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%% *** MODERATOR NOTICE ***
%% As with all the Star Wars films, Star Wars Legends material is irrelevant to the tropes presented in this article.
%% Please discuss all Legends material in the Franchise/StarWarsLegends article.
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[[quoteright:350:[[Franchise/StarWars http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/637009cbf3892eab5fbf8735f6b4920e.jpg]]]]

[-[[caption-width-right:350:'''Obi-Wan:''' Remember, The Force will be with you, ''always''.]]-]

[[center:[[AC:It is a period of civil war. Rebel\\
spaceships, striking from a hidden\\
base, have won their first victory\\
against the evil Galactic Empire.\\
\\
During the battle, Rebel spies managed\\
to steal secret plans to the Empire's\\
ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an\\
armored space station with enough\\
power to destroy an entire planet.\\
\\
Pursued by the Empire's sinister agents,\\
Princess Leia races home aboard her\\
starship, custodian of the stolen plans\\
that can save her people and restore\\
freedom to the galaxy...]]]]

''A New Hope'' (originally ''Star Wars'', later ''Star Wars'' Episode IV: ''A New Hope'') is a 1977 film that marked the first chapter of the ''Franchise/StarWars'' saga and the beginning of its enduring cultural phenomenon.

''A New Hope'' is the start of the story of Luke Skywalker, a young farmboy who becomes the hero of the Rebellion against the evil Galactic Empire and begins to learn the ways of the Force. Alongside a renegade space smuggler, a pair of droids, and an old man who is one of the last of an ancient mystical order hunted to extinction by the Empire, Luke rescues the leader of the Rebellion, Princess Leia Organa, and with the help of the other members of the Rebel Alliance, he destroys the Empire's ultimate weapon, the Death Star.

Creator/GeorgeLucas had a lot of trouble getting a studio to back him up, and even Creator/TwentiethCenturyFox would have dropped the film [[NetworkToTheRescue if not for the support of Alan Ladd Jr]]. The film also had a TroubledProduction, both with the live action and the special effects, the latter because the newly formed Creator/IndustrialLightAndMagic had to spend the first several months just making the technology required to film the scenes Lucas wanted.

Said troubled production left Lucas exhausted after the film was finished, and he didn't direct another film for over 20 years; primarily serving as the Executive Producer for ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack'' and ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi''. He would finally return to directing for ''Film/ThePhantomMenace''. He would also direct ''Film/AttackOfTheClones'' and ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith''.

''Film/RogueOne'' functions as an immediate {{prequel}} to this film. The film is followed by ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack''.
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!!These are the tropes you are looking for:

* TwoDSpace: Seemingly done straight, with the Death Star trench run playing almost exactly like an AerialCanyonChase. But paying close attention to the briefing and wireframe demonstration, it's explained that the port is shielded from the top (making it less of a [[AchillesHeel stupid design flaw]]) so they had to fly underneath and drop the torpedo at a 90 degree angle as they pass overhead (making it even more of a OneInAMillionChance). It still doesn't explain why they enter the trench so much farther away rather than diving in much closer to the target.
** Later media justified the trench run. Turns out they did so to take cover from the heavy surface fire, as demonstrated in ''Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader'', in which going above the trench will see you getting pelted by turbo laser fire.
* ActionPrologue: The very first scene of the film starts with the famous shot of the Star Destroyer chasing the ''Tantive IV''.
* ActivationSequence: The Death Star needs about twenty seconds from "Commence primary ignition" until it fires its [[DeathRay superlaser]] upon Alderaan. Curiously, it needs more than three minutes to charge up enough to expunge the moon of Yavin.
* AchillesHeel: The Death Star is a moon sized space station capable of destroying a planet, with only one significant weakness; a two meter wide exhaust port that leads directly to the station's reactor. Even then, the port is ray shielded, so only proton torpedoes have any chance of getting through, and a it's still a very slim chance at best.
* ActuallyIAmHim: Ben Kenobi is also Obi-Wan Kenobi.
--> '''Obi-Wan Kenobi''': Of course I know him. He's ''me.''
* AirstrikeImpossible: The Trench Run. Not only is the Trench guarded by heavy gun towers and [=TIE=] Fighters, but at the end of it all is a target so small, the only hopes of hitting it at all are via a targeting computer or The Force.
* AirVentPassageway: While it is generally regarded as the arch-AerialCanyonChase, the Death Star penetration scene is much of an Air Vent Passageway occurrence of The Infiltration, with plenty of Canyon Chase topping on it. The combination of the two tropes is precisely the trick that fools Darth Vader and gets Luke that HappyEnding.
* AndThereWasMuchRejoicing: In response to the destruction of the Death Star and the slaughter of its entire crew: "Great shot, kid! That was one in a million!"
* AsceticAesthetic: Averted with the ''Millennium Falcon'', played straight with the Star Destroyers.
* AttackAttackRetreatRetreat: Han charges headlong at the Stormtroopers as a diversionary tactic; he turns and runs after he ends up cornering them and forcing them to stand and fight (the special edition changes this to them running into a hangar full of troopers)
* AttackOfTheMonsterAppendage: The Dianoga is a type 1. We only get to see its eyestalk and tentacle.
* AvoidTheDreadedGRating: The reason for that scene where Luke discovers his aunt and uncle's horrifically charred remains (as well as the alien's arm being cut off in the cantina scene). However, George Lucas had no way of knowing at the time that standards would be tightened for G-rated movies within the next few years and that even if he did get a G rating back then, he might have gotten a PG rating in 1981 regardless. Averted in the UK, where the movie has always been rated U. Also from the other direction one of [[MultipleChoicePast the many proffered explanations]] for Greedo shooting first.
* BadassBoast
--> '''Obi-Wan Kenobi''': If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.
* BadassBystander: The Y-Wing pilot, who was the only one to survive the assault on the Death Star aside from Luke, Han, and Wedge.
* BadGuyBar: The Mos Eisley cantina, where bounty hunters and smugglers hang out and Luke almost gets killed for no reason at all.
* BarBrawl: When Kenobi tries to defuse that situation, the thug pulls a blaster on Kenobi. In response, Obi-Wan neatly lops his arm off with his saber and stands around for a few seconds with it lit with a look that screams, "Anyone ''else'' want to start something?"
* BeautyIsNeverTarnished: When imprisoned on the Death Star, Vader turns up to interrogate Leia with a droid fairly bristling with syringes. As the the door closes on them, it's clear that she's about to be tortured for information. And yet the next time we see her, she looks perfectly fine, without so much as a puncture wound or a hair out of place.
* BeforeTheDarkTimes: {{Trope Namer|s}}, from Kenobi when lamenting the end of the Jedi and the old Republic.
* BigBad: In contrast to the other films, Grand Moff Tarkin is given this role as he is in charge of the Death Star and, notionally, Darth Vader -- note that Peter Cushing got very high billing for this movie, right behind the 3 main protagonists. Palpatine doesn't show up in the Original Trilogy until Episode V.
* BigDamnHeroes: Han Solo arriving JustInTime to save Luke from Vader and buy Luke the vital seconds needed to send the proton torpedoes into the Death Star's thermal exhaust port.
* BigNo: Luke has one as he sees Vader slice his wise mentor in two.
* BigWhat:
** Leia, after finding out that despite her (feigned) cooperation, Tarkin intends to destroy Alderaan anyway.
** Vader, in the Death Star trench when his wingman is suddenly taken out.
* BlackAndWhiteMorality: The Rebel Alliance, Luke and co. are the good guys, and the Empire are the clear-cut bad guys, the Trope played straight right down to the clothes worn by named characters. Han Solo starts off in a grey area, but even he ends up becoming a hero in the end.
* BlatantLies: The whole, on a "diplomatic mission to Alderaan" thing in light of ''Film/RogueOne''. [[spoiler:The film shows that the ''Tantive IV'' barely escaped the Battle of Scarif immediately preceding the opening scenes of this film, and in that battle they missed being boarded by Vader by seconds]]
* BluffingTheAuthorities: After attacking the detention block on the Death Star, Han Solo tries to do this to an officer who calls over the intercom. He's unsuccessful.
-->'''Han''': Uh, we had a slight weapons malfunction, but, uh... everything's perfectly all right now. We're fine, we're all fine here now, thank you. ''[beat]'' How are you?
* BoardingParty: The Imperials blasting their way into the Rebel corvette at the start of ''A New Hope''.
* {{Bottomless Pit|s}}: Which Luke and Leia swing over.
* {{Bowdlerise}}: The Special Editions subtly edit every moment someone gets shot with a blaster on-screen to make the effect less gruesome, and also edit the Greedo scene so that Han unambiguously shoots Greedo in self defense as opposed to killing him before he can even get off a shot.
* CallToAdventure: Delivered by Obi-Wan Kenobi:
-->'''Obi-Wan:''' ''You'' must learn the ways of the Force, if you're to come with me to Alderaan.
-->'''Luke:''' Alderaan? [[RefusalOfTheCall I'm not going to Alderaan]], I've gotta get ''home'' -- it's late, I'm in for it as it is!
* TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive: Luke's home being burnt down by stormtroopers.
* TheCameo: [[Literature/ShadowsOfTheEmpire The Outrider]] taking off from Mos Eisley in the Special Edition.
* CantBelieveISaidThat:
** Han Solo over the intercom: "How are you?" ''[cringes]''
** Plus since it was improvised, either Harrison couldn't believe that was the best he could ''ad lib'', or he felt Han would realize he was talking like an idiot.
* CasualDangerDialogue: During the Detention Center Shooter, Han and Leia take some time to banter with each other while they're being shot at by a group of Stormtroopers.
-->'''Han''': "Can't get out that way!"
-->'''Leia''': "Looks like you managed to cut off our only escape route!"
-->'''Han''': [[SarcasmMode "Maybe you'd like it back in your cell, your highness!"]] (blaster bolts whizzes past head)
* CelebratingTheHeroes: In the final scene, Princess Leia presides over an awards ceremony where she presents Luke, Han, and Chewbacca with medals for their efforts in destroying the Death Star.
* ChangedMyMindKid: Just when Vader is about to blast Luke down onto the Death Star surface, the ''Millennium Falcon'' makes a surprise intervention and blasts one of Vader's wingmen. Han returns after saying through the movie that he only cares about the prize at the end!
-->'''Vader''': "I have you now..." ''(explosion)'' "What?!"\\
'''Han''': "Yeeeeeeaaahoooo!"
* ChekhovsSkill:
** The development of Luke's Force sensitivity functions as this, as he increasingly learns to [[DontThinkFeel fight by instinct rather than by conscious thought]]. The culmination is his destruction of the Death Star.
** Luke is also established early on to be a skilled pilot, which allows him to join the attack on the Death Star even though he's never flown in combat before.
* ComicBookAdaptation: Creator/MarvelComics launched its long-running ''Star Wars'' comic with a six-issue adaptation of the film. The comic is notable for being based on an early edit of the film and as such has characters and scenes (including one featuring a humanoid Jabba the Hutt) not in the final movie. In 2013-2014, Dark Horse Comics released a miniseries titled ''The Star Wars'', adapting an early version of Lucas' screenplay for ''A New Hope''.
* ComingOfAgeStory: For Luke and Leia. Luke Skywalker leaves his home and family to begin his training as a Jedi Knight while Princess Leia has to prove herself as a successful leader. Later shown to be [[GenerationXerox a mirror of their parents Anakin and Padme]].
* CommanderContrarian: General Tagge for the Empire ("Until this battle station is ''fully'' operational, we are vulnerable."). Unusually he's [[OnlySaneMan entirely right]] and the Empire would have been a lot better off listening to him.
* ComplainingAboutRescuesTheyDontLike: Leia, which leads to WellExcuseMePrincess with Han.
* ContrivedCoincidence: In the individual movie there is little problem with the fact Luke gains ownership of the droids, as he was just a farmboy along for the adventure with the OldMaster. In the grand scheme of the saga, Vader being revealed as his father AND a prior owner of R2 starts to stretch things, in addition to the fact that Obi-Wan and Yoda anticipated Luke as a potential weapon to defeat Vader and the Emperor.
* CoverIdentityAnomaly: When Han is impersonating a stormtrooper over the intercom, he can't come up with his operating number.
* CoversAlwaysLie
** Darth Vader's lightsaber has a guard on the original cover and film poster. The blade is also orange-ish in colour instead of pale red.
** There are also [[http://i2.listal.com/image/136158/936full-star-wars%3A-episode-iv----a-new-hope-poster.jpg these]] [[http://www.impawards.com/1977/posters/star_wars_ver2_xlg.jpg earlier]] posters showing a much more muscular Creator/MarkHamill, a [[ShowSomeLeg sexier]] Creator/CarrieFisher, the implication that they are lovers, and Luke raising a lightsaber as if he used it in battle. As it stands, Luke only uses a lightsaber during a training scene and doesn't pick it up again until the next movie. Also while this poster has all the elements for a classic LegCling, it averts it by giving the princess a strong independent pose.
* CreateYourOwnHero: The Empire killing Luke's aunt and uncle, as well as Obi Wan telling Luke that Darth Vader killed his father, is what ends up convincing him to go with Obi Wan to Alderaan and learn to become a Jedi. From a retroactive standpoint, this becomes much more literal when it's revealed that Luke is Vader's son.
* DamselOutOfDistress: Princess Leia is captured in the opening scene and remains a prisoner for a good deal of the movie. Then the trope is inverted (one could almost say deconstructed for the genre George Lucas was drawing from). True, Leia doesn't try to escape herself, but that's because she's imprisoned in a moon-sized battle station. When an opportunity does arise, she seizes it with both hands and [[ActionGirl takes charge of matters]] once it's obvious her so-called rescuers don't have a clue what they're doing.
-->"''Somebody'' has to save our skins!"
* DangerDeadpan: Davish Krail (Gold Five) and Garven Dreis (Red Leader) both have their moments, especially during their trench runs. Krail not only has the infamous "Stay on target!", but also has the distinction that as he pulls out of the trench with Darth Vader closing on his tail, his FamousLastWords are a calm sitrep telling Dreis what he is going to face. However, Dreis is the more deadpan of the two, as exemplified when he calmly reports to Luke that he just lost an engine and Luke should begin his attack run ''while Vader is still shooting him up''.
-->'''Krail:''' ''[[KilledMidSentence They came from BEHIND--]]''
* DeadlyDeferredConversation: In a deleted scene restored in the Special Edition, Luke runs into his old friend Biggs Darklighter before Red Squadron launches against the Death Star, with them promising to catch up afterwards. Biggs dies to Vader's guns during the final trench run.
* DefiantCaptive: Leia takes none of Vader's crap and resists the mind probe.
* DefiantToTheEnd: Leia refuses to give Tarkin and Vader any information about the Rebels, even after being tortured, orphaned, and threatened with death.
* DemotedToExtra: Biggs Darklighter got this because his aforementioned scenes with Luke were deleted. Luke does mention him by name, however -- "Biggs was right, I'm never gonna get out of here!" The special edition reinserts their reunion just before the Battle of Yavin.
* DenOfIniquity: Mos Eisley is a dusty town filled with criminals stopping by to get a drink or to find a fight.
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: In the special edition, most of the lines from the Jabba scene are the same ones Han and Greedo had already traded in the cantina. The reason for this is that when the Jabba scene was originally cut, the lines were moved to the Greedo one. However, by the time the special edition came around and re-added the Jabba scene, Harrison Ford was too old to record different lines while he was reaching for the blaster.
* DidntThinkThisThrough: Luke only made plans to get into Leia's cell bay. He didn't think about how to escape. Lampshaded by both Leia and Han.
-->'''Leia''': "This is some rescue! You came in here, and you didn't have a plan for getting out?"
-->'''Han''' (indicating Luke): "He's the brains, sweetheart!"
* DigitalDestruction: The only DVD release of the original theatrical cut (released as limited edition extras) was a completely phoned in, raw transfer off of the 1993 laserdisc of the film, which had excessive grain, low contrast, serious aliasing, and motion smearing (Motion smearing is when moving objects are blurred and leave behind a trail of their own shape due to DVNR) -- inexcusable, considering that a far better THX remastered transfer had been made and released of it in the past.
* DistinctiveAppearances: The differences in color between the lightsabers, the stark contrast in starship designs, and the colors of the protagonists and antagonists are all designed to evoke a strong Good vs. Evil theme.
* DoABarrelRoll: When Luke has a [=TIE=] Fighter on his tail, [[AcePilot Wedge]] saves him with a flawlessly executed [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thach_weave Thach Weave.]]
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: The ending scene for ''A New Hope''. [[http://www.cracked.com/article_19826_6-iconic-scenes-ripped-off-from-lesser-known-movies.html Don't even get us started on]] ''Film/TriumphOfTheWill''! Which, of course, has become rather memetic, given who the ''Empire'' is patterned after... and then that award ceremony happens. Whoops![[note]]Really, it more comes down to the fact that the Nazis were absolute masters of military showmanship in general, and there being only so many ways to show a large, impressive award ceremony cinematically. There's nothing sinister about the ceremony at all, but the resemblance does often elicit chuckles from those in the know.[[/note]]
* TheDogShotFirst: {{Trope Namer|s}}. After the infamous scene in the Special Edition.
* DoingInTheScientist: Motti scorns the Force as bogus sorcery that can do nothing but scare people with its hype. He is promptly force choked by Darth Vader.
* DontThinkFeel: Obi-Wan teaches Luke this aboard the ''Millennium Falcon''.
-->'''Obi-Wan:''' Remember, a Jedi feels the Force flowing through him.\\
'''Luke:''' You mean it controls your actions?\\
'''Obi-Wan:''' Partially, but it also obeys your commands.\\
...\\
'''Obi-Wan:''' Stretch out with your feelings.
* DoomedHometown:
** Alderaan, Leia's home planet, is destroyed by the Death Star as a show of its power.
** The Lars homestead is attacked by Stormtroopers, who leave the burning corpses of the Lars out for the child they raised, Luke Skywalker, to find.
