I was only 1 year old in 1977 when Star Wars was released in the UK, so I was not fortunate enough to be completely blown away by the opening scene on the big screen. I can only imagine how amazed people must have been. My Dad assures me that he took me to a double bill of Empire and Jedi, but it's possible I didn't see A New Hope on the big screen until the Special Edition in 1997.
So the opening scene of A New Hope is also in my top 3 favourite cinematic moments. The iconic text crawl, followed by the camera panning down to Tatooine is cool in itself; then a big spaceship (the Tantive VI Corellian Corvette to get all geeky!) flies overhead, Wow! As if that wasn't enough, a truly monstrous spaceship (the Star Destroyer Immortal) fills the shot. All the while John Williams' amazing score firstly fills you with wonder, and then suddenly becomes ominous as the size of the Star Destroyer becomes intimidating.
Various criticisms can be levelled at George Lucas in terms of losing sight of great characters, or his incessant tweaking and meddling in a much loved series of films. However, in 1976 he certainly knew how to shoot an action sequence and how to start a film!