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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

A long time ago in a childhood not too far away......

10/10
Author: JohnRouseMerriottChard from United Kingdom
29 March 2009

Princess Leia is captured and held hostage by the Imperial Army as it seeks to rule the Galactic Empire. An old Jedi Knight by the name of Ben "Obi-Wan" Kenobi may just be her's, and the rebels only hope. Teaming up with farm boy Luke Skywalker, scoundrel Captain Han Solo, and a couple of quirky droids, Kenobi sets off on a mission that could well shape the destiny of the Galaxy, and all who dwell within it.

Back in 1977 I was but a wee 11 year old boy, weened on films from all genres by my movie loving parents, I had no idea that Star Wars was to have the same impact on me as Jaws had two summers previously, where yet again I found myself queueing around the block for two whole hours to see a film in a one screen theatre. My love of cinema firmly cemented, Star Wars was the start of a love affair that lasts to this very day.

As the years have rolled by and my love of cinema has taken on more in-depth and serious tones, I have come to realise that Star Wars proves to be a far from flawless picture. Certainly its detractors do point to some frayed acting and call the plot structure a jazzed up good versus evil axis, while the charge of George Lucas referencing many prior pictures most assuredly stands, but really do those things matter? No they do not, because Star Wars opened up a new world of cinema, something of a portal to youngsters such as I, it got people talking and debating about the merits of model work in films (which is of an extraordinary high standard here), it nudged film makers to explore being bigger and bolder in their approach, and crucially, above all else, it got film goers hungry again, a hankering for more please if you may. Now it has to be said that all that followed 20th Century Fox's historic blockbuster didn't run with the baton, in fact most pale into comparison on impact value, but for better or worse (depending on the discerning viewers peccadilloes), Star Wars stands as a bastion of adventure laden entertainment.

It is by definition one of the most successful films in history, George Lucas perhaps didn't know it at the time, but in what was to become an almost operatic anthology, he didn't just make a movie, he created a whole new world seeping with style and rich texture. Almost as amazing as the success of the series, is how it has become part of modern day pop culture, anything from religion to everyday speak has at some time or another referenced Lucas' baby. Ultimately, though, it's one single thing that made (and still does make) Star Wars so great, it's that it has the ability to lift the audience into a rousing united feel good cheer; and that is something that few films can ever lay claim too. In 1977 it was an awe inspiring event to watch in the theatre, now here in my middle age it's an event that is like hugging a dear old friend, a friend that I know will never ever let me down no matter how many times I turn to it. 10/10

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.... was the greatest movie of all time.

10/10
Author: Tomius J. Barnard from United Kingdom
26 May 2005

Star Wars is the God of all movies. It is the greatest film to have ever been made, bar none. Nothing can be compared to it, nor should it be. It is definitive to our world, our society. It changed the way movies were made: for the better.

In the 1970s, there was little unknown director named George Lucas. Little did he know (dispite a nightmarish shoot), that his galactic space opera would literally change the way people lived, worked, played and thought. The secret behind his success? His imagination.

The script, the characters, the events, the locations, the humour, the opening, the ending... all perfect.

Of course, it's not the most well-shot movie of all time, but there's no denying that nobody actually cares. Star Wars has become a cult and a religion, and earned it's place in my heart as the greatest film to have ever been made...

...Millions will agree.

Whatever I say cannot reach the real truth behind Star Wars: just watch it and you'll know exactly what I mean.

The force will be with us, always.

Overall: A definitive masterpiece. Will never be forgotten, and will remain in the hearts of young and old for generations. Perfect. (10/10)

