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Reviews & Ratings for
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope More at IMDbPro »Star Wars (original title)

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

May the Force be with you!!

Author: Lance Walsh
31 March 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I've seen "Star Wars", I don't know HOW many times and I just never get sick of it. It's one of my favorites and one of the greatest movies of all time. A movie that's the perfect combination of great special effects, a great story and memorable characters. All these movies that have been trying to make another "Star Wars" over the past two decades generally overlook exactly what made this movie so great in the first place. They tend to just focus on the sets and special effects and overlook the story and characters. George Lucas took great care on all three. A classic movie that will continue to be loved decades from now. Unlike all the Hollywood, big-budget crap coming out these days, this was a low-budget film, but had more magic than all the others put together.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

It feels so good to review films that are actually awesome!

Author: olianajones from United Kingdom
20 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

STAR WARS! Just the title evokes a reaction and what follows is a series of emotions. Passion, joy, love, laughter, anticipation and excitement. A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away there was once such a thing as really good films, and Star Wars may be just about the greatest of them all. Without going into too much detail on the other films of the original trilogy, Star Wars may actually be the best of the three just because of its simplicity. Sure Empire takes it to a deeper level, but Star Wars is just the simple and relatable fable of Dorothy on her farm, wishing for a greater existence in life, however in Star Wars our Dorothy is Luke Skywalker, searching for his own purpose in life. We've all been there surely? That's what great films are made of.

Star Wars starts out with a small and soon to be obsolete rebel ship being pursued by the ominous and disturbingly bad guy looking star destroyer of the evil empire! The storm troopers soon board and take control of the ship, lead by their captain in command, Darth Vader. The moment Vader steps out from the smoke, stands tall above the dead rebels and his infamous breathing begins, one can easily distinguish the fact he is the most bad-ass evil villain in the history of villainy. And he is. No doubt Vader is as bad as they come, but you instantly get the sense there is more to this guy than first appearances would give. More on that later. So Vader and his storm troopers take the Princess Leia hostage, played wonderfully by Carrie Fisher, who has sent her faithful R2-D2 and his tag along C-3PO away with the plans of destroying the death star, down to tattooine, the Sahara of the galaxy. Que Luke Skywalker, played subtly by Mark Hamill, who dreams of a bigger purpose in life. The chances of fate bring him and the two droids together and from there the film catapults young Luke into the adult world of the rebellion fighting for freedom against the empire.

So many great characters to talk about in Star Wars, Han Solo takes the cake for being the best character for my money. He is cocky, smug and shows growth of character the most throughout the film. Harrison Ford created his first iconic character in the arrogant and charming space pilot, captain of the millennium falcon (another amazing creation) and best friend to wookie Chewbacca. I also really like the character of Ben Kenobi. Not only was Alec Guiness the superb choice to be cast as the character, there is so much depth and richness to the character too. Ben is just an old guy hiding in the desert of tattooine to begin with, but once he rescues Luke and they get off of tattooine with Han Solo and the gang, Ben starts opening his mouth and you really get the sense that this guy was once a really formidable Jedi, and still is to an extent. The real power of the force lies within his voice, within his wisdom and advice, which are truly inspiring, not only for Luke, but for the viewer too. Not only is Ben a great mentor and adviser, he is a bad-ass. His climatic duel with Vader is not only thrilling but also insightful, as Ben willingly sacrifices himself, realising he will pave the way for Luke to become a Jedi and save the galaxy. Awesome stuff.

Special effects are also a triumph in this film. Everything from the glow of the lightsaber to the fantastic final battle of the death star at the climax of the film all come together in a crescendo of beautiful storytelling. It isn't just effects for the sake of effects, they are in aid of the story and help enhance it. Also, the score of Star Wars is truly memorable and without a doubt, the opening credit sequence of the film along with its famous score makes for a thrilling film moment every viewing.

