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Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope Movie Review: An Enduring Sci-Fi Classic, an Epic Opening, and the Best of the Saga

Star Wars Episode IV
20th Century Fox


Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope Movie Review: An Enduring Sci-Fi Classic, an Epic Opening, and the Best of the Saga

This review may contain spoilers


After grueling with reviews of the prequel trilogy of Skywalker family, finally we arrive at the sequel trilogy which is technically the original trilogy of the saga. Hitting screens in 1977, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope was a massive success and an instant cult classic, becoming a game changer and inspiration for many generations until this day.

With stunning visuals which undoubtedly was profoundly futuristic and also richly sewn storyline, A New Hope is the first introducing us the dusty, sandy planet called Tatooine. And the most foremost in A New Hope is not the further rise of Anakin’s Darth Vader, but the young and aspiring Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) to fulfill his Jedi destiny, whether he shall or shall not, just like his father.

Despite being as smooth as he ingenuously thinks, with the guidance of now an old Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) and amazing direction and storytelling of George Lucas, not only his journey becomes the most interesting but also makes the first appearance of the Force in this saga the most powerful ever.

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope Movie Review

Set 30 years after the devastating Clone Wars and aftermath of the breakup between young Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and Anakin (Hayden Christensen), the previous Old Republic no longer exists and the entire galaxy is now ruled by the evil Galactic Empire, resulting in a long and grueling civil war.

In order to put off the war to the rest, Rebel Alliance led by Alderaan Princess, Leia (Carrie Fisher), sends their best spies to steal the plans of Empire’s space station also known as a dreadful weapon, Death Star. Upon her success stealing the plan, unfortunately this mission hasn’t been close to an end but triggering a larger problem.

The Emperor sends his dark and evil apprentice, Darth Vader (David Prowse) to retrieve those plans. The weariless search act finally ends up in a diplomatic ship which Leia is also situated. Realizing that Vader soon or later will get her captured, she hides the plans inside the memory of an astromech droid, R2-D2, along with an important hologram recording which is addressed to Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Long story short, after a successful message transmission to Kenobi, the only left Jedi Master along with Luke and the droids travel to Leia’s hometown in order to deliver her father this important message. Unfortunately, Alderaan is already destroyed prior to their arrival and the gang realize that the crisis is more than just stolen plans. The situation in fact is as deadly as Vader’s powerful choke.

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope Movie Review

George’s Lucas Best Direction Has Made This Episode the Best of the Saga

The fact that we consider A New Hope as an enduring classic isn’t an exaggeration. Through his lightspeed vision, Lucas made an epic opening, hardly defeated episode thus an enduring sci-fi classic in modern days. Great action scenes, mind blowing special effects (even they still look quite good today), and great on-screen chemistry among the casts; the humor, the love/hate dynamic and even the groans of Chewbacca.

Undoubtedly it’s Lucas’s excellent direction behind the amazing story arc and ultra modern technology. His attention to details help us to slip into the plotline comfortably. Unlike his later failed works (read: especially Episode II), young Lucas really did an amazing job in his 3rd movie as a director. He excelled at combining verbal and non-verbal communication techniques, making his audience easily understand the Force, Lightsaber, Jedi or any other alienish elements without much confusion and even out of questions.

This remarkable episode is also supported by the iconic scoring composed by John Williams (Jurassic Park, Jaws), that scoring played during the opening crawl of  “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…“.

Seemingly the Force Has Lived Within the Trio

This already amazing Lucas and Williams’s work is also enhanced by the magnificent performances from the entire casts. And when we say entire it’s really the whole stars involved in this movie. No more Jar-Jar Binks or Hayden Christensen syndrome in this episode.

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope Movie Review

But even Hamill plays his best as a natural, innocent Tatooine farmboy and Fisher looks both fierce and pretty as the double bun-hair princess, it’s Han Solo who actually steals the spotlight, even somehow being jerk. The actor behind, Harrison Ford, plays a galaxy scumbag with likable personality, a dual-quality which surprisingly can always steal on screen.

Talking honest, the trio were actually no one and lacked of credits but they’re the trio whose talents had made this episode beyond expectation and become a legendary sci-fi role model. Showing coherence with this, A New Hope is closed with a celebration which Leia honors Luke and Han for their heroic act.

Since then, the Force seemingly have lived within them, stayed the strongest within Luke in order to await him restoring the balance to the Force. Yes, as we now know the truth, Luke is actually the chosen one Anakin’s being mistaken for.

Director: George Lucas

Cast: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels

Duration: 125 mins

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