Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
Year:
1977
Country:
USA
Genre:
Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
IMDB rating:
8.7
Director:
George Lucas
Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker
Harrison Ford as Han Solo
Carrie Fisher as Princess Lea
Peter Cushing as Governor Tarkin
Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi
Kenny Baker as R2-D2
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca
David Prowse as Darth Vader
James Earl Jones as Darth Vader
Phil Brown as Uncle Owen
Shelagh Fraser as Aunt Beru
Jack Purvis as Chief Jawa
Alex McCrindle as General Dodonna
Eddie Byrne as General Willard
Drewe Henley as Red Leader (as Drewe Hemley)
Storyline: The Imperial Forces, under orders from cruel Darth Vader, hold Princess Leia hostage in their efforts to quell the rebellion against the Galactic Empire. Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, captain of the Millennium Falcon, work together with the companionable droid duo R2-D2 and C-3PO to rescue the beautiful princess, help the Rebel Alliance and restore freedom and justice to the Galaxy.
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Reviews
One of the most successful movies of all time (and I'm not talking about the Box Office take)
What made this the hugely successful triumph it was? Was it casting, music, imagination, ingenuity, or luck?

I remember opening day at the theaters. I was old enough to remember every scene, every character, every nuance of this film; having committed it to memory forever, as if I would never again be able to see this beloved, instantly loved masterpiece.

I also remember that the HIT factor of this movie was so unexpected that you had to wait literal MONTHS to get the action figures promised on the cereal boxes. The pieces were still in the manufacturing process and we had to settle for coupons promising our toys in a few months. I wound up seeing this in the theaters a grand total of 36 times; much to my mother's dismay. She loved the movie as I did, but felt I was obsessed. Today, thirty years later, sitting here writing this review, I realize how right she was. I'm still obsessed with this movie, and with the subsequent movies which followed. I wait in great anticipation for Episode 3. I'm a fan, and I don't care what other people say about Episodes 1 & 2. I don't even mind the "prequel" factor, as the situation at the time, dictated to Lucas which movies he would do first.

See, I remember the studios saying to him that he had to choose from the three central climactic books, and trash the rest, or just trash the whole idea. He didn't exactly "sell out," he did what he had to do to get his movie...his vision...out there for us to see and experience. I admired his decision then, and I admire it now. Episodes 1-3 are being filmed now, because Lucas had the clout, the money, and the patience to give us his vision...his complete vision and not just the three center books of a 9-book series. I realize that now, there are dozens of books, but at the time, there were nine. And while most of us were happy with Episodes 4-6 and would not have missed 1-3 and 7-9, I personally am so very glad he has taken it upon himself to give us his full vision. I have enjoyed each and every installment with the same sense of awe and joy as I did this one.

The casting was the first triumph for this cinematic milestone. Ford is a charismatic and magnetic personality and portrayed Han with a professionalism that you'd expect from more seasoned actors. Sir Alec Guiness is an absolute joy as Obi Wan. His casting was precise and excellent in that part. Carrie Fisher portrayed Leia in a way that, up until then, had never been experienced. Most "princess" types before her were whining, whimpering, little snots who were incapable of anything beyond tripping and twisting their ankle in times of peril, while Fisher portrayed her character as a bold, brazen, yet sophisticated and educated woman who was aware of her surroundings and capable of defending herself and her realm with the utmost authority.

And Mark Hamil. He was perfectly cast as the whining little boy who wanted more, but was afraid to reach for it. He grows up quite well on film in these three installments, and endears himself to the audience so much the more for it. But a cast member who is almost always left out of these reviews is Peter Mayhew. Chewbacca. His character, as a supporting character to Han's, was exemplary. It's not easy portraying a walking carpet, yet holding the attention, admiration, and love of virtual millions. I am VERY happy about his being cast as Chewy in Episode 3. Couldn't happen to a more deserving...or capable...fellow. Bravo! And James Earl Jones's voice being used as the voice of Darth Vader, was pure genius. His commanding voice haunted the dreams of countless thousands of star-struck children for generations to come. I also have to say that this movie would not have had the charm it does had it not been for Anthony Daniels' C3P0. He is a gift and a joy.

