STAR WARS: EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE


1977 (Theatrical Version (STAR WARS)

1977/1997 (Special Edition)

1977/2004 (Enhanced Special Edition)

1977/2011 (Blu-ray Enhanced Special Edition)

DIRECTOR: George Lucas

May Contain Spoilers!

Is there really much left to say about Star Wars, seriously? This is the most famous Science Fiction film of all time and well deserved too. The simple story of a farm boy from the planet Tattoine who finds himself embroiled in an inter-galactic conflict, or Star War, as it were, is handed brilliantly. The pacing is good and a firm step into the 1980’s in terms of action and special effects, let alone away from the more dour 70’s era of realism and slow burn pacing.

But Star Wars is somewhat derivative, sourced from The Seven Samurai (1954) and The Dam Busters (1955) to name but two, and with The Lord Of The Rings flanking them both, does this film really deserve the adoration of so many? Yes, it does. Just because it can be said that Lucas was very liberal with his homages to other men’s work, doesn’t mean that this wasn’t one of the grandest productions ever put on to film; boasting state of the art special effect, a real cinematic vision and a story of pure heart and spirit.

In this galaxy far, far away, good and evil exist, where shades are grey are almost no existent; redemption is a way of life and murdering Stormtroopers and anyone associated with the Galactic Empire is perfectly acceptable. The death toll in this U rated film is astronomical, with the Deathstar obliterating the peaceful planet of Alderaan and the Deathstar itself being destroyed with all hands by the well placed Proton Torpedo delivered by Luke Skywalker. Millions were left dead.

But, there’s no blood, no gratuitous violence, just the bad guys getting it at every turn, Obi-Wan’s death and Uncle Owen and Aunt Buru’s smouldering remains not withstanding, this was palatable for kids. The film has true universal appeal and unlike its prequels, is aimed at everyone and not just the children who are being market for with the endless supply of toys and merchantise.

But even after 35 years, Star Wars’ still impresses, with pure spectial, excitement and fun. But even the endless “Upgrades” from Lucas himself fails to destroy the magic, though it would nice to see them as they were originally released on Blu-ray, and my views on Lucas’s lack of respect for Star Wars are well documented (see The Raping Of Star Wars By George Lucas).

Star Wars is a classic, pieced together from other classics to create something legendary; the phenomena which even after 35 years, is still going strong. Lucas may well have failed to recreate the success of this one, but that certainly doesn’t detract from this gem.

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