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

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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
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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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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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
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
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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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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10/10
In A Galaxy Far Away................A Franchise Was Born
bkoganbing20 September 2010
The awesome special effects and the creation of creatures that are part of the vivid imagination of George Lucas are not the reason for the enduring popularity of Star Wars and the franchise it spawned. Rather it is because of the characters Lucas created that will live as long as we have cinema and the means to display it.

The spectacle is behind some real, but simple people. No shadings of gray in the first Star Wars we know without any doubt who the heroes and villains are of this piece. On an isolated planet a galaxy wide dictatorship called the Empire and the revolt against come to wear young Luke Skywalker as played by Mark Hamill and his family reside. So does Alec Guinness, a reclusive and mysterious hermit.

An escape pod crashes there with two androids, C3PO and R2D2 and in the latter is a message for Guinness who was at one time a Jedi Knight, fiercest of a warrior class, from Carrie Fisher playing Princess Leia. Also in R2D2 are the schematics for the Empire's ultimate weapon the satellite size death star that can deal killing out on a planetary scale.

This starts an adventure with young Hamill who teams up with futuristic soldier of fortune Harrison Ford as Han Solo and his simian like sidekick Chewbacca to rescue the Princess and defeat the Death Star.

Those are the good guys. The bad guys are the blackest of black villainy. Peter Cushing cold bloodedly commands the Death Star, but the mysterious Darth Vader, clad in black with a helmet completely covering his head, has mysterious powers and even his superiors are wary of him. The voice of James Earl Jones is unforgettable as the black prince of the galaxy.

These are characters that bring out the kid in all of us. The ones who claim the most sophistication in their lives will cheer on for Hamill and Ford and will be fascinated by the double dyed villainy of Darth Vader.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Star Wars and I speak now of all the films is the way such non-humans as the robots and Chewbacca the Wookie became characters. C3PO had dialog, but R2D2 had a few clicks and bleeks and all Chewbacca did was grunt, still they became as identifiable as the human characters.

Star Wars set the standard for science fiction films to come for the next several generations. It was given six Oscars in a bunch of technical categories and it's got a re-release value that Gone With The Wind used to have.

The Force Will Be With Us Always.
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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
From the Lucasian Chair of Entertainment - a masterpiece
Prichards1234522 May 2006
I first saw this film on a warm March Sunday evening in 1978, after queueing for a whole hour to get into the cinema. Oh, the anticipation! The excitement! The magic! And here was a film that changed the whole concept of cinema forever, for no matter how many times I return to it, in the flickering dark of the cinema, or the wondrous, glittering DVD release, or in where the film really scores - at the centre of my imagination, that night will live forever in my memory. ANYTHING was possible, wonders could be achieved. Miracles in the here and now. And how lucky I was to share in it.

To the squares that loathe it - I pity you daddyos; you'll never experience what millions of us have felt these past three decades. Go and see Henry Jaglom again; I'll stick with Mr. Lucas - he is THE MAN!

I love this film. Forget what flaws it has - minor they are indeed. Star Wars has become a mystic myth and that sorcerer supreme, Jedi master George Lucas, has given me more pleasure than I can measure. My favourite bit? Almost impossible to choose. Okay, if I must...the stunning Tie Fighter battle with the Millennium Falcon, a work or art in the editing room. It should be hung on a wall somewhere.

George, old chap, if you're ever passing my house please knock - and I'll make you a cup of tea. You deserve that much at least!
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10/10
Not just a great movie. It's important
SnoopyStyle29 September 2013
This story happened 'A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away'. The galaxy is under the dictatorship of the emperor. Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) is part of the rebellion but is capture by the evil Darth Vader. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) the young hero, Han Solo (Harrison Ford) the brigand, his sidekick Chewbacca, and the wise master Jedi Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) must together rescue the princess and save the galaxy.

