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

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10/10
The Force will be with you, always.
SantiagoDM127 July 2018
"A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away..."

Pre review:

Its 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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10/10
Legendary piece of cinema
UniqueParticle16 January 2020
Only seen the original Star Wars films a few times, I tend to forget how great of a magical experience it is! A New Hope is so awesome in so many aspects especially the music and sounds of everything! It's amazing how it was made for it's time I still I don't understand how they did many things. I will admit it has a few bits that are boring but still glorious. Up until a few years ago I didn't see most of the films and I didn't understand the hype now I do in which I'm happy with them all even seen the new ones.
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10/10
One of the most successful movies of all time (and I'm not talking about the Box Office take)
FiendishDramaturgy26 October 2003
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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10/10
The film that changed the world
davidsarah12 December 2004
Star wars made epic fantasy real. For a generation of people it has defined what the cinema experience is meant to be. Today it is probable that pc games will offer a deeper and more satisfying entertainment solution, but for pure visual and aural pleasure, mixed with basic emotional manipulation, there has never and will never be a better example of cinema than when star wars appeared over 25 years ago. When you think of star wars, you must remember what else was happening at the time. In America, the war in Vietnam had been lost. In the U.K economic disaster was occurring(a 3 day working week, and the army collecting rubbish). It was almost like the two most technically advanced countries in the world were going backwards. Star wars let everybody escape from that reality and reach for a future that was uncertain but ultimately good.
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A kid's fantasy. An Adult's memory
hmorales3 December 1998
In respect to the many kids of the seventies. I rated this movie as one of the greatest movies ever made. I was thirteen and enjoyed this fantasy getaway more than I could count. Like many other kids of the seventies you left reality before walking into the theatre and escaped into the adventure once the reels begin rolling. It provided the special effects and excitement a kid was looking for. Even today when I watch this movie on VHS I recall those times. Whenever I get the chance to watch it I feel like that eager thirteen year old over and over again. I hope the new movies will meet the same expectations of kids of this decade and the next.
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10/10
Where It All Began-----10/10
Sfpsycho41522 October 2003
I can never pick a favorite movie because different movies have different effects. Goodfellas is my favorite drama. Face/Off is my favorite actioner. But when it comes to pure amazement, nothing beats Star Wars. We are introduced to a whole other universe with different creatures, different lifestyles, and different history. We are dropped in the middle of an intergalactic war between an empire and a rebellion that has raged for years and left the universe in ruin. It was the most fascinating thing to see when i was eleven, but to this day i am still a Star Wars nerd.

The cast of characters includes some of the coolest, funniest, and most tragic in film, and the actors who play them fit seamlessly into this new universe. Alec Guiness is flawless as Obi-Wan Kenobi, a Jedi on the run from the evil Empire. Harrison Ford is awesome as Han Solo, a smuggler and thief who helps the gang rescue the princess. But the my favorite character of all time is Darth Vader. Not only is he the coolest bad guy, but we learn in later films why he is evil and start to feel sympathetic for him. Not to mention that badass booming voice that can make ordering a pizza sound threatening.

This was not only the beginning of the best movie series ever, but it was the beginning of my love for movies. George Lucas is a genius for being able to come up with a great story and an incredible backdrop for what was supposed to be a flop, but turned into one of the best films ever.

10/10
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9/10
The Best of Sci-Fi Times,the Worst of sf Times
Bogmeister25 December 2005
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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10/10
No words to say
Laz751 February 2000
There's not much to say about this movie this is *THE* movie that changed it all.

It's my favourite movie, and not only among the quadrilogy, among all movies; it has everything that can be great in a movie, great characters, great story, great sights, great special effects (they don't show 23 years) and a mythological background that made us dream for decades now, and that'll keep us dreaming for a long, long time. Maybe the characters I liked most in this one are Old Obi-Wan Kenobi, wonderfully portrayed by Alec Guinness, and Han Solo, Harrison Ford's first important role, they're both great.

Not to mention John Williams' wonderful score, without of it, the movie wouldn't have been this great it's a perfect mix, that's what it is!
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10/10
Never gets old
Ajk238619 November 2018
This movie is a cinematic masterpiece that will be loved forever. The special affects are so good for 1977 and the soundtrack for this movie is amazing.
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10/10
The greatest cinematic epic of all time begins here.
budmassey25 April 2005
Here begins the greatest cinematic epic of all time, and arguably one of the greatest stories ever told. Originally conceived as a serialized popcorn movie in the manner of the old action movies that Lucas grew up with, Star Wars surpassed even George's keen and bombastic imagination to become a central part of movie history.