* DoomsdayDevice: The Death Star is a space station that can destroy planets with it's massive laser. Grand Moff Tarkin hopes to use it to eliminate the Rebellion and to scare the rest of the galaxy into submission.
* DrawAggro: This is part of the Death Star battle plan. Red squadron would focus on the laser towers on the surface, to reduce fire on the Gold Squadron flying into the trench. Unfortunately Vader's skill as a TIE pilot mean it doesn't matter if the rest of the Death Star forces aren't focused on them.
* DressingAsTheEnemy: Luke and Han "borrow" some Stormtrooper uniforms to sneak into the prison block on the Death Star.
* TheDulcineaEffect: Luke opts to rescue Leia on the strength of little more than her {{Hologram}} image.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: Has its own [[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness/ANewHope page]].
* EarthShatteringKaboom: The destruction of Alderaan, and later the Death Star itself.
* EasyEvangelism: Luke pretty much accepts ''everything'' that Obi-Wan tells him about his father, the Jedi and the Force without question, even though he's hearing about these details just now. This does help speed the story along of course. Luke's belief only starts stretching during Yoda's lessons in the next movie. Also downplayed in that Obi-Wan only starts training Luke on how to use the Force in any real detail after Luke has already seen a JediMindTrick.
* ElegantWeaponForAMoreCivilizedAge: {{Trope Namer|s}}, with Kenobi gushing about the {{l|aserblade}}ightsaber.
* EliteMooks:
** The TIE fighter pilots that attack the Rebels in the finale are the personal squadron of Darth Vader, the MagicKnight who leads the villain's military efforts from the frontlines.
** Darth Vader's stormtroopers during the opening scene. At least they manage to hit someone and arrest the remaining rebels.
* EpicFail: Greedo misses Han Solo at ''point blank range'' in the Special Editions, only to be immediately killed by the smuggler.
* EverythingsSquishierWithCephalopods: The creature in the Trash Compactor, the Dianoga, is an Octopus-like creature, and is definitely of the threatening variety. [[AllThereInTheManual You wouldn't know this from just watching the movie]], though; its full body is only seen in ExpandedUniverse materials.
* EvilIsNotWellLit: The interior of the Death Star, the villains' secret base, is drab and monotone.
* ExplainExplainOhCrap: After Luke and Obi Wan find the remains of the Jawas that sold them R2 and Threepio, he realizes that the Stormtroopers search for the droids would end up leading them back to his relatives homestead.
-->"But that would lead them back... '''''home!'''''"
* {{Exposition}}:
** Han Solo's [[HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace "Traveling through hyperspace ain't like dusting crops, boy!"]]
** Tarkin's "You're sure the homing beacon is secure aboard their ship?" almost qualifies as an AsYouKnow.
** Obi-Wan's InfoDump about the Jedi Knights and the Force.
* ExtremelyShortTimespan: The movie seems to take place in the span of at least three days.
* EyeOnAStalk: The Dianoga has an eye on a stalk, which lets it see above the surface while the rest of its body remains submerged.
* FailsafeFailure: Including one of the most famous in all media:
** The ''Death Star'', a battle station the size of a small moon, can be completely destroyed by a small fighter firing a couple of missiles down a thermal exhaust shaft that leads directly to the main reactor. Imperial designers apparently recognized the problem to the extent of ray shielding the shaft to protect it from blaster fire, but for some reason cannot stop projectiles. (Of course, the Empire can be forgiven for this, since you would have to be [[RightManInTheWrongPlace some kind of space wizard who is also a fighter pilot]] to actually hit a target that small.) ''Rogue One'' addresses the weakness: [[spoiler:the film would retroactively reveal that the weakness was installed on purpose, and that a ''lot'' of bloodshed and grief went into making that little detail, and the discovery of it, possible.]]
** Basically all the doors on the ''Death Star''. If you shoot out the control panels for them on one side, the controls on the other side no longer work either. This proves to be both a feature and a bug for Luke and Leia during their escape.
** Further demonstrating the ''Death Star's'' shoddy design, the tractor beam system has six separate power junctions feeding it. This is apparently not for backup and failsafe purposes, as the disconnection of any ''one'' of the junctions will disable the entire system.
* FalseFalseAlarm: When attacking the prison section of the Death Star to recuse Leia, one of the guards trips the alarm. Solo tries to play it off as a false alarm but fails completely.
* FeelingTheirAge: Obi-Wan, when asking Luke to join him, lamented that he was getting too old to go on these sort of adventures. A big part of his duel with Vader was being mocked that he was old and out of practice.
* FighterLaunchingSequence: The ships launching for the battle of Yavin.
* FingerPokeOfDoom: The first appearance of the Force choke used by Vader.
* ForceChoke: This is the first bad-guy Force power introduced in the series, and establishes in a big way that Darth Vader is much more than a brutal Imperial enforcer.
* ForcedToWatch: Leia is forced to watch Alderaan's destruction with all her friends and family still on the planet.
* TheForceIsStrongWithThisOne: {{Trope Namer|s}}. Vader seeing Luke's X-Wing wasn't so easy to hit.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: As Luke introduces himself to R2 and Threepio, Threepio calls him "Sir Luke", hinting at Luke's eventual Jedi Knighthood.
* FreezeFrameBonus:
** Although many of the X-wing models were reused throughout the final battle sequence (sometimes without respect to which ships are actually supposed to be on screen), if one looks closely they'll find that ILM built at ''least'' six unique models: [[http://www.nexus-models.com/uploads/1/5/6/8/15681180/__3901352_orig.jpg Red Leader (Dreis)]], [[http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-23GbkXIt2nQ/UF_iG8UMAbI/AAAAAAAAY0w/ovO5rY13Woc/s1600/red2kenrice03.jpg Red Two (Wedge)]], [[http://www.modelermagic.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/red3top-sized.jpg Red Three (Biggs)]], [[http://www.modelermagic.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Red-4-02-500x333.jpg Red Four (John D.)]], [[http://www.modelermagic.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/three-quarter-top-right-sized.jpg Red Five (Luke)]], and [[http://www.modelermagic.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/HPIM1500-500x378.jpg Red Six (Porkins)]] all had unique markings.[[note]]Another possible model exists in the form of [[http://www.modelermagic.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/kg_blue-12.jpg "Blue]] [[http://www.modelermagic.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/KG_BLUE_12_SIDE.jpg Twelve"]], from the period when the X-wings were originally going to be called Blue Squadron before the limits of bluescreen technology of the time forced this to change.[[/note]]
** If you look closely in some shots, you can see David Prowse's eyes through the Vader mask.
* GambitRoulette: Darth Vader's ultimate plan to get the Rebel base's location, which Tarkin agreed to on the grounds that it demonstrated that Leia was of more use than he had anticipated, hinged on Luke and Han rescuing Leia and the tractor beam being disabled by the time they got back to the Millennium Falcon. He sent a pair of Stormtroopers into the Falcon to search for occupants, and the whole thing--Luke and Han attacking the Stormtroopers and DressingAsTheEnemy, Chewie being the TrojanPrisoner, Obi-wan evading the Stormtroopers until the tractor beam was disabled, etc.--was improvised from there. Subverted in that from the perspective of a Force sensitive, there is no such thing as luck.
* GeorgeLucasAlteredVersion: In addition to making [[TheDogShotFirst Han return fire]] on Greedo instead of shooting first, they added in a deleted scene of Han conversing with Jabba by the Falcon (who was originally portrayed as humanoid, making some awkward CG putting in the now famous giant slug, and Han calling Jabba a "wonderful human being") [[note]]apparently, Lucas meant to overlay a stop-motion bear creature over the footage, with the natural Irish brogue of the actor intact [[/note]]. There is also a grand establishing shot of Mos Eisley as they drive in, a scene of Luke meeting his old friend Biggs Darklighter (though the early scene in which Biggs is introduced remains on the cutting room floor) and an EpicTrackingShot for the X-Wings as they prepare to engage the Death Star.
* GenreBusting: Hoo boy, we have an adventure story with fairy tale and mythological elements, samurai melodrama, space fantasy, war movie, western and old fashioned science fiction elements all mashed up into one movie. By the way, the visual design evokes PuttingOnTheReich, cowboys in space, RayGunGothic, and a dab of CrystalSpiresAndTogas, all while being the TropeCodifier for UsedFuture. The space combat scenes were created to evoke WWII dogfighting footage at its most heroic and the score hearkens back to much older war movies with bright, powerful orchestral music. Heck, TheDragon is in a costume that mixes samurai silhouettes with those of a RayGunGothic villain.
* GenreThrowback: The whole movie is a big 70's love letter to Flash Gordon, war movies, westerns and B-movie serials of the old days of Hollywood.
* GoodColorsEvilColors: ''Everything'' in this movie. Blue lightsabers are good, red is bad. The Imperial ships are black or white while the Rebel ships are grey and red. Even the laser bolts are different colors, with Rebels firing red and Imperials green (except small arms, which all shoot red bolts). The showdown between Vader and Obi-Wan also introduced the Jedi and Sith color scheme of black vs. brown robes which was maintained throughout all the films.