The characters are icons pulled from classic storytelling like Akira Kurosawa's "The Hidden Fortress". George Lucas was able to assemble such iconic characters into a well told story. Rarely is a movie change the nature of movie-making, and even the wider culture. This may be on the list of the most important movie ever. It changed the tone of movies from the gritty morally-confused 70s to the popcorn selling blockbusters that are soon to come.
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10/10
Never gets old
Anthonyjkb19 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 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
In 1977, in a galaxy far, far away...
MaxBorg8915 November 2005
This great classic has so many good elements it's almost impossible to list them all: The breathtaking visual effects, still awesome 28 years on; the brilliant script, which mixed epic battles and duels with matinée-serial-style characters and dialogues; the debut of one of the greatest villains in cinema history, Darth Vader; John Williams'amazing and unforgettable score, among the Top 10 best scores ever...

All those things are just some of the reasons Star Wars is among the best movies (not just sci-fi) ever made: viewing after viewing, it never stops being impressive, and words are nearly useless to describe the impact it still has on the audience.

George Lucas basically took a medieval story and moved it to a distant galaxy, on weird and fascinating planets. Almost everything is taken from the Middle Ages: there are knights, sword-fighting, evil Empires, unsatisfied people who want to overthrow the system, beautiful princesses waiting to be rescued...

Then we've also got speeders, light-sabers, peculiar (and, in the case of Jabba the Hutt, disgusting) creatures, the Death Star, and of course the Force, that fascinating energy which is supposed to bring balance to the galaxy.

The cast is a gas, both the newcomers and the veterans: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford are great as Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo (Ford in particular is hilarious as the arrogant but ultimately nice "scoundrel"), but the most memorable performance is of course Alec Guinness'portrayal of Obi-Wan Kenobi, the old, wise Jedi who returns one last time to initiate Luke to the mysteries of the Force.

But let's not forget what everybody immediately thinks of when Star Wars is mentioned: Darth Vader. Feared by his opponents as well as his servants, this completely emotionless foe has become the very symbol of Lucas'masterpiece. He's one of those movie-characters people will remember as long as films will keep being made and his unsettling breathing noise still echoes in our memories...

The beginning of a wonderful saga, whose only rival is The Lord of the Rings.

May the Force be with you...
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10/10
The classic...
paul_haakonsen31 December 2015
Having grown up with the "Star Wars" trilogy, then "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope" is a classic in every sense of the word. This is the epic story of good vs. evil and of light vs. dark. But it is also a story of heroism, bravery and adventure. I am an fan-boy, yes, but what is there not to love about "Star Wars"?

George Lucas really managed to piece together a timeless classic that stands its own even today. And even with effects from 1977 it was light years ahead of its time, no pun intended. And the effects stand their ground even by todays standards.

There is something uniquely amazing about the atmosphere and feel of the "Star Wars" universe. And it doesn't require much to be swept away and carried along to a galaxy far, far away...

The cast in "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope" did a good and memorable job with their individual roles and characters. And with this movie George Lucas established some characters that instantly became well-known and well-loved.

"Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope" is a movie of high space adventure with vibrant characters, creatures and spaceships. It is an enjoyable movie for the entire family, space nerds or not.

If you are not already familiar with the legendary "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope" movie, then it is more than due time to get to it.
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10/10
A long time ago in a childhood not too far away...
hitchcockthelegend29 March 2009
Princess Leia is captured and held hostage by the Imperial Army as it seeks to rule the Galactic Empire. An old Jedi Knight by the name of Ben "Obi-Wan" Kenobi may just be hers, and the rebels only hope. Teaming up with farm boy Luke Skywalker, scoundrel Captain Han Solo, and a couple of quirky droids, Kenobi sets off on a mission that could well shape the destiny of the Galaxy, and all who dwell within it.

Back in 1977 I was but a wee 11 year old boy, weened on films from all genres by my movie loving parents, I had no idea that Star Wars was to have the same impact on me as Jaws had two summers previously, where yet again I found myself queueing around the block for two whole hours to see a film in a one screen theatre. My love of cinema firmly cemented, Star Wars was the start of a love affair that lasts to this very day.

