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Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)

Star Wars (original title)
Trailer
2:02 | Trailer
Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a Wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the mysterious Darth Vader.

Director:

George Lucas

Writer:

George Lucas
Popularity
287 ( 23)
Top Rated Movies #25 | Won 6 Oscars. Another 52 wins & 29 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mark Hamill ... Luke Skywalker
Harrison Ford ... Han Solo
Carrie Fisher ... Princess Leia Organa
Peter Cushing ... Grand Moff Tarkin
Alec Guinness ... Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi
Anthony Daniels ... C-3PO
Kenny Baker ... R2-D2
Peter Mayhew ... Chewbacca
David Prowse ... Darth Vader
Phil Brown ... Uncle Owen
Shelagh Fraser ... Aunt Beru
Jack Purvis ... Chief Jawa
Alex McCrindle ... General Dodonna
Eddie Byrne ... General Willard
Drewe Henley ... Red Leader (as Drewe Hemley)

Here's Your Cheat Sheet for the 'Star Wars' Saga

With the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, this is the perfect opportunity to recap the epic space opera audiences have enjoyed for over 40 years.

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Storyline

The Imperial Forces, under orders from cruel Darth Vader, hold Princess Leia hostage in their efforts to quell the rebellion against the Galactic Empire. Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, captain of the Millennium Falcon, work together with the companionable droid duo R2-D2 and C-3PO to rescue the beautiful princess, help the Rebel Alliance and restore freedom and justice to the Galaxy. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

May the Force be with you. One year old today. (Star Wars Happy Birthday Poster) See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for sci-fi violence and brief mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

At one point when the prospects for the movie's release seemed bleakest, the idea came up that perhaps the effects could be removed from the movie and recycled into a television show. See more »

Goofs

Just before Alderaan is destroyed, Governor Tarkin asks the Princess "You would prefer another target, a military target, then name the system!" In the reaction shot of the Princess you can see Tarkin's mouth moving but there is no sound. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
C-3PO: Did you hear that? They shut down the main reactor. We'll be destroyed for sure. This is madness.
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Crazy Credits

The 20th anniversary special edition has a 1997 copyright date in the credits, rather than a 1977 copyright date. See more »

Alternate Versions

The film was originally released with two stereo mixes created from the same four-track master. Later, a third audio mix was prepared for theaters which had not upgraded to Dolby stereo yet. This third audio mix was in mono and had a few minor differences from the other two audio mixes such as Aunt Beru being dubbed by a different actress. In 1981, two of the three versions were updated to include the "A New Hope" subtitle - the version not updated was the mono mix. Later on, a fifth audio mix was created (the fourth being created for the 1985 VHS release) for the 1993 Definitive Collection Laserdisc set. This audio mix combined elements from all three of the theatrical audio mixes but was primarily sourced from the 70mm stereo mix. The 1997 Special Edition and 2004 DVD release feature more changes (both audio and visual). The 2006 DVD bonus disc is made from the masters for the 1993 Definitive Collection laserdisc set but with the highest quality 1977 print available spliced in for the original opening crawl. This means that (excluding TV edits and pan & scan releases) there have been at least TEN different versions of Star Wars to date. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Supergirl: Battles Lost and Won (2018) See more »

User Reviews

 
The Force will be with you, always.
27 July 2018 | by SantiagoDM1See all my reviews

"A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away..."

Pre review:

Its writing started in January 1973, "eight hours a day, five days a week", George Lucas said by taking small notes, inventing odd names and assigning them possible characterization... After many drafts, he finally came to a satisfactory conclusion.

Then, Lucas presented Star Wars to the United Artists, but they refused to budget the film, so he went to Universal Pictures, the studio that financed American Graffiti; however, it was rejected, as the film concept was "too strange".

Suddenly, Alan Ladd Jr -head of 20th Century Fox- appeared, a man that trusted in Lucas' genius. And that's how Star Wars became a reality.