* GreatOffscreenWar: The Clone Wars, first mentioned in this movie and promptly [[NoodleIncident never explained]] [[Film/AttackOfTheClones for the next twenty-five years]]. Beyond the fact that Obi-Wan and Luke's father both fought in it, we learn nothing about it in this film.
* GreaterScopeVillain: The Emperor is a background figure who never appears nor does he intervene in the decisions taken. He's only mentioned almost in passing a couple of times through the film.
* TheGuardsMustBeCrazy: Subverted, if not averted. The commander of the prison guards didn't buy the TrojanPrisoner plot Luke and Han tried to do with Chewbacca while they were DressingAsTheEnemy. [[CurbStompBattle Not that it helped much....]]
* GuileHero: If you think about it, pretty much every major character save for Chewbacca uses guile to screw somebody else over.
** R2: Tricks Luke into removing his restraining bolt so he can find Obi-Wan.
** Obi-Wan: Uses the Force to confuse Stormtroopers, and distracts Vader long enough for Luke and co to escape.
** Leia: Lies to Tarkin about where the Rebel base is.
** Luke: Convinces Han to rescue Leia because "she's rich". It turns out the Rebellion ''can'' pay Han, but Luke wouldn't have known that.
** Han: Shoots Greedo, pretends to be a Stormtrooper on the radio to buy them time ("We're all fine here now, thank you. How are you?")
** C-3PO: Pretends he and R2 are helpless Imperial droids victimised by Luke and co.
** Vader and Tarkin: Put a homing beacon on the Millennium Falcon to track it to the Rebel base.
* GuyInBack: [=R2D2=] during the final battle. To add to the drama, he is badly damaged during the final trench run.
* HeroicSacrifice: Obi-Wan allows Vader to kill him so Luke will leave the Death Star. Since Obi-Wan knows he'll live on in the universe's afterlife, he decides to GoOutWithASmile.
* HeroismIncentive: Luke telling Han he could get a handsome reward for saving Princess Leia. It even got played with in various ways.
-->'''Han''': No reward is worth this.
* HeroKiller: Darth Vader is infamous for killing numerous Jedi when the Empire began to rule, including Luke's father. Onscreen, he cements his status when he kills Obi-wan in a lightsaber duel and shoots down half-a-dozen pilots during the Battle of Yavin, including two squad leaders and Luke's childhood friend Biggs, while giving R2-D2 serious damage and nearly shooting down Luke before Han arrives in a BigDamnHeroes.
* TheHerosJourney: Hits pretty much every note, and Joseph Campbell was one of Lucas's many inspirations in developing the story.
* HiddenInPlainSight: Essentially the Rebel plan during the Battle of Yavin. The X-Wings would distract the turrets while the slower Y-Wings, unnoticed in the confusion of the X-Wing attack, made their way to the Trench to attack the exhaust port. Unfortunately, Darth Vader is wise to that maneuver, ordering all TIE Fighters to take out the X-Wings, while his own squadron goes after the Y-Wings.
* {{Homage}}:
** To Creator/AkiraKurosawa's ''Film/TheHiddenFortress'', with the droids being the focus for much of the film, and also to ''Film/{{Yojimbo}}'', with the scene of the two braggarts at the cantina. Lucas' heavy use of frame wipes is also indebted to Kurosawa.
-->'''Admiral Motti:''' ''(to Vader)'' [Your belief in the force hasn't] given you clairvoyance enough to find the rebels' ''[[TitleDrop hidden fortre]]--'' ''(Vader silences him with a ForceChoke)''
** The heart-wrenching scene where Luke rushes to the farm, only to find it already raided and his relatives dead harkens to an equally distressing scene in ''Film/TheSearchers''.
** The confrontation between Kenobi and two aliens in the cantina is straight out of ''Film/{{Yojimbo}}'', complete with the lingering shot on a severed arm.
** Much of the Death Star attack at the climax of ''Film/ANewHope'' comes from ''Film/TheDamBusters'', down to the dialogue in places.
** The medal ceremony scene at the end of ''Film/ANewHope'' is almost frame-for-frame out of the infamous Nazi propaganda film ''Film/TriumphOfTheWill''.
** A couple of the characters are homages bordering on {{Expy}}. Classical Hollywood aficionados will recognize Greedo's [[Creator/PeterLorre silky voice and bugged-out eyes]], and Jabba moves smoothly like Sidney Greenstreet and has his placid expression. Harrison Ford's Han Solo has elements of Creator/HumphreyBogart [[note]]"I stick my neck out for no one!"[[/note]] as well.
* HonestJohnsDealership: The droids sold by the Jawas are what they find around Tatooine, so defective droids like the R5 unit with the malfunctioning motivator end up getting sold to unsuspecting consumers.
* IdiotBall: The commander of the Star Destroyer doesn't fire on the escape pod leaving Leia's ship because there are no life signs onboard. The Star Wars Lore clearly establishes that droids are very common and perform a wide variety of significant tasks. As such, it is mind-boggling that a senior Imperial officer wouldn't consider the possibility that the pod might have droids onboard that might be important to the rebels.
* IJustWantToBeSpecial: The film begins with Luke saying that he wants to leave home to join the Rebellion, just like some of his friends. It's bittersweet when he gets his wish. He stated that he wanted to join the Imperial Academy (even despite the fact that Luke said he had a negative opinion of the Empire when talking to Obi-Wan), as he and Owen discussed at their dinner. Owen wouldn't allow him to, due to how much Luke was needed on the moisture farm and because he was a bit nervous that Luke would turn out like his father.
-->'''Beru''': Luke's just not a farmer, Owen. He has too much of his father in him.\\
'''Owen''': [[{{Foreshadowing}} That's what I'm afraid of.]][[note]]At this point, Owen is concerned that Luke will end up dead at the hands of Vader, just as his father was stated to be. With future movies in perspective, it's clear Owen knows that Anakin fell to the Dark Side and fears the same fate for Luke.[[/note]]
* ILied: Tarkin threatens to destroy Alderaan unless Leia gives up the location of the Rebel base. When Leia tells him, he has Alderaan destroyed anyway. For her part, Leia lied about it being on Dantooine, at least currently.
* ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy:
** Averted and then played straight when the Imperials board the ''Tantive IV''. The stormtroopers quickly mow through the rebels and send the remaining ones packing. But during the shootout, C-3PO and R2 pass through the hallway and narrowly miss the volley of lasers being shot between the imperials and the rebels. While this could be chalked up to them not being the targets of either side, the droids got really lucky they made it out intact.
** Justified during the Death Star escape, since the Empire needed Leia to lead them to the Rebel base.
** Greedo, in the [[GeorgeLucasAlteredVersion Special Edition]], clearly is a graduate as he is somehow able to miss Han. At point-blank range. By more than the distance between them. ''With a laser''.
* ImplausibleDeniability: Captain Antilles and Leia both try to insist that ''Tantive IV'' is on a diplomatic mission. Vader is having none of it and takes the ship captive. Probably since, according to ''Film/RogueOne'', [[spoiler:in said battle he missed boarding their ship by about two seconds and also engaged their comrades in battle]]
* IndyPloy:
** Played with, as Luke's spur-of-the-moment plan to get into the detention center starts to unravel when they just blindly shoot at the cameras and Han poorly makes an excuse over the intercom.
** Leia's ploy also works partly. Diving into the garbage chute gets them out of the firefight, but the droids have to save them from the compactor.
* InformedAbility: This is the film where Obi-Wan Kenobi infamously states, when pointing out blaster marks "Only Imperial Stormtroopers are so precise." These would be the same Stormtroopers [[ImperialStormTrooperMarksmanshipAcademy that can't seem to hit the broad side of a barn]] any time they're shown shooting at the heroes.
* InsecurityCamera: The cameras in the Death Star's cell block are pretty useless, since Luke and Han shoot them as soon as their cover is blown and a fight breaks out with the Imperial guards.
* ItBeganWithATwistOfFate: Don't forget about the time Luke Skywalker's uncle bought a couple of droids.
* IWarnedYou:
-->'''Han:''' This is not gonna work.\\
'''Luke:''' Why didn't you say so before?\\
'''Han:''' I ''did'' say so before!\\
''[Luke shakes his head]''
* ItWasAGift: Luke's lightsaber was originally his father's. Obi-Wan ''said'' his father wanted him to have it when he was old enough. Of course it may have been true FromACertainPointOfView...
* JediMindTrick: Not the {{Trope Namer|s}}, but this film showed the first example of ''Star Wars'''s Jedi Mind Trick, an ability where one uses the mystical energy field known as the Force to fool the weak-minded into doing as one says.
* JerkassHasAPoint: Uncle Owen may be frustrating Luke's dream of going to the Academy terribly, but considering the risk that Luke would surely be discovered by the Sith Lords and corrupted into their minion, you can see why Owen would be determined to prevent that.
* JustInTime: Han showing up at the Death Star fight and saving Luke from Vader.
