Alternate Title: Star Wars
Synopsis: A restless Luke Skywalker leaves his home on nowhere Tatooine after the murder of his aunt and uncle by Storm Troopers of the Evil Empire, meets colorful people, begins his journey to become a Jedi, and joins the Rebel Alliance.
• A strong cast drives a now iconic story.
• Successfully remixes fantastical story elements into the hard sci-fi context.
• Far greater then the sum of its parts.
• Destined to become the start of one of the most popular, lucrative, and polarized franchises in history.
• Fairly predictable plot, the overall story largely derived from common fantasy constructs and ca. 1950s sci-fi.
• Though not forgettable, the dialogue was largely uncomplicated and without much nuance. “You are part of the Rebel Alliance and a traitor. Take her away!”
• The Special Edition did not add much, and many of the new elements seemed unnecessary.
• The nostalgia this film ultimately created may be damaging the franchise today, ironically in terms of the fallen fans that have given into their hatred toward the new films they never had control over.
This film was George Lucas at his finest. To his own admission, Lucas tended to look to past stories to do in a different way, and that is not always a bad thing. Nearly every element of A New Hope can be found in the fantastical stories that preceded it: good vs evil, users of mystical powers, wide eyed heroes, reluctant heroes. Yet almost implausibly, it all comes together here in a way that does not feel recycled, and that can fully be attributed to the actors. Han Solo (Harrison Ford) especially is played in a way that counters, balancing the overeagerness of Luke. Without such elements the film would never have worked.
Star Wars Franchise
Rotten Tomatoes — 93%