BLAST FROM THE PAST: Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope

Cert: U Runtime: 121 mins Director: George Lucas  Starring: Mark Hamill, Harrsion Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker and Peter Mayhew

That’s no moon. It’s a space station

Recently I have been looking back at my childhood, Star Wars was a big chunk of my life. After my mum out it on the first time I was hooked, the toys, videos and clothing I had it. It truly is a wonderful piece of cinema, it’s life to some people as well. So New Hope is this weeks blast from the past. After two droids crash-land on the desert planet of Tatooine, they are immediately captured and sold to a young farm boy called Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), who desperately wants to leave the rock he lives on with his aunt and uncle. While fixing one of the droids, he finds a message from Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), requesting the help of Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guiness). Luke finds Kenobi, a hermit living in the mountains, who tells Luke of his family history. His father was a Jedi knight, killed by the evil Darth Vader and now Kenobi decides it is time to teach him the way of the Force. After Luke finds his family’s home destroyed by stormtroopers looking for the two droids, they decide to find their way to another planet. They enlist the help of space pirate Han Solo (Harrison Ford), who decides to give them a lift. On the way, they find the Death Star, a giant space station run by Darth Vader, with the ability to destroy any planet of the solar system. Now, they must enter the Death Star, find and rescue the Princess and destroy the station before it produces anymore harm.

I don’t think there’s any denying that Star Wars changed cinema history and deservedly so. At the time of its release, science-fiction was considered a dead genre with the only major films from Hollywood’s recent cannon being the work from Stanley Kubrick and cheesy, yet still fun flicks like Logan’s Run. Yet, no other futuristic movie wowed more than George Lucas’s space opera. From that infamous opening scroll, featuring that amazing heart-pumping score, to the end credits, people were gripped and hoping their heroes that had grown to know those two previous hours could come out alive. While, George Lucas did give his Jedi knights more adventures, I don’t think any of those sequels and certainly not the prequels have managed to come close to the original Star Wars that practically defined the baby boom generation. Watching the film again recently, I am still impressed by the awesome power of the movie and the fact that even after thirty years after its release, it gets me more excited than the latest Hollywood blockbuster. Sorry, Michael Bay, but you’re no George Lucas, that’s for certain.George Lucas has been criticised for his so-called lack of direction and screen writing abilities, but I don’t think most people can deny that Star Wars packs a mean punch in terms of solid entertainment. While Star Wars is playing, all eyes are on the screen savouring every delicious moment, whether it be a fantastic lightsaber duel or a quiet scene between Luke and Obi-Wan. The visual effects (including those in the special editions) are seriously some of the best in motion picture history as they manage to make the viewer believe they’re in space, surrounded by various creatures and flying ships.

Lucas has gotten a lot of negative criticism for the fact that he believes that the updated version of Star Wars is the ultimate way to see the film, but I don’t mind. The special effects are better and they certainly do add to the experience. Greedo shooting first? It’s such a quick, minor scene that goes by at such a fast rate, that I don’t really mind. I understand where the die-hard fans are coming from, but for the casual viewer, it’s practically nothing. Adding to the impressive technical delight of Star Wars as well is John Williams’s magnificent score, the best in any Hollywood film. I seriously don’t think the film would be as highly regarded as it is, if it wasn’t for the fantastic music. I seriously would probably enjoy the film even less without it.Yet, I think the lasting appeal of Star Wars has to be the characters. Every child growing up wants to be like Luke Skywalker, the young Jedi who just wants to save the universe from possible destruction. Meanwhile, the older folks in the audience have the wise Obi-Wan Kenobi to relate and as Yoda shows in the other five films, that old age does not remove one of their abilities. Han Solo represents the coolness of Star Wars and Harrison Ford plays him with enough spunk and gusto to warrant what might be a minor character as a personal favourite of mine. And then, there’s Darth Vader, the most famous character and the most chilling villain of the 20th century. James Earl Jones will always be connected with with this constantly breathing menace with a past of many hidden secrets. Even the stormtroopers tremble in his wake, for fear that he will force-choke them to death. With thrilling action, impressive visuals, lovable and both frightening characters and a world full of fascination and adventure, it’s hard to go wrong with Star Wars, the epic journey of our hearts and inner wants.

9.0/10

 

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