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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
395 ( 4)
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:

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:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The only thing Chewbacca can say from start to finish is a Wookiee growl. He has the last line in the movie. See more »

Goofs

When Vader is in his TIE Fighter in the Battle of Yavin, more than once you can see the eyes and eyebrows of David Prowse through the visors on Vader's mask. This is not an error because Darth Vader has fully functional eyes, which could understandably be revealed through his mask. In this film the lenses of Vader's mask are a deep red color which is not visible through most of the film -- the lighting requirements in this scene are likely what made the lenses more transparent. In the subsequent films, the lenses were probably changed to a black color to compensate. 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 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 German "marketing film" released 10 months after the cinema start in West Germany a cut version on Super-8 on two reels in 4:3/color/sound. Reel #1 is running 17 minutes (120 meters), reel #2 is running 9 minutes. This two reels are fitting together and are showing the story from the beginning of the movie to the end of the fight between the Falcon and the TIE fighters right after the escape from the Death Star. The assault on the Death Star didn't make it in this Super-8 version. The beginning shows not the opening crawl, the cut version starts in space over Tatooine with the star destroyer attack on Princess Leias's blockade runner while a speaker summarizes the opening crawl. Almost three years later the German "UFA" released a 17 minutes long version including parts of the final battle against the Death Star and the throne room ceremony. Additional this version includes a lot of sequences not shown in the "marketing film" version: cantina scenes, Tusken raider scenes, the destruction of Alderaan, the Death Star approach of the Falcon after entering the Alderaan system. By editing this three reels together the viewer got a complete overview of the story. But Obi-Wans death is not shown. The 17 minutes US "Ken Films" version (F48) provides two scenes not included in the German version: Vaders conversation on the blockade runner and a part of Luke and Leias swing across the abyss. Editing this two scenes - copying the German audio track - into the "marketing/UFA"-3-reel-version provided the longest available cut version of STAR WARS: 43 minutes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Goldbergs: For Your Own Good (2014) 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 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

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:

$775,749,212
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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:

2.39 : 1
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