There are countless tales of the making of this movie; how Lucas never believed he would get the chance to complete the series, how it spawned an industry and made the name of nearly everyone who touched it a household word. But what that does not reveal, nor do the much diminished prequels, is the sheer joy and excitement these movies generated.

It was a once in a lifetime experience. You could feel it from opening day, earlier if you paid attention to such things. We had never seen anything like it, and we are not likely to again.

This episode finds young Luke Skywalker yearning to leave the agrarian life he has with his aunt and uncle, and chase after adventure as his friends before him have already done. And what adventure there is. The galaxy is in the grip of a massive rebellion against a tyrannical and oppressive empire, but on Luke's home planet, it's something you only dare speak of in a whisper.

Along come two robots, "Droids" for short, who inadvertently involve Luke in a stellar attempt to contact an old wizard named Ben Kenobi, who lives in the caves near Luke's home.

The rest is history, and there isn't a person alive in the civilized world who doesn't have at least some awareness of the epic story that unfolds. Luke's rise from adolescent obscurity on Tatooine to a leading role in the greatest struggle of all time is told with humor, action, adventure, and always a sense of story that is unmatched on the screen or on the page.

With the completion of the prequel trilogy, these films are enjoying a renewed popularity among a generation that never saw the films on the big screen, and the theatric revivals are almost guaranteed. Go. Get some popcorn. And may the Force be with you.
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10/10
The Movie that Changed My Life Forever!
jay_amer1 January 2018
This movie when I first saw it as a kid absolutely amazed me and put me into a world where I wished I could be! The story is absolutely genius, the characters are amazing! Everything about this movie is amazing! George Lucas made an absolute masterpiece of a film!!!!! May The Force Be With You!
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10/10
A milestone in film-making- a superlative sci-fi movie
TheLittleSongbird22 November 2009
I couldn't have asked for anything more. Star Wars: A New Hope had it all. If I had to sum it up in one word, superlative would be my answer. I saw the film for the first time three months ago and loved it, and since then I have watched all the Star Wars movies. I was disappointed with the prequels (Attack of the Clones was my least favourite), but this, Return of the Jedi and Empire Strikes Back were perfection.

I have to say that the film looks absolutely amazing even after thirty plus years, with highly imaginative sets and dazzling special effects. And the action sequences were superbly choreographed and brisk, the Death Star climax was a knockout. The music by John Williams is absolutely outstanding, by far one of his more exciting and rousing scores. The story is fast-paced, intelligent and has an essence of sophistication, and the screenplay is sharp and decisive.

And the performances were flawless. In the prequels I had problems relating to some of the performers, namely Hayden Christensen as Anakin. Here, all the actors played their parts with superlative skill. Alec Guiness, one fine actor and will be sorely missed was a standout, likewise with Peter Cushing and Harrison Ford(hilarious here). Carrie Fisher was a fine Princess Leia, spunky, beautiful and sexy, and Mark Hamill was a completely likable Luke. And the villain Darth Vader, without doubt one of the best and in-depth villains in cinematic history, and James Earl Jones's deep booming voice was perfect for the character.

All in all, a definite sci-fi classic, that blew me away. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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7/10
A fun film
gregmovies1 September 2008
Filled with great characters and a fun story, Star Wars is well deserving of its reputation as a classic. John Williams score alone makes this a film worth seeing. The characters are unforgettable and the special effects impressive for its time, but very outdated now. The different alien species are one of the best things about the film. The Cantina scene showing an array of Lucas' creations is particularly fun.

I give this film a 7/10. Looking at it subjectively, it isn't a really good film. A lot of clichés, bad dialogue, cracker jack philosophy, and unimpressive acting. Yet, for some reason, I find it hard to say anything bad about this movie. My favorite film as a child, and one I still enjoy, mostly for nostalgia.
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9/10
One Major Classic
sterlinrivera-200028 December 2019
Star Wars: A New Hope was where it all began and for 40 years, it has been a brilliantly awesome movie and was a great way to start things off.

