Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope Film Review

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Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope

Starring: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness, and the voices of Anthony Daniels and James Earl Jones

Written and Directed by: George Lucas

What to say about this film that hasn’t been said before? It has the sort of flawed perfection that can only truly be achieved once in a generation. It is far from a perfect film, some of the effects are very cheesy and dated. The storyline is kind of vague and non specific, and the acting highlights are few and far between. But you have to look far and long to find someone who doesn’t love the original Star Wars.

It’s easy to see that one of the main reasons is that it follows Campell’s Hero’s Journey which for whatever reason remains an almost universally liked theme.

Every little boy grows up wanting to be Luke at first (even I, who grew to be…shall we say NOT so big a fan of the character) before they then start wanting to be Han Solo (and maybe when really angry, Darth Vader).

The iconic characters, worlds, and even not so perfect dialogue has been ingrained in the culture that even people who have never seen the films know exactly what you are talking about when you mention Darth Vader, The Millenium Falcon, the Force, lightsabers, etc.

It’s so much that it actually glistens over the problems that might have hampered a lesser movie. Mainly, the fact that it does take awhile to get going. The journey off Tatooine slows down the film quite a bit. Beyond, you have the Dark Lord of the Sith acting as almost a lackey to Grand Moff Tarkin.

And then there are the performances. Beyond Peter Cushing’s Tarkin, Alec Guiness’ Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Harrison Ford’s Han Solo, there isn’t a whole lot to praise.

But the adventure is contagious. Luke Skywalkers fascinating journey from adopted farmboy to heroic rebel pilot is just plain fun. Add in a beautiful Princess, a scoundrel with a heart of gold, and you just can’t help but watch.

Add in the most intimidating villain of all time and you have the most classic example of good vs evil that we’ve seen.

Of course, adding in John Williams’ score does nothing but help. A score from Williams can make a bad movie, good, and makes a good movie great meaning it makes Star Wars spectacular.

The action sequences are exciting, the character development and rich history laid out intrigue and overall despite the ending that could be final, this viewer is glad that The Empire Strikes Back is right next to it on the DVD shelf.


-Paul Talon

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