When Was the First Star Wars Movie Released on VHS?

The Star Wars franchise is one of the most beloved and iconic film series of all time, with fans spanning multiple generations. While the movies are now widely available on various digital platforms, there was a time when fans could only watch them on VHS tapes. In this article, we’ll explore when the first Star Wars movie was released on VHS.

A Brief History of Star Wars on VHS

Before we dive into the specific release date of the first Star Wars movie on VHS, let’s take a quick look at the history of the franchise’s availability on this format.

The first Star Wars movie, now known as Episode IV: A New Hope, was released in theaters in 1977. At that time, VHS tapes were not yet a popular format for home video viewing. It wasn’t until several years later that VHS tapes became more widely adopted by consumers.

In 1982, George Lucas’s production company Lucasfilm Ltd. signed a deal with CBS/Fox Video to distribute the Star Wars movies on VHS tapes. This marked the beginning of the franchise’s availability on home video.

The First Star Wars Movie Release Date

Now that we have some context for the availability of Star Wars movies on VHS, let’s get to the question at hand: when was the first Star Wars movie released on this format?

The answer is: 1982.

Specifically, Episode IV: A New Hope was released on VHS in September 1982. The tape featured box art depicting Darth Vader and Princess Leia and retailed for $79.95 USD (which would be over $200 today when adjusted for inflation).

This initial release was a big success for CBS/Fox Video and helped pave the way for future releases of other films in the franchise.


In conclusion, while it may seem like a small detail, the release of the first Star Wars movie on VHS in 1982 was a significant moment in the franchise’s history. It marked the beginning of the series’ availability on home video and opened up new ways for fans to enjoy these beloved films.

Whether you’re a die-hard Star Wars fan or just someone interested in film history, knowing when this iconic movie was released on VHS is a fun and interesting factoid to keep in your back pocket.