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

The Movie that changed the way we make and look at movies

10/10
Author: Steven Smith from United States
29 May 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This has been by far the greatest movie of all time. The special effects are very fantastic especially when the movie was made before I was even born, even Return of the Jedi was made 7 years before I was born, or should I say it was completed 7 years before I was born. It's like George Lucas who's the Director for all the Star Wars movies including Episode III- Revenge of the Sith, it's like he went back in time a long time ago and he traveled to a galaxy far, far away. I must say George Lucas, I am very impressed. This probably did all happen a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. I just can't believe it, I mean how did he do it, this film is just ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE. George Lucas can make any kind of movie he wants. He can even make a movie about what happens far before Star Wars Episode I- The Phantom Menace and he can even make a movie about what happens far after Star Wars Episode VI- Return of the Jedi. So George Lucas I have been a huge fan of Star Wars since I saw Episode IV when I was 5 and I'll be honest, I didn't really understand the storyline because I was only 5. But I was just amazed on the Special Effects, it was incredible for it's time, 1977. And when I turned 7 my mother bought the Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition and it was even better with all new Advanced Digital Technology and I started to understand the storyline a lot better. And when I turned 14 I bought the Star Wars Trilogy on DVD and it got much better with one of the best pictures I have ever seen in a movie. But the Number 1 thing I hated about the DVD was that in Return of the Jedi at the very end of the movie you see the ghosts of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Anakin Skywalker. I hated the fact that in the DVD you replaced Anakin Skywalker's ghost with the Anakin Skywalker from Episode II and Episode III. You shouldn't have done that George. It's great you re-modified the Trilogy and all with new technology but don't destroy the plot, because not even Luke Skywalker is going to have no idea who that person is, and you didn't make Obi-Wan Kenobi look like Ewan McGregor so I don't see why you did that. George try to re-modify Return of the Jedi that way it was before, the face that Luke Skywalker saw him as when he took off that black mask and helmet that Anakin Skywalker needs to live. Alright. That's all I have to say.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

a film that opened new doors

7/10
Author: TheUnknown837-1 from United States
14 April 2007

It is a shame that not any other of George Lucas's films were as fun and inspiring as his unforgettable epic "Star Wars: A New Hope". It was a film that has since been spoofed and ripped-off in many forms of media. It has five sequels, and has many branch-off television series. And it is undeniably one of the most financially successful and definitely one of the better science-fiction films of this or any other age.

"Star Wars" has one of the most brilliantly constructed and detailed alternative reality settings ever. Literally everything in it makes the "galaxy" seem like a real place. Not only is there civilizations of humans, but civilizations of other creatures, and there are livestock and other creatures like in our world. Names such as droids, banthas, and wookiees work out. But I do feel that the "sandpeople" could've had a more compelling name. The concept of blasters and lightsabers were pure genius and the effects used on these weapons were state-of-the-art for their time. The props and CGI used for the other creatures, such as Chewbacca, may not be acceptable if "Star Wars" came out today, but were great for back then. Costume design was magnificent, especially the great details put into the villainous character of Darth Vader, who is perhaps the most memorable movie villain ever. Although he wouldn't really make his terror so profound and complete until the first sequel "The Empire Strikes Back." The concept of the Death Star is also a fine one.

But while "Star Wars" most certainly looks great in terms of detail and special effects, and even moreso on the entertainment level, there are some details that I have a really hard time accepting. Mostly, it's concerned with the screenplay. George Lucas is truly a great screenwriter when it comes to developing story, but when it comes to dialogue, he's not the best there is. Some of the dialogue in the film, mostly the lines spoken by Princess Leia, make me wince. For example her quote "I should have known it was you holding Vader's lease. I smelled your foul stench when I was brought onboard." What sensible person would even think of saying a line that dumb? I also personally felt that Luke Skywalker asked WAY too many questions and too many times. In the Tatooine part of the movie, he asks "Do you know what he's talking about?" numerous times, more than necessary. And all of the lines featuring the word "sandpeople" just seemed weakening to the script. The "sandpeople" were suppose to sound frightening, but they just sound pathetic.

Basically, the one and only thing that I have wrong with "Star Wars" is its dialogue sequences. And that is because George Lucas's weakness at writing is dialogue, which he freely admits to. But that does not make "Star Wars" a bad movie. Perhaps I was disappointed with it, but it's still a great movie to watch.