The musical score by John Williams featured in this masterpiece was one of the contributing factors. But honestly, this movie's success was such a total surprise to everyone, including Lucas, that nothing could prepare the world for the aftermath of having witnessed this bona fide legend, first hand.

The story itself; replete with sub-plot after sub-plot, rich in dialog and detail, was beyond anyone's greatest expectations. Everyone, including Lucas, expected this movie to fail. It is a timeless classic, which I will not repeat here. There are too many movie reviews giving full details of the plot, and I won't be redundant beyond what I have already said.

However, that being said, there are a few points I would like to make concerning the symbolism of this endeavor. The Force is a metaphor for the psychic abilities with which we are all born. It was also a metaphor for hope and faith, dedication and commitment to the greater state of being. The Empire is said to have been a metaphor for the Germanic Nazi "storm troopers." While the Rebellion is said to have been symbolic of (what would later become) the NATO forces who defeated them.

And then there are the effects. The effects were, in 1977, so awesome; so creative; so ahead of their time, as to ensure this movie's vast success for the next forty years. George Lucas enjoys an almost god-like status among sci-fi/fantasy fans worldwide.

This movie does not rate a rating. Usually, when I say that, it is because the movie is so bad, or disappointing that I don't have the heart to rate it.

But in this case, it far surpasses any 10/10 rating I could give it.

The Fiend :.
2003-10-26
This will be a day long remembered - a review 33 years in the making
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away a young farm boy named Luke Skywalker encounters two eccentric droids, gets attacked by sand people and is then saved by an old wizard by the name of Ben Kenobi. After a brief chat the farm boy discovers that Ben and Luke's father used to protect the universe as Jedi Knights until his father was killed by the evil Darth Vader. After his aunt and uncle are killed Luke realises his destiny has been chosen for him and he and Ben are going to have to take on the empire, and from this point movie history will never be the same again.

Much has been said about this movie and it almost feels redundant to discuss it, but, as it was the first film I saw at the pictures I feel almost duty bound to add my two penneth to the mix and so I will. This film was groundbreaking in terms of effects, but what we have learnt since Star Wars is that all the good effects in the world can't save a poor movie. The thing that makes this movie as damned good as it is, is the mixture of urgent direction, wonderful performances, a damned good script, that often gets blasted as being terrible, (If it was the film would also be terrible ...it isn't, ergo sum ...), a pioneering use of sound effects that really reinforce the more alien characters with a real sense of emotion (specifically Chewbacca and R2-D2) but of course the last big star of the movie is John Williams sweeping epic score, which even today is probably one of the greatest pieces of movie music ever.

These days I understand why a film like "Casablanca" and "Citizen Kane" cannot be appreciated by a modern audience because they are so hailed for their enormity on their first appearance that it often cannot be re-experienced by viewers after that. The first time we watch Star Wars we don't actually know that there is anything but Jawas on Tatooine, or that Obi-Wan Kenobi (That wizard's just a crazy old man) is a secret bad-@ss or that Han Solo, good for nothing mercenary, is seen right through by Jedi Knight Ben Kenobi. We who experienced it the first time will always feel it again, but the modern audience, who know so much about the film, cannot.

The film is full of classic moments, from Ben Kenobi's reveal, R2-D2's fall, Luke switching off his targeting computer, Han's constant irreverent humour, Ben's "that's no moon", and a dozen more, but even after all these years my favourite moment is that knowing look that Ben gives Luke at the end of his duel with Vader. His wry smile and the blend of music and performance by both Hamill and Guiness is sensational and still gives me goose bumps now. Amazing.

