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The Last Chance to Own Videos in Widescreen


Back in 1995, when the trilogy was released once again to video, it was marketed as the Last Chance to Own set. Each of the Star Wars films were available individually and as a three pack. My wife and I picked up a set at the local Sam's Club and I certainly lamented that they weren't the widescreen set. It cost about $27.00

My neighbor said that he'd seen the trilogy in widescreen at the same Sam's Club. He told me that they were in a different box and that they cost about $10 more than the other set. After checking, I told him that he must be mistaken. He insisted on it, but all the times that Tammy and I were out at any Sams, we never saw a widescreen set of the trilogy.

Eventually, I would get the stock number for the set and called on various ocassions, asking if it was available. It never was . . . I was told that they couldn't request it either. One time, we did get news of a returned copy but since it was on the other side of town, we decided against it. The set was most likely opened anyway. Sadly, I figured that I'd missed out.

One day while at Suncoast video, in late 1996, we noticed several copies on the shelf. Unfortunately, the price had gone up to $60.00 and we decided not to spend that much. Finally, after Christmas, we decided that we'd go ahead and get a copy.

Monday 20 January 1997
Martin Luther King Day. Tammy and I drove over to Ingram Park Mall, here in San Antonio, and stopped by Suncoast. They had no more copies. I don't know why I expected them to stay on the shelf. What was worse, was that they said that there was no way we could order them. Also, they told us that all of their stores in Texas had no copies. Disbelieving, or hoping against all hope, we called the one of the stores in Austin and were told the same thing.

That evening, we called all over Texas. We decided that we'd drive as far as Laredo or Houston if a copy could be found. But, there were none to be found.

Hoping for better luck back East, we called Suncoast stores in Columbus and Dayton Ohio. We have friends and family who might be able to run by and ship a copy to us. No luck in either place.

By now, I was really getting desparate. I have a friend in Maine and we checked the map to see how far he lives from Bangor. I didn't even call because I didn't want to ask him to drive over 3 hours each way.

My friend Ken lives near DeKalb, Illinois. I began calling around the Chicago area hoping that if I could find a widescreen copy of the trilogy, that he'd be able to pick them up for me.

Finally, I called the Suncoast in Rockford, Illinois. I spoke with a fellow named Brad and told him where I was calling from and what I was looking for. He told me that they were out of letterboxed copies of the Star Wars Trilogy, but (and this is the great part) he offered to look around for me. He said that he had a copy of the trilogy in widescreen and really enjoyed it. His manager Jennifer was following the conversation and she agreed to call around to other stores in the Chicago area the next day. I was amazed. No other store had offered to do this for me.

I asked Brad what would happen in the event that my friend might not be able to swing by and pick up the tapes. I asked if they could ship them to me and I offered to pay for the shipping. Brad consulted with his manager and said that they would take care fo the shipping costs. Once more, I was amazed. What a commitment to customer service! They took down my name and phone number and said they'ed call.

Tuesday 21 January 1997
I waited. No call.

Wednesday 22 January 1997
I decided to call. I spoke with Jennifer and she knew who I was after I mentioned Texas. She said that she was still looking but hadn't found anything yet.

Thursday 23 January 1997
I was so sleepy after work that I slept from 8pm until 6am. Just thought I'd put that in!

Friday 24 January 1997
Tammy called me at work at about 3:30 in the afternoon and told me that Suncoast in Illinois called, they had a copy of the trilogy, she'd already charged it and it might not be shipped until Monday. She said that it was definitely the widescreen set and explained that one of the stores that Jennifer had called had received a copy back as a return. The person that returned it had received two copies for Christmas. If it was accepted as a return, it must have still been sealed.

Saturday 25 January 1997
No tapes - of course, but I can dream, right?

Sunday 26 January 1997
No mail on Sunday.

Monday 27 January 1997
This is probably the earliest the tapes were mailed.

Tuesday 27 January 1997
Nope.

Wednesday 29 January 1997
Nope.

Thursday 30 January 1997
I was really hoping, but no. Watched my pan and scan (ugh!) copy of the last chance to own version of Star Wars to get ready for tomorrow. Wanted to have it fresh in my mind to help notice changes.

Friday 31 January 1997
Went to go see Star Wars. Read about my impressions here.

Saturday 1 February 1997
Late in the evening Tammy and I go out looking for a PBS documentary on WWI for a class she's taking. We find two video stores that have From Star Wars to Jedi: the Making of the Saga and Classic Creatures: Return of the Jedi. We have the first on VHS from a couple of years back. I make a note to rent CC:ROTJ sometime. We also find a video store that has The Making of Star Wars. I can't pass that one up. For laughs, we also rented Clerks. Unfortunately, the tape was broken.

Sunday 2 February 1997
No mail on Sunday.

Monday 3 February 1997
I decided to call Suncoast. I spoke to Brad and he told be that the tapes were mailed on last Monday. It's been a week.

Tuesday 4 February 1997
Tammy called and Suncoast and spoke to Jennifer. She said she would call us back in a few days and see if we had received the set.

Wednesday 5 February 1997
The set arrived! Yes! I watched about the first 30 minutes of Star Wars over lunch.


So, in gratitude, I offer the following:

Thank you.

Thank you for taking the time to go the extra mile. Thanks for going above and beyond what others would do. Lastly, thanks for finding me what must be one of the last one hundred widescreen copies of the Star Wars Last Chance to Own trilogy in the entire country.

Suncoast Logo

If you find yourself in Rockford, Illinois, please patronize Suncoast Montion Picture Company located in The Mall at Cherry Vale. Ask for Brad or Jennifer.

The address is:
Suncoast Pictures #3012
Unit G-124
The Mall at Cherry Vale
Rockford, IL 61112
(815) 332-4733

The Moral of this Story:

When you find something that you want and you can afford it. Get it.

Also, all films should be in widescreen

Letterbox View

Look in the shaded areas to see what you are missing....
How many people remember the other Rebel troops being detained when their Commander was interogated?

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Copyright © 1997, Michael A. & Tammy G. Hendershot