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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
George Lucas spent four years developing and working on the galactic fantasy Star Wars. This was after he directed the dystopian science-fiction film THX 1138 (1971) and the rites-of-passage American Graffiti (1973). Star Wars was inspired by the Flash Gordon cartoon strip. It cost $8 million to make in Britain with three little-known Americans in the leading roles, supported by British actors. The story is a simple adventure yarn, and Lucas draws on samurai films, Westerns and every kind of myth, ancient and modern. The dogfights are based on a close study of World War II films. Star Wars was an immediate success. It became one of the great phenomena of cinematic history. It spawned two sequels, three prequels and endless imitators, creating a demand for spectacular blockbusters that has not yet ended. Industrial Light and Magic, the special effects unit that served the film, became a multi-billion dollar organization. Lucas himself also became and has remained one of Hollywood's most powerful figures. The film certainly struck a nerve in an America recovering from the humiliations of the Vietnam war. Ronald Reagan, elected president three years after Star Wars was made, spoke of the Soviet Union as 'the Evil Empire' and gave his proposed space-defense system the title Star Wars. The original Star Wars trilogy contributed to the worldwide renewal of the filmgoing habit, but in creating an appetite for child-like blockbusters that depend on special effects rather than on character and subtle narrative, the film unfortunately played a key role in what was to be called 'the dumbing down' of America and popular culture.
I grew up behind the iron curtain in Hungary. We hardly had the chance
to see Western movies. I was 8 when I saw it, in 1982. I remember we
were late from the movie (I went with my brother and grandmother) and
we arrived to our seats when R2D2 was trying to find a way out from the
icy base of the rebells on Hoth.
I started to watch the film in awe, as I have never seem anything like it in my life. It's difficult to describe what impacts it gave me. Yes, on first level the special vision complex of the movie, the freedom fight against dictatorship, the novel landscapes and then the modern technology, but also the Asian (Buddhist, New Age) philosophy, that I had never encounter until then.
I couldn't get out of its spell for several years. (I think I was in love with Han Solo for several years, too.) And with the movie - even now.
Thanks Gorge Lucas and the Hungarian Distributor, who dared to bring it it in!
After seeing the latest and last Star Wars (Episode 3), I wondered if the first was as good as I remembered it, or had I just gotten tired of all things Star Wars. Tonight we watched the DVD of the first one (The New Hope or Episode 4, as its now called). What a contrast! Real people, real feelings and emotions, humor, adventure, The Cantina Bar, Luke getting in touch with the Force within, Han Solo's sarcasm, Obiwan's wisdom...Alec Guiness brings a depth to the role lacking in the recent movies....but then again, all of these elements seem lacking in the recent movies. The first one is still a gem! Lucas should have stopped here.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
One word can describe Star Wars...Perfection with a capital P! Star
Wars is so perfectly molded together filled with pieces all so crucial
yet all so wonderful,John William's A+++ score, or James Earl Jones'
powerful voice.Really George Lucas' picture should be put next to the
word Lucky in the dictionary.He had such a bizarre concept,and people
had doubts.I mean if he was pitching Star Wars to me I would too.Yet
this is the Little Movie that Could so to say.The acting is A+,my
personal favorite performance is Alec Guiness as Obi-Wan Kenobi.People
would argue about Geogre Lucas not being a great director after the
infamous Prequels,that's a load of B.S.Lucas pours his imagination on
the screen and the audience is captivated.We have to give a standing
ovation to ILM which started in the 70's with Star Wars.The movie is
still amazing to look at nearly 30 years later and with C.G.I in the
movie making mix.The plot sounds bizarre on paper but it works wonders
on screen and flows quickly,I don't believe I have ever checked my
watch while watching Star Wars.I have to applaud Mr.Lucas,Star Wars has
fueled the imaginations of many and will continue to fuel generations
to come.One moment can describe the impact of the whole Star Wars
experience/impact for me,the scene where Luke looks into the setting
suns accompanied by William's brilliant score.It's a very moving
scene.I really think it tells you to look out for more in your life to
become something so to say.Star Wars can only be surpassed by it's
sequel Empire Strikes Back but looking back at both I think they are
even.Empire Stikes Back and Star Wars are in my opinion the best movies
A classic story with a perfect cast, memorable score and dazzling
special effects. Movies don't get any better than this. More space
opera than true sci-fi, Star Wars takes you on a magical ride through a
galaxy far, far away.
The first moment of genius comes right at the very start with a written crawl which gives a basic plot outline and without which all that immediately followed would be hard to place in context. After John Williams' now legendary opening theme we are thrust into the first of many thrilling space battles to come. Almost immediately we are introduced to one of the great movie villains of all time, Darth Vader who is voiced with true menace by James Earl Jones, and it becomes clear that this film is not quite like anything we have seen before.
