|George Lucas Director||previously directed American Graffiti|
One of the most successful and popular movies ever made, Star Wars tells the story of a band of rebels trying to stop an evil Empire's super-weapon called the Death Star.
Star Wars popularized the use of the Wilhelm Scream as a sort of inside joke among filmmakers. The effeminate yelp can be heard after a Stormtrooper falls into a chasm on the Death Star.91 More Trivia
Lucas followed two minor characters, R2 and 3PO, to tell the story as well as used frame wipes using the scenes blocking.3 More Movie References
29 More Quotes
General Kenobi: Years ago, you served my father in the Clone Wars; now he begs you to help him in his struggle against the Empire. I regret that I am unable to present my father's request to you in person; but my ship has fallen under attack and I'm afraid my mission to bring you to Alderaan has failed. I've placed information vital to the survival of the rebellion into the memory systems of this R2 unit. My father will know how to retrieve it. You must see this droid safely delivered to him on Alderaan. This is our most desperate hour. Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi; you're my only hope.
|Mark Hamill||Luke Skywalker|
|Alec Guinness||Obi-Wan Kenobi|
|Carrie Fisher||Leia Solo|
|Harrison Ford||Han Solo|
|James Earl Jones||Darth Vader|
|David Prowse||Darth Vader|
|Peter Cushing||Grand Moff Tarkin|
|See Full Credits|
Star Wars, now known officially as "Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope", is a 1977 American space opera film, written and directed by George Lucas. It was the first film released in the Star Wars saga, and the fourth in chronological order . The film was ground breaking for its time, in its heavy use of special effects, and influential in paving the way towards more epic special effects in film.
Released on May 25th, 1977 following a tense and deeply troubled production, Star Wars was met with an unexpected critical acclaim. Audiences were moved by the romantic tale of a Rebel Alliance fighting against an evil Empire. Regarded as a classic in its genre, Star Wars soon evolved into one of the most popular film franchises of all time.
The creation of Star Wars has recently been debated as discrepancies in interviews from both George Lucas and some of those around him. Lucas claims he wrote the entire original trilogy at once, and once realizing it was too long for one movie, split the script into three parts. But others claims Lucas' scripts only included elements from the next two films and not the whole plot.
Lucas began having the idea for a space opera, inspired by movie serials like Flash Gordon, during the production of THX 1138. Only after his two movie deal with United Artists did Lucas begin having grander aspirations. Even during the filming and production of his next film, American Graffiti, Lucas began jotting down notes and character names and personalities. Once the film was done and released did Lucas finally give what would become Star Wars his full attention.
In his original outline, called The Journal of Whills, were most of the grand ideas of Star Wars but Lucas became frustrated when he was told the story was too complicated to understand. He restarted, this time taking more influence from The Hidden Fortress for the structure of the plot. Despite the reworked outline both United Artists and Universal passed on making the film. Eventually 20th Century Fox would allow the film be made with Lucas to direct
In early 1974 Lucas began on a full script. In this Jedi and Sith were born, Luke became the typical hero as cited in a 1936 book The Hero: A Study in Tradition, Myth, and Drama, and Han Solo and Chewbacca came to life. Despite these ideas Lucas began to draw heavier on existing science fiction which would differentiate the film from The Hidden Fortress.
With the galaxy in strife and the evil Galactic Empire firmly in control Star Wars: A New Hope opens with an Imperial Star Destroyer capturing Princess Leia's consular ship. The Empire suspects architecture plans for their new super weapon were stolen and hidden aboard her ship. As the Empire infiltrates the ship Leia finds the astro-droid R2-D2 and hides the plans along with a message inside his computer. Just as the Princess is captured and the evil Sith lord Darth Vader boards the ship, R2-D2 and his protocol droid pal C-3P0 cram into an escape pod and launch down to the nearby desert planet of Tatooine.
The two droids wander and separate looking for any way out only to both be picked up by Jawas, who plan to resell the droids to make a profit. The Jawas arrive at Owen Lars' moisture farm and his nephew Luke Skywalker buys both droids for the farm. While cleaning the two droids up Luke discovers part of Leia's message and thinks the man she is looking for, Obi-Wan Kenobi, might be "Old Ben" Kenobi who is a hermit who lives nearby. The next morning, after discovering R2 has left the farm looking for Kenobi, Luke and C-3P0 go off in search for him.
