Star Wars: Episode 4 – A New Hope – Road to IX

Peter Mayhew, Mark Hamill, Alec Guinness. and Harrison Ford in Star Wars: A New Hope

Star Wars: Episode 4 – A New Hope is the film that started it all by taking audiences back to a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Princess Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) are the heart and soul of the original trilogy.  They all have their own place in the Rebellion against the Empire.  Luke yearns for an adventure in a way that is reminiscent of his father.  Or so Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guiness) tells him.  Going on such adventure and learning the ways of the Force to become a Jedi like his father is inevitable.  This certainly wouldn’t happen without Princess Leia getting her hands on the stolen Death Star plans and placed them inside her loyal R2-D2 (Kenny Baker) unit.

Star Wars: A New Hope takes on an entirely new perspective when watched after Rogue One.  When I watched the film for the first time in the 1990s, you knew instantly that Darth Vader (David Prowse/James Earl Jones) was a bad guy.  What we didn’t realize was just how capable he was of pure evil and destruction.  Sure, the last ten minutes or so of Rogue One may have been pure fan service but it sets the tone for what we see during Star Wars: A New Hope.  The film’s opening plays in a very different way as a result.

To say that Star Wars deserved the Oscar for Best Film Editing would not be an understatement.  After reading Paul Hirsch’s memoir, he improved upon George Lucas’s original vision.  Hirsch teamed up with both Marcia Lucas and Richard Chew to edit the first film.  One of those suggestions was to pivot the opening away from Tatooine and to remain with the space battle.  In doing so, Biggs Darklighter (Garrick Hagon) is taken away from the film’s early minutes.  It’s for the best of the film, anyway.

When we talk about the great world builders, there aren’t that many names to speak of.  George Lucas is right there sitting aside the likes of J.R.R. Tolkien and maybe George R.R. Martin.  Even though the film itself is the idea of one person, Lucas would go on to birth this vast universe.  Visual effects would certainly never be the same.  Had Jaws come around after this film, the shark would have been more terrifying than it was in 1975.  Star Wars single-handedly changed the game for blockbuster movies and remains one of the greatest films of all time.

CAST:  Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, and James Earl Jones

20th Century Fox opened Star Wars: Episode 4 – A New Hope in theaters on May 25, 1977. Grade: 5/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.