Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Oscar Movie Review: "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope" (1977)

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Movie"Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope"
Year Nominated: 1978
Director: George Lucas
Rating: PG
Running Time: 2 hours, 1 minutes
Did It Win?: No.

Two droids called C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) and R2-D2 (Kenny Baker) seek out an old Jedi named Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) to deliver him a message from Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), a plea for help to assist her father and the rebellion in the battle against the totalitarian Galactic Empire. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), the son of Obi-Wan's former student Anakin Skywalker, joins Obi-Wan on his quest with the help of a smuggler named Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and his colleague Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew).  

Every so often, a movie comes along that changes the way we look at film and raises the bar for what is possible to be brought to life on screen. "Star Wars" is one of those movies, but more than any film in history, "Star Wars" did not just change cinema, it changed global popular culture for generations to come. This is the one that started it all and introduced everyone to what would become the Star Wars universe. When George Lucas set out to make Star Wars, which has now been dubbed "Episode IV - A New Hope," nobody, including the studio, thought much of this movie or had any idea that it would become the global phenomenon that it did. It was just a simple space opera and intergalactic adventure with great characters, an interesting mythology, and special effects like no one had ever seen up until that point. For us, the story might be simple by today's standards, but the special effects hold up very well today and often look better than many movies which came after it.

From R2-D2 to Han Solo, from the Death Star to Tusken raiders, from Princess Leia to Grand Moff Tarkin, each and every single piece of the puzzle fits perfectly together to create an epic, legendary force in both pop culture and cinematic history. As we watch Luke Skywalker, played by Mark Hamill, become the Jedi he was destined to be, training and learning the ways of the Force, we want to be him so desperately when he wields a lightsaber and flies in a X-Wing. As we watch Han Solo, played by Harrison Ford, and Princess Leia Organa, played by Carrie Fisher, fall in love, it makes us remember that love is possible, even in a galaxy far, far away. Remember, all of these three main characters were played by newcomer actors, which is insane to think about now as Harrison Ford went on to play Indian Jones and Mark Hamill has become a huge voice actor. As we watch Obi-Wan Kenobi be the master we have come to love, all of the adventures and battles that seem endless and entertaining, and the joy we get each time we see someone fight or escape or win a battle makes us happy inside and out.

What else is there to say that hasn't already been said? "Star Wars" is one of our favorite movies and the original trilogy is one of the best film franchises in cinema history. The characters have become idolized over the years, cemented in the cosmos as quintessential heroes and notorious villains with new and odd species of aliens and droids, fascinating landscapes and planets, and vehicles we wish existed in real life. The story and its subsequent canon has opened up an entire new world of possibilities for the franchise, and fans of the film have been made for generations with moviegoers showing their children and their children's children "Star Wars," shaping new lives and minds while making new fans.

My Rating: 10/10
BigJ's Rating: 10/10
IMDB's Rating: 8.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 94%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!
To see our review of "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace," click here.

To see our review of "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones," click here.

To see our review of "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith," click here.

To see our review of "Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back," click here.

To see our review of "Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi," click here.

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