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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 evil Darth Vader.

Director:

George Lucas

Writer:

George Lucas
Popularity
457 ( 65)
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:

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:

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:

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

One of the instruments on board the Juno Probe was a Jovian Energetic Particle Detection Instrument, or JEDI. See more »

Goofs

When Obi-Wan turns off the tractor beam, there is an overhead shot showing the bridge he has the cross, the tractor beam platform, and the chasm below. The chasm was created by a glass matte painting. Obi-Wan's robes billow out over the lip of the platform that he was standing on, so this part is not covered by the matte painting. As a result, you can see the concrete floor of the set. 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'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 »

Alternate Versions

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.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 20 to 1: Memorable Movie Characters (2006) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One of the most successful movies of all time (and I'm not talking about the Box Office take)
26 October 2003 | by ElswetSee all my reviews

What made this the hugely successful triumph it was? Was it casting, music, imagination, ingenuity, or luck?

I remember opening day at the theaters. I was old enough to remember every scene, every character, every nuance of this film; having committed it to memory forever, as if I would never again be able to see this beloved, instantly loved masterpiece.

I also remember that the HIT factor of this movie was so unexpected that you had to wait literal MONTHS to get the action figures promised on the cereal boxes. The pieces were still in the manufacturing process and we had to settle for coupons promising our toys in a few months. I wound up seeing this in the theaters a grand total of 36 times; much to my mother's dismay. She loved the movie as I did, but felt I was obsessed. Today, thirty years later, sitting here writing this review, I realize how right she was. I'm still obsessed with this movie, and with the subsequent movies which followed. I wait in great anticipation for Episode 3. I'm a fan, and I don't care what other people say about Episodes 1 & 2. I don't even mind the "prequel" factor, as the situation at the time, dictated to Lucas which movies he would do first.

See, I remember the studios saying to him that he had to choose from the three central climactic books, and trash the rest, or just trash the whole idea. He didn't exactly "sell out," he did what he had to do to get his movie...his vision...out there for us to see and experience. I admired his decision then, and I admire it now. Episodes 1-3 are being filmed now, because Lucas had the clout, the money, and the patience to give us his vision...his complete vision and not just the three center books of a 9-book series. I realize that now, there are dozens of books, but at the time, there were nine. And while most of us were happy with Episodes 4-6 and would not have missed 1-3 and 7-9, I personally am so very glad he has taken it upon himself to give us his full vision. I have enjoyed each and every installment with the same sense of awe and joy as I did this one.

The casting was the first triumph for this cinematic milestone. Ford is a charismatic and magnetic personality and portrayed Han with a professionalism that you'd expect from more seasoned actors. Sir Alec Guiness is an absolute joy as Obi Wan. His casting was precise and excellent in that part. Carrie Fisher portrayed Leia in a way that, up until then, had never been experienced. Most "princess" types before her were whining, whimpering, little snots who were incapable of anything beyond tripping and twisting their ankle in times of peril, while Fisher portrayed her character as a bold, brazen, yet sophisticated and educated woman who was aware of her surroundings and capable of defending herself and her realm with the utmost authority.

And Mark Hamil. He was perfectly cast as the whining little boy who wanted more, but was afraid to reach for it. He grows up quite well on film in these three installments, and endears himself to the audience so much the more for it. But a cast member who is almost always left out of these reviews is Peter Mayhew. Chewbacca. His character, as a supporting character to Han's, was exemplary. It's not easy portraying a walking carpet, yet holding the attention, admiration, and love of virtual millions. I am VERY happy about his being cast as Chewy in Episode 3. Couldn't happen to a more deserving...or capable...fellow. Bravo! And James Earl Jones's voice being used as the voice of Darth Vader, was pure genius. His commanding voice haunted the dreams of countless thousands of star-struck children for generations to come. I also have to say that this movie would not have had the charm it does had it not been for Anthony Daniels' C3P0. He is a gift and a joy.

The musical score by John Williams featured in this masterpiece was one of the contributing factors. But honestly, this movie's success was such a total surprise to everyone, including Lucas, that nothing could prepare the world for the aftermath of having witnessed this bona fide legend, first hand.

The story itself; replete with sub-plot after sub-plot, rich in dialog and detail, was beyond anyone's greatest expectations. Everyone, including Lucas, expected this movie to fail. It is a timeless classic, which I will not repeat here. There are too many movie reviews giving full details of the plot, and I won't be redundant beyond what I have already said.

However, that being said, there are a few points I would like to make concerning the symbolism of this endeavor. The Force is a metaphor for the psychic abilities with which we are all born. It was also a metaphor for hope and faith, dedication and commitment to the greater state of being. The Empire is said to have been a metaphor for the Germanic Nazi "storm troopers." While the Rebellion is said to have been symbolic of (what would later become) the NATO forces who defeated them.

And then there are the effects. The effects were, in 1977, so awesome; so creative; so ahead of their time, as to ensure this movie's vast success for the next forty years. George Lucas enjoys an almost god-like status among sci-fi/fantasy fans worldwide.

This movie does not rate a rating. Usually, when I say that, it is because the movie is so bad, or disappointing that I don't have the heart to rate it.

But in this case, it far surpasses any 10/10 rating I could give it.

The Fiend :.


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