As the years have rolled by and my love of cinema has taken on more in-depth and serious tones, I have come to realise that Star Wars proves to be a far from flawless picture. Certainly its detractors do point to some frayed acting and call the plot structure a jazzed up good versus evil axis, while the charge of George Lucas referencing many prior pictures most assuredly stands, but really do those things matter? No they do not, because Star Wars opened up a new world of cinema, something of a portal to youngsters such as I, it got people talking and debating about the merits of model work in films (which is of an extraordinary high standard here), it nudged film makers to explore being bigger and bolder in their approach, and crucially, above all else, it got film goers hungry again, a hankering for more please if you may. Now it has to be said that all that followed 20th Century Fox's historic blockbuster didn't run with the baton, in fact most pale into comparison on impact value, but for better or worse (depending on the discerning viewers peccadilloes), Star Wars stands as a bastion of adventure laden entertainment.

It is by definition one of the most successful films in history, George Lucas perhaps didn't know it at the time, but in what was to become an almost operatic anthology, he didn't just make a movie, he created a whole new world seeping with style and rich texture. Almost as amazing as the success of the series, is how it has become part of modern day pop culture, anything from religion to everyday speak has at some time or another referenced Lucas' baby. Ultimately, though, it's one single thing that made (and still does make) Star Wars so great, it's that it has the ability to lift the audience into a rousing united feel good cheer; and that is something that few films can ever lay claim too. In 1977 it was an awe inspiring event to watch in the theatre, now here in my middle age it's an event that is like hugging a dear old friend, a friend that I know will never ever let me down no matter how many times I turn to it. 10/10
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10/10
the landmark space fantasy
disdressed1222 February 2007
what can you say about his movie.it set the bar by which all movies to come would be judged,and this was 1977.i'm talking about the visual effects,which were nothing less than astounding.it still stands up well to any movie in that regard.remember,they didn't have the benefit of CGI back then,so they relied on miniatures.when you add to that,a compelling story and a soon to be iconic villain(not to mention,the colourful cast of characters)and you have box office gold.sure,the dialogue may be wooden and stilted at times,but that is overshadowed by the achievement of the film.Besides,the film was marketed at 12 year olds,so they're not gonna care about stupid things like dialogue.The original "Star Wars" or as it is subtitled "a New Hope,was a landmark film and single handedly reinvented the science fiction genre. Obviously 10/10
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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
Cinema Classic
owenmul27 March 2015
Star Wars is simply a fantastic film, on every level this film is amazing.

Each of the characters in this film are so well developed and so interesting that you just cannot wait for the next scene with them in it, the interactions between the characters us at times tense and at times downright hilarious, leaving no room for boring or lacking dialogue. The particular stand outs in this respect I feel are: Han Solo, the wise cracking bounty hunter with a tendency for arrogance that makes every scene as entertaining as possible. Secondly there is Darth Vader, who is the optometry of cool, scathing evil who poses as the ultimate villain.

Surprising to me, the cinematography and special effects have held up all this time. Although there are some minor issues, one particularly notable one is during the scene where Luke is training with the training droid aboard the Millennium Falcon there are a few frame skips where Luke extends and contracts his lightsaber. Other than this though, the cinematography and special effects are amazing to have held up, particularly the shots of the Empire's space fleet moving through space which are absolutely stunning.

One of the things that absolutely makes this film for me is the magnificent score, composed by John Williams. This score, while being one of the most iconic scores of all time, manages to make every single scene, fitting the mood of the scene perfectly.

The story as well is fantastic, there is never a dull moment; every second of it an absolute thrill ride. Whether its the attack on the Death Star or the Cantina of Mos Eisley the story takes you through the twists and turns of this classic space opera.

If I could recommend one sci-fi adventure film to someone, it would be this, it's an absolute must see.

