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.
After the Rebels are brutally overpowered by the Empire on the ice planet Hoth, Luke Skywalker begins Jedi training with Yoda, while his friends are pursued by Darth Vader and a bounty hunter named Boba Fett all over the galaxy.
After a daring mission to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt, the Rebels dispatch to Endor to destroy the second Death Star. Meanwhile, Luke struggles to help Darth Vader back from the dark side without falling into the Emperor's trap.
Three years into the Clone Wars, the Jedi rescue Palpatine from Count Dooku. As Obi-Wan pursues a new threat, Anakin acts as a double agent between the Jedi Council and Palpatine and is lured into a sinister plan to rule the galaxy.
Ten years after initially meeting, Anakin Skywalker shares a forbidden romance with Padmé Amidala, while Obi-Wan Kenobi investigates an assassination attempt on the senator and discovers a secret clone army crafted for the Jedi.
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
At the time of his casting for the movie, Mark Hamill was under contract to co-star on Eight Is Enough (1977). Hamill tried to get out of his contract for Eight Is Enough (1977), as between shooting schedules and filming locations, there was no way he could do both. After filming the pilot for the television series, he was involved in an auto accident damaging his face. This resulted in the television producers deciding to let him out of his contract for the series, enabling him to take the part of Luke. See more »
Just before the escape from Tatooine, Chewbacca puts his bandolier on a chair before sitting down in his co-pilot's chair. He is still 'naked' when during the lift off and when Luke & Obi-Wan enter the cockpit, but when they make the jump to lightspeed he is suddenly wearing his bandolier. See more »
Did you hear that? They shut down the main reactor. We'll be destroyed for sure. This is madness.
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The film's opening prologue: It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire. During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Emperor's ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet. Pursued by the Emperor's sinister agents, Princess Leia races home aboard her starship, custodian of the stolen plans that can save her people and restore freedom to the galaxy .... See more »
These are all the changes made between the 1977, 1997, and 2004 versions:
The scenes where the Stormtroopers are looking through the sand for the escape pod has extra special effects in the 1997 and 2004 versions.
When the Sandcrawler is climbing over the sand, the angle has changed to make the machine look much bigger in the 1997 and 2004 versions.
C3PO saying "We've stopped." has been added to the scene where he and R2D2 are in the sand-crawler for the 2004 version.
The binary sunset on Tatooine was made more consistent between shots in the 2004 version.
When Obi-Wan makes a call to scare away the Tusken Raiders, it has been changed, due to sounding too closely like a dew back scream. In the 2004 version it sounds more like the Boga lizard from Episode III, although it has always said to be the call of the Krayt Dragon in books and other sources.
The establishing shot of Obi-Wan Kenobi's home has been expanded with a big matte painting in the 1997 and 2004 versions.
When Luke, Obi-Wan, and the droids overlook Mos Eisley, the 1997 and 2004 versions have a bigger view with more detail.
When the land speeder arrives in Mos Eisley, the 1997 version added extra effects to make it more real. The 2004 version further enhanced the special effects with more fluid movement.
Mos Eisley itself has been expanded in the 1997 and 2004 versions with extra special effects shots, and the strange black blur under the land speeder has been removed.
In the 1997 version, Greedo shot first during his confrontation with Han Solo, instead of the other way around. The 2004 version has them shooting almost at the exact same time.
The 1997 version added a scene of Han talking to a CGI animated Jabba The Hutt and inserted Boba Fett into the scene as well. The 2004 version retained this scene but improved the CGI Jabba.
When the Millennium Falcon takes off, extra effects were added into the 1997 and 2004 versions to make it smoother and less static.
In the 2004 version, a line has been added to one of the stormtroopers after they search the Millennium Falcon to confirm they found nothing.
A larger Alderaan explosion was added in the 1997 and 2004 versions.
C-3PO's line "The power beam holding the ship is coupled to the main reactor in seven locations. A power loss at one of the terminals will enable the ship to leave" was omitted from the 1981 version, but restored in the 1997 and 2004 versions.
Several laser shots fired in the 1997 and 2004 versions have been censored to not show the impact.
When one of the stormtroopers bang their head on the door, a sound effect has been added in the 2004 version.
The cell block corridor has been expanded in the 2004 version.
The Dianogah in the garbage chute has been improved with CGI in the 2004 version, and now blinks.
The writing on the tractor beam has been changed in the 2004 version to Aurabesh.
When Luke and Leia are running from the stormtroopers and find themselves at a dead end, there is extra echo effect added into the 2004 version.
When Han runs down the corridor and is confronted by stormtroopers, the 1997 and 2004 versions had a whole room full of them.
When Han and Chewie are running from the stormtroopers, the 1997 and 2004 versions add an extra small line for Han.