* KickTheDog:
** The destruction of Alderaan, a peaceful planet full of diplomats, firmly establishes the monstrous nature of Grand Moff Tarkin and the Empire as a whole.
-->'''Leia:''' ''[from a test shot]'' And you call yourselves humans.
** The Stormtroopers slaughtering the Jawas and then killing Owen and Beru. The film doesn't give any explanation for the massacres (especially since, unlike the Rebels from the opening, they're all basically no threat to the Empire), and makes it come off as the Empire just being incredibly ruthless.
* KilledMidSentence: Davish Krail during the Trench Run. His FamousLastWords are a calm sitrep telling Garven Dreis what he is going to face: "They came...from behind--"
* KnightKnaveAndSquire: Luke Skywalker is the Squire, with Obi-Wan and Han Solo as the Knight and Knave respectively. A key point in Luke's character development is when he rejects Han's pragmatism, leading to Han second-guessing his own beliefs.
* LaserGuidedKarma: In retaliation against the disturbance caused by the destruction of Alderaan and the slaughter of all of its inhabitants, the Force guides Luke's hands to fire the shots that destroy the Death Star and slaughter its entire crew.
* LeeroyJenkins: Han Solo chasing after a group of retreating Storm Troopers. Followed by Han Solo running full tilt ''[[AttackAttackRetreatRetreat away]]'' from the same group of Storm Troopers when they turn around and start shooting at him again.
* {{Leitmotif}}: All over the place. Creator/JohnWilliams held nothing back. The film introduces the themes for the Rebels, the Jedi, Princess Leia, and more. Even the Death Star itself has a cue to represent it. (Notably absent is Vader's theme, the ominous Imperial March, which doesn't appear until the next movie.)
* LetsGetDangerous: At first, Obi Wan seems to be little more than a wizened old man, who may have once been a warrior of the Clone Wars, but is now an old man who lives in a hovel. Then we get to the cantina scene, where said old man whips out a lightsaber, deflects blaster shots and lops a man's arm off. You can tell from the look on Luke's face, that's the moment when he starts to take the whole 'Jedi' thing seriously.
* LetTheBullyWin: {{Trope Namer|s}}. 3PO telling R2 to "let the Wookiee win".
* ALightInTheDistance: [=C-3PO=], lost on Tatooine, sees light glinting off a Jawa sandcrawler and concludes that he's saved.
* ListingTheFormsOfDegenerates: Obi-Wan does this when he says "Mos Eisley spaceport. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy."
* ALongTimeAgoInAGalaxyFarFarAway: {{Trope Namer|s}}. The introductory line of text before the opening crawl.
* LowClearance: In a blooper [[ThrowItIn they left in]] a stormtrooper [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBQaLuqwtl8 hits his head]] on a door that didn't open ''quite'' enough.
* MagicVersusScience: Vader lectures Admiral Motti on this when the latter brags that the Death Star is the ultimate power in the universe.
-->"Don't be too proud of this technological terror you constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of The Force."
* MatchCut: The shot where R2 uploads the Death Star plans at the rebel base and whistles at the 3D schematics immediately cuts to the real Death Star heading for Yavin, in a similar position to where the plans were displayed on screen.
* MakeItLookLikeAnAccident: The Jawas who sold R2-D2 and C-3PO to Owen and Beru Lars get slaughtered by Imperial Stormtroopers, who make it look like the Tusken Raiders were responsible by leaving gaderfii sticks and bantha tracks behind.
* MentorArchetype: Obi-Wan Kenobi fills this role so well, [[TropeCodifier the Trope was once named after him]].
* MentorsNewHope: Luke is being taught by Obi-Wan, who also taught Darth Vader before Vader went to the dark side.
* MetaphoricallyTrue: Tarkin orders Leia to divulge the location of the Rebel Alliance's base. She does, saying that it's on Dantooine. When Imperial ships arrive at the planet they find out that there ''was'' a Rebel base there... and it had just been abandoned. So Leia ''did'' divulge the location... just not the right one.
* AMillionIsAStatistic: Averted with Alderaan, and the shock and horror various characters express at its destruction.
* MissionBriefing: Before the attack on the Death Star. Luke speaks up about how the impossible-seeming goal isn't really. The briefing also includes a complete ExpositionDiagram commented by MrExposition himself, projecting the plans of an AirVentPassageway out of R2-D2's memory on TheBigBoard.
* MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness: The movie falls squarely on 1 (ScienceInGenreOnly), due to its use of [[FrickinLaserBeams lasers that are identical to bullets]], magic known as "the Force," and the unrealistic LaserBlade known as a "light saber."
* MohsScaleOfViolenceHardness: It rates a 4, due to Darth Vader cracking Captain Raymus Antilles' neck with his bare hand, Owen and Beru Lars' charred skeletons, some blood on alien Ponda Baba's severed arm, and other, lesser, acts of science-fiction-related violence.
* MotivationalKiss: Leia gives Luke a peck on the cheek "for luck" before he tries to swing over a precarious gap.
* MythologyGag: The Special Edition remasters added an EarlyBirdCameo of the ''Outrider'', Dash Rendar's ship in ''Literature/ShadowsOfTheEmpire'', to the establishing shots of Mos Eisley.
* ANaziByAnyOtherName: The Empire is clearly patterned after the Nazis. Their foot soldiers are called "stormtroopers", originally a Nazi term for the SA. Tarkin makes a comment about the "regional governors" governing the Empire directly; the German word for "regional governor" is ''Gauleiter'', and this was in fact the Nazi system of government, with Germany divided into regions governed by Gauleiters appointed by Hitler. See also PuttingOnTheReich below.
* NeckLift: Darth Vader grabs Raymus Antilles' neck and lifts him off his feet while interrogating him.
* NeckSnap: Darth Vader snaps the neck of Raymus Antilles when he refuses to cooperate.
* TheNeedsOfTheMany: Leia is forced into this situation, throwing the planet of Dantooine (which the Expanded Universe has established is an ''inhabited world'', albeit a sparsely populated one) under the proverbial bus in hopes of it being destroyed by the Death Star instead of Alderaan when forced by Tarkin to choose between giving up the rebel base location or seeing her homeworld destroyed. She's far too trusting.
* NeverMyFault:
** C-3PO while lost in the desert after refusing to take R2's route:
-->'''Threepio:''' That malfunctioning twerp! This is all his fault! He ''tricked'' me into going this way. But he'll do no better.
** Later, after getting tangled up by wires following an attack from the TIE Fighters.
-->"Help! I think I'm melting! ''(to R2)'' This is all your fault."
* NiceJobBreakingItHero:
** Luke, while he and Leia are trying to escape the storm troopers aboard the Death Star.
-->'''Leia:''' Quick, we've got to get across! Find the controls that extend the bridge.\\
'''Luke:''' (''sighs'') I think I just blasted it...
** Leia to Han. To Leia it's [[EstablishingCharacterMoment Han's first impression]].
-->'''Han:''' We can't get out that way.\\
'''Leia:''' Looks like you've managed to cut off our only escape route.\\
'''Han:''' Maybe you'd like it back in your cell, your highness.
* NoodleIncident:
** The Clone Wars was mentioned only once in the original trilogy, as Luke learns more about Obi-Wan's past. It wasn't until the prequel trilogy and ''WesternAnimation/TheCloneWars'' animated series we'd learn more about it.
** Vader comments early on that there will be "no one to stop us ''this time''." This was probably when the Rebels stole the plans in the first place, which would be depicted thirty-nine years later in ''Film/RogueOne''.
* NoOSHACompliance:
** The Death Star either fired their safety inspection team or have complete disregard for the safety of their staff, because the inside of the station is a giant death trap. You have massive chasms with very tiny bridges that can be retracted, and they have no railings or support at all. The tractor beam's power is controlled through a panel perched on a tower over a bottomless pit, and the catwalk to access the controls is about a foot wide. There are giant doors that slam shut in the blink of an eye. Their hangar bay has a giant, open elevator pit right next to where the ships would land. Heck, the superlaser cannon has two crew members perched on the itty bitty platform right next to the gigantic superlaser beam!
** The blast doors. These are quadruple-section doors that close in from the corners, leaving an increasingly-shrinking square in the middle. Yes, in the event of decompression or a firefight, these doors need to close quickly for the safety of the onboard personnel (and to prevent pesky intruders from escaping, natch). But if a body (organic or mechanic) gets caught in the opening and mulched by the doors, that's a whole lotta cleaning up involved, and that's if the doors don't jam from all that matter caught in them.
* NothingIsScarier:
** The dianoga in the trash compactor. We only see a couple tentacles and an eyestalk.
** Leia's session with the torture droid. After zooming in ominously on its wicked-looking syringe, the door shuts and we don't see [[ColdBloodedTorture what happens next.]]
** During the trench run, the guns at the end periodically stop firing at the fighters flying towards the exhaust port. This signals Darth Vader's arrival behind the fighters.
* NotInThisForYourRevolution: TropeNamer. Han just helped save Leia for the reward, and decides to leave the Rebellion to destroy the Death Star without him.
