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In the summer of 1977, during a time when most motion pictures were all
about being rough and gritty, Star Wars exploded onto the scene with
its fresh take on classic adventurism and epic storytelling. The
immense popularity that followed ensured that it beat the odds against
a skeptical studio that never saw the viability of the franchise, and
ensured its resounding success for decades. It has since become the
progenitor of all modern blockbuster films.
Whether you start the series here or with the modern prequel The Phantom Menace, you'll be immediately submerged into a unique and original universe. Great care and consideration is placed into every person, place, and thing in the series, with an exceptional level of background and detail. Entering the Star Wars universe is one of the deepest and most lively franchises, even to this day.
The story kicks off right in the middle of a big space pursuit, and maintains steadily fast pacing throughout. The original special effects have always been impressive, with loads of quality models and matte paintings that still hold up. There are a number of added CGI scenes from the '97 update, which haven't aged that well. But what really matters is the spirit of the movie; whether lurking around the seedy underbelly of Mos Eisley, or storming the decks of the Death Star, the movie is loaded with action and comedy, and it takes itself seriously only when it has to. The resulting thrill ride is as lighthearted as it is exciting and memorable.
Borrowing directly from Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress, and with some influence by classic sci-fi serials like Buck Rogers, the story for this is not terribly original, but it is a solid and fresh take on the genre, with a cast of fine characters. The biggest and most original contribution is Luke Skywalker's journey from being a humble farm boy to being the hero of the Rebel Alliance (featuring themes that echo Lucas' previous film American Graffiti). The film's structuring allows for a steady introduction to all the characters and concepts, making it easily digestible and continuously iconic.
The film is competently-made, with solid photography and editing. Special effects are groundbreaking for its time. At times, I feel that the imagery with the given camera angles, lighting effects, costume and set designs, are like an evolution of THX1138, lending the film a slick futuristic appeal. Acting tends to be a bit hammy in all the Star Wars films, but are probably at their best here; Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Sir Alec Guinness bring the characters to life in a vivid and memorable way. Writing can be quite nutty, but the dialogue is memorable. All of the film's sets, props, costumes, and special effects are swell, even if they do show their age a little. And the music is excellent; John Williams' original score matches the movie perfectly, and is exceptional.
5/5 (Entertainment: Perfect | Story: Perfect | Film: Perfect)
May the fourth be with you everybody! Today, on Star Wars day, I figure
it only fitting to review the film that started the whole starry craze,
Akira Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress! Nah, just kidding, it's Star Wars
Episode 4: A New Hope of course. It has been said countless times that
Star Wars was based upon the Kurosawa samurai films as well as the
Flash Gordon serials of the 1930s and 40s, but in my eyes, it's an all
around fairy tale in space. Think about it, you've got the dashing,
optimistic hero in Luke Skywalker, the wise, old mentor and hermit in
Obi-Wan Kenobi, the damsel in distress mistress in Princess Leia, and
the terrifying wizard with black attire in Darth Vader. It's like a
Brothers Grimm tale or a tale written by L. Frank Baum, who you all
know as the mind behind The Wizard of Oz. But what makes Star Wars
great is something I can't sum up in one single review, but I'll
certainly give it a try for your sake. This is 1977's Star Wars, the
film that changed cinema forever.
I can relate to this film on so many levels. I see a lot of myself in the characters of Luke Skywalker, C-3P0 and even the cocky Han Solo, a rebellious lad with a devil may care point of view. I can also look up to Obi-Wan Kenobi, who has become a lot like his master Qui-Gon Jinn by this episode. He has gone from a brash, outspoken padawan who viewed many creatures as useless to a wise old man who saw the potential in all creatures. I love Obi-Wan's wisdom and it's wisdom I live by every minute of everyday of my life. My favorite line of his is "Who's the more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?" He has such a rich perspective of everything and his knowledge of the Force can give you the push you need to go about even the deadliest of tasks. It's his guidance that finally allows Luke to demolish the Death Star at the film's finale and it's probably something that will carry onto mentor Luke in the upcoming Star Wars Episode 7. Obi-Wan is the kind mentor we all wish we could get knowledge from so we could become wiser souls.
Darth Vader is a menacing entity and is up there with the Wicked Witch of the West as one of film's greatest foes. The emotionless mask and deep dark voice of James Earl Jones really makes him ever more terrifying than he already is, but if you saw what he once was in Episodes 1,2 and 3, you tend to fear him less and less. It's hard to believe that underneath that breathing helmet is the charred face of Hayden Christensen, a once proud hero with a charming charisma. Little did we know that it would take him two more films until he finally reached his redemption and even than, it was before his untimely demise. Darth Vader is a motion picture icon, not only because of his wickedness and evilness, but because of his tragic past and his fight to gain back what he lost all those years ago. That's what makes an incredible villain, a villain that never wanted to be bad, but was thrust into badness because of one fatal decision.