Star Wars may seem to be your typical good versus evil swashbuckling adventure but there's a lot more going on here. The hero, Luke Skywalker, is your typical simple, clean-cut farm boy who will soon be thrust into the middle of a galactic war of as grand a scale as could be imagined. But he is not our only hero. Princess Leia, a leader of the rebellion against the evil Galactic Empire, is certainly not your typical helpless fairy-tale princess. She gives as good as she gets. Obi-Wan Kenobi is the older, wiser more seasoned hero and the mentor young Luke will desperately need. Han Solo is a space pirate in it only for the money, not for any revolution. Solo's first mate aboard his ship, the Milennium Falcon, is Chewbacca, a giant Wookiee who is remarkably adept at space flight for a creature which resembles a hairy two-legged dog. Also along for the ride to help our heroes are the droids C-3PO and R2-D2 who provide not only critical help for our heroes but some comic relief for the audience.
The performances in Star Wars are all first-rate. Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker plays the young, naive Skywalker very well and Hamill grows right along with the character throughout the film. Carrie Fisher brings the appropriate smarts, skills, sophistication and determination to Princess Leia. Without Fisher's quality performance it might be hard to believe that this young woman could play such a pivotal role in a rebellion of this magnitude. Alec Guinness is reliably brilliant as old Jedi master Kenobi. He is mysterious, quiet and reserved yet very strong indeed. Stealing the show is Harrison Ford as Han Solo. It seems Ford gets all the best lines and he makes the most of them. Luke Skywalker may be the nominal hero of the film but it is Ford as Solo from which Star Wars gets most of its personality.
George Lucas has crafted a true masterpiece here. The classic struggle of the underdog against the evil oppressor takes on many new twists here. The mysterious Force, the foreboding and menacing Darth Vader, alien creatures of all imaginable shapes and sizes, the epic nature of a battle which rages across an entire galaxy...in the end it all comes together to form something unique and truly wonderful. With action and adventure on a grand scale, fascinating characters on both sides of the fight, special effects that were revolutionary for the time and an ever-building sense of drama and excitement Star Wars is an absolute triumph.
Well, the only way to begin this review is to mention when I saw "Star
Wars" for the very first time. I was merely a baby, from what I recall
my parents telling me before their divorce. I wasn't even born when
this first feature film hit theatres. I'm nineteen now, but I must
admit that "Star Wars" was one of the many things that decorated my
childhood. I always adored it, and always looked-up to Luke Skywalker.
It was the type of view I can only assume all boys had; we all wanted
to be a Luke Skywalker. We wanted to be the cool hero with a
lightsaber. In this review, I will do my very best not to give you a
biased review. However, forgive me, for I have always been a "Star
Wars" fanatic. This was my first re-viewing in quite a while, so at
least I'm reviewing the film with a clear set of eyes.
When two droids, C3-PO and R2-D2, escape the clutches of a shoot-out on a spaceship, they land on a desert-covered landscape, only to find themselves captured as slaves. They are reunited among the slavetraders, called Jawas. The Empire realizes that Princess Leia Organa had sent a message along with one of the droids who managed to escape the attack, so they begin to hunt for R2-D2 and C3-PO. Little does the Empire know that a young man, Luke Skywalker, and his uncle, Owen, had just purchased the two droids from the Jawas. While cleaning the two droids up, Luke stumbles upon the message Princess Leia had left for an "Obi-Wan Kenobi". Luke considers "Obi-Wan" a possible relative of a man named Ben Kenobi and goes on the look for him. For now, I will end my synopsis for the fact that I just described the first half-hour of the film. I want there to be more for you. All you need to know is that Luke is taken on a journey that changes his entire life and purpose, helping him make a transfer from a teen who longs to leave the ranch he is stuck living on to a man seeking the fall of the Empire. This film isn't just a film; it is a true adventure.
When it comes to the acting in "Star Wars", I truly don't believe it could get any better whatsoever. Mark Hamill was born to play Luke, Harrison Ford dominated his role as the swift Han Solo (a bounty hunter Luke ends up traveling with), Carrie Fisher is courageously independent as Princess Leia and doesn't fall into the shadows of her co-stars, but Alec Guinness was exceptional as Ben (or Obi-Wan) Kenobi. There is something magical and hopeful about the way Alec portrays Obi-Wan in this film. Also, Anthony Daniels is perfect as C3-PO! He may have been the simple comic relief, but I promise you he was the perfect choice for this character. I truly cannot see anyone ever playing this golden-plated character, who has practically become the symbol for any outsider who may have not seen the films. Without a doubt, the acting was exceptional in all respects. I believe the trickiest had to have been David Prowse, seeing as how Lucas ended-up not using Prowse's real voice for Darth Vader. With that thought, I must say that I enjoy James Earl Jones' voice much more for the character.
Anyways, moving along! The writing of each character was phenomenal. I feel that the banter was so well-done that it brings these characters to life even more, seeing the situations each of them are in within the duration of the film. "Star Wars" was also plotted very well, with all events and scenes not feeling out of place once.
The special effects, I must say, are top-notch, even if they have aged a bit in 2013 viewer's eyes. At some points, the effects look fantastic, while other scenes look like a "Star Wars" fan film from YouTube. That's common with classic cinema, so I don't mind it. I sincerely believe that people aren't the only ones to age.
This "Star Wars" film is definitely not my favorite, but it runs right behind "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi", on my list. Overall, it is still very enjoyable with set designs that look like legitimate places amongst the galaxy. The detailing of the sets in this film are just shockingly realistic.