* NotTooDeadToSaveTheDay: The spirit of Obi-Wan reminding Luke to "Use the Force!" (Not to mention, right after his death, getting Luke to run from the stormtroopers instead of battling them.)
* ObviouslyEvil: The Empire. Right from the opening shot you can tell they're the bad guys, what with their cold, angular looking starships, the Stormtroopers with their perpetually frowning helmets, their ruthless leader who dresses entirely in black, and so on.
* ObstacleExposition: We have the briefing before the attack against the Death Star that clearly outlines their mission of hitting the exhaust port and everything that can possible stop them. This includes the need for tactical computers to make such a shot, and for good measure there was an unsuccessful attempt mid-way through the battle just so we know just how necessary a precise shot with the targeting computer is. Cue Luke turning off the targeting computer.
* OffModel: The CGI Jabba the Hutt from the Special Edition looks different from the puppet used to portray Jabba in his first appearance in ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi''.
* OffTheShelfFX: The film had so many production problems, that many corners were cut to make the props and effects. The results made Star Wars one of the tentpole films for how kitbashing can be used to [[TropesAreTools effectively add visual depth]];
** All of the ships and the surface of the Death Star were made by kitbashing numerous model kits together to give a feeling of detail and grit the film's UsedFuture tone warranted. For example, the gap between the upper and lower shells of the Millennium Falcon is filled with the undersides of various trucks. [[http://www.theforce.net/swtc/exhibit/index.html This page]] gives a good idea towards the specifics of how kitbashing (greebling) was done regarding Star Wars props.
** The blasters in the film are real firearms (or models/props thereof) decorated with model part kits and whatnot, both for ease of editing (adding the energy bolts to the scenes, timed with the effects of the blank cartridges) and so the blasters actually looked like real weapons. Another reason was simple cost and supply. Even by the mid-1970s when the first movie was filmed, WWII-era weapons were still common and easily procured. Even more so, there were tons and tons of realistic plastic props of WWII weapons (particularly Nazi weapons) left over from 60s-era films or contemporary films (such as ''The Great Escape'' and ''The Dirty Dozen''). This is why a vast majority of the weapons in the Star Wars universe are modeled closely after German firearms, even down to those used by the heroes such as Han's iconic blaster (modeled after a Mauser pistol). The most iconic Imperial weapon is modeled after a British firearm of the '60's and '70's, the Sterling sub-machine gun, likely as a result of needing large numbers of actually functioning weapons as described previously. It just so happened that at the time A New Hope was being filmed, the British Army was getting rid of most of its stock of Sterlings because sub-machine guns were falling out of favour as infantry weapons, and the rest is history. Also, using 'previous generation' weapons added to the Used Future feel of the series.
** The Lightsabers are built out of the flash from old cameras.
** In the faraway shots of Luke's landspeeder in the pre-Special Edition cuts, "Luke" and "Obi-Wan" were actually dolls from ''Series/TheSixMillionDollarMan''.
** In the pre-1997 Star Wars Cantina scene, there is a wolf like creature named Lak Sivrak, whose face is quite obviously a Halloween mask from a store. This was replaced with a new alien creature for the Special Edition and subsequent cuts of the film.
* OffstageVillainy: The Empire as a whole. They do some pretty evil things with that Death Star, but we never hear much of how they affect the rest of the Galaxy. A deleted scene between Luke and Biggs explores this somewhat.
* OhCrap:
** When Vader is about to shoot Luke's X-wing.
-->'''Vader''': "I have you now." *wingman goes boom* "What?!"
** Luke: "But that would lead them back... ''home''..."
** "That's no moon... That's a space station." "It's ''too big'' to be a space station."
** Han's getting the Falcon ready for takeoff from Mos Eisley when he suddenly hears "Stop that ship! Blast them!"
** In the finale of the film, Motti is utterly shocked when he realizes that the Rebels are going to destroy the Death Star. However, it's averted by Tarkin since he doesn't even realize the Death Star is about to blow up.
* OohMeAccentsSlipping: During the first half of the film, Carrie Fisher uses a British accent, which eventually disappears for no reason. It is particularly noticeable in the scene where Tarkin is threatening to blow up Alderaan. (It's been suggested that she's actually ''mocking'' Tarkin by adopting his aristocratic accent.)
* OpenTheDoorAndSeeAllThePeople: Han Solo running towards a room full of stormtroopers in the Special Edition.
* OrwellianRetcon:
** Since the 1997 Special Edition, each re-release has featured ever-more-extensive changes, such as Han's shooting of Greedo being changed to self-defense.
** A very subtle one: a few frames have been removed from almost ''every single blaster hit'' on a stormtrooper throughout the film in order to [[{{Bowdlerize}} tone down the violence]]. A frame-by-frame comparison makes the difference very obvious - the frames where the bolt is shown ''hitting'' are removed in editing, less than a half-second of footage per hit. It is especially noticeable in the bridge-swinging sequence, where it happens frequently enough to noticeably rush the pacing of the scene. In the other films, very few stormtroopers are actually shot on-screen.
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness: Vader shows great anger and urgency on board the ''Tantive IV'', lashing out and physically choking Captain Antilles. This is in contrast to his calm demeanor and TranquilFury seen in the rest of the series. ''Rogue One: A Star Wars Story'' does something to rectify this: [[spoiler:it turns out the boarding of ''Tantive IV'' took place after a few days of near continuous reverses and setbacks for the Imperials, most notably at Eadu and then the Battle of Scarif, at the latter he barely missed catching them and presumably has been giving chase since. So he has reason to be rather upset.]]
* OutOfTheFryingPan: Twice during the escape from the Death Star. First, the heroes escape from a shootout with stormtroopers by diving into a chute, realizing too late that it leads to the interior of a garbage compactor--which not only has the squidlike dianoga monster, but also begins compacting with them inside. Later, Luke shoots a control panel to lock a door between him and some stormtroopers, then realizes immediately afterwards that this same panel controlled the extendable bridge. Thus, he's traded death by stormtrooper for death by bottomless chasm.
* PaletteSwappedAlienFood: While talking to his aunt and uncle about his future, Luke casually pours himself a glass of blue milk.
* PayingForTheActionScene: After Han Solo kills Greedo in the cantina, he pays the bartender for the mess.
* PhysicalReligion: Motti sneers at Vader's devotion to an "ancient religion", only to feel said religion's very real presence around his windpipe.
* PleaseIWillDoAnything: Invoked by Tarkin when he targets Alderaan with the Death Star to motivate Leia to give up the location of the rebel base. Of course, then [[ILied he blows up]] [[YouShouldKnowThisAlready Alderaan anyway]]. And [[spoiler:Leia was lying anyway. The base she gives up had long-since been abandoned.]]
--> '''Governor Tarkin:''' "You would prefer another target, a military target? Then name the system! I grow tired of asking this so it will be the last time: '''Where''' is the rebel base?
* PointDefenseless: Justified in that the Empire didn't think that fighters could possibly threaten the Death Star on their own, so their static defenses were designed to fight off capital ships. In fact, Tarkin is so arrogant about his station's invincibility that he doesn't bother scrambling the vast fighter fleet available to deal with the Rebels' fighters. Unfortunately, Darth Vader is not so stupid and had his personal squadron launch on his own authority with himself in the lead to deal with them.
* ThePowerOfLegacy: Uncle Owen led Luke to believe Anakin was a navigator on a spice freighter, painting him as neither a hero nor a villain. Obi-Wan refrains from telling Luke about his father's true nature but tells him that his father was the "best star pilot in the galaxy".
* PrecisionFStrike: During the following conversation between Han Solo and Obi-Wan Kenobi, which Obi-Wan handles pretty hilariously:
-->'''Han''': Even if I could take off, I'd never get past the tractor beam.
-->'''Obi-Wan''': Leave that to me.
-->'''Han''': Damn fool, I knew you'd say that.
-->'''Obi-Wan''': Who's the more foolish? The fool or the fool who follows him?
* APupilOfMineUntilHeTurnedToEvil: TropeNamer. Obi-Wan describing Vader's past with him, although he doesn't tell the whole story.
* PursuedProtagonist: In the opening, Leia attempts to escape the evil [[{{Mook}} Stormtroopers]] as they board her vessel. Unfortunately, their aim is too precise and they capture her.
* PuttingOnTheReich: The Empire is pattered after the Nazis, with officers dressed in a manner that recalls the SS. Interestingly, the Rebel ceremony that closes the film is also this, being a direct lift from a scene in ''Film/TriumphOfTheWill''.
* RasterVision: Used here for the holograms. This is an early use of Raster Vision as an aesthetic - the crummy holograms fit in with the worn-out nature of the tech.
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: Part of the reason why Tarkin refuses to employ the Death Star's full contingent of fighters (leaving it to Darth Vader to send out his personal squadron) despite the fact that it would have crushed the Rebel attack in about five minutes is because they simply didn't have the time, money or visual effects expertise to depict large squadrons of fighters. By ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi'', however, that little problem had been taken care of.