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Excellent Excess

8/10
Author: tom-darwin from United States
22 April 2006

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.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A milestone in film-making- a superlative sci-fi movie

10/10
Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
22 November 2009

I couldn't have asked for anything more. Star Wars: A New Hope had it all. If I had to sum it up in one word, superlative would be my answer. I saw the film for the first time three months ago and loved it, and since then I have watched all the Star Wars movies. I was disappointed with the prequels (Attack of the Clones was my least favourite), but this, Return of the Jedi and Empire Strikes Back were perfection.

I have to say that the film looks absolutely amazing even after thirty plus years, with highly imaginative sets and dazzling special effects. And the action sequences were superbly choreographed and brisk, the Death Star climax was a knockout. The music by John Williams is absolutely outstanding, by far one of his more exciting and rousing scores. The story is fast-paced, intelligent and has an essence of sophistication, and the screenplay is sharp and decisive.

And the performances were flawless. In the prequels I had problems relating to some of the performers, namely Hayden Christensen as Anakin. Here, all the actors played their parts with superlative skill. Alec Guiness, one fine actor and will be sorely missed was a standout, likewise with Peter Cushing and Harrison Ford(hilarious here). Carrie Fisher was a fine Princess Leia, spunky, beautiful and sexy, and Mark Hamill was a completely likable Luke. And the villain Darth Vader, without doubt one of the best and in-depth villains in cinematic history, and James Earl Jones's deep booming voice was perfect for the character.

All in all, a definite sci-fi classic, that blew me away. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

The opening installment of the greatest trilogy in cinematic history...

10/10
Author: MovieGuy from Boston, MA
25 May 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Truly a landmark film. When it came out, there had never been anything like it before, and it truly caused quite a stir. I would contend that it is not as good as its sequel, Empire Strikes Back; but it is still a great movie. There is humor, action, and some heartfelt moments. It is also our introduction to some great characters that people will never forget - Chewbacca, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, Obi Wan Kenobi...and of course everyone's favorite villain, Darth Vader. Alec Guinness really is outstanding in this movie. His role as Luke's first mentor is understated and believable...his somewhat tired attitude in retrospect seems very understandable after watching the prequels - after all he's been through, it is very believable when he tells Luke, "I'm getting to old for this sort of thing." The visual effects are not only groundbreaking, but they still hold up very well even in this CGI-effects laden era. I would contend that ILM's use of modeling and lighting in the old films actually lends a more believable look to the action scenes than the prequels' use of video-game style battles and sensory overload. There is great chemistry between the actor's - and while Luke is a bit annoying, the back and forth of Han and Chewbacca, and C-3PO and R2-D2, as well as Leia's chemistry with Han and Luke, make this movie extremely entertaining on an emotional level - it also makes you care about the characters. Let us compare the lightsaber duel of this movie with that from Phantom Menace. Although the acrobatics and sheer fury of the duel just are not there in A New Hope, we actually feel something when Obi-Wan allows Vader to strike him down. Conversely, when Qui-Gon Jinn is slain, there is not the same (if any) feeling after it is done. Well, I'm rambling now. But this movie has it all. Space battles, lightsaber duels (a la Samurai flicks), chase sequences, thinly veiled references to the Western genre in the Canteen on Tatooine. A Truly great adventure that, as it ended, was really just beginning.

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Although I loved the movie. . . .

7/10
Author: David Peters (naerhu) from Japan
17 August 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie was a significant part of the childhood of almost every American born in the later third of the 20th century. This doesn't change the fact that Mark Hamil's acting is simply terrible and the action scenes are simply atrocious. There is no explanation as to why the Storm Troopers cannot aim their guns to save their lives. I don't understand why Obiwan is considered a crazy hermit, when the uncle knew him to be a Jedi knight. I still don't get the flashing lights and buttons on Darth's chest, why didn't Obiwan just use his force powers to switch off the power on the jump suit. Also it is supposed to be about twenty years from episode 3 to episode 4 but Obiwan ages like 40 years. Whats up with that? That whole suicide by Vader thing is incredibly lame, too. Don't get me wrong parts of the movie were absolutely brilliant (esp. acting by Harrison Ford), but it definitely leaves a lot to be desired.