"Star Wars" deserves the eight stars that I have rated it. I like it, hold it as a memory in my heart, but find it to be an action-fantasy film, for the most part. It is brilliant, it is intelligent, and it is worth a try. I highly recommend the film.
May the force be with you all! God bless, and Merry Christmas!
I was never a "Star Wars" guy growing up. I wouldn't say that I was a
"Star Trek" guy growing up either ("Doctor Who" was my sci-fi franchise
of choice growing up, and still is, even though I'm not a big fan of
Russell T. Davies' version of the show), but I would definitely choose
my favorite episodes of the original series or "Deep Space 9", "The
Wrath of Khan", and "The Undiscovered Country" over any "Star Wars"
film. I've seen the original trilogy a couple of times previously, once
as a kid, once in my mid-teens, and now I sit down to watch "Star Wars"
again, having been inspired by catching half of "The Empire Strikes
Back" on TV recently and being enthralled by it.
The first thing that struck me is how great the opening shot is, just after the scrolling text that is. The rest of the movie was pretty much how I remembered it being- a collection of great set-pieces and memorable characters, and a great mythology, but with a story which wasn't nearly as grand and great as "The Empire Strikes Back". Although a point of criticism aimed at "Star Wars" by its (relatively few) detractors is that it doesn't quite match the real feel of a 30's/40's serial, I think that it really does, and not only in the way it is shot and the transitional wipes and all that, but in the writing, the acting, and just about everything else. It has that same sense of adventure, and although this particular film is nowhere near as good as some of my favorite serials, it remains something which very accurately captures the feel of watching one of those, and its popularity (and the popularity of "Raiders of the Lost Ark") is hence quite understandable, as very few of even the big summer blockbusters have the same sensibility and sense of adventure, and well, fun.
Watching "Star Wars", in spite of it not being my favorite of the original trilogy, serves as a reminder of the talent which George Lucas had at one point. I don't think this film is as good as his previous effort, "American Graffiti", which is the greatest 'coming of age' film I've ever seen, and one of the most beautiful films ever made from a visual standpoint, but it's still got spirit and energy which his later efforts just don't. It's quite sad, really.
There's really nothing I can say that hasn't been said already (which is true, certainly of many popular films, but this is freakin' "Star Wars", so trust me, I have NOTHING to add to what has already been said). There are "Star Wars" devotees who swear it is the greatest of the trilogy and one of the best movies ever made, there are detractors who think it's cheesy nonsense, and then there are others like me who like it quite a bit, but aren't sure where all the extravagant praise comes from. "The Empire Strikes Back"... Well, that's a whole other story.
When Episode IV came out I was not even born. I guess I was too young to see Episodes V & VI. So my brother and grew up with it on the TV screen. When The Special Edition was getting released into theaters my brother and I were like "We HAVE to see them!" So on opening day my brother and I got in line at Tinseltown 290 in Houston to buy four tickets. Standing behind me is a Cinemark employee dressed as Darth Vader. I don't know why I laughed at that moment. We originally wanted the 10:45pm showing but it was sold out and they added an extra showing at 1am. So at 1am myself, my brother, our Dad and our aunt went to see it. The lights went out and some guy behind us yelled "Chewie!". You those familiar drums then the Fox logo. Then Lucas Film Ltd the people applauded. Then "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away." There was silence for that. Then the "Star Wars" came on the screen the theater applauded loudly. It was great. My brother and I agree George Lucas is a genius. Such imagination. He deserved that AFI Life Acchievment Award this year. George Lucas joins the ranks of Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Peter Jackson among others as a great director. Way to go George!
This movie came along when science fiction was a stagnant genre, it
redefined the way we look at movies. This was the first movie in the
star wars saga (the others include, the empire strikes back, return of
the jedi, the phantom menace, attack of the clones revenge of the sith)
and one of the better ones of the series.
Characters like Luke Skywalker, Ben Kenobi, Princess Leia, Han Solo and Darth Vader (arguably one of the best villains for a scifi movie) become instant classics.
This movie had its great, classic moments and remains my favourite film. The action in this movie is great, even today and the special effects were very good for their time.
Over the years Director George Lucas has made various alterations to the films which have upset many of the fans. I think that these alterations do not change what the film is about at its core, and does not change my mind that star wars (no matter what edition it is) is my favourite film.
This is quite simply a masterpiece.
By far the film that has progressed the film industry the farthest. This is the breakthrough in films. This film set raised the benchmark for standard of films that is still not being reached by many films today, almost 30 years on.
This introduces us to our characters and sets the story for out trilogy. A little slow to get started i grant you. An exciting opening scene is followed by what to my mind is a little too much of Threepio and Artoo traipsing through the dunes of Tatooine. After that though it is a non stop ride of action, adventure, drama and comedy. The excitement of learning about the force will never be surpassed and never has an idea been so gripping.
Watch this film if you only watch one film in your life. Of course if you are only going to watch one film in your like then after seeing this i am afraid that will drastically be changed into only watching 6 films in your life!!!
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