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Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope



What is it ? : So it's the first, yet the fourth Star Wars movie. It's where this all began.
A starship streaks across the screen, followed by the massive wedge shape of an Imperial Star Destroyer, the smaller ship is hit, and aboard we see two droids, R2-D2 and C-3PO who exposition for us a bit.
The ship is boarded by white clad Stormtroopers, who are soon joined by the black clad Darth Vader. The crew of the smaller ship is being defeated, but the white robed Princess Leia passes data onto R2-D2 who then evacuates the ship with C-3PO in an escape pod, as Leia is captured and questioned by Vader about some missing plans.
The droids crash to the surface of a desert planet, and are soon captured by small scavengers called Jawas. The Jawas sell the droids onto a farmer, Owen Lars and his nephew, Luke Skywalker, who while cleaning the droids discovers they are on a mission to deliver some data to Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Luke knows of a local, called Ben Kenobi, so wonders if they are related, and R2-D2 sneaks off to locate Ben. Luke follows and is attacked by Sand People, only to be rescued by Ben Kenobi who reveals that he used to be known as Obi-Wan.
He tells Luke how he knew Lukes father, Anakin, and that they were Jedi together, guardians of the Old Republic, before the Dark Times, before the Empire, and that Anakin was killed by Darth Vader, who turned to the Dark Side of the Force.
Luke and Ben discover that the Jawas have been slaughters, and that Stormtroopers tracked the droids, and have killed Luke's aunt and uncle.
With nothing left to stay for, Luke accompanies Ben who promises to teach him the ways of the Jedi, and they head for the local spaceport, Mos Eisley. There they meet a pilot Han Solo, and his co-pilot a Wookiee called Chewbacca.
They head to Leias homeworld of Alderaan to deliver the droids to her father, but discover that the Empire has destroyed the planet using their new battle station, the Death Star as a lesson to Leia and the galaxy about defying them.
Hans ship the Millennium Falcon is tractor beamed aboard the moon sized Death Star, and the heroes sneak off to rescue Princess Leia, while Ben goes to disable the Tractor Beams so they can escape.
Locating Leia and rescuing her from a holding cell, they escape into the sewer system of the station, before making their way back to their ship. Meanwhile Ben disables the tractor beam, before encountering Darth Vader. The two engage in a fight using laser swords, called Light Sabers, and it is revealed that Vader and Ben used to be student and master, as they clash within view of the ship, Ben spots the heroes, and drops his defence allowing Vader to hit and kill him, but Ben just disappears.
This causes enough confusion for them to board the Millennium Falcon and race away from the Death Star fighting a few small fighters before they manage to slip away into Hyperspace. They arrive at the Rebel base, where it is revealed that the data on R2-D2 are the plans for the Death Star, and that they have located a weakness in it's design which small fighters can exploit. The station tracks them to the Rebel base on Yavin IV, and the rebels launch fighters to attack it, with Luke manning an X-Wing fighter along with R2-D2.
The weak point on the station involves flying down a narrow trench to hit the target, and the rebels try repeatedly to blow the station up, but between ground defences, and Imperial fighter following them they are all destroyed, until only Luke and his wingmen remain.
As Luke races down the trench, Vader closes in his fighter from behind, but Han arrives in the Millennium Falcon, causing Vader to spin off into space, giving Luke the time to successfully take his shot destroying the station.
Afterwards, Leia awards Han and Luke with medallions.

High Points : I was six maybe seven years old when I first saw Star Wars at the cinema, and my most abiding memory is of the Star Destroyer at the beginning. We saw the Corellian Corvette fly over us as we stared up at the screen (I was sat right at the front, so looking almost straight up at the screen), and then the bulk of the Star Destroyer started passing overhead, and kept passing, and kept passing, it was enormous and I'd never seen anything like it before.
The used universe of Star Wars was also unlike anything we'd seen before. Usually sci-fi was clean and well ordered, but in Star Wars is was grimy and worn, and therefore realistic. The Land Speeders had mismatched parts, and were dirty, like so many cars you seen driving around, it looked more real that anything we'd seen, and not just because the special effects were so spectacularly better than those that came before.
And that universe seemed so big, the hints we received, that the Jedi had been guardians of the Republic for a thousand generations, that Obi-Wan fought together in the Clone Wars, etc. We just were getting glimpses of something so much bigger, and that while this was a huge story, it wasn't everything this universe had to offer, and so we wanted more.

Low Points : I find it difficult to criticise the movie, because I've had 44+ years to justify any problems that I might once have seen in it, and it's still just an absolutely amazing movie.
In the special editions, the extra scenes do seem extraneous to me, as Jabba just repeats what Greedo said to Han, plus it seems an unnatural addition to me. But I'm a massive fan of how Marcia Lucas edited the movie together to bring the story in a more logical and exciting way that her husband had thought.

So what do you really think ? : Come on. I've run a Star Wars RPG website for 20 years, what do you think I really think. Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope is amazing, I've seen it some many times over the years, but still love it, it's action packed, it's deep where it needs to be, and it started a lifetime of entertaining movies, comics, games and tv shows for me.

Final Words : I wanted to have a review of A New Hope before starting my completionist coverage of the movie (as I've recently done for the Prequels), but really it's just an excuse to gush over a movie I love.

Score : 9.5






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