More Reviews at: http://12yearsacinephile.tumblr.com/
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10/10
Near perfect sci-fi adventure
masonsaul16 December 2019
Star Wars (A New Hope) is a near perfect sci-fi adventure that's incredibly bold, original and extremely entertaining. Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Anthony Daniels and Carrie Fisher all give incredible performances. James Earl Jones is fantastic as Darth Vader, one of the best villains of all time. Alec Guinness gives a great supporting performance. The visual effects are stunning and still look really good. It's extremely well paced and genuinely thrilling throughout with excellent action sequences and space battles. The music by John Williams is perfect as well as George Lucas's direction as the film is beautifully filmed.
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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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Classic bit of fun sci-fi – a space western!
bob the moo30 June 2002
The Republic has fallen and the Empire rules the galaxy as a dictatorship, seeking to destroy dissenting voices. The Empire's ultimate weapon, the Death Star, is fully on line and capable of destroying whole systems. The Jedi have been destroyed, save a few living in hiding, unable to compete with the force of the Empire. However Princess Leia has the plans showing a weakness within the Death Star. Before she is captured by Darth Vader she gives them to droids C3PO and R2D2 and they escape. When they land on a nearby planet they find Luke Skywalker and set out to find the owner of the droids Obi Wan Kenobi, or Old Ben Kenobi. Obi Wan begins to train Luke in the way of the force as they try to get the information to the Rebellion before the Death Star can be used at full power.

It's not a brilliant piece of filmmaking – lets be honest, Lucas isn't the Shakespeare of our generation. However what it is, is a good story of good v's evil, a western of goodies v baddies set in space. The story is simple but contains clear characters. The thing that sets it apart is the fun – the sense of wonder for kids but also the enjoyment it brings to adult. The story is good for a sci-fi with a lot of history and back-story clearly set out up front. The action scenes are mostly great – not dry effects but with a real sense of action and excitement too.

This may be the 4th part but it's also our first chapter, it is light and enjoyable but hints that this is only part of an ongoing battle. The way it relates to kids and adults is obvious as it broke records and everyone of a certain age knows about Star Wars! The effects still look good today – in many ways the model work looks better than all digital effects simply because they are `real' and don't just exist within a computer. Sound effects, comedy, music – it's all pitch perfect and sets up the rest of the series really well.

Hamil is ok as Skywalker (`Blonde hair, blue eyes' – Chasing Amy!). He is suitable for a kids film and he does well with his role. However like part 1 has Anakin at his least interesting, part 4 has Luke yet to develop into darker areas. Ford is perfect as Han Solo – he adds character and flair to some dry performances. Alec Guinness adds maturity to the whole film and is so good is Obi Wan that even Ewan McGregor just does an impression rather than recreate the role. Darth Vader is just the right side of silly camp villain, Jones' voice is a perfect fit and he has real menace and power. Bits players such as Chewie, C3PO, R2D2 etc all add comedy in spades.

Overall this film is even better now that we know how it all fits together in Star Wars `history'. But even without all the hype this is a really fun sci-fi that is enjoyable, simple and really good fun to watch if you're in the mood. Having a deeper perspective on it just makes it all the better.
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10/10
The Unforgettable Episode
claudio_carvalho13 December 2015
During the attack of the Empire's forces under the command of Darth Vader (David Prowse) to her spacecraft, the rebel Princess Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) hides in the memory of R2-D2 the plans of the powerful Empire's Station Death Star that spies from the Rebel Alliance have stolen. She assigns the droid to deliver the plans to Obi-Wan Kenobi with a message to give the plans to the rebels. R2-D2 flees to the Planet Tatooine with his fellow C-3PO in a space pod and land on the desert, but they are captured by Jawa traders. They are sold to Owen Lars (Phil Brown) and when his nephew Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) is cleaning the droid, he accidentally activates part of the message and he wonders whether it would be addressed to the old Ben Kenobi. On the next morning, Luke discovers that R2-D2 is seeking out Obi-Wan Kenobi and he goes after him with C-3PO. They are attacked by the Tusken Raiders and saved by a drifter, who is Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) that tells part of his past as Jedi to Luke. He also tells that his father was a Jedi Knight and gives a light-saber that belonged to his father to Luke. Obi-Wan invites Luke to travel with him to Alderaan and when he finds that his family was killed by the Imperial soldiers, he decides to join Obi-Wan in his quest. They head to Mos Esley to hire a skilled pilot and they team-up with the smugglers Han-Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew). Meanwhile the evil Grand Moff Tarkin (Peter Cushing) orders to destroy the planet Alderaan to show the power of the Death Star to Leia and the rebels. Obi-Wan feels the impact in the Force and when the Millennium Falcon arrives at the destination, the group finds only debris. Further, a tractor beam pulls the spacecraft to the Death Star. What will happen to the group and Princess Leia? Will they succeed in delivering the information to the rebels?