Star Wars has so many great themes involved, but as Ben realises when he surrenders himself to Vader, it is all about the bigger picture. Its about the future, its about growth and learning, coming of age and of course, Han shot first. Star Wars might just be the perfect film of all time.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Star Wars: One Of The Most Enduring Movie Of All-Time

Author: Desertman84 from United States
14 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In a distant galaxy, a long time ago, young Luke Skywalker assembles his motley crew of allies including space rogue Han Solo and two "droids" -- C3PO and R2D2 -- to rescue Princess Leia, the rebel leader of her planet from the clutches of the evil Empire as embodied by its enforcer Darth Vader in Star Wars:A New Hope.It is epic space opera film series created by George Lucas. The first film in the series was originally released on 1977, under the title Star Wars, by 20th Century Fox, and became a worldwide pop culture phenomenon, followed by two sequels, released at three-year intervals. Sixteen years after the release of the trilogy's final film, the first in a new prequel trilogy of films was released. The three films were also released at three-year intervals, with the final film released on 2005.

The Star Wars film series has spawned a media franchise including books, television series, video games, and comic books. These supplements to the film trilogies comprise the Star Wars Expanded Universe, and have resulted in significant development of the series' fictional universe. Obviously,it is a legendarily expansive and ambitious start to the sci- fi saga, George Lucas opened our eyes to the possibilities of blockbuster filmmaking and things have never been the same.It is a magnificent film.Lucas set out to make the biggest possible adventure fantasy out of his memories of serials and older action epics, and he succeeded brilliantly.It is a seminal movie that began a whole cycle of sci-fi works and also launched the careers of many actors and craftsmen.A sweeping epic with classical themes lifted from the teachings of Joseph Campbell, but it maintains strong central characters.And most of all,it is one of the most enduring movies of all time.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

The film that shaped pop culture

Author: David (DaveInTheCave) from United States
27 December 2011

Star Wars is great cinema. One of the great things about it is the visuals, the opening shot where the Star Destroyer flies over while chasing the Rebel Blockade Runner is amazing. The music is also fantastic, it evokes early epic movie scores by the likes of Erich Wolfgang Korngold and Miklos Rozsa and also hearkens back to Classical music in the romantic period, especially to Wagner and Holst. The characters and story are somewhat basic but that's part of whats great about the movie, it has an archetypal, mythic quality.

Some have said that the only reason this movie is highly regarded is because of people who as as children and idolize it for nostalgic reasons, well as someone who saw for the first time at the age of 16, I can attest that it's stands on it's own very well.

It does have a few flaws. The dialogue can be corny at times. Luke's remorse over his aunt and uncles death seems rather short lived, particularly compared to his sadness over Ben Kenobi's death. Despite these flaws Star Wars is still an excellent film. Highly recommended!

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

What really gets me

Author: delibebek from United States
28 April 2009

It's what movies are all about, really - sitting in a seat that's already been worn in by a thousand other tushes, crunching as much popcorn under your feet as you crunch in your mouth by handfuls, sipping a soda that's three times as big as you would ever really need... and then there's this very quiet little opening line written on the screen, like a new way of saying "once upon a time..." and you know the fairy tale is beginning, but before you can even get ready to get interested, that fateful, stirring, uplifting and scary chord throws you deep into your seat, in time with a logo that's too big for the screen... and the rest is just a ride. That's what movies are all about and that's what Star Wars gave us.

If you never saw it in the theater, get yourself a really great audio visual system in your house, pour soft drinks on the floor (prep this a day prior to get the proper sticky effect) put too much salt and too much butter on a bucket of popcorn that's too big, and hit the "play" button on the remote.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A Long, Long Wait For A Movie Far, Far Away

Author: ShadeGrenade from Ambrosia
9 May 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is not a review of the first ( and best ) 'Star Wars' movie. I take it, fellow I.M.D.B. users, that you are already familiar with the plot, characters and production history, and how its success changed the face of cinema overnight. So rather than rehash all the known facts, I want instead to recount a personal memory.

I first learnt of 'Star Wars' thanks to Granada's 'The Krypton Factor', a long-running game show designed to test contestants' intelligence, physical fitness, powers of observation and so on. I liked the latter round as it often gave one a chance to catch a sneak preview of a new movie. One week, they ran a clip of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, R2D2 and C2PO escaping The Death Star in The Millennium Falcon, and being shot at by pursuing T.I.E. fighters. I fell off my chair. What was this? 1970's sci-fi movies were mostly depressing affairs, predicting gloomy futures for Mankind, now here was something fast, colourful, and lively, with lasers zapping about outer space and explosions. Right up my street.

