In preparation for starting writing on Episode IV: A New Hope, we are holding a group viewing of the movie on Friday 19 August, 2011, starting at 8:30pm Australian Eastern Time (10:30am GMT/UTC; 11:30 BST; 06:30am US EDT). We invite readers to make this a global event by watching the movie at the same time! We understand that's inconvenient for many other time zones, but it's the only time we could all make it.
Live Chat Sessions
We will hold live chats during the movie on two different media. Choose your favourite, or both!
- There will be an IRC chat session on Freenode (server chat.freenode.net), channel #darths.
- We will be tweeting from @DarthsAndDroids, and using the hastag #darths. Please join in by using the hashtag #darths.
How It Works
We will provide timing cues to allow readers to start the movie at (roughly) the same time as we start watching it. If you want to set up early, pause the film just as the "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...." appears. For reasons explained below, split-second timing is not critical.
We will be watching the Special Edition DVD of the movie, so we will have some extra scenes over the theatrical release.
There are issues with different versions of the film having different running times. In particular, we will be watching a PAL DVD transfer, which runs 4% faster than an NTSC transfer (see here for the technical details). The running time of Episode IV: A New Hope - Special Edition as listed on IMDB is 125 minutes. The version we have runs in 120 minutes. There's nothing fundamental we can do to fix this problem. Unfortunately, we will start to get out of synch with some viewers.
What we will do is pause our movie roughly every 15 minutes to allow us to resynch with NTSC transfers. In 15 minutes, PAL and NTSC transfers will have gotten 20 seconds out of synch, so we'll pause for 20 seconds and then restart. We won't announce our pauses - we'll just do them.
- If you are watching an NTSC Special Edition, you shouldn't have to do anything. Our pauses will keep our movie in synch with yours.
- If you are watching a PAL Special Edition, you should take a 20-second pause every 15 minutes, the same as we will do. If you care enough. It may not bother you that you end up a few minutes ahead.
- If you are watching an NTSC Theatrical Edition, you should pause the film only when an additional scene occurs that you don't have. (Primarily the Han/Jabba scene and some establishing shots. We're not going to list them all here - if you care enough to have a theatrical release, you probably know what they are anyway.)
- If you are watching a PAL Theatrical Edition, you should do both of the above two pauses.
IRC Channel Logging
We will be logging all comments in the IRC channel during the movie. We may publish the log on the Darths & Droids site for the benefit of readers unable to make the live event. Be aware that whatever you say in the channel may appear published on this site.