Since then the impact of the original three may have been watered down by the prequels, but as much as you can't polish a turd, you also cannot dim the brightest star. Which is why the term "May the force be with you" will always mean so much to so many.
2011-02-17
For Starters!!
This was the introductory fanaticism of laser works, as well as a bevy of special sound effects, and elaborate sci-fi costuming, which started a whole new revelation in the cinema world. Steven Spielberg mastered the art of galactic warfare through a limitless use of creative weaponry!! The enormous popularity of this film opened the floodgates for copious movies about space battle in the ensuing years ahead!! Initially intrigued by the hit television show "Star Trek", the American public took to the movie "Star Wars" because it pinpointed a sort of personification of a video arcade wonderland, as a result, "Star Wars" utterly fascinated the movie audience!! Harrison Ford is one of the all time box office legends in Hollywood, his big break was with the movie "Star Wars",,, Later, of course, he captivated millions with his stellar performance in "Raiders of the Lost Ark"!! Movies like "Star Wars" do not come along very often, when they do, they set a precedent in the film industry!! I found the film "Star Wars" to be way ahead of it's time with regard to the optical gimmickry that they so superbly effectuated!! The music to "Star Wars" is classic in it's charismatic demeanor, and, by and large, it is understandable that the most prominent critics in the film industry rank "Star Wars" as one of the greatest movies ever made!! "Star Wars" is always chosen as one of the top twenty films in the American movie market by the esoteric and discriminating critics of AFI!! Endless accolades go out to "Star Wars" and the incredible ingenuity it possesses to entertain the American movie goer!! WITHOUT QUESTION!! FIVE STARS!!!!
2007-12-15
The best movie for audiences ever.
Star Wars was my first non-Disney movie that I watched at the ripe old age of 8. Immediately I fell into another world, getting caught in a new mythology from a Galaxy far, far away. My siblings and I would play "Star Wars" in the back yard, saving the galaxy from evil. We would try to make my cousin into the "A New Hope" version of Princess Leia; my sister's hair was too short. My best friend at the time and I would be Jedi knights - we were 8 so it was okay to do this.

The best thing I have ever done in my life is watch the Special Edition release of Star Wars. Sitting in the front row, hearing that surround sound and experiencing Star Wars in a way that no one had experienced it since the 1970s and 1980s - it was truly magical. The image of everyone in the theater standing up and cheering when the Death Star blew up sears in my mind forever and was the highlight of my entire movie-going experience. Why can't movies do that sort of thing anymore? Why cant they cause such inspiration for imagination anymore?
2007-02-27
This film holds up
When I was 12, I went to see Star Wars in the theater 32 times. This is the film that made me want to make films. Star wars is a classic in my mind, full of fun, and campy lines.. The story is about a farm boy named Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) who discovers that the used robot recently purchased by his family plays back a message from one Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), begging for help from Obi-Wan Kenobi. Luke asks his father's friend Ben Kenobi (Alec Guinness) about this, and he discovers that Ben and Obi-Wan are one and the same. Kenobi tells Luke of the battle of the rebels against the ruling Empire and the spiritual energy called "The Force." Soon Luke, Kenobi, and a mercenary named Han Solo (Harrison Ford) join forces to rescue Princess Leia from the Empire's mammoth warship, the Death Star, controlled by evil genius Darth Vader (David Prowse, with the voice of James Earl Jones).
2013-10-26
Star Wars: The iconic world changer!
It is now 36 years after this movie hit theaters, but it is not too late to write a review! This movie will and already is in the history books as the movie that changed the world! Star Wars, created by George Lucas, is the most iconic, awesome, epic and action-packed space opera ever made. This movie contains everything you want to see in a movie, for example: action, adventure, mystery, humor, emotion and, above all, creativity. The great visual and imaginative mind of George Lucas made it possible for other filmmakers to get from realistic movies to a generation of movies containing imagination and fantasy.

The beginning of the movie is so perfectly written and makes it almost impossible for people not to like it. Firstly, the title scrawl. Although this scrawl was the same as the Flash Gordon series, in Star Wars this iconic and epic beginning was made great by the extraordinary music by John Williams. The music he composed made this movie what it is today and what it was then. His epic score for this movie was deservedly rewarded with an Academy Award.

This great creation by George Lucas has influenced me, the American population and the rest of the world completely!!!
2013-10-09
Brilliant, entertaining space epic of good versus evil
This is an incredibly entertaining and well crafted space epic that has become a modern day legend and spawned several (for me, disappointing) sequels and prequels. This classic is a basic story of good versus evil, combined with a futuristic space setting and special effects. While it may be kind of fun to jokingly tell others 'May the force be with you', no one should seriously be getting their theology from it (as a few cult like followers seem to) since really, it's essentially a science fiction fairy tale.