* RealityHasNoSubtitles: This occurs when the Sandpeople, Jawas, R2-D2, and almost everyone in the cantina talks in their alien languages and robotic sound effects.
* RecklessGunUsage:
** Watch very closely as Luke Skywalker [[http://irregularwebcomic.net/373.html first ignites his lightsaber]] in ''StarWars: A New Hope'' he doesn't know how long the beam is and yet is pointing it at Obi-Wan.
** Han casually tries to blow open the door to the trash compactor, only for the laser to bounce all around the compactor with no cover for anyone.
-->"Put that thing away, you're going to get us all killed!"
* RefugeInAudacity: As it turns out, Leia's statements about a 'diplomatic mission' becomes this in light of ''Film/RogueOne''. [[spoiler:Given that Vader had literally just witnessed the Tantive IV flee Scarif, it took serious balls to lie to his face. It doesn't work.]]
* RefusalOfTheCall: Both Luke and Han. The former when asked by Obi-Wan to come with him to Alderaan and the latter when plead to by Luke to help the Rebels destroy the Death Star.
* ReliablyUnreliableGuns: Luke's gun jams when the dianoga attacks him.
* RescueIntroduction: Luke meets Leia by taking off his helmet and telling her he's going to rescue her. Subverted in that she ends up ''leading her own escape''.
-->'''Leia''': [[ComplainingAboutRescuesTheyDontLike This is some rescue!]]
* {{Retronym}}: When he made ''Star Wars'', Lucas imagined that it would be ''Episode I'' in a series of films with the overall title ''The Adventures of Luke Skywalker''. But while making ''The Empire Strikes Back'' (which was at first going to be ''Episode II'' of the series), he decided that he also wanted to do three prequel films. Since Luke obviously wouldn't be the hero of the prequels, Lucas needed a new name for the overall series. His solution? ''Star Wars'', once just the chapter title of the first film, became the title of the entire saga. As a result, the subtitle ''A New Hope'' was retroactively tacked on to the first film, and it was now numbered ''Episode IV''.
* RewindReplayRepeat: R2-D2 starts to play Leia's holographic message for Kenobi and the short message loops as Luke asks his droids what it means.
-->''"Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi! You're my only hope!"''
* RibcageRidge: The Krayt dragon bones when C-3P0 and R2-D2 are walking through the desert.
* RightManInTheWrongPlace: Luke is not initially meant to be the one who destroys the Death Star, but as the battle goes on, every one of the Rebels' pilots is killed or disarmed, leaving first-time soldier Luke to save the day. Thankfully, Luke is attuned to the Force, which lets him make the one in a million shot at the Death Star's weak point.
* SacrificialPlanet: Grand Moff Tarkin uses the Death Star to destroy Alderaan to demonstrate the power of his station to the galaxy before setting his sights on the planet containing the main rebel base.
* SeanConneryIsAboutToShootYou: As pictured above, Creator/MarkHamill as Luke Skywalker is depicted in one of the posters holding a blaster directly towards the audience.
* SerendipitousSurvival: When R2-D2 runs off, Luke has to chase after him and hopefully get him back before anybody notices so he won't get in trouble. This, and the subsequent meeting with Obi-Wan Kenobi, delay Luke enough that he doesn't get home until long after the Stormtroopers looking for R2 and C-3PO have already raided it and murdered Owen and Beru.
* SexSells: One of the original posters features Luke and Leia [[http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/starwars/images/2/21/Star_wars_old.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20100708051712 wearing]] much more revealing outfits that neither of them actually wear in the movie, as well as making Creator/MarkHamill significantly more muscular, and making Carrie Fisher significantly bustier.
* ShapeshiftingExcludesClothing: At the end of Vader's & Kenobi's lightsaber duel Kenobi seemingly gives up and lets Vader slice him - but when he does so, we (and Vader) find his clothes empty. He AscendedToAHigherPlaneOfExistence and left his clothes behind. (Vader even probes the robes with his toe, not expecting for it to happen.)
* SherlockScan: When he and Luke encounter the slain Jawas, Obi-Wan deduces from the blast marks and tracks in the sand that the obvious suspects of the crime were not the culprit, and that instead it was Imperial Stormtroopers who killed the Jawas and covered up the scene to make it look like Sand People did it.
-->'''Luke''': It looks like the Sandpeople did this, alright. Look, there's gaffi sticks, Bantha tracks. It's just, I never heard of them hit anything this big before.
-->'''Obi-Wan Kenobi''': They didn't, but we are meant to think they did. These tracks are side-by-side. Sandpeople always ride single file to hide their numbers.
-->'''Luke''': These are the same Jawas that sold us R2 and 3PO.
-->'''Obi-Wan Kenobi''': And these blast points, too accurate for Sandpeople. Only Imperial Stormtroopers are so precise.
* ShoutOut: An imperial officer ''almost'' refers to the Rebel base as a "hidden fortress", though he's interrupted by Vader Force-choking him in the middle of the second word. ''Film/TheHiddenFortress'' is a film which had a massive influence on ''A New Hope'' and successive ''Star Wars'' pictures.
* ShowDontTell:
** The opening shot, which establishes with visuals alone that the Empire is a massive, aggressive force bearing down on the small, fleeting Rebels.
** In the DVD commentary for the film, Lucas mentions that he distinguished ''Star Wars'' from other space and science fiction films by intentionally avoiding exposition about the universe Star Wars is set in, treating things that would be fantastic in our universe (I.e. Landspeeders, talking robots, spaceships) as mundane and trivial in their world, using this kind of symbolic storytelling as a way of connecting the audience with the galaxy of Star Wars.
* ShootOutTheLock:
** Subverted when Han tries this in the trash compactor, only to find that the lock (and the walls) are shielded and thus the laser blast simply bounces off. Luke even says he already tried it.
** Also inverted later, when Luke shoots a door's control panel to make it ''harder'' to open. This unwittingly keeps him and Leia from extending the bridge across. Luke also does this in the Death Star Hangar Bay, shooting a Blast Door control panel to immediately seal it shut, keeping Darth Vader from reaching them.
* SickeningCrunch: When Vader snaps Captain Antilles' neck, which the sound crew accomplished by putting walnuts into the peels of an orange and squeezing them.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: The film is firmly idealistic in tone.
* SlidingScaleOfPlotVersusCharacters: Falls into the "Equal Focus Between Plot and Characters" part of the scale.
* SlidingScaleOfRealisticVersusFantastic: The movie is squarely on the "Fantastic" end of the scale.
* SlidingScaleOfVisualsVersusDialogue: The film hits a sweet spot between both. The film is ''very'' dialogue heavy, but there's also a lot of strong visual storytelling going on at the same time.
* SmallRoleBigImpact: Everything that transpires in the original ''Franchise/StarWars'' trilogy can be attributed to the actions of the gunner on the Star Destroyer at the beginning who decides not to shoot the pod that C-3PO and R2-D2 are in.
* SmartPeoplePlayChess: [=R2-D2=] and Chewbacca's dejarik game during the flight to Alderaan reinforces R2-D2's intelligence as a robot while making it clear the Chewbacca isn't just a brute.
* SoreLoser: Han mentions that Wookiees have been known to tear arms out of sockets when they lose.
* SpaceIsNoisy: Played straight, but given an unusually good justification in the novelization, though it only works for some of the scenes. Fighters like the X-wings (and Han would likely have done this for the Falcon as well) have a speaker system installed that simulates noise as an audible warning of an enemy's position so that the pilot doesn't have to constantly watch his display to see where an enemy fighter is.
* SpontaneousCrowdFormation: When Darth Vader and Obi-Wan face off, the Stormtroopers leave their posts guarding the ''Millennium Falcon'' to watch the duel. Luke's shouting at Obi-Wan's death snaps them out of it.
* StabTheSky: One of the film's posters shows Luke holding his LaserBlade up towards the sky.
* StandardEstablishingSpaceshipShot: The Star Destroyer flyby at the beginning. Heck if ''Star Wars'' didn't [[TropeMaker invent]] the trope, it certainly [[TropeCodifier codified]] it.
* StockParodies: It's unlikely that there's a single scene in the movie that hasn't been parodied somewhere.
* StormingTheCastle: The finale sees the main character and a ragtag group of freedom fighter attack on the evil empire's fully armed space station, the Death Star, to stop it from destroying the Rebel planet and everyone on it.
* StrollingThroughTheChaos: Artoo and Threepio walk across a corridor, with Imperial Stormtroopers and Rebel Guards shooting at each other from opposite ends, and somehow aren't hit once.
* StunGuns: The Imperials' stun weapons knock out Leia instantly.
* SupernaturalAid: Luke receiving the lightsaber from Obi-Wan is a textbook example.
* SupportingProtagonist: The first third of the movie was through the eyes of the droids.
* TacticalWithdrawal: When Wedge's ship is badly damaged during the trench run, Luke tells him to retreat rather than be a sitting duck. Considering Wedge's key involvement in later battles in the series, it proves to be a move that pays dividends for the Alliance in the long-term.