"Star Wars", later retitled "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope" is the unforgettable and charming sci-fi adventure that surprised the world in 1977. The strategy of George Lucas that claimed that there was no technology available to the cinema industry in 1977 to produce the three first chapters was part of a marketing strategy that kept alive the interest of fans fro the whole six chapters, In sequence, great part of the mystery would not have raised. All the films are engaging, but none of them can beat this one rated #19 in IMDb. Harrison Ford in the top of his career and the cast show a wonderful chemistry. My vote is ten.

Title (Brazil): "Star Wars: Episódio IV – Uma Nova Esperança" (Blu-Ray) ("Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope")
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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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One of the most popular films of all time, and understandably so
ametaphysicalshark4 November 2008
I was never a "Star Wars" guy growing up. I wouldn't say that I was a "Star Trek" guy growing up either ("Doctor Who" was my sci-fi franchise of choice growing up, and still is, even though I'm not a big fan of Russell T. Davies' version of the show), but I would definitely choose my favorite episodes of the original series or "Deep Space 9", "The Wrath of Khan", and "The Undiscovered Country" over any "Star Wars" film. I've seen the original trilogy a couple of times previously, once as a kid, once in my mid-teens, and now I sit down to watch "Star Wars" again, having been inspired by catching half of "The Empire Strikes Back" on TV recently and being enthralled by it.

The first thing that struck me is how great the opening shot is, just after the scrolling text that is. The rest of the movie was pretty much how I remembered it being- a collection of great set-pieces and memorable characters, and a great mythology, but with a story which wasn't nearly as grand and great as "The Empire Strikes Back". Although a point of criticism aimed at "Star Wars" by its (relatively few) detractors is that it doesn't quite match the real feel of a 30's/40's serial, I think that it really does, and not only in the way it is shot and the transitional wipes and all that, but in the writing, the acting, and just about everything else. It has that same sense of adventure, and although this particular film is nowhere near as good as some of my favorite serials, it remains something which very accurately captures the feel of watching one of those, and its popularity (and the popularity of "Raiders of the Lost Ark") is hence quite understandable, as very few of even the big summer blockbusters have the same sensibility and sense of adventure, and well, fun.

Watching "Star Wars", in spite of it not being my favorite of the original trilogy, serves as a reminder of the talent which George Lucas had at one point. I don't think this film is as good as his previous effort, "American Graffiti", which is the greatest 'coming of age' film I've ever seen, and one of the most beautiful films ever made from a visual standpoint, but it's still got spirit and energy which his later efforts just don't. It's quite sad, really.

There's really nothing I can say that hasn't been said already (which is true, certainly of many popular films, but this is freakin' "Star Wars", so trust me, I have NOTHING to add to what has already been said). There are "Star Wars" devotees who swear it is the greatest of the trilogy and one of the best movies ever made, there are detractors who think it's cheesy nonsense, and then there are others like me who like it quite a bit, but aren't sure where all the extravagant praise comes from. "The Empire Strikes Back"... Well, that's a whole other story.

8/10
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