I had to see it. But the film was not yet on release here. There was no Internet then so I got my movie information from the local paper. I kept checking for news of an impending screening at my local cinema, but no - there was nothing. I began to wonder if the movie actually existed or not. Had Granada pulled off the greatest hoax of all time? I read the Sphere book voraciously until I knew the story backwards. I played the Meco disco single at every opportunity. When Marvel's comic adaptation went on sale, I was almost thrown out of the newsagent for jumping up and down for sheer joy.

At my school, 'Star Wars' was a dirty word to sci-fi fans, mainly because it was not 'Close Encounters'. The Spielberg picture was regarded as 'adult' and 'intelligent', while the Lucas movie was deemed 'kiddie stuff' starring weirdos in fancy dress running around with a bloke dressed as a big teddy bear.

The wait dragged on and on. In an episode of 'Coronation Street', Gail ( Helen Worth ) asked her then-boyfriend, Steve Fisher: "When's 'Star Wars' coming round here?" to which he replied: "It'll be some time I expect.". His words encapsulated the sheer frustration and impatience felt by all us U.K. fans. The highest grossing film of all time and we can't see it? What is the hold up? Are they redoing bits for the benefit of British audiences? Peter Cushing and Alec Guinness are in it so this cannot be right.

In desperation, I told a blatant lie to my best friend. "I have seen 'Star Wars'", I proclaimed. He looked about as shocked as if I'd said I'd spent the night with Carrie Fisher. I claimed that my uncle Eric worked for Twentieth Century-Fox ( another lie. He drove taxi cabs for a living ) as an assistant editor and George Lucas had been so impressed with his work on the film, he had generously given him a print. To back up my claim, I reeled off a long list of plot details and scene descriptions. I got a few things wrong, such as Jabba The Hut and Biggs Darklighter, both of whom were excised from the final cut. But by the time my friend saw the film he had forgotten these. He did beg me to ask my uncle to run the film specially for him on Sunday afternoon, but I deflected this by stating that Uncle Eric's projector had broken down. He never asked again.

Being about fifteen, I was too old for the toys, hence on Christmas Day 1977 I was denied the pleasure of reenacting the assault on The Death Star in my garden shed, with the aid of elastic bands, old Subbuteo figures and the John Williams soundtrack thumping out of my Hitachi tape recorder.

After what felt like an eternity, the movie finally opened here and suddenly it became fashionable to denounce it as 'overrated'. 'It was childish when they were playing trumpets in the Cantina' was my best friend's verdict. That was all he had to say on the subject ( he would have made a great film critic! ). Many people felt that the film had not been worth the six month wait. I was one of the few to speak in its defence. I was glad that sci-fi movies were fun again. Nobody left the theatre with a spring in their step after seeing Milo The Baby Chimp's parents brutally murdered by the U.S. Government at the end of 'Escape From The Planet Of The Apes'.

'Star Wars' spawned two sequels, neither as good, and inspired the likes of 'Alien', 'The Black Hole', 'Star Trek: The Motion Picture' and countless others. Without Lucas, these would simply not have been made.

I am not a big fan of the prequels, but then I'm not young anymore, so can't enjoy that kind of movie in the same way. 'Star Wars' brought 'A New Hope' to those of us wanting old fashioned escapism on the Silver Screen again. I envy kids today for not having to wait until winter for the latest summer blockbuster.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Still remember seeing it after all these years

Author: indnajns from United States
20 April 2008

Of all the movies I've ever seen at the theater, I remember this one the most. Not the actual movie really. I remember coming OUT of the theater. Why? Because we had just seen THE final frontier! We had seen space ships! We had seen other worlds! And not in black and white '50s style sci-fi. This was full color with incredible computer generated graphics. There were real live BELIEVABLE aliens up on the screen! We were flying at light speed across galaxies and star systems! And then the movie was over, the house lights came up, and we had to WALK on CONCRETE to our FOSSIL FUELED vehicles and DRIVE on ASPHALT to get home. How B-O-R-I-N-G. How mundane. I had just seen the future, and then when I left the theater it was all jerked away from me. I'll never forget that feeling. The disappointment of "reality". I've never experienced it with any other movie since, not even any of the other Star Wars episodes. I guess I was just the right age at the right time.

At the time I hated Han Solo. Now that I'm "all grown up" I love Harrison Ford and it's Luke and Leiah that make me cringe. But this really was a special movie. The gateway to a whole new wave of movie making. (for better or worse)

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

The best movie for audiences ever.

