Star Wars: A New Hope
In 1977, the release of what was then simply known as Star Wars was the beginning of something never before seen in this world. It was a global phenomenon. The movie spawned a franchise of films, shows, and toys. It created decades of raving fans the likes of which almost no other fanbase has. Ravenous fans. Fans that eat, sleep, and breath the details of even the most tertiary characters. You want to know what a Twi’lek is? They know. They also know the differences between the blasters used by the different characters and the different capabilities of every starship seen in the films. They’ll stand in line for days, if not weeks, to get tickets for new movies. In costume no less. In short, George Lucas began something great.
As the beginning scrawl started moving up the screen explaining what was happening with John Williams’ score behind it, audiences knew they were in store for something special.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, an evil galactic Empire took over everything. It ruled with the dual iron fists of Emperor Palpatine and his right-hand man and Sith lord, Darth Vader. While the Emperor wasn’t shown in this entry, Grand Moff Tarkin filled the void of evil quite nicely. A smaller group of military rises to oppose the evil Empire, this group is called the Rebels.
Truly, this is a plot everyone knows whether they’ve seen the movie or not. Star Wars is so famous, it’s grown into pop culture. So, it feels strange even trying to explain it. However, the movie gets so much cooler than one military faction versus another.
The plot comes with aerial dogfights in outer space. There are terrifying creatures around every corner. Blaster battles keep the audience at the edges of their seats. Still yet, though, is something more, something no one had seen before. Sword fights with swords known as lightsabers, where the blades are made with lasers instead of blades, steal the show.
Jedi, the people that wield the lightsabers, are mystical protectors of the universe. They utilize the energy field known as the Force to achieve extraordinary abilities. Whether Jedi masters or knights, they are skilled fighters, levitate things with their minds, seemingly fly at times (although for short distances), and even see images of the future. These Jedi once policed the balance of good and evil, ensuring evil such as the Sith didn’t take over the galaxy. They lost. Many were killed. The few that remain were sent into hiding. However, a Jedi master by the name of Obi-Wan comes out of retirement to train Luke Skywalker, the new hope of the Jedi. Together, they go to save young Princess Leia Organa. Leia has been captured by none other than Tarkin and Vader.
Obi and Luke seek out transport to Leia’s home planet. The transport comes in the form of the Millennium Falcon, piloted by Han Solo and Chewbacca. Droids C-3P0 and R2-D2 go along for the ride. Unfortunately, when the group arrives, the planet is gone. It was obliterated by the Empire’s new weapon, the Death Star. The Death Star is a moon-sized battle station that can shoot a laser strong enough to destroy planets! The Falcon is pulled into the Death Star by a tractor beam. Rather than getting captured themselves, our heroes find out Leia is also a captive in the battle station and run amok throughout the Death Star in order to save her. Though Obi has his final confrontation with his old trainee in the Force, Vader, the rest of the band of heroes link up with the Rebels and return to destroy the Death Star.
Much of the movie’s plot elements would possibly have been considered cheesy in other movies. A lot of the elements had been seen before. There had been goofy sci-fi movies filling cinemas for decades. However, George Lucas put his heart and soul into this movie, and it showed. The special effects were the best of their day. The plot elements were woven together so gracefully, culminating in a movie that filled its audiences with a sense of fun, adventure, and triumph.
For the few people you may know that have never seen Star Wars because they don’t like sci-fi, tell them to give it a try anyway. Yes, it’s sci-fi. It’s the most famous sci-fi ever. However, it’s more than that. At its core, Star Wars is a fun action adventure of good versus evil. It’s jump-out-of-your-seat-cheering-for-the-good-guys triumphant excitement. Anyone would enjoy that.
On top of the thrilling plot and action, the movie sports an all-star cast. Granted some may not have been known at the time of the movie’s release, but they all became superstars overnight if they weren’t already. Alec Guinness, of course, was known before and starred as Obi-Wan. Mark Hamill starred as Luke Skywalker. Carrie Fisher starred as Leia. James Earl Jones did the voice of Darth Vader. However, the breakout star that would go on to become the most money-making movie star of all time was Harrison Ford playing Han Solo.
The franchise, with all of its elements from movies, to books, to toys, has gone on to make over $65 billion dollars. That’s quite a movie franchise.
Star Wars: A New Hope started an entirely new concept of movies as sagas rather than mere sequels. Sci-fi became much more than just something nerds watched. Everyone watched Star Wars! It’s a film franchise that brings people together with their love of its movies and characters. Star Wars is more than a movie, it’s a phenomenon and always will be.
Star Wars: A New Hope – The Start of Something Unprecedented
Writing - 10/1010/10
Storyline - 10/1010/10
Acting - 9.5/109.5/10
Music - 10/1010/10
Production - 10/1010/10
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