A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
Two droids escape an Imperial attack and land on the desert planet Tatooine. Eventually falling into the hands of Luke Skywaker (Mark Hamill) the droids inadvertently bring together a disparate group who will battle against the mighty Empire.
As the Emperor’s lieutenant, Darth Vader (David Prowse/James Earl Jones) interrogates a rebel leader Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) a rescue mission is mounted by Luke, an old Jedi named Obi Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) with the mercenary help of smugglers Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew).
Starting a franchise in the middle shows confidence in the product but it was the only choice for the young George Lucas as no one knew if the film would be successful. This episode is complete in and of itself so an obvious starting point.
The effects are high quality, as are the sets and on a mind boggling scale too. All the actors put in now famous performances but the stand outs in this movie are definitely the surer hands of Peter Cushing and Alec Guinness who swallow the screen. Good job they are never on screen at the same time!
Harrison Ford‘s breakout performance as Han Solo has become a template for the chaotic good buccaneer, leaning heavily on the shoulders of those 1930’s/1940’s swashbucklers. Nice to watch.
I always thought is a shame Carrie Fisher decided not to act more. There’s a fair portion of her mother’s acting talent there.
The droids are of course the central, pivotal characters of the Star Wars cycle. C-3PO and R2-D2 are lovingly brought to life by Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker.
Anyone who’s seen the charred remains on Tattooine must wonder how this is a U certificate.
Even now many children of the ’70s and ’80s are split down Star Wars versus Star Trek lines. One thing you can be sure of is that A New Hope will never be refilmed.
Things to look out for: lots of catchphrases and many many quotable lines, Denis Lawson as Wedge (?), the two elder statesmen of film, binary sunset, final battle with the Death Star, charred remains of Luke’s aunt and uncle, those wonderful droids
Cast: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, David Prowse, James Earl Jones, Peter Cushing, Peter Mayhew
Rating: still feel the magic in this marvellous adventure, dry highly recommended