Game Changer – Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)

Everyone loves Star Wars.  So this is about a young farm boy (Mark Hamill) that discovers his origins from a retired Jedi master (Alec Guinness).  He teams up with a rag-tag group to try and take down Lord Darth Vader and the evil Empire.  The only problem I have with reviewing the Star Wars series is that I don’t think I can say anything that hasn’t already been said.  Even people who have managed to go their entire lives without seeing the series already know mostly everything you need to know about the series, including the big twist in Episode V.  It is common knowledge that the original trilogy is classic, the prequels are rubbish, and if you feel differently, then this is probably too nerdy for you.

1But c’mon, Darth Vader is one of the best villains ever created.

While I could spend this entire review gushing over Star Wars, from that perfect opening shot to the classic tale of good vs. evil, I want to actually take a second to step back and touch upon a negative aspect, which is George Lucas’ inability to leave something alone.  This wholly proves the Dark Knight mantra: you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.  It is next to impossible to find an unaltered version of Star Wars, and you have little choice other than to watch these poorly rendered CGI effects jutting out into your movie watching experience.  It may be for just a small portion of the movie, but it looks cheap and leaves a bad taste in your mouth.  The reason why it sticks out so much is because it doesn’t mesh with the practical effects that this sci-fi classic from 1977 is otherwise filled with.

2The added Jabba the Hut scene is the WORST.

Bad CGI aside, Star Wars has obtained its rabid fan base with good reason.  It is universe building at its finest, and whenever you are on these different planets, you completely buy it, and you never for a second think that you’re just looking at a set.  These are rich characters that you want to see their stories continue, and Han Solo is one of the best lovable rogues of all time.  The score is a knockout, and the Imperial March is the perfect theme music for one of the best villains of all time.  The alien designs are fantastic and it is even more quotable than you remember, but the biggest reason why the original Star Wars is so great is very simple: it is great story telling.

Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) *****

– Critic for Hire


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