Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope – Film Review


When Star Wars was released in 1977, it literally reinvented moviemaking and how audiences chose to view movies. True, the stage had been earlier set by Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, but nothing could have prepared the world for the phenomenon that would become Star Wars. Over thirty years later, movies are still being made, television shows have been spawned – and that doesn’t include countless books, video games, toys and all manner of commercial tie-ins. As the movie Spaceballs would one day spoof, it became all about “merchandising, merchandising, merchandising.”

But there first had to be a film popular and complex enough to spawn its own universe of marketing campaigns. And what tends to get lost in the blitz of Star Wars commercialism is a movie that, for all intents and purposes, is nearly perfect. There are memorable characters, plenty of action, philosophy, spirituality, and an epic hero quest right out of Joseph Campbell’s archetype for such stories. Only a relative lack of depth to the characters (this is the introduction, afterall), some cringeworthy moments from Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker, and a relatively plodding pace to open the film keep it from perfection.

But damn if it doesn’t get close.

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