1978 - the first year Kenner released toys. Chewbacca was my favorite character, and I had to have him! R2D2 was my first figure though. Then I got the stormtrooper and Chewie.
Luke I got loose, from a friend, for a birthday (not even wrapped, just in a brown paper bag with a ribbon - but I didn't care).
I got Han, Leia, and the Death Squad Commander all together, but I think I got the rest of them before then. I can't recall.
I liked the Die-Cast vehicles then too - the X-wing and Vader's TIE were my first. I couldn't wait until I got the regular TIE Fighter, because even then I knew Darth Vader couldn't lose. Once I had that white die-cast fighter, adventure started to explode. But I wanted the (die cast) Millennium Falcon more than anything!
I think I had the landspeeder that year too (for the regular figures). It was more than fun to make it haul-butt over the tile floor!