Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope – The Little “Space Western” That Could

It’s quite difficult to give a “proper” review to something that as far back as I can remember has been near and dear to my heart.  For the longest time, I actually could not find fault with this movie.  I never listened to what any pinhead critic said about Star Wars because I was going to see it regardless and anyone else’s opinion made no difference.  It wasn’t until adulthood and after many viewings that I began to think, hmm maybe Mark Hamill’s acting wasn’t so great in this and hey, what are those boxes of light around the Tie-Fighters when they’re shown flying in space?  Do these things change my opinion of the movie – never!

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Despite it’s obvious flaws, A New Hope still remains an absolutely thrilling motion picture.  From the very beginning when we see the Rebel Blockade Runner being chased by the massive Imperial Star Destroyer the moments of awe and enchantment begin. Every time I watch this movie, even to this day my palms get sweaty and I hold my breath in anticipation as to what is about to board that rag tag Alliance ship.  And what blasts through those doors never disappoints. That Storm Trooper armor still looks fantastic and they’re followed by one of the most frightening villains in cinematic history, Lord Vader himself.  But as we all know, despite their numbers and superior firepower R2-D2 and C-3PO still manage to escape Vader’s grasp with the Death Star plans.

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Now it’s time to take a breather and frolic on Tatooine for a tick.  But we’re not out of the woods yet because those pesky (but awesome looking) Stormtroopers follow the droids down to the desert planet.  Now we get to meet Luke, Ben and of course Han and Chewie! Luke and Ben are good guys and that’s a given from the get go.  They’re kind and gentle to each other and those they come across.  Except don’t piss off Ben, he apparently won’t hesitate to lob off your arm.  The Creature Cantina is still one of my favorite scenes of all the Star Wars movies.  I think I still see a new bizarre patron I’ve never seen in the background every time I watch the movie.  Now when we meet Han and Chewie, they may not be so good.  Han is sarcastic, skeptical, and egotistical, his first mate Chewbacca is just plain scary looking.  In Han Solo though I found a kindred spirit,  a hero I could relate to despite my young age.

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Now our band of Heroes end up in the Lion’s Den, The Death Star and we meet the imprisoned Leia Organa who I also fell in love with.  Not just the fact that she wasn’t all that hard on the old peepers, but she was kind and gentle at times too but she also had some of Han Solo’s biting personality. So far, she’s the only one that kept Han’s ego in check.  She could also think her way out of a tough situation and wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty with a blaster!  Now our Heroes make a daring escape, minus Ben of course who was sliced and diced by Vader (sort of).  The part still kills me when our Heroes are about to sneak into the Falcon and quietly make their escape but OH NO!  When Luke notices Ben and Vader dueling in the distance he just had to yell out BEN! from across the hanger.  Causing not only Vader to take notice of them but all of the Storm Troopers that were watching the duel as well.

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We all know how things go from here, every one fulfills their parts as they were meant to.  I still think that the most noble was Han Solo’s role in the destruction of the Death Star. It was Luke’s lifelong ambition to be involved with the Rebels and he had nothing else to go back to anyway but Han didn’t have to come back.  He got the reward he wanted and he could have gone far away and lived happily ever after without any of that Rebels Vs. Imperials mumbo jumbo to deal with.  He gave up his safety, freedom, not to mention his livelihood.  He wasn’t invested in any way to any part of the Alliance like Luke and Leia were.  The fact that Han Solo returned and saved the day in my opinion makes him the real hero of this movie.

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When I first showed my kids this movie, I expected a lot of eye rolling and negative reactions.  Just because compared to the prequels and a lot of other movies they’ve seen, it doesn’t have a lot of razzle dazzle CGI and the story is slower moving.  But they were still delighted and loved it.  A good story is the key to any good movie, special effects should merely be a tool in which to tell the story.  A medal around Chewbacca’s neck should have been only special effect added to A New Hope.  The fact that this movie still brings out emotions in me after dozens of viewings speaks volumes.  Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope changed the motion picture industry in so many ways.  It’s regarded as one of the most important films in motion picture history and rightfully so.

5 out of 5 Couch Cushions!!!

5 out of 5 small


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