Author: masterandahalf from United States
27 February 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

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?

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

the landmark space fantasy

Author: disdressed12 from Canada
22 February 2007

what can you say about his set the bar by which all movies to come would be judged,and this was 1977.i'm talking about the visual effects,which were nothing less than still stands up well to any movie in that regard.remember,they didn't have the benefit of CGI back then,so they relied on miniatures.when you add to that,a compelling story and a soon to be iconic villain(not to mention,the colourful cast of characters)and you have box office gold.sure,the dialogue may be wooden and stilted at times,but that is overshadowed by the achievement of the film.Besides,the film was marketed at 12 year olds,so they're not gonna care about stupid things like dialogue.The original "Star Wars" or as it is subtitled "a New Hope,was a landmark film and single handedly reinvented the science fiction genre. Obviously 10/10

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Just plain fun!

Author: Marx_Bros_Fan86 from United States
21 February 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Star Wars seems to lack the sense of importance that all of the sequels and prequels had. This one just seeks to entertain, and there's nothing wrong with that! Star Wars is one of those miracle movies (a term borrowed from Leonard Maltin) where everything went wrong but it all came together in the end, like Jaws and The Wizard of Oz. The movie was plagued by budget problems, and Lucas was so behind schedule he suffered a few panic attacks, which is probably why he did not direct the sequels.

Star Wars takes the audience on a series of adventures, from encountering sand people in the desert to rescuing a princess on a space station. The special effects and production design is amazing. It takes you into a whole new galaxy and makes you believe it's real. I liked how everything looked old and dirty; prior to Star Wars everything in Sci-fi movies looked brand new. John William's Star Wars score adds a whole new element of fun and is arguably the best work of his career. I can't imagine what Star Wars would be like without his music.

The main characters are all familiar archetypes. Luke is the restless, immature boy who wants to get off the farm and have an adventure. Han Solo is the rugged pirate who only cares for himself. Harrison Ford really steals every scene he's in with his wise guy attitude. Obi-Wan Kenobi is the Sorcerer/Mentor stereotype, like Merlin. Alec Guinness brings a certain classiness to the role, even though this is not even close to his best performance. His final lightsaber battle is slow and boring due to the limitations of the weak lightsabers (David Prowse kept breaking them!) and his old age, but he delivers his verbal quips quite nicely, as does James Earl Jones. The scene where he dies is still very powerful; I love how Vader steps on his empty robe, it's like he's thinking "hey, where are you hiding?" Carrie Fisher plays the kidnapped princess; her performance is tougher and feistier in this movie. She loses those qualities to a certain extent in the following movies.

Hammer Horror film veteran Peter Cushing played the sinister Imperial Officer, Grand Moff Tarkin. It's amazing how Cushing was able to slip into the role of the villain so easily (he certainly looks evil), considering the fact he was most famous for playing protagonists like Van Helsing and Dr. Frankenstein. I cannot give enough praise to James Earl Jones as the voice of Darth Vader, one of the greatest villains of all time. Some of the dialog is embarrassing but the cast was able to bring the characters alive. That is the most important difference between the originals and the prequels. These characters were not complex in any way, but they had good chemistry with each other. The prequel's characters felt like cardboard.

I used to think this was the most boring Star Wars film, and I just don't understand why anymore. I've noticed this film gets criticized for bad pacing, and I could not disagree more. Star Wars has the best pacing of the original trilogy. Empire's plot stopped moving in the middle of the movie, and the first 35-40 minutes of Jedi were a total pit stop. Star Wars on the other hand smoothly builds up to the final climax at the Death Star, without any long story lags. The Battle of Yavin has been criticized for being too long (by Alec Guinness and Roger Ebert), but I don't mind. The Death Star's destruction is an exhilarating moment. Star Wars is also the funniest movie in the series. The bickering between the three heroes on the Death Star is hilarious.

In 2004 the Star Wars movies were revised yet again for the DVD release. I have to say I'm disappointed with how the original trilogy has been treated by Lucas. He seems to support film preservation in every case, except when it comes to his own movies. To me, replacing actors and revising special effects is just as bad as colorizing a black and white movie. It eliminates all of the historical significance. I hope one day the original trilogy will receive better treatment in the future. I would recommend buying the original trilogy on DVD now while you still can. It might not be released again, but with Lucas you can never tell.

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