Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

This entry is part 5 of 8 in the series Star Wars

Released: 1977
Director: George Lucas
Starring: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford


The original and best – a true classic

First things first.  This film is, and always will be, just Star Wars.  George Lucas can call it whatever he likes but he’s wrong.  The film’s name is Star Wars and it should always be known as such!

Rant over – it’s time to get on with the review.  There’s no way I can review this film without taking into consideration how important it was to me when I was a little girl.  I was only a toddler when it was released and I can’t even remember the first time I saw it.  Star Wars has, simply put, always been part of my life.

We had a copy on video and I would watch it over and over again.  I used to try to count the number of laser blasts throughout the movie but never managed to get any further than the first fight when Princess Leia’s ship is boarded by Darth Vadar.  When I was young, Star Wars was magical to me.  It still is today and even though I’ve seen it hundreds of times, I relished the opportunity to watch it again this afternoon.

The Empire is now the most powerful force in the galaxy.  Star systems are completely under its control.  Fear keeps the peace and a new weapon has been developed: the Death Star, a space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet.  Princess Leia is a member of the Imperial Senate and a spy for the Rebel Alliance and is attempting to smuggle plans of the Death Star to her home planet, Alderaan, when she is captured by Vadar.  Secreting the plans in the memory of droid R2-D2, she seeks the help of former Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Kenobi enlists farmboy Luke Skywalker to his cause.  The son of a slain Jedi, Luke is desperate to leave his home on Tatooine and join the Rebel Alliance.  Kenobi and Skywalker join forces with roguish smuggler Han Solo and set off on an interstellar adventure to rescue the Princess and destroy the Death Star.

There are few words to describe how much I utterly love this film.  Everything falls into place perfectly to create an exciting, exhilarating and (most important of all) fun space opera.  The three leads all inhabit their roles beautifully.  Mark Hamill as Luke has the right mix of youthful impatience and heroic potential.  Carrie Fisher is self assured, strong and confident as Princess Leia and Harrison Ford is damn near perfect as Han Solo.  Everyone gets that Han is really the hero, don’t they?  He’s cocky, self-opinionated and reckless, but has a good heart and a seriously sexy swagger.  I’m never sure if Han Solo or Indiana Jones is Harrison Ford’s greatest role but having just watched Star Wars again I’m going to have to go with Han Solo.  For the moment anyway.

Hammer star Peter Cushing is suitably sinister as Grand Moff Tarkin, the man prepared to order the death of a princess and use his firepower on an unarmed planet.  Alec Guinness is wonderful as Obi-Wan and brings some real class to proceedings.  The non-human characters are also a blast.  Chewbacca is both intimidating and endearing, never more so than when he roars at a tiny driod.  R2-D2 and C-3PO make of the greatest comedy double acts in cinema history.  We don’t always need a translation to know what R2 is saying….

The exciting computer wizardry present in the prequel films may not have been possible two decades earlier when Star Wars was produced but it the special effects still manage to be fresher and more exciting than the recent installments.  The first few minutes with John Williams’ epic score, the scrolling introductory text and the opening shot of a Star Destroyer looming across the screen still creates goosebumps every time I watch the film.

Star Wars contains the vital ingredient missing from its prequels.  It has personality.  The story is pretty basic and the script is a bit rubbish at times but that simply adds to the movie’s charm.

It’s a true classic which I’m certain you’ve seen but if you are one of the few who hasn’t you’re missing out on one of the greatest films of all time.  A must watch.  Again and again….


Previous and next posts in this series:<< Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the SithStar Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back >>
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