Director: George Lucas
Cast: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness
Screenplay: George Lucas
121 mins. Rated PG for sci-fi violence and brief mild language.
- Academy Award Winner: Best Art Direction – Set Decoration
- Academy Award Winner: Best Costume Design
- Academy Award Winner: Best Sound
- Academy Award Winner: Best Film Editing
- Academy Award Winner: Best Effects, Visual Effects
- Academy Award Winner: Best Music, Original Score
- Special Achievement Academy Award: Ben Burtt [For sound effects (For the creation of the alien, creature and robot voices)]
- Academy Award Nominee: Best Picture
- Academy Award Nominee: Best Actor in a Supporting Role [Alec Guinness]
- Academy Award Nominee: Best Director
- Academy Award Nominee: Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
iMDB Top 250: #20 (as of 1/18/2016)
As we close Star Wars Days 2015, we end on the original film in the Saga, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, from director George Lucas (American Graffiti, THX 1138).
In A New Hope, it has been 19 years since Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Scooby-Doo!: Moon Monster Madness) was dropped off with his uncle and aunt on Tattooine. When the two droids C-3PO and R2-D2 come into his family’s possession, Luke gets swept up in R2’s mission to deliver a message from the captive Princess Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher, When Harry Met Sally…, Maps to the Stars) to the crazy hermit Ben Kenobi (Alec Guinness, Lawrence of Arabia, The Bridge on the River Kwai). When Luke discovers that his father knew Kenobi long ago and is gifted his father’s lightsaber, he is set on a quest to save the princess and defeat the Empire.
The original film is still a perfect fantasy/sci-fi masterpiece with great performances, terrific direction, and a nice smooth flow. The special effects still look great (I’m referring to the original special effects, not the Special Edition effects).
Harrison Ford (Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Age of Adaline) absolutely steals the show as Han Solo, who, alongside his trusty co-captain Wookiee Chewbacca, are hired to assist Luke and Kenobi in rescuing the princess. They are aided by a believable group of performances from a talented cast of newcomers like Hamill and Fisher as well as veterans Guinness and Peter Cushing (Horror of Dracula, The Curse of Frankenstein) as the villainous Grand Moff Tarkin.
This is the pinnacle of Lucas’ abilities as a filmmaker. His terrific screenplay and his inability to give up when faced with countless problems directing the picture proved him to be a truly captivating artist with a unique vision.
Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope remains a perfect film, one of the best ever put to the screen. It has become a pop cultural rock, unable to be moved from the public eye in the 38 years since its release, and I doubt it will ever truly disappear. Perfection.
-Kyle A. Goethe
For my review of George Lucas’ Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, click here.
For my review of George Lucas’ Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, click here.
For my review of George Lucas’ Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, click here.
For my review of Irvin Kershner’s Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, click here.
For my review of J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, click here.