Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope

Hello everyone! Leading up to Star Wars Episode IX, I am rewatching and reviewing as many Star Wars movies as I can before December 19th. Once I’ve finished I’ll give my ranking of all 10 live action Star Wars movies. Today I’ll be looking at Episode IV: A New Hope

The Good

World Building

One of my favorite things about A New Hope is the world building. Since it was the first Star Wars movies released, it takes it’s time introducing us to the Star Wars Universe. We experience the story alongside Luke Skywalker. Although Luke isn’t new to the Universe, he’s been on the desert planet of Tatooine his whole life, so we get to learn about the Empire and the Force together. This works particularly well, it allows us to experience Star Wars without being overwhelmed with the amount of information and lore in the universe.

Score & Sound Design

John Williams’ score is perfect, he does an incredible job of injecting the entire movie with meaningful scenes and powerful emotion. His incredible score is the difference between a masterful work of cinema, and an awkwardly clunky wannabe sci-fi movie. There’s a really great video on YouTube called Star Wars minus John Williams. It’s a great demonstration of what the Throne Room scene would have been like without John Williams. John Williams’ score is triumphant, mysterious, and exciting at all the perfect times. Additionally, the sound effects and design sound like something from another world.

The Mixed

Action

I’ve never thought of A New Hope isn’t an action movie, to me it’s always been more of a space-fantasy-drama. The action is great throughout the movie. It’s exciting and there’s just enough to keep audiences from getting lost in dialogue. Now you might ask, if the action is so great, then why is this under “Mixed”? The main reason that this isn’t under “good” is because action in Star Wars movies has come such a long way that it can feel dull when compared to others in the series. Additionally, the lightsaber duel between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader feels like it’s in slow motion. There’s a really cool fan-made video on Youtube called Star Wars SC 38 Reimagined. Christopher Clements basically recreates the duel between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader using modern effects and it’s really cool.

Lucky Heroes

One area that I’m a little conflicted on is that our heroes seem a little too lucky throughout the movie. When Luke has a run-in with the Tusken Raiders, he just so happens to be found by Ben Kenobi, the person who he’s trying to find. While he’s with Ben Kenobi, the Empire tracks the 2 missing droids to the Skywalker farm, conveniently while Luke isn’t there. The entire movie we’re told about the power, ferocity, and precision of the empire, yet our heroes are able to evade the empire for most of the movie. At one point, Ben Kenobi even says “these blast points are too accurate for Tusken Raiders, only imperial troops are this accurate”. For the rest of the movie, Imperial Troops are constantly shooting at our heroes with absolutely no accuracy. I sort of think that it works. In a way, it helps to add to the excitement in their triumphant victory, since they are such unlikely heroes, but also it feels like a bit much.

The Bad

Villains

This is a byproduct of our lucky heroes. The whole movie we’re told how scary and dangerous the empire is and how cruel Darth Vader is, yet there’s not really anything in the movie to back that up. They can’t even deal with a farm boy, a smuggler, a princess, and a wookie, in their own battle-station. I never really like that about A New Hope

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