The shooting of the movie was full of mishaps, problems with practical effects never done before, a bad first edit of the movie, but that didn't stop George from fulfilling his Space Opera. Due to those setbacks, Fox Studios began to put pressure on Lucas to finish the movie. Finally, the movie was done. On the eve of Star Wars release, 20th Century Fox, George Lucas and his cast and crew braced themselves for the worse. One way or another, May 25, 1977 would be a day they would never forget...

Review:

Star Wars is a modern tale of mythic adventure. It follows the journey and growth of the protagonist: Luke Skywalker. His journey of discovery is set amidst a larger struggle between the Empire and the Rebel Alliance; both parties are embroiled in a civil war. The Empire is comprised of corrupted power within a small group of leaders. These sullied leaders abuse their power over the masses with impunity. It is oppression and repression of the masses. The Empire wants to destroy the hope of the rebellion to ensure the small group of leaders can keep their power...

One of the most important features of the movie are the special effects. The use motion control was even superior to Stanley Kubrick's revolutionary masterpiece: "2001: A Space Odyssey" thanks to the creation of The Dykstraflex, the first digital motion control photography camera system developed for Star Wars on 1976. Along with an incredibly iconographic character and production design, the movie became stylistically unique.

The story and the characters are original and relatable. R2-D2 and C-3PO: the astromech as the optimistic adventurer's desiring to move forward. In direct opposition C-3PO, the protocol droid filled with doubt and reservations. Luke Skywalker, the brave hero, often haunted by doubts and hopes about his future journey. Obi-Wan Kenobi, the wise master and moral guidance of our hero. Han Solo, the rebellious smuggler whose personality represents tenacity. Leia, the damsel "in distress", a fearsome princess and general. Finally, Darth Vader, the most iconic character in the franchise, the merciless tyrant in a black suit, representing evil and final conflict of the journey.

The film score presents an emotional resonance trough a romantic 1930s Hollywood orchestral score that was commissioned for composer John Williams, who succeeded to create a haunting constellation of operatic leitmotifs.

The visual composition is authentic, as Lucas wanted a nostalgic "filtered look" so he kept changing key lights for a "flashing" effect. He used a loose, "nervous" frame, as in newsreels. The dramatic center was displaced, deflecting the eye to background activity, which in later films would include poetically changing weather. This first film gradually turned darker, following a symbolic color scheme where organic brown and warm gold yielded to high-tech black, white, and steely gray." This is authenticity is reflected in it's most iconic shot: the 'Binary Sunset' sequence, which establishes the narrative through-line of the story and the world it takes place in, the main value of the scene lies in how powerfully and economically it develops Luke's character: As the suns begin to slowly sink in the evening sky, he gazes towards the horizon, his sense of longing for something more is palpable. Taking things further, he goes on to squint into the distance as if he could see his new future just out of reach, and for the first time we get to see him not as a kid, but for as a new hope.

Books such as "The hero with a thousand faces" by Joseph Campbell structured the story, The War of Vietnam inspired the battle between the Rebels and the Empire, the lifestyle of buddhist monks characterized the Jedi, real shots of warplanes made the space battles real, Kendo foreshadowed the epic lightsaber duel, Akira Kurosawa's storytelling influenced the focus on minor characters, Fritz Lang's it's iconic protocol droid and John Ford westerns determined it's soul.The fascination with filmmaking and anthropology are the components that allowed Star Wars to be compelling and human, besides being located on a galaxy far, far away.

10/10


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 May 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,554,475, 30 May 1977

Gross USA:

$460,998,507

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$775,398,007
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (special edition)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (as Dolby System) (35 mm prints) (1977 print)| DTS-Stereo (as DTS Stereo® in selected theatres) (1997 print)| Dolby Digital (as Dolby® Digital in selected theatres) (1997 print)| Dolby Atmos | SDDS (as Sony Dynamic Digital SoundTM in selected theatres) (1997 print)| Mono (some 35 mm prints) (other 16 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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