As everyone must surely know, this original Star Wars tells the story of a handsome young farm boy and our hero, Luke Skywalker, who teams up with Han Solo, Chewbacca, a couple of 'droids' (C-P3O and R2-D2), and of course the grand master, Obi-Wan Kenobi to protect the galaxy from the villainous Darth Vader and save the beautiful Princess Leia from the clutches of the Evil Empire.

The movie became part of everyday life in the late 1970's and 1980's, and the phrase 'Evil Empire' so commonplace and universally understood that President Raegan used it to describe the Communist regime of the former Soviet Union. His proposed plans for defensive space weaponry even became known as the Star Wars missile defense program.

The actors are all perfect in their roles. Mark Hamill gives a charming boy next door heroism to the young Luke Skywalker, Harrison Ford a charismatic magnetism to Solo, Carrie Fisher a vulnerability, yet smart and feisty competence to the captive Princess, and Alec Guinness a mature wisdom to Kenobi. Of course the real stars of the show are C-P3O and R2-D2, an extremely lovable character who never actually speaks but simply pops and whistles. Each droid has a clearly defined personality and their interaction together is priceless.

It's a great story with wonderfully noble, courageous heroes and dark, dreadful villains. Wonderful special effects of course and star fighting action sequences. In fact, the problem for me with the later Star Wars movies is that, apart from developing the character of Darth Vader and revealing the origin of his wickedness, the other films are primarily effects, star fighting, and galactic bars. Short on plot for adults, in my opinion. I really enjoyed this original picture, but found the prequels and sequels boring to sit through. Also, the Star Wars movies do not have anything comparable to the character interaction present in the Star Trek TV series or films, which I much prefer to Star Wars, even this original episode.

However, George Lucas and his string of Star Wars pictures are a legend, and this first movie at least is a barrel of entertainment for both kids and adults.
2006-03-26
This is exactly what a movie should be...
One word can describe Star Wars...Perfection with a capital P! Star Wars is so perfectly molded together filled with pieces all so crucial yet all so wonderful,John William's A+++ score, or James Earl Jones' powerful voice.Really George Lucas' picture should be put next to the word Lucky in the dictionary.He had such a bizarre concept,and people had doubts.I mean if he was pitching Star Wars to me I would too.Yet this is the Little Movie that Could so to say.The acting is A+,my personal favorite performance is Alec Guiness as Obi-Wan Kenobi.People would argue about Geogre Lucas not being a great director after the infamous Prequels,that's a load of B.S.Lucas pours his imagination on the screen and the audience is captivated.We have to give a standing ovation to ILM which started in the 70's with Star Wars.The movie is still amazing to look at nearly 30 years later and with C.G.I in the movie making mix.The plot sounds bizarre on paper but it works wonders on screen and flows quickly,I don't believe I have ever checked my watch while watching Star Wars.I have to applaud Mr.Lucas,Star Wars has fueled the imaginations of many and will continue to fuel generations to come.One moment can describe the impact of the whole Star Wars experience/impact for me,the scene where Luke looks into the setting suns accompanied by William's brilliant score.It's a very moving scene.I really think it tells you to look out for more in your life to become something so to say.Star Wars can only be surpassed by it's sequel Empire Strikes Back but looking back at both I think they are even.Empire Stikes Back and Star Wars are in my opinion the best movies ever made