This film is about Imperial Forces that are led by Darth Vader (voiced by James Earl Jones and played by David Prowse) are holding a beautiful princess, Leia (Carrie Fisher) hostage as they battle the Galatic Empire. A young master, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and a captain of a spacecraft called the Millenium Falcon, Han Solo (Harrison Ford) must work together to save Leia and restore freedom and justice to the galaxy.

This was an astounding way to start off an awesome trilogy. The plot was completely flawless and stayed on point the whole time. The acing was very top notched from the three major stars, Hamill, Ford, and Fisher. The visuals and the setting is very impressive for it's time and the film never got boring at all as it had an incredibly fast pace.

The bottom line is Star Wars: A New Hope is one heck of a classic sci-fi film that is critically acclaimed and holds up very well all these years later.
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7/10
A product of its time. A classic
Kingslaay20 February 2018
When Star Wars came out in 1977 there was nothing like it, it came out of nowhere and was so different. It is indeed a product of its time and would have fascinated many kids of the era.

As a film it is very simple and easy to follow. There are no big twists, dilemmas and the good forces come on top. The special effects and film have definitely aged but it has some classic elements. Darth Vader, the army of storm troopers and the mighty light saber is unlikely to be forgotten. Star Wars as a franchise clearly benefited from coming out at the right time, this was the day before competitive television, streaming services or films like Inception.

The immortality of Star Wars lies in its simplicity, linear story and vast imagination. This appealed to millions of kids who grew into adults who still loved identified their childhood with this series.
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9/10
What really gets me
delibebek28 April 2009
It's what movies are all about, really - sitting in a seat that's already been worn in by a thousand other tushes, crunching as much popcorn under your feet as you crunch in your mouth by handfuls, sipping a soda that's three times as big as you would ever really need... and then there's this very quiet little opening line written on the screen, like a new way of saying "once upon a time..." and you know the fairy tale is beginning, but before you can even get ready to get interested, that fateful, stirring, uplifting and scary chord throws you deep into your seat, in time with a logo that's too big for the screen... and the rest is just a ride. That's what movies are all about and that's what Star Wars gave us.

If you never saw it in the theater, get yourself a really great audio visual system in your house, pour soft drinks on the floor (prep this a day prior to get the proper sticky effect) put too much salt and too much butter on a bucket of popcorn that's too big, and hit the "play" button on the remote.
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9/10
My favourite movie
mweller28 October 1998
Star Wars is a movie that has had great social impact, a fact that has often gone unnoticed. A harbinger of a changing mood within the United States, Star Wars was one of the few movies rated General that was released in 1977. Where movies had for a decade been depicting ever more dark topics (Taxi Driver, The Exorcist) Star Wars was a lighthearted adventure. While some may decry the move back to swashbuckling from social comment, I for one celebrate the fact that Star Wars made it possible for families to go to movies together once again.
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10/10
A GALACTIC FAIRYTALE
waynegavin120 January 2020
A farm boy A princess A rogue and A dark lord.these are all the traits of a classic fairytale,but on this occasion we are going to swap swashbuckling rapiers for laser powered sabers,we are going to swap pirate ships sailing on the seas with high powered mechanical space vehicles rip roaring through space,we are going to swap the madness of a cruel king determined on ruling his kingdom with an iron hand with the evil intent of a dark lord determined to conquer the galaxy with a dark power,magic mythical forces,robots for servants,aliens,monsters and spaceship battles all thrown into an adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat,this is the start of a trilogy that will make its mark in cinema history and the next 2 installments are fantastically intertwined as this space journey takes you to A GALAXY FAR FAR AWAY
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9/10
An adventure story, replacing six-shooters or swords with laser guns and horses with rockers
Nazi_Fighter_David30 November 2008
The film turn on the endlessly renewed battle between good and evil, the former represented by the Jedi knights and the mystical Force which they are in touch with, and the latter by the Galactic Empire with its Nazi-like storm-troopers…

Luke Skywalker's simple farming life on a remote planet is dramatically changed when he intercepts a distress call from rebel leader Princess Leia Organa… The message leads him to Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi and with the two droids C3PO and R2D2, and later Chewbacca and Han Solo, their journey to release the princess from the evil Empire begins…

