Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)

Director: George Lucas
Cast: Mark HamillHarrison FordCarrie Fisher, Alec Guiness

Plot: Luke Skywalker leaves his home planet, teams up with other rebels, and tries to save Princess Leia from the evil clutches of Darth Vader.

Genre: Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Family/Fantasy
Awards: Won 6 Oscars - Best Film Editing, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Original Score, Best Sound, Best Visual Effects. Nom. for 4 Oscars - Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor. 

Runtime: 121min
Rating: PG for sci-fi violence and brief mild language.



It is interesting to note that before A New Hope was released in 1977, critics deemed it a failure, and predicted it to be a complete and embarrassing flop for George Lucas. Looking back, I wonder how badly these critics choked on their words. A rip-roaring success is surely destined for one of the world's most beloved sci-fi saga. Lucas has created arguably the most profitable franchise in motion picture history.

A New Hope represents literally a new hope for the sci-fi genre, marking the dawn of an era of similar-themed films. We see the likes of Close Encounters, The Terminator, and Alien establish themselves as money-earners, while captivating viewers from all around the globe. The two most remarkable aspects of A New Hope is the way Lucas develops the story, and how perfectly John Williams' grandiose score is able to compliment the visual experience.

The cast is able to aptly capture the spirit of Star Wars, with Harrison Ford giving a cheeky, but memorable performance as Han Solo. Chewbacca, C-3P0, R2-D2, and the Cantina Band fascinates as much as household names like Darth Vader, and Luke Skywalker. The CGI (which is in its infancy stage) is classically striking, while the model work is as close as to what Kubrick has accomplished for 2001: Space Odyssey.

A New Hope was nominated for ten Oscars, winning six of them. It represents a pinnacle achievement in the world of films. Most would have seen the film at least twice in their lives, and each time they would have been just as enchanted. A highly recommended work with an unique blend of science and art, A New Hope should be in everybody's personal film collection.

Verdict: Still my favourite "Star Wars" movie, this represents a high watermark in '70s Hollywood cinema.


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