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Review: 'Star Wars IV: A New Hope' (1977) Dir. George Lucas

Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness, Peter Cushing, Anthony Daniels and James Earl Jones


19 years after the formation of the Galactic Empire and the fall of the Galactic Republic, the galaxy is in a period of civil war....

A Rebel Alliance battles the Empire in an attempt to destroy the Emperor’s powerful space station, the Death Star, and restore peace to the galaxy.

Rebel Princess Leia Organa (Fisher) evacuates droids C-3PO (Daniels) and R2-D2 (Baker) away from the clutches of evil Sith Lord Darth Vader (Jones). They crash land on the planet Tatooine and soon find their way into the hands of young farm boy Luke Skywalker (Hamill). 

As the Empire begins a destructive search for the droids, Luke joins his old friend Obi-Wan Kenobi (Guiness) to seek out the kidnapped Princess. With help from pilot Han Solo (Ford), the small group are swept up in a daring battle to save the galaxy from the forces of evil…

A classic story of good vs evil which takes narrative roots from early Asian cinema and mythology; young heroes siding with mystical wizards and gunslingers to battle an evil Empire, headed by a haunting, powerful masked figure with legions of troops at his disposal. It sounds crazy on paper, but works perfectly for a classic sci-fi adventure with that B-movie feel and fuels the imagination for fans young and old to experience nothing but escapist adventure.

With passionate performances from all the actors taking what they do and say so seriously, it adds to the charm and the fact you can believe they are all existing in a world so fantastical and alien it doesn’t look or sound false; a factor missing from the early prequels. Every character is full of fun, be they good or evil, and they are so iconic now it’s almost too good to be true. 

With a truly rousing score by John Williams and imaginative production design that takes you to places you could only dream about, thanks to brilliant practical miniature, matte and model work long before CGI took over.

The charm is evident from this low-budget sci-fi film looks more authentic than many recent films do thanks to the passion on screen by everyone from the set designers to the lighting and make-up crew.

Featuring exciting space dog-fights thanks to the Rebel and Imperial fighters, deadly shootouts where laser blasts fill the air and tense hand-to-hand combat with the iconic lightsaber, this ticks every box for action, adventure, fantasy and sci-fi that it’s hard to compare. It’s so simple, but works so well, and thanks to the lack of CGI or wooden performances it’s a cut above the prequels like nothing you’ve seen before.

A talented cast, a talented crew and bucket-loads of understanding and passion for science-fiction and B-movie thrills really give us something never seen before, or since.

A true classic of both story-telling and the science-fiction genre. A defining piece of cinema full of talent that soars on screen and off.

'Star Wars IV: A New Hope' is a LucasFilm Ltd. production

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