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

First off i will be reviewing the original 1977 version, none of the tampered ones with out of place CGI and Jar Jar Binks (I saw him Lucas, stop trying to sneak him in)

Star Wars and its two sequels became a worldwide phenomenon, spawning hundreds of books, novels, comics, clubs, television series, action figures, trading cards, video games, fan films, records and CDs, videos and DVDs.

Sixteen years later a new trilogy of films was released, bringing the overall box-office takings to almost five billion dollars, making it the third-highest grossing film series after the Harry Potter and James Bond franchises.

The story concerns a young man named Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) who leaves his uncle’s farm on a small arid planet called Tatooine to help rescue a beautiful princess (Carrie Fisher) from the clutches of the evil Grand Moff Tarkin (Peter Cushing) who represents a decadent galactic empire.

Tarkin’s henchman is a mysterious black-clad giant named Darth Vader (David Prowse voiced by James Earl Jones) and their base is a vast space station called the Death Star which is the size of a small moon and capable of destroying whole planets. With the help of a retired warrior named Kenobi (Sir Alec Guinness), a mercenary smuggler named Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and two robots, (one of whom is overly camp at times).

Luke succeeds in rescuing the princess and destroying the Death Star, but Darth Vader escapes to fight another day.

Star Wars changed everything. That could be the review of the film. Nothing else needs to be said, but I will. It changed how movies were made, merchandise, released, controlled. Everything.

The scaled down plot of the film is simple. A princess in danger. A young farm boy with no sights of a future is wrapped up in an adventure with an old wizard, a scoundrel, and sidekicks to stop the evil that has engulfed the galaxy. It’s all there and it was so different in 1977.

In a decade that gave us Straw Dogs, Taxi Driver, Dog Day Afternoon, and all of those disaster films Star Wars was a breath of fresh air. It was a turning point for the dark view of American society in the 1970’s. It harkens back to yesterday when heroes were heroes and villains were villains. A simpler time. Lines were not blurred at that time.

The acting and the dialogue aren’t the greatest with Harrison Ford delivering the best performance, but director George Lucas creates a world out of nothing but ancient religious beliefs. It carries on more than it’s movie serial tradition, but an ideal of being one with the world. It wasn’t just the marketing that pushed this film from beyond the silver screen, but those universal ideas of accepting what is good and shunning the evil that we encounter in our lives. (I’m getting really deep on this so bare with me)

Overall, Star Wars is a magnificent film that captures not just one spirit, but multiple ideals from throughout history. There’s thousands of years of beliefs rolled up into 125 minutes of intergalactic adventure. Of course Star Wars is a phenomenon, but when you get back to the basics of the film itself it stands on its own and has become a high standard that other filmmakers try to achieve

So out of a possible five stars Episode 4 earns:

✪✪✪✪✪ how could it be any less?

What did you think of episode 4?

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Thanks for reading!


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