10/10
2005-06-20
Excellent Excess
The very first note of John Williams's horn-blaring score as the film's title in thousand-foot-high block letters flashes on screen is the very moment when American film-making turned inexorably to big-budget, grand-themed audiovisual extravaganza strung together with simple stories, snappy catchphrases & cutesy jokes. But if George Lucas decided to follow Henry Ford rather than John Ford, he built a Shelby Cobra & left Pinto-making to his many, many imitators. Ironically, he himself remade one of the finest works of film master Akira Kurosawa, the Western-themed "Hidden Fortress," with one scene (the fight in the bar) lifted from "Yojimbo." As a result, "Star Wars" has a bit of the jittery discomfort of characters trying to fit into a story that wasn't quite made for them, like people with past life experiences that intrude into the present. Kurosawa's hero is split not into two but THREE heroes in "Star Wars" (four if you include the princess, who has a more prominent role in "Star Wars"). Hamill's Luke is often overshadowed by Kenobi (Guinness, whose skill had aged better than any fine wine) and Solo (Ford, in the role that deservedly made him a star), though he often holds his own as the clueless but determined farmboy-turned-hero. In less than five minutes, "Star Wars" sets the standard of outer-space audiovisual special effects that the industry was bound to follow from then on, forever sweeping away the earnest, toylike realism that Gerry Anderson was then giving us in "Space: 1999" in favor of exhausting but beautiful orgies of fast, violent, sweeping movement culminating in explosions of bright color & blaring sound. No wonder there's never any sex. "Star Wars" is science fiction only because it's set in outer space, by which standard "Dirty Harry" is a detective story & "Last Tango in Paris" a romance. Little attempt is made to explain the technological wonders depicted (we never find out why light sabers never have to be recharged or get even a cursory explanation of the Death Star). What little science there is can't be counted on, as when Solo extols the drag-racing abilities of the Millennium Falcon in parsecs, which are units of distance, not elapsed time. But Lucas never means to educate, only to entertain. Solo is a smuggler, not a science officer, while the others are not doctors or engineers but warriors, royalty or villains. Lucas's hammerhanded excess works because it never lets up & never goes for the cheap & easy. Though the heroes are unconvincing, "Star Wars" creates an array of badguys in the Galactic Empire that remain unsurpassed in cinema, headed by Darth Vader, who makes the Wicked Witch of the West look like Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. In another irony, the most memorable scene in "Star Wars" is the motionless roundtable conference chaired by Tarkin (Cushing, in the greatest role of his long career) which yielded phrases long & gleefully repeated by a delighted America ("This station is now the ultimate power in the universe!" "This bickering is pointless!" "I find your lack of faith disturbing"). Perhaps, with the space program petering out & the hard realities of nuclear energy coming home to us, our fascination with scientific exploration was wearing thin. In the 1960s it enabled the cast of "Star Trek" to bring the writings of sci-fi geniuses to life with cardboard & aluminum foil. Never again. What better honor, or infamy if you like, could there be to "Star Wars" than that the "Star Trek" movies of the 1980s followed the simple themes, cuteness & spectacular effects of "Star Wars," turning their backs on their own heritage of awed exploration? Perhaps that first detractors and then supporters of Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative nicknamed it "Star Wars" so convincingly that the original name was quickly forgotten. The film might be a bit dated with its holistic, New Age mysticism (feel the force FLOWING through you!) which likely owes more to Jack Kerouac than Musashi Miyamoto & which became more difficult to depict with a straight face the farther the sequels & prequels went. Nevertheless, it was a worthy successor to the Code of the West, especially in contrasting Darth Vader with Luke & Kenobi. "Star Wars" can't really be judged by the standards of other films, partly because it reset the standards & partly because it became, most unusually, the fourth in a series of six! But there's no doubt that it's a heroic sensory extravaganza that will leave the viewer at once exhausted & exhilarated--and will do it over & over again, without offending, condescending or making one think too hard. If you just want to escape to a galaxy far, far away, jettison all skepticism, lower your shields & prepare to make the jump to hyperspace.
2006-04-22
Thank-you
This I admit is not so much a review as it is an ode.

Thank-you to the writer, director, actors and the studio for nourishing a young man's fantasies and bestowing years of fun and pleasure. Whether a space opera, action fantasy, science fiction or a family drama Star Wars was for years a great source of pleasure and 'comfort movie' for me and even now as an adult I am in awe of the imagination and creativity that went into this film and the two episodes that followed it.

It is frankly too bad that Star Wars fell into the hands of Disney, JJ Abrams and became a tool solely for cashing in and a line item on someone's accounting ledger, but I guess it was inevitable. I chose to ignore the boring new films and forever cherish Leia, Luke, Darth Vader, R2D2, C3PO and the rest of them.

PS: I am glad you lost, evil emperor. I wanted you to fail the moment I laid my eyes on you!
2017-11-25
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