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

Star Wars (original title)
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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
89 ( 20)
Top Rated Movies #25 | Won 6 Oscars. Another 52 wins & 28 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)
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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:

The force will be with you (re-release) See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

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:

$775,512,064
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (special edition)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (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)| 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:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie borrows several ideas from The Wizard of Oz (1939). (As well as other traditions, stories and staples in the sci-fi/fantasy genre.) Examples include Luke living on a farm with his aunt Beru and uncle Owen; like Dorothy Gale living on a farm with Auntie Em and Uncle Henry; who are Dorothy's parental figures just as Luke's aunt and uncle are his. Also Luke and Han dressing up as stormtroopers to rescue Princess Leia, which also occurred in The Wizard of Oz (1939) as Dorothy's friends dressed up as Winkie Guards to save her in the Witch's castle, and Chewbacca, like the Cowardly Lion, is bipedal, and both serve as supporting characters. Also C3P0 is dead ringer for the Tin Woodsman. Luke has a combative relationship with his Uncle, just as Dorothy is combative with her aunt; but warm with her Uncle like Luke is warm with his aunt. The de-masking of Darth Vader in Jedi is much like the Wizard coming out from behind the curtain in Wizard of Oz. The villains in Wizard of Oz and Star Wars are both older, same-gender foils for the hero; both evil sorcerers with magic powers and a command over a huge army; who are trying to take over the world they inhabit; and both are dressed in black; and both come to a shocking end in the sagas they inhabit; the Wicked Witch melting in Oz, and Vader dying at the end of Jedi. The little Jawas who steal C3P0 and R2D2 at the beginning of Star Wars are like the Munchkins in Oz; the Ewoks are much like the Munchkins as well. Obiwan, the great Wizard (or Jedi) in Star Wars, melting down or evaporating to nothing during the Vader saber battle is reminiscent of the Wicked Witch melting down to nothing during her battle with Dorothy in Oz. (Obiwan the wizard/Jedi dying and getting resurrected during Star Wars is much like Gandalf the Wizard dying and getting resurrected during the Lord of the Rings saga; as well as like Aslan dying and getting resurrected during the Chronicles of Narnia). Glinda's verbal sparring with The Wicked Witch is like Vader sparring with Obiwan in the saber battle. Glinda overseeing Dorothy; and being a guardian angel type character who blesses her; helps her in times of trouble and helps her get home at the ending is much like Luke's relationship with Obiwan; who also oversees Luke and gives him advice in times of trouble, trying to save him. Luke and his band of Merry adventuring friends is much like Dorothy and her companions in Oz; much like the Fellowship of the Ring as well; or the Pevensie children. And Luke and his friends getting medals and presents at the end of Star Wars from Leia is similar to Dorothy and her friends getting medals and presents from the Wizard at the end of Oz. (Or the Pevensie children becoming Kings and Queens in the Chronicles of Narnia; or Aragorn becoming the king of Middle-Earth and marrying Arwyn at the end of The Lord of the Rings.) See more »

Goofs

The hologram of Leia that Luke discovers changes for one repetition as Luke and C3PO discuss it. 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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film has no opening credits. Instead, the first credits seen at the end of the film are presented in the order in which they would have otherwise been shown at the start. Although by the late 1990s it was commonplace for films to not have opening credits, in 1977 it was somewhat unusual for a major film to not have opening credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

The film has numerous Hungarian versions:
  • The original subtitled release from 1979 renamed Chewbacca to Harah for unclear reasons.
  • The first dubbed release, made for a 1984 television broadcast introduced dialogue changes that were carried over into later dubs. The Clone Wars are simply named "the War", as the translator couldn't make sense of the term. Han Solo's boasts about the Millennium Falcon are rewritten; instead of referencing the Kessel Run, Han says the ship can lose Imperial Star Destroyers under one twentieth of a second. His mention of the planet Corellia is also removed. Greedo's dialogue is dubbed using heavy voice-modulation effects. The rest of the dub often simplified lines (Obi-Wan Kenobi's "Who's more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?" became "Giving it a try is no more foolish than sitting here and waiting.") and used a number of old-timey expressions that might sound odd and dated to contemporary viewers.
  • The second dub from a 1995 VHS release kept the dialogue changes but recast most of the voices. Greedo is dubbed again, with a normal voice.
  • In the 1997 Special Edition dub, Greedo's original dialogue is left intact and subtitled. Only some of the other voices were changed, most of the VHS cast returned to their roles. This version contains a notable flub: Kenobi's line "This little one's not worth the effort." completely changes its meaning due to a single typo. Instead of "ne rajta" ("not on him"), he accidentally says "na rajta" ("well, come on"), making it seem like he's instigating a fight rather than asking the guys harassing Luke to stop.
  • All later releases of the film use the 1997 dub. Subsequent changes to the American version's audio, like Kenobi's updated Krayt Dragon call were not implemented.
  • The Blu-Ray release rewrote Greedo's subtitles, leading to an error wherein Han's final response doesn't follow what Greedo has said. Television broadcasts still use the original translation.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Big Bang Theory: Unaired Pilot (2006) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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:

It's 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 deeply trusted in Lucas genius. And that's how Star Wars became a reality.

The filming of the movie was difficult, full of mishaps, problems with practical effects, a bad first edit of the movie, but that did not stop George from fulfilling his Space Opera. Due to those setbacks, the Fox Study 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 and excitement. 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". Along with an incredibly iconographic character and production design, the movie became stylistically unique.

The story and the characters are original and compelling. 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 visual composition is authentic and gives the movie a powerful aesthetic value, such as the 'Binary Sunset' scene, 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 can see his new future just out of reach, and for the first time we get to see him not as a kid, but for the dreamer he really is.

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.

For sound design, Lucas wanted real noises, not synthesized science-fiction twitters. Thus Star Wars's spacecraft doors open and sandcrawlers rumble with whooshes and clatter from the Philadelphia subway, recorded by soundman Ben Burtt.

Star Wars is far more experimental than believe. Lucas's new methods baffled Fox executives, as he used two and sometimes three or four cameras: encouraging improvisation, he reserved his options for postproduction. He called for naturalistic acting to anchor the space fantasy. He started in close, avoiding establishing shots. He wanted a nostalgic "filtered look" but kept changing key lights for a "flashing, strobing" 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.

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 focused on minor characters... 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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