The light sabers in the Obi-Wan/Darth Vader fight have been cleaned up in the 2004 version. The 2004 version also corrects a shot from shortly after the fight where Darth Vader's light saber had not been colored by the effects crew. It now appears red as it should be.
In the 1997 and 2004 versions, we actually see the Millennium Falcon when it is arriving at the rebel base, and the huge doors are moving now instead of stationary.
There is a small conversation between Luke and his friend Biggs before they go into battle.
When the Rebels launch to go into attack, the 1997 and 2004 versions have added more special effects.
A shot of the Rebel fleet in space has been expanded in the 1997 and 2004 versions and the camera now moves with the X-Wings.
The line "He's ON Your Tail" was added for the 1997 version but removed again for the 2004 version.
The Death Star explosion is expanded in the 1997 and 2004 versions.
Many matte lines have been removed throughout the 1997 and 2004 versions and other similar optical improvements have been made. The overall video and audio quality has also been improved in each version, sometimes with changes to some sound effects.
Though now known as "Episode IV-A New Hope," for many of us, namely those of us who first saw this exhilarating entertainment in theaters back in '77, this will always be the first "Star Wars." We will always think of it as just "Star Wars" - plain & simple, no pretensions, no aspirations to deep film-making or high art. This is where we first met them all: Luke, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Obi-Wan Kenobi (old 'Ben'), Chewbacca, the 2 robots C3PO & R2D2 and, of course, Darth Vader. They were instant pop culture icons; you got the sense you'd seen them before somewhere, but were sure this wasn't possible. But they'd been there before in our minds. We'd read about them constantly in science fiction novels and short stories - tales of outer space civilizations, of spaceships zooming through asteroid belts, of exotic-looking aliens hanging around space ports. We'd dream about them at night and try to imagine ourselves in their midst; up until then, we could only imagine such things - there were no projected images to realize such dreams. "Forbidden Planet" from 1956 came close, and then there were the "Star Trek" and "Lost in Space" TV series, both hampered by dime store budgets and cheesy sets. We ate 'em up since there was nothing else. Then Lucas made it real.
I remember when I first got wind of the upcoming movie, to open in May of 1977, I think. I saw the first publicized poster and bought the novel adaptation. On the poster, a young man stood with some light sword raised, a princess at his feet, numerous spaceships flying all over the place. I was in my mid-teens and felt the first pulse of building excitement as I realized all those fantastic tales I'd been reading the past few years were going to come alive on the big screen for me. It didn't disappoint. Luke Skywalker, who stood in for all the boys pretending to be on a galactic adventure, gets swept away from his mundane desert home smack dab into the middle of an honest-to-gosh galaxy-wide civil war! The strength of the narrative is / was amazing. There are no slow spots and you can't wait for the next scene during the entire experience; and, experience is the better description for it, rather than just 'movie.' You can't wait, for example, for the moment when Luke actually meets the princess; what will happen then? It's a textbook case of an exciting narrative and what I believe makes this superior to all the sequels (knowing that many feel "The Empire Strikes Back" is superior - I must disagree).
The one character you really can't wait to see again is the ominous Vader, naturally. The instant he steps into view during the first few minutes of the story, you just know this is the ultimate villain. This is the baddest of the bad, the coolest of the cool, the supreme uber-evildoer of the entire galaxy. You just know it by his stance, by his attitude, and by the electric chill that runs through your frail form as he steps down the corridor, moving into the annals of film history with one fell swoop. You can't wait to see what he does next, what nefarious action will send someone or some planet to its doom. Sure, he seems under the control of Tarkin (Cushing) here and later, the Emperor, but you just know he's simply biding his time until he takes over the whole damn universe. There is no precedent for Vader, and nothing close to him after. He's at his best here where there's still much mystery attached to his dark frightful form, a minion of Satan and Nazi stormtroopers all rolled into one.
This was also the movie-experience which catapulted Harrison Ford (Solo) into superstardom. He seems almost childish here, not really straining to create a character, and it's this flip charm that makes it work, against all odds. He really does appear to have stepped out of the pages of some juvenile space opera, laser guns blazing, all snide remarks and foolhardy bravado. But he also becomes the older brother figure to Luke, who cannot carry the story by himself. Hamill, whose movie career began & ended with Luke, epitomizes the center of destiny for a galaxy. Both humble and arrogant, he's perfect in the role. Fisher's main surprise is that she's not all sugar and sweet as one would expect of a princess. These three characters evolved in the next two films, but they were always at their best here, icons given life for a short period - but also forever in film. The same could be said for Alec Guinness as Kenobi, a first class act all the way. You almost believe this elderly warrior could topple an empire, given enough time. Unless he runs into Vader...
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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)