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Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
Year:
1977
Country:
USA
Genre:
Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
IMDB rating:
8.7
Director:
George Lucas
Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker
Harrison Ford as Han Solo
Carrie Fisher as Princess Lea
Peter Cushing as Governor Tarkin
Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi
Kenny Baker as R2-D2
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca
David Prowse as Darth Vader
James Earl Jones as Darth Vader
Phil Brown as Uncle Owen
Shelagh Fraser as Aunt Beru
Jack Purvis as Chief Jawa
Alex McCrindle as General Dodonna
Eddie Byrne as General Willard
Drewe Henley as Red Leader (as Drewe Hemley)
Storyline: The Imperial Forces, under orders from cruel Darth Vader, hold Princess Leia hostage in their efforts to quell the rebellion against the Galactic Empire. Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, captain of the Millennium Falcon, work together with the companionable droid duo R2-D2 and C-3PO to rescue the beautiful princess, help the Rebel Alliance and restore freedom and justice to the Galaxy.
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Reviews
A long time ago in a childhood not too far away......
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 her's, 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
2009-03-29
The opening installment of the greatest trilogy in cinematic history...
Truly a landmark film. When it came out, there had never been anything like it before, and it truly caused quite a stir. I would contend that it is not as good as its sequel, Empire Strikes Back; but it is still a great movie. There is humor, action, and some heartfelt moments. It is also our introduction to some great characters that people will never forget - Chewbacca, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, Obi Wan Kenobi...and of course everyone's favorite villain, Darth Vader. Alec Guinness really is outstanding in this movie. His role as Luke's first mentor is understated and believable...his somewhat tired attitude in retrospect seems very understandable after watching the prequels - after all he's been through, it is very believable when he tells Luke, "I'm getting to old for this sort of thing." The visual effects are not only groundbreaking, but they still hold up very well even in this CGI-effects laden era. I would contend that ILM's use of modeling and lighting in the old films actually lends a more believable look to the action scenes than the prequels' use of video-game style battles and sensory overload. There is great chemistry between the actor's - and while Luke is a bit annoying, the back and forth of Han and Chewbacca, and C-3PO and R2-D2, as well as Leia's chemistry with Han and Luke, make this movie extremely entertaining on an emotional level - it also makes you care about the characters. Let us compare the lightsaber duel of this movie with that from Phantom Menace. Although the acrobatics and sheer fury of the duel just are not there in A New Hope, we actually feel something when Obi-Wan allows Vader to strike him down. Conversely, when Qui-Gon Jinn is slain, there is not the same (if any) feeling after it is done. Well, I'm rambling now. But this movie has it all. Space battles, lightsaber duels (a la Samurai flicks), chase sequences, thinly veiled references to the Western genre in the Canteen on Tatooine. A Truly great adventure that, as it ended, was really just beginning.
2005-05-25
The first is the best
I loved this movie. I have always loved this movie. I always will love this movie. It is simply amazing. The actors, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamil and Carrie Fisher all did an excellent job. However my favorite character was Darth Vader. He is evil with being ugly or digusting. The high level of quality from a film made in 1977 is astounding. Still being from the seventies, this film has some pretty interesting hair. But it is THE film that defined how science fiction movies are supposed to be. I did my term paper on the affects of Star Wars on the science fiction genre and the movie industry itself. Needless to say I didn't have to work that hard, the movies speaks for itself. If you haven't seen it, watch it. I love this film.
2005-04-26
The film that changed the world
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.
2004-12-12
Where It All Began-----10/10
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
2003-10-22
No words to say
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!
2000-02-01
The greatest cinematic epic of all time begins here.
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.
2005-04-25
In 1977, in a galaxy far, far away...
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...
2005-11-15
The Beginning of a Wonderful Trilogy of Films
Well, the only way to begin this review is to mention when I saw "Star Wars" for the very first time. I was merely a baby, from what I recall my parents telling me before their divorce. I wasn't even born when this first feature film hit theatres. I'm nineteen now, but I must admit that "Star Wars" was one of the many things that decorated my childhood. I always adored it, and always looked-up to Luke Skywalker. It was the type of view I can only assume all boys had; we all wanted to be a Luke Skywalker. We wanted to be the cool hero with a lightsaber. In this review, I will do my very best not to give you a biased review. However, forgive me, for I have always been a "Star Wars" fanatic. This was my first re-viewing in quite a while, so at least I'm reviewing the film with a clear set of eyes.

When two droids, C3-PO and R2-D2, escape the clutches of a shoot-out on a spaceship, they land on a desert-covered landscape, only to find themselves captured as slaves. They are reunited among the slavetraders, called Jawas. The Empire realizes that Princess Leia Organa had sent a message along with one of the droids who managed to escape the attack, so they begin to hunt for R2-D2 and C3-PO. Little does the Empire know that a young man, Luke Skywalker, and his uncle, Owen, had just purchased the two droids from the Jawas. While cleaning the two droids up, Luke stumbles upon the message Princess Leia had left for an "Obi-Wan Kenobi". Luke considers "Obi-Wan" a possible relative of a man named Ben Kenobi and goes on the look for him. For now, I will end my synopsis for the fact that I just described the first half-hour of the film. I want there to be more for you. All you need to know is that Luke is taken on a journey that changes his entire life and purpose, helping him make a transfer from a teen who longs to leave the ranch he is stuck living on to a man seeking the fall of the Empire. This film isn't just a film; it is a true adventure.

When it comes to the acting in "Star Wars", I truly don't believe it could get any better whatsoever. Mark Hamill was born to play Luke, Harrison Ford dominated his role as the swift Han Solo (a bounty hunter Luke ends up traveling with), Carrie Fisher is courageously independent as Princess Leia and doesn't fall into the shadows of her co-stars, but Alec Guinness was exceptional as Ben (or Obi-Wan) Kenobi. There is something magical and hopeful about the way Alec portrays Obi-Wan in this film. Also, Anthony Daniels is perfect as C3-PO! He may have been the simple comic relief, but I promise you he was the perfect choice for this character. I truly cannot see anyone ever playing this golden-plated character, who has practically become the symbol for any outsider who may have not seen the films. Without a doubt, the acting was exceptional in all respects. I believe the trickiest had to have been David Prowse, seeing as how Lucas ended-up not using Prowse's real voice for Darth Vader. With that thought, I must say that I enjoy James Earl Jones' voice much more for the character.

Anyways, moving along! The writing of each character was phenomenal. I feel that the banter was so well-done that it brings these characters to life even more, seeing the situations each of them are in within the duration of the film. "Star Wars" was also plotted very well, with all events and scenes not feeling out of place once.

The special effects, I must say, are top-notch, even if they have aged a bit in 2013 viewer's eyes. At some points, the effects look fantastic, while other scenes look like a "Star Wars" fan film from YouTube. That's common with classic cinema, so I don't mind it. I sincerely believe that people aren't the only ones to age.

This "Star Wars" film is definitely not my favorite, but it runs right behind "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi", on my list. Overall, it is still very enjoyable with set designs that look like legitimate places amongst the galaxy. The detailing of the sets in this film are just shockingly realistic.

"Star Wars" deserves the eight stars that I have rated it. I like it, hold it as a memory in my heart, but find it to be an action-fantasy film, for the most part. It is brilliant, it is intelligent, and it is worth a try. I highly recommend the film.

May the force be with you all! God bless, and Merry Christmas!
2013-12-16
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