The other characters are also worthy of mention. Mark Hamill prevails as the adventurous, yet good hearted Luke Skywalker who would become the galaxy's most acclaimed hero towards the film's conclusion. Carrie Fisher's Princess Leia is a lot like Dorothy Gale or Alice in Lewis Carroll's classic Wonderland stories. Sure, she gets captured, but she's perfectly capable of defending herself and even defending her companions. She's a fearless woman who is not even afraid of kissing her long lost brother straight on the lips. Harrison Ford's Han Solo is probably the film's most memorable human character and with his headstrong and hipster attitude, he was what a lot of children wanted to be like when they first saw Star Wars back in 77. He's the ideal punk, but he's also the gallant hero and tough guy who's not scared to shoot down some green aliens (Who cares who shot first!) or stormtroopers.
Personally, I became more fascinated with the non human characters like Chewbacca (Why didn't he get a medal!), R2-D2 and C-3P0, for like the humans, they were always trying to get the spotlight and give their share to the story. I feel like C-3PO is the most underrated character in all of Star Wars, for he is often seen as a symbol of homosexuality and annoyance. But Star Wars has a timeless story first and for most and this story gets better and better every time you experience it. Every time you experience it, you spot things you never spotted beforehand and that adds to the film's overall charm and magic. Even though it was made in the 70s, it still has the touch of a story that will last forever and never wear out. With all it's grand special effects (no matter what version of the film it is) and alien lifeforms, Star Wars is a storybook with a grand scale and a powerful, prudent moral that all creatures have a force flowing through them, allowing them to reach out and achieve the impossible.
I'm not quite sure but I think that's why we love it so much. That's the reason I love it at least.
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.
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)
Star Wars, now known as Episode IV: A New Hope, is the perfect showcase
of everything that makes a movie great. It is one of those occasions
where everything in the film seems to of perfectly fell in
place(although if you know the story behind the making of it, it wasn't
so smooth). The acting, directing, writing, production design, special
effects, and anything else I've forgotten, is simply top-notch. This
movie did so many things for film, most notably the special effects,
but it also gave us three of the greatest young actors of the late 70s
and 80s, Mark Hammill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford. Then the film
also created the blockbuster, and is the definition of what a
blockbuster should be(humor, emotion, action, heart). On the last point
the action is probably the most exhilarating and exciting action I've
ever seen on film, the Death Star Trench Run is the definite highlight
of the film. This film is just simply superb and is picture perfect,
and is definitely one of the greatest and most memorable films of
all-time. It's hard to believe that this all sprung from one man's
imagination, George Lucas(writer/director of the film). STAR
Rating: A picture perfect 10 out of 10!!!!!!!
Star Wars changed everyone's lives when it came out in 1977, including
mine. I can still remember the anticipation as a little kid waiting in
line to see this amazing movie I kept reading about.
It definitely lived up to every bit of hype I had heard up to that point. I got my popcorn and my soda, sat down with my cousin and we watched in awe at everything we saw on the screen.
I am definitely a Star Wars kid, and feel very lucky to have actually seen the original in the theater, something that today's kids can never experience because all big event films are all children of Star Wars after all. But there will never be anything like this first movie, the greatest film of all time! If you haven't seen it yet, see it!
This is an incredibly entertaining and well crafted space epic that has
become a modern day legend and spawned several (for me, disappointing)
sequels and prequels. This classic is a basic story of good versus
evil, combined with a futuristic space setting and special effects.
While it may be kind of fun to jokingly tell others 'May the force be
with you', no one should seriously be getting their theology from it
(as a few cult like followers seem to) since really, it's essentially a
science fiction fairy tale.
As everyone must surely know, this original Star Wars tells the story of a handsome young farm boy and our hero, Luke Skywalker, who teams up with Han Solo, Chewbacca, a couple of 'droids' (C-P3O and R2-D2), and of course the grand master, Obi-Wan Kenobi to protect the galaxy from the villainous Darth Vader and save the beautiful Princess Leia from the clutches of the Evil Empire.
The movie became part of everyday life in the late 1970's and 1980's, and the phrase 'Evil Empire' so commonplace and universally understood that President Raegan used it to describe the Communist regime of the former Soviet Union. His proposed plans for defensive space weaponry even became known as the Star Wars missile defense program.