* TellMeAboutMyFather: Luke asks his newly found mentor to tell him about his father, Anakin Skywalker. The mentor tells Luke about Anakin's bravery as a Jedi Knight, excellent piloting skill, and deep friendship before informing Luke that the evil Darth Vader betrayed and kill Anakin.
* TemptingFate:
** As Luke takes the restraining bolt off R2, he makes a comment about how R2-D2 is probably too small to escape, only for the robot to do just that overnight.
-->"Oh, yeah, well, I guess you're too small to run away on me if I take this off."
** Han when he's talking to Jabba the Hutt.
-->"I got a nice, easy charter. I'll pay you back, plus a little extra, I just need a little more time."
** Tarkin rejects the opportunity to evacuate the Death Star because he wants to celebrate the Empire's victory.
--->"Evacuate? In our moment of ''triumph''? I think you overestimate their chances."
** Darth Vader brags as he's about to shoot Luke's X-wing, only to find himself under fire from a spaceship that has just entered the battle.
-->'''Vader''': "I have you now..." <wingman's TIE fighter explodes as Han shoots it> "What?!"
* TerrifyingRescuer: Inverted: when Luke enters Leia's cell in a [[{{Mook}} Stormtrooper]] uniform, she calmly starts some banter.
* ThankTheMaker: TropeNamer. [=C3PO=], happy about having an oil bath.
* ThatsNoMoon: TropeNamer. While flying through the rubble of a destroyed planet, the heroes see the Death Star, a man-made space station that resembles a planet. Han Solo initially identifies it as a moon, only for the wise old mentor to point out it's not the right size to be a moon.
* ThemeMusicPowerUp: Par for the course with the series, the main theme and/or Rebel theme plays during the shootout on the Death Star, the TIE fighter attack afterward, and the Battle of Yavin when Luke hears Obi-Wan tell how to destroy the station.
* TitleDropChapter: While it was retroactively titled ''Film/ANewHope'' in order to distinguish it from the name of the franchise itself, it was originally released and marketed as, and is still often colloquially referred to as, simply ''Star Wars''.
* TortureIsIneffective: An Imperial officer tries to warn Darth Vader about this ahead of time--"She'll die before she'll tell you anything!"--but the Sith Lord tries anyway. Leia withstands a session with a torture droid ''and'' a Force mind probe by Vader himself, and even when Tarkin threatens to blow up Alderaan she still gives them disinformation. Adding insult to injury, there isn't even any indication after her rescue of Leia suffering any negative after-effects from the so-called torture.
* TooDumbToLive: The guy on the Star Destroyer who didn't think it worth a single laser blast to play it safe and destroy a seemingly unoccupied escape pod, even though the entire reason for boarding the ship was to track down a missing set of Death Star plans that could easily have been stowed away in the pod (as indeed they were). He's technically to blame for the thousands of people presumably killed when Luke later blows the Death Star up.
* TortureTechnician: In order to break Princess Leia, the Empire brings in an ominous black droid with all types of needles to torture the princess for information.
* TrackingDevice: The Imperials plant one on board the ''Millennium Falcon'', which allows them to track the heroes to the Rebel base on Yavin IV.
* TransformationSequence: The Rebels' X-Wing starfighters get their name as a result of this.
-->'''Red Leader''': Lock S-Foils into Attack Position.
* TrickAndFollowPloy:
-->'''Leia:''' They ''let'' us go. It's the only explanation for the ease of our escape.\\
'''Han:''' Easy? You call ''that'' easy?\\
'''Leia:''' They're tracking us.
** The Rebels make the best of it by planning to make their attack on the Death Star as soon as it arrives.
* TrickedIntoEscaping: Leia deduces that their escape from the Death Star was actually the aforementioned TrickAndFollowPloy by Tarkin, who is more interested in the rebel base than in the princess. A certain amount of resistance was provided for the sake of plausibility, but not as much as there should have been.
* TrojanPrisoner: Getting into the detention center by pretending Chewie is being transferred from another one.
* TurnOutLikeHisFather: Which provides some unintentional foreshadowing[[note]]The ''intentional'' foreshadowing is that Owen fears Luke will run off to war to get killed. Once the mythos was rewritten during the filming of ''Empire'' to the plot twist we all know and love today, the foreshadowing just got even better[[/note]].
-->'''Beru''': Luke's just not a farmer, Owen. He has too much of his father in him.
-->'''Owen''': That's what I'm afraid of.
* UniformityException: Luke-disguised-as-a-Stormtrooper is noticeably shorter than the average Stormtrooper - Leia remarks upon it before he takes his helmet off and tries to rescue her.
* UnitConfusion: A parsec is a unit of distance, not time. Though depending on the source, it may have been invoked.
* UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom: An InvertedTrope. The Imperial Officer that refuses to fire upon the escape pod containing the droids is basically what allows the titular "New Hope" to rise in the first place.
* VillainHasAPoint: Or rather The Villain is Right in the wake of Film/RogueOne. Vader had just seen the Tantive IV escape from a rebel attack, meaning he's completely right when he calls Leia a liar.
* WalkAndTalk: Vader and Imperial officer Daine Jir have one aboard the captured ''Tantive IV''.
-->'''Daine Jir:''' Holding her is dangerous. If word of this gets out, it could generate sympathy for the Rebellion in the Senate.
-->'''Vader:''' I have traced the Rebel spies to her. Now she is my only link to finding their secret base.
-->'''Jir:''' She'll die before she'll tell you anything.
-->'''Vader:''' Leave that to me. Send a distress signal, and inform the Senate that all on board were killed.
* TheWallsAreClosingIn: The trash compactor scene is a ShoutOut to the {{Death Trap}}s from [[FilmSerial cliffhanger serials]] that Creator/GeorgeLucas grew up with.
* WatchingTheSunset: Luke watches his home planet's two suns set while wondering about his future as his {{Leitmotif}} plays.
* WatchingTroyBurn: Tarkin admires as the Death Star's laser destroys the entire planet of Alderaan.
* WaveMotionGun: The Death Star's main weapon, which causes an EarthShatteringKaboom.
* WeldTheLock: Luke shoots the control panel lock in order to keep the Stormtroopers from getting in. It turns out that the panel also controls the bridge. His makeshift lock doesn't hold for too long, either.
* WellExcuseMePrincess: Pretty much every interaction between Han and Leia.
* WhatAPieceOfJunk: TropeNamer. How Luke describes the ''Millennium Falcon'' on first seeing it.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse:
** From the very beginning, when 3PO and R2 are seen during the attack on Leia's ship; the silver-plated protocol droid following close behind disappears into an airlock and is not seen again.
** We never do learn the fates of the few survivors captured aboard ''Tantive IV''; however, knowing the Empire's nature, [[ForegoneConclusion one doesn't need to think too hard about it]]. Though Vader does leave instructions to "Send a distress signal, then inform the Senate that all aboard were killed." Given that this is Darth Vader, yeah, we can probably puzzle out what happened next.
** Two Stormtroopers and the two Imperial technicians are never mentioned again after they're knocked out inside ''Millennium Falcon'' (with the two Stormtroopers get MuggedForDisguise). In the old ''Legends'' novelization, they were found and freed, but since that book isn't canon anymore, we can only assume the ''Falcon'' took off with four unconscious Imperials aboard, two of them in their underwear.
* WidescreenShot: Plenty, from the opening crawl, to the first Star Destroyer, to the final celebration scene.
* WingMan: For Luke's final trench run, Wedge and Biggs cover him against [[TheDragon Darth Vader.]] Wedge's ship is crippled and he's forced to withdraw, and Biggs is killed shortly after.
* WouldBeRudeToSayGenocide: The Empire removes the Senate just before they destroy the populated planet Alderaan. Thus, no one is able to protest this atrocity. While they don't say outright that the upcoming demonstration of the Death Star's firepower is the reason why they removed the Senate, it sure is convenient timing.
* YouAreInCommandNow: Twice during the Battle of Yavin.
** After Tiree and Dutch are shot down, Davish Krail reports their destruction to Garven Dreis, who replies "I copy, Gold Leader," acknowledging that, as the sole survivor, Krail is now squadron leader. Unfortunately, Darth Vader shoots him down too just seconds later.
** Later, Dreis tells Luke to set up his attack run and once he goes down, there's a huge, meaningful cue in the score representing that Luke is now in command of the mission (or what's left of it).
* YouAreNotAlone: Just when all seems lost during the final trench run with Luke being chased by Darth Vader with Artoo out of action, Luke suddenly hears Obi-Wan's voice out of nowhere, "Use the Force, Luke... Trust me."
* YourEyesCanDeceiveYou: TropeNamer. Obi-Wan's advice to Luke when training him is to ignore his physical senses and feel the metaphysical energy of the Force.
* YouSaidYouWouldLetThemGo: Tarkin attempts to force Princess Leia into revealing the main Rebel Base by threatening to use the Death Star's superlaser on Alderaan as a demonstration of its power. She gives them the location (or so it seems). Unfortunately for her, Tarkin is not a man of his word. Then again, maybe he is. If you pay close attention, [[ExactWords he never said he would spare Alderaan]] if she gave up the information.
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-->''Great shot, kid! That was one in a million!!''