful if we could have the original theatrical versions (or as they’re now known, the unaltered trilogy) released in a remastered format. I’m sure like many, I would prefer not having giant, badly-rendered CGI monstrosities blocking the view during the Mos Eisley sequences, or that ghastly sound effect Obi-Wan makes when he startles the Tusken Raiders. Still, the luxury of watching a film at Chatsworth more than makes up for it!

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