They find R2 still searching the desert for Kenobi and hear nearby Sand People, nomadic hostile aliens and is attacked. Kenobi shows up just in time to save Luke and the two droids taking them back to his home. There R2 plays the entire message for Kenobi and he tells look about joining him to recuse Leia and help fight the empire. Luke refuses even after learning his father was a Jedi Knight like Kenobi and receiving his father's lightsaber, he only will take Ben to a nearby city to help him get off planet.
On their way back to the moisture farm they discover the Jawas, who Luke bought the droids from, slaughtered. When Kenobi suspects Imperial Stormtroopers at fault Luke realizes the Jawas could have led them back to his home. He rushes home only to find his family killed and the farm in ruins. Luke returns back to Kenobi and vows to help him battle the Empire. They now go to nearby spaceport Mos Eisley and search for a cheap passage to Alderaan, where they are most likely to find Leia's friends in the Rebellion. Inside a cantina they find trouble and Han Solo. He agrees for a large sum to take them to Alderaan and avoid Imperial entanglements. Solo escapes a bounty hunter and the group escape Mos Eisley just in time before being caught by Stormtroopers.
Meanwhile Princess Leia is being held by Darth Vader himself aboard the new super weapon and space station called the Death Star. They torture her for information of the Rebellion's secret base, even after she gives them a name of a planet, the Death Star fires upon her home world of Alderaan destroying the entire planet. Han Solo and his co-pilot Chewbacca come out of hyperspace at what should be Alderaan and into an asteroid field. They all try and figure out what has happened only to see a TIE Fighter fleeing the scene, they follow the fighter and discover the Death Star. Trapped in its tractor beam and with no escape the group hide in smuggling compartments in their ship.
Once inside the Death Star docking bay they ambush a search team of Stormtroopers and take their armor. They decide to split send Kenobi off to disable the tractor beam. While waiting R2 discovers Leia is being held prisoner on the Detention Level, Luke and Han decide they have to rescue her. With Chewbacca pretending to be a new prisoner they find the Princess and free her from her cell. With more Stormtroopers arriving they have no choice but to jump down a trash chute and into a large trash compactor.
With the compactor activated they are in trouble of being crushed they frantically call for C-3P0 and R2 who are in trouble themselves. They barely escape investigating Stormtroopers and head back towards the ship. Only then does C-3P0 realize his com-link has been shut off and turns it on just in time and frees Luke, Han, Leia, and Chewie from the trash room and they begin their trek back to their ship while fighting off more Stormtroopers.
Kenobi has succeeded in powering down the tractor beam but realizes he has a different destiny than his escaping friends. As he approaches the ship he is confronted by his former student and now Sith Lord, Darth Vader. Obi-Wan knows he must sacrifice himself to help further a new hope in Luke. Luke witnesses Kenobi's death and in his anger takes on more and more enemies only to finally be spurred to escape by the disembodied voice of Kenobi.
Solo and Luke fight off a squadron of TIE Fighters and escape to Yavin 4 where the rebels are massing. Little do they know the Empire has placed a tracking device aboard the ship. The Death Star follows the rebels to Yavin 4 and prepares to orbit a nearby planet to be within weapon range. The rebels have time to analyze R2's hidden plans that contain one weakness within the Death Star, a small exhaust pipe that a small fighter have fire into to destroy the super weapon.
With Luke piloting an X-Wing the rebels fight back against the Death Star. After a few runs down a trench leading to the vulnerable exhaust port the rebels seem unable to make the shot. Luke dives into the trench and Darth Vader himself begins shooting down is wingmen. With only Luke left, being guided by Kenobi to not use the targeting computer but use the force instead, and Solo making a last minute save by disabling Vader's TIE Fighter, Luke is able to destroy the Death Star.
Even though Vader survives, the rebels celebrate. Luke, Solo, and Chewie are all awarded by the rebels and Luke has begun down his path to learn the force and become a Jedi like his father.
In 1975 production began on Star Wars, but Lucas was already at work when he learned 20th Century Fox's visual effects department no longer existed. This forced Lucas to start his own visual effects company to work on the film, known as Industrial Light and Magic. ILM set up in California where they would use models and slow cameras to create Lucas' vision.