The actors are all perfect in their roles. Mark Hamill gives a charming boy next door heroism to the young Luke Skywalker, Harrison Ford a charismatic magnetism to Solo, Carrie Fisher a vulnerability, yet smart and feisty competence to the captive Princess, and Alec Guinness a mature wisdom to Kenobi. Of course the real stars of the show are C-P3O and R2-D2, an extremely lovable character who never actually speaks but simply pops and whistles. Each droid has a clearly defined personality and their interaction together is priceless.
It's a great story with wonderfully noble, courageous heroes and dark, dreadful villains. Wonderful special effects of course and star fighting action sequences. In fact, the problem for me with the later Star Wars movies is that, apart from developing the character of Darth Vader and revealing the origin of his wickedness, the other films are primarily effects, star fighting, and galactic bars. Short on plot for adults, in my opinion. I really enjoyed this original picture, but found the prequels and sequels boring to sit through. Also, the Star Wars movies do not have anything comparable to the character interaction present in the Star Trek TV series or films, which I much prefer to Star Wars, even this original episode.
However, George Lucas and his string of Star Wars pictures are a legend, and this first movie at least is a barrel of entertainment for both kids and adults.
This great classic has so many good elements it's almost impossible to
list them all: The breathtaking visual effects, still awesome 28 years
on; the brilliant script, which mixed epic battles and duels with
matinée-serial-style characters and dialogues; the debut of one of the
greatest villains in cinema history, Darth Vader; John Williams'amazing
and unforgettable score, among the Top 10 best scores ever...
All those things are just some of the reasons Star Wars is among the best movies (not just sci-fi) ever made: viewing after viewing, it never stops being impressive, and words are nearly useless to describe the impact it still has on the audience.
George Lucas basically took a medieval story and moved it to a distant galaxy, on weird and fascinating planets. Almost everything is taken from the Middle Ages: there are knights, sword-fighting, evil Empires, unsatisfied people who want to overthrow the system, beautiful princesses waiting to be rescued...
Then we've also got speeders, light-sabers, peculiar (and, in the case of Jabba the Hutt, disgusting) creatures, the Death Star, and of course the Force, that fascinating energy which is supposed to bring balance to the galaxy.
The cast is a gas, both the newcomers and the veterans: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford are great as Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo (Ford in particular is hilarious as the arrogant but ultimately nice "scoundrel"), but the most memorable performance is of course Alec Guinness'portrayal of Obi-Wan Kenobi, the old, wise Jedi who returns one last time to initiate Luke to the mysteries of the Force.
But let's not forget what everybody immediately thinks of when Star Wars is mentioned: Darth Vader. Feared by his opponents as well as his servants, this completely emotionless foe has become the very symbol of Lucas'masterpiece. He's one of those movie-characters people will remember as long as films will keep being made and his unsettling breathing noise still echoes in our memories...
The beginning of a wonderful saga, whose only rival is The Lord of the Rings.
May the Force be with you...
I loved this movie. I have always loved this movie. I always will love this movie. It is simply amazing. The actors, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamil and Carrie Fisher all did an excellent job. However my favorite character was Darth Vader. He is evil with being ugly or digusting. The high level of quality from a film made in 1977 is astounding. Still being from the seventies, this film has some pretty interesting hair. But it is THE film that defined how science fiction movies are supposed to be. I did my term paper on the affects of Star Wars on the science fiction genre and the movie industry itself. Needless to say I didn't have to work that hard, the movies speaks for itself. If you haven't seen it, watch it. I love this film.
I was four years old when I saw this movie and I remembered the whole thing, from beginning to end. It was summer and my family was spending a month at our camp. One day my sister (2 years old at the time) and I had been fighting all day. My parents sent us off to bed for a nap before dinner and I grudgingly complied. I was awoken by my father, he was asking me if I wanted to go see a movie. "It has spaceships, and robots, and lasers, you'll love it!" I looked at him through swollen eyes and asked, "does Jenna get to go to?" When I heard him say no, I knew I was in for a HUGE treat. We arrived at a nearly empty theater, and took our seats. When the first jarring chord of the theme hit me, and my father began reading the opening story, I was captivated. It was the happiest day of my life. To hell with all your nitpicking. When something makes that great an impression on a four year old, you know it has to be something truly special. By the way, I'm wearing the Boba Fett t-shirt my son's mother gave me as a gift. And no, I'm not some greasy, Star Wars obsessed dork. Well, not any more...
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