Now a quarter of a century old, Lucas' project has benefited from improvements in special effects technology, but his vision has remained the same: a naive, even childlike belief in absolute good and evil, a preference for action over character and spectacle over everything
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The original version was brilliant...
mentalcritic31 March 2003
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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10/10
Star Wars: The iconic world changer!
verbeekmarco9 October 2013
It is now 36 years after this movie hit theaters, but it is not too late to write a review! This movie will and already is in the history books as the movie that changed the world! Star Wars, created by George Lucas, is the most iconic, awesome, epic and action-packed space opera ever made. This movie contains everything you want to see in a movie, for example: action, adventure, mystery, humor, emotion and, above all, creativity. The great visual and imaginative mind of George Lucas made it possible for other filmmakers to get from realistic movies to a generation of movies containing imagination and fantasy.

The beginning of the movie is so perfectly written and makes it almost impossible for people not to like it. Firstly, the title scrawl. Although this scrawl was the same as the Flash Gordon series, in Star Wars this iconic and epic beginning was made great by the extraordinary music by John Williams. The music he composed made this movie what it is today and what it was then. His epic score for this movie was deservedly rewarded with an Academy Award.

This great creation by George Lucas has influenced me, the American population and the rest of the world completely!!!
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10/10
This is the first film I ever saw...
jdberkley17 May 2006
Having read a lot of the other comments here, I have to say it's interesting to see how many people begin by saying how old they were when they saw "Star Wars" for the first time(Full disclosure: I was three. My parents saw it at a drive-in theatre, and all I can remember of that experience was seeing Darth Vader for the first time, and knowing that he was very, very bad). I think that speaks to its extraordinary impact. "Star Wars" was an event, I suppose in the way that the Beatles on Ed Sullivan for the first time was an event. It dates you, to a degree, but the reason it was important-- the reason it remains important-- is that it showed you what was possible. For much of the 1960s and 1970s, filmmakers had concentrated on showing us the brutal, heartbreaking truth of our world(The Godfather, Chinatown, Nashville-- some of the best movies ever made), and many of them succeeded brilliantly. But there's a place for dreaming dreams of things that have never been, too, and "Star Wars", with its epic tale of an Empire and a rebellion in a galaxy far, far away, was the dream a generation didn't know it wanted to have until George Lucas gave it to us.

Is it juvenile, at times? Simplistic, even? Sure. So's the truth, sometimes. We want to believe there's a Force, and that Luke can master its use in time to defeat the forces of darkness. So we believe it. Are the effects a bit dated now? Sure, although I still believe them. Did the success of "Star Wars" possibly kick off the modern blockbuster era, which gives us more and more special-effects-drenched dreck every year? Sadly, it probably did. But the thing the wannabe heirs of "Star Wars" usually lack is the one thing that made "Star Wars" such an event--courage.

Back in 1977, nobody was making movies like this. Nobody thought a film like this, with its mythic storytelling arc and its sweeping vision of intergalactic war, could possibly work...with the exception of George Lucas and his fellow filmmakers.I didn't know all that at the time, of course. Like I said, I was only three. But having watched more movies than most people my age now, I feel comfortable saying that in its way, "Star Wars" is as much an independent auteur's film as anything by John Cassavetes or Woody Allen-- it has the same sort of daring, the same desire not to settle for less than showing us something we've never seen before. A bold, grand sense of old-style craftsmanship infuses everything in "Star Wars", and the film delivers on the promise contained in its subtitle. At the time, it really was a new hope.
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10/10
Wonderful film
auuwws13 June 2020
The best Star Wars movie is recommended for anyone who wants to start watching the Star Wars series to start this movie.
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9/10
The start to an epic adventure
FlikJedi7192 January 2020
A New Hope will forever go down in history as the start of one of the greatest cinematic adventures of all time. This movie is everything - from characters, to character development, to the introduction of John Williams' famous score, to crafting a great conflict between the protagonist and antagonist.

The character development of Luke Skywalker in this movie alone shows nothing less than great storytelling. At the start of this movie, Luke just wanted to go to the "Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!", and by the end of the movie he's using the force to help destroy the greatest weapon of all time: "That's no moon. It's a space station."

While I was not alive in 1977, I can only imagine the audiences reaction after seeing this gem of a film. It has lived on from generation to generation, and still generates awe inspiring wonder from a story told "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...."

Final grade: Easily a 9/10
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