Principle shooting began in Tunisia in 1976. Shooting in the desert, to represent the planet Tatooine, is where the production had its first of many problems. As Lucas fell behind his shooting schedule in horrendous heat a rare rainstorm battered Tunisia, causing severe set damage and further delaying the production. It wasn't until filming moved to London, England when both cast and crew felt much more comfortable about their conditions.
Despite the better conditions in London, shooting didn't go anymore smoothly. With the crew on rigid schedules set my unions and giving half-hearted work efforts for a movie they viewed to be very strange, shooting got further and further behind and over-budget. Lucas was much more used to a flexible and independent environment for shooting and he became more disappointed with most of the elements of the production as they came together.
Thankfully for Lucas he had some support at Fox in Alan Ladd Jr., who had helped get Lucas his deal with Fox. Ladd was able to convince the studio board members to keep the film alive long enough, despite budget and screenplay concerns. Finally, though, Ladd and Lucas ran out of time giving Star Wars only a few weeks to finish its shoots. Lucas formed three teams of filming in order to get the necessary shots needed for his film.
With the film already delayed to 1977 from an original Christmas '76 release date, Lucas wasn't happy when he saw a rough cut of the film. Lucas was forced to replace his editor with two of his own and began cutting the film differently to provide more energy and pace to both the dialogue and action scenes. ILM was also having troubled getting the effects together but after some intervention by Lucas the team did a years work in six months time. With the film finally done Lucas screened it to friends including fellow directors, none of whom enjoyed it.
On May 25, 1977 Star Wars was released and became a full on blockbuster. It is still to this day one of the most successful films of all time. The film was given very positive reviews and hailed as a new wave of science fiction. It went on to win six academy awards: 2 for visual effects, 2 for writing and directing, and one to Alec Guinness for acting. To this day Star Wars influences a generation and films.
In 1997, as a part of the 20th anniversary of Star Wars, George Lucas went back to the original three films and digitally remastered the film and sound quality as well as adding controversial new changes. Some of these changes were controversial because of the CGI additions that look out of place and currently dated in movies of such age. As well as scenes being changed from their original versions including one scene where Han Solo kills a bounty hunter named Greedo, in the original version Han seems to fire first but in the special edition version Greedo fires first and Solo's head is digitally made to "dodge" the shot.
In 2011 a set of both the prequels and sequels were released again this time on high definition Blu-ray discs. Again, as with the DVD releases, the movies were altered by George Lucas most of which were met with disdain and anger by fans. Some of the changes include Obi-Wan Kenobi's krayt dragon call, while scaring tusken raiders away from an unconscious Luke, was altered from its original sound.
Beginning in early 2012, Lucas began rereleasing the entire Star Wars saga in chronological order starting with The Phantom Menace. As of right now small changes have only occurred, presumably to add to the 3-D effect, between the Blu-Ray release and the 3-D theatrical release.The re-release date for A New Hope was canceled, with focus now being on episode VII.
Making a Screened Video Feature
Rorie and Joey take you through the process of making a Bestie!
Besties: Star Wars: A New Hope
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...
Trailer: Star Wars Blu-Ray Box Set
Anyone else geeking out about this a bit? 40 hours of new material and previously unreleased cut footage should be interesting, at least.
Video Feature: Did Midi-chlorians Ruin Star Wars?
Midi-Clorians or mysticism? Rorie discusses with Screened users the magic and science in Star Wars.
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|US Release||May 25, 1977|
|UK Release||Dec. 27, 1977|
|AUS Release||Oct. 27, 1977|
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|Alias(es)||Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope|
|The Hidden Fortress|
|The Star Wars Holiday Special|
|Buck Rogers in the 25th Century|
|The Black Hole|
|Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back|
|Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi|
|The Last Starfighter|
|The Ewok Adventure|
|Ewoks: The Battle for Endor|
|Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace|
|Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones|
|Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith|
|Star Wars: The Clone Wars|
|Star Wars Episode VII|
|Sounds in Space|
|Bad Guys Wear Black|
|Bad Guys Can't Aim|
|Last Second Save|
|Boy Hates Girl, Girl Hates Boy. Let's Get Married|
|Door Slams Shut Behind Character|
|Making It Through the Closing Door|
|Good Guys Get Locked Up|
|Hero Is Unhittable By Bullets|
|Easily Accessible Janitor's Uniforms|
|Let's Split Up!|
|English As A Galactic Standard|
|Machines Have Feelings|
|All Explosives Make Huge Fireballs|
|See All »|