DIRECTOR: George Lucas
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away there was one film that began it all. Star Wars is not only a set of films but a complete movement and religion unto itself. In 1977 George Lucas created an ambitious space opera story that any man could follow and understand. It was understood so well that toys, clothing lines, graphic novels, books, comic book conventions would all be used to promote the use of the force to master it like a Jedi.
What made Star Wars IV A New Hope so successful? Lucas understood what story he wanted to tell, it was one that was instantly relatable whether it be young Luke Skywalker’s desperate desire to be something more than what he was or another’s need to channel the reckless bounty hunter Han Solo. You may have wanted to be like diplomatic Princess Leia or the epitome of all knowing Old Ben Kenobi.
I’m gonna presume you’ve already watched the film or at least know the basic plot. After all it’s forty years old.
The film works on many levels because it captures universal themes. A sense of belonging, fighting for just causes, good versus evil are all held within the film.
When one thinks of a SciFi film then one can think of hard to understand plot points, gadgets that are unexplained and characters that are simply scary. Not here. A New Hope makes sure story is structured well, points are clear and it has fun with what could have been taken seriously in other films in the same genre.
The John Williams film score is one of the most memorable in film history. As I write this comment, I can hear it in the back of mind. But not only is music used to effect in the opening and closing credits, it carries you throughout the film. If the misfits follow Princess Leia into the garbage compactor, we hear music or it’s Luke preparing himself to use the force and shoot a shot into the Death Star, we hear music for the scene and sequence.
Star Wars equates to ” Use the Force Luke” philosophy and that force is used well. You ask anyone today whether or not they have watched the film or not, they can describe the force, its philosophy and somehow can relate to all main religions whether it be western or eastern. Lucas has now cashed in hooking his religious audience in participating with the core of the force in his films. I wonder if youth groups in western religious groups have used this film to send its message to their own? I’d argue they have and to full effect.
Some fanboys will argue yes “A New Hope” is good but the next sequel is the best. We’ll get to Star Wars V : The Empire Strikes Back in due course but not now.
The 1977 A New Hope remains the trend setter and is the best.
Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker
Harrison Ford as Han Solo
Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia
Alec Guinness as Obi Wan Kenobi