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

Star Wars (original title)
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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
497 ( 85)
Top Rated Movies #22 | 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:

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... 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 | See more »

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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$322,740,140

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$775,398,007, 25 November 2011
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

Luke Skywalker was originally written to be a much older character. He was General Luke Skywalker, a Jedi Master described as being about sixty years old with a grey beard, and mentor to Anakin Starkiller. This version makes Luke's character much more like that of Obi-Wan Kenobi. This is very similar to how Luke appeared in Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015) and Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017). See more »

Goofs

In the escape from Mos Eisley, Obi-Wan is visible in the background, out of position, with a green light shining on his white shirt, making it appear green. 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 2004 DVD also features substantial changes in the sound mix, especially in regards to the music. John Williams' score is de-emphasized considerably throughout, and during the minute or two of the climactic battle, it is completely inaudible. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Making of 'American Graffiti' (1998) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The original version was brilliant...
31 March 2003 | by mentalcriticSee all my reviews

I was actually born about a year after this film first premiered, but being a member of a family that was the first on the block to get such things as the VCR and the proper Hi-Fi system allowed me to catch this film in a number of different formats in the years ranging from 1982 to 1997. I think it is safe to say that without this film, I would have had no idea how truly evil a thing Pan And Scan is, or why multi-channel audio is such a damned important thing to have in the home theatre environment.

Of course, I also knew that the film wasn't perfect. I could see a number of small problems where Lucas' budget just didn't quite go far enough, or where there just wasn't enough time to accomplish what was wanted. So when the announcement was made that in 1997, each film would be presented with improved special effects and footage that could not be integrated in the original cut for reasons of budget or practicality, I was excited.

For the most part, I was overjoyed to see the new footage or effects. Mos Eisley now looks like a real city or port of commerce, without the viewer's sense of disbelief at the seemingly deserted streets needing to be suspended. The flight of the X-Wings towards the Death Star in its original form was very good, a marvel of its time, but when George finally got to show it the way he wanted to, it was almost the equivalent of watching the helicopters of Apocalypse Now decimating the village to the tune of Ride Of The Valkyries. The wonderfully composed tracking shots especially made the battle look almost as if it really happened and Lucas was just there to take pictures. And Jabba? Well, he doesn't look all that real, granted, but it was just nice to have that one piece of footage in order to make the appearance of Boba Fett in Episode V and the entire prologue of Episode VI make a bit more sense, especially to dullards.

Unfortunately, there are a number of times when Lucas just goes too far in his quest to improve his work. Sometimes you can only do so much to anything before it starts to look overdone. Of course, I am talking about the scene between Han and Greedo in the cantina. In the original version, we are led to believe Han is a scoundrel who only cares about himself, giving us one of the best character arcs in the whole trilogy. It is also a great tribute to Sergio Leone, a nice reference to when Tuco shoots a potential assassin from his bathtub and tells the corpse "When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk!". Modifying this scene so it looks like Greedo shot first is an insult on a few levels. It insults Greedo as a character, making him look like one of the most incompetent bounty hunters in the galaxy. It insults the audience, who even at the age of six should no that you'd have to be blind, drunk, brain-damaged, or all three, to miss from that distance. Lastly, it insults the character of Han Solo by destroying a vital piece of said character arc. Watching Han go from scum to a leader of men, a space-age version of King Aragorn even, was one of the best things about the original Star Wars trilogy.

The story itself is the stuff of classics in that it shows the most unlikely of heroes doing things that everyone else claims to be impossible. What Lucas got right in terms of pacing and plot here is exactly where he went wrong in the prequels, in that he makes the jump from location to location seem important to the plot and totally natural, rather than forced and choppy. The story and sense of adventure makes one forget that there are really only three major locations other than the inside of a space ship.

Overall, the original Star Wars rates an eight out of ten. If Lucas had applied some common sense in conjunction with his rampant desire for revisionism, I would give it a ten, but as one critic who is famous for his negativity once said about Episode II, when was the last time anyone told George Lucas no? Still, this is a classic that should be shown to future generations as an example of how an imagination and enough literacy to realise it will open doors for you when nothing else will.


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