A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...
Star Wars (also known as Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope or just Star Wars: A New Hope) is a 1977 space opera film directed by George Lucas, written by George Lucas, produced by Lucasfilm Ltd., and distributed by 20th Century Fox. The film stars Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford. It was nominated for and won Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Editing, Best Original Score, Best Sound, and Best Visual Effects, while also being nominated for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay. This is the first film in the Star Wars franchise, although chronologically, it's the sixth in the Skywalker saga. It was preceded by Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and Solo: A Star Wars Story and was followed by Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. In 1989, it was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically" significant.
"May the force be with you." - Han Solo
Young farm boy Luke Skywalker dreams of big adventure. When he intercepts a radio transmission from the captured Princess Leia, Luke embarks on the journey of a lifetime as he joins forces with an old sorcerer and cocky space pilot to battle the evil Galactic Empire.
My Favorite Part of Star Wars
What can I say about this film that hasn't already been said? The original Star Wars is one of the most impactful films ever made. What's my favorite part? To be honest, I don't know. There isn't one thing that works about Star Wars. It's lightning in a bottle. It's the perfect story paired with the perfect characters that fits into the perfect narrative. I just love everything iconic about this movie. When "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..." comes up on the screen, I get chills every time. When I hear that music, it's a feeling unlike any other. When I see Luke stare out at the twin suns and feel John Williams's Binary Sunset theme coursing through the shot...I don't know. I can't even describe it. This movie means so much more to me than I can express.
My Least Favorite Part of Star Wars
There's not many things I dislike about the original trilogy, but I absolutely hate the special edition changes. After Jurassic Park, George Lucas meddled with the technology and added a bunch of extra elements (including awful looking CGI) that just detract from the feel of the film. Whenever you see the beautiful model work immediately followed by a cartoon-ish monster, it just takes away from the authenticity of this movie. But that's a minor complaint. Also, I wish Vader was in more of it. He's barely in it, and I think that's slightly annoying, but it's okay, because that gets fixed in Empire.
Why Star Wars Is Amazing
I mean, do I even need to say why? Everything. The characters are instantly iconic. The score is the greatest of all time. The various rules and phrases associated with this franchise began with this movie. One thing I noticed upon rewatch was A New Hope's ability to stand on its own. This film works as the start to the franchise, but it also works incredibly well as a singular story. I really appreciate that about it. This film changed everything. And it still holds up to this day.
The Force Evaluation
This isn't even a question. This is THE Star Wars movie. Empire Strikes Back is my favorite Star Wars movie (as you'll see whenever I review it), but A New Hope ultimately has some magic that none of the other movies have. It's the magic of the first time. It's the magic of seeing Luke ignite that lightsaber. It's the magic of hearing Darth Vader's breathing for the first time. It's the magic of watching the title crawl. That's something that no other Star Wars movie has, and, frankly, no other movie has.
So, because of that, this film gets a Jedi Knight on the Force scale.
THE FORCE SCALE
Jedi Knight (Top Tier Star Wars)
Rebel (Great Star Wars)
Star Pilot (Good Star Wars)
Sith Lord (Bad Star Wars) Bantha Fodder (Terrible Star Wars)
Final Thoughts and Score
Star Wars is a classic for a reason. From the innovative storytelling to the incredible characters, the first adventure in the galaxy far, far away holds up on every level.
I will go Sweet here. Age range is 5+.
SWEET N' SOUR SCALE
Sweet (Great) Savory (Good) Sour (Bad) Moldy (Terrible)
Fun Factor: 9/10
Directed by George Lucas
Rated PG for sci-fi violence and action, disturbing themes and images, thematic elements
Released on May 25, 1977
2 hours and 5 minutes
Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker
Harrison Ford as Han Solo
Alec Guiness as Obi-Wan "Ben" Kenobi
Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia Organa
Anthony Daniels as C-3PO
Kenny Baker as R2-D2
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca
Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin
David Prowse as Darth Vader
James Earl Jones as Darth Vader
Phil Brown as Owen Lars
Shelagh Fraser as Beru Lars
Denis Lawson as Wedge Antilles
Garrick Hogan as Biggs Darklighter