Moscow - As surely as the Empire's star cruiser drew princess Leia's helpless ship into its bays high above a strange and desolate planet, the movie "Star Wars" last night drew hundreds of Americans, from curiosity, to an inaugural showing in the ornate ballroom of the U.S. ambassador's here .

More than 300 Americans, some errant but clever British, and some lucky Russians as well, packed the placed well ahead of the 7 P.M. starting time to get their own look at the film that had started the box office figures of everyone except the giant shark.

Hard-bitten diplomats, used to tense negotiation with their Soviet counterparts, toughened American businessmen sent here by their great and powerful companies to wrest favourable business from the willy Russia, cynical world-girdling correspondents presently resident here for of a shooting war somewhere else-all of them set meek, absorbed, and knock out by the blockbuster nonsense fantasy that unfolded before them.

I've never seen anything like this crowd tonight," said the usually well-informed source who has followed local American taste in movies here for years. %Jeez, even the kids are sitting still.

That was ten minutes before the ballrooms light darkened. Once that happened, you could here a pin drop, and then a chorus of tiny voices down front, shere older sibling were laborious reading the long prologue to their illiterate brothers and sister.

When Darth Vader made his first apperance, all sweeping robes and stertorous breathing, not a hiss was to be heard from the sophisticates, or even the Wise-acre teenagers. When the camera a showed luke getting bopped by a Sandman, an audible groan ran through the ballroom, as though some senior diplomat had pratfallen into theaspic. And when the giant

The movies's premier here has had the American community abuzz for more than a week, since its imminent arrival was first signaled in the embassy newspaper the "TWIM"(This Week in Moscow, circ early Friday afternoon). Children of every size and description, from kindergarden tots wearing their "I'm not a tourist I live here"sweatshirt, to goatteed attaches, frazzled themselves silly all last week worrying whether the movies would arrives as advertised.

In fact , according to the well-informed source the film had lost for three weeks somewhere in some's diplomatics pouch. But it turned out to be only the side effects of the east Coast dock strike, not an Empire trick to keep us all from little excitement and warm memories on the chilly nights to come.

"Stars Wars" will be shown tonight by invitation only to a heavily Russian audience. "It's the kind of thing we can show them more easily," said a source. "There isn't too much English, like that nutty R2D2, whateverhe speaks it's isn't English, and so it's easier for the Soviet who don't have our language as well as they would like."

Even as he was disclosing this, some diminutive Americans were laying elaborate plans to study their Russians overnight and pass themselves of as progeny of mother Russian Tuesday light at the ballroom door.

'How do you say,'May the Force be with you in his Russian?" one kid asked his older brother.