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9 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

The first movie of the great old trilogy

8/10
Author: Lady Targaryen from Brazil
1 February 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

''Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope'' is the first movie from the old trilogy. I will always prefer the old Star Wars' trilogy than the modern one, and watching again this movie makes me feel very good! It is a period of civil war,since an evil Empire controlled by Darth Vader and the Emperor has the control of all the galaxies. Rebel bases finally had their first victory against the horrible Galactic Empire, and princess Leia, who is part of the Rebel Alliance is made a prisoner by Darth Vader, since she refuses to say where are the plans of the lethal weapon called 'Death Star'', who were stolen by the rebel spies. The Death Star is a big space station,capable of destroying an entire planet if it's owner desires. Darth Vader also wants to know where is the secret base of the Rebels to destroy it.

Since Princess Leia is a clever girl, she placed the plans of the Death Star in R2-D2, and send him to a special mission with C3PO in Tattoine, where he needs to finds where Obi Wan Kenobi is.

R2 and C3PO arrives in Tattoine with success, but after a time they are kidnapped by the Sand People, who wants to sell them; for their luck, their buyer is Luke Skywalker and his uncle Owen. At the same time that Lukes discovers that R2 needs to show the message for Obi wan, Vader's army went to Tattoinee to find R2 to recover their stolen plans. R2 goes after Obi Wan, and C3PO and Luke go after him. After being attacked by the Sand People and saved by Obi Wan, Luke tells him about the message in C3PO. All this time, Obi wan was hidden in Tattoine as a hermit with the name of 'Ben Kenobi'. Obi Wan then tells Luke many things about his past as a Jedi, and the fact that he was a friend of Luke's dad, Anakin. He also gives Luke a light saber that once belonged to Anakin. The Lars knows about the truth behind Luke's past, that's why specially uncle Owen never let him leave Tattoine.

Worried that the Imperial troops are searching for R2 and C3PO, Luke runs in his home's direction, but he discovers too late that his uncle and aunt were killed by then. Sad and without any attachments in Tattoine, Luke decides to go with Obi Wan to Alderaan to help Leia.

They two meet Chewbacca and Han Solo, who can take then to Alderaan. Once the money payments is sealed, they enter in the ''Millenniun Falcon'',Han's ship ,and they go to Alderaan's direction. The problem is: Alderaan is not there anymore. The ''Death Star'' destroyed Leia's native planet,since she refused to say where the rebel base stays.

Once Luke,Han and Obi Wan comes to save Leia and they succeed in their mission,they know will have other problem: destroy the Death Star.

Ps: I think that Obi Wan's death is too weak!

Ps2: How does Luke understand what R2 says to him?

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16 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

Primitive-Looking By Now, But A 'Must" To Set Up The Series

7/10
Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
10 June 2006

After seeing all six episodes of the Star Wars saga several times apiece, I still think this initial entry is interesting but one of weaker ones in the series. Perhaps that's because by now, the special-effects look primitive but also because it's a little slow in parts, slower than the other five films. Sometimes, though, it's nice to have more lulls as these modern-day action films many times overdo the violence. This one, however, is just a bit too slow overall.

The first hour of this film sets up the second hour plus the two sequels that followed in the 1980s, showing how the principal characters were united, who they are fighting against and what mystical powers they have at their disposal. Note: it was even interesting to watch this film decades later after the final installment, episode 3, was viewed. It made this first entry make a little more sense, knowing the complete story (who was related to whom, how some died, etc.). It was also a shock to go back and see the special-effects in here after viewing those final three films issued in recent years.

I always got annoyed, to be honest, at two things in this initial Star Wars film I felt were overdone: the "Rambo" mentality in which hundreds of shots are fired at the good guys and never hit them and the constant arguing between Carrie Fisher ("Princess Leia") and Harrison Ford ("Han Solo"). By the third film, thankfully, that bickering stopped and everyone was "on the same page."

Despite how old this film is, it's a "must" for this collection since it sets up so much of what is to follow. It's also kind of fun to look at this again and see how young everyone looks!

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