The violence is intense, but there is no blood visible and if so, in one or two scenes for a brief moment.
In the opening sequence, a space cruiser is pursued by a Star Destroyer, both releasing laser fire from opposing sides.
As an entryway to their starship is being sawed open by laser from the outside, uniformed combatants who are members of the ship's crew form a defensive mechanism inside, throughout the adjacent corridor. A laser shootout occurs between the crew and the forces aggressively boarding the ship, and the crew is overpowered. We see uniformed combatants fall dead when hit by laser fire and their bodies lying on the ground.
Darth Vader lifts a man off the floor by the man's throat, interrogating him, and subsequently strangles him to death before throwing him to the floor. The sound of bones being crushed can be heard as the man is strangled. No blood or disfigurement is shown.
Darth Vader is shown to telekinetically strangle a man half to death. We see and hear the victim moan and writhe, struggling to breathe until Vader releases him.
The burned and smoking skeletons of people lying on the ground near the entryway to a small burning structure are gazed upon by the people's stunned and horrified nephew after he has rushed home to their see about their well-being. Very brief, but somewhat disturbing. (This was probably the main reason the film got a PG rating rather than G.)
Obi-Wan Kenobi cuts off the arm of an attacker with his lightsaber who was threatening him with a gun. In this scene, the severed arm is shown lying on the ground with some blood around and in it.
A man is intercepted by an alien pointing a laser gun at him, in an establishment. While conversing, they sit opposite of each other at a table there, and several times the alien expresses intention to shoot the man dead. Throughout this time, the man has covertly drawn his own laser gun and, from his waist, obscuredly aimed it at the alien. This is suspenseful. In the original version of the film, just as the alien about make good on his aggressive words, space above the table explodes into a momentary cloud of smoke, and the alien's dead body is shown slumping forward onto the table, as he had been shot by man. Whereas in Special and subsequent editions of the film, the alien is shown to fire at but miss the man's head before being immediately shot dead by the man's return fire.
There are numerous scenes of gunplay, all of which leave no visible wounds.
Merely as a show of force, a man has an entire planet destroyed by a massive battle station's superlaser; killing all of its inhabiting people and lifeforms.
The heroes shoot numerous objects as well as the guards, in a jail reception center aboard a massive battle station. Several men are blasted with gun rays and fall dead when hit.
Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi engage in a fierce lightsaber duel with each other for some time. After seeing that the other heroes need to escape nearby, Obi-Wan allows himself to be killed, whereupon Vader decapitates him, only to find that his body disappears, leaving his cloak and lightsaber on the ground.
Numerous pilots die in the space battle sequence near the end of the film. Some of them are shown at the moment their craft explode, while screaming as they plunge to their death in fireballs.
A massive space station ignites into an enormous shock wave and explosion that kills all lifeforms on board.
An armed space freighter is pursued and harassingly fired upon by starfighters. The crew operate heavy turrets to ward off the attack.