YMMV / A New Hope

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: People have noted that the Death Star gunner lingered on Yavin IV despite having a firing solution for some time. ("Stand by.... Stand by....") They believed that the gunner might have had an attack of conscience and was deliberately delaying in the off-chance that someone might stop him from destroying the Rebel base. This interpretation has even became canon in the Legends universe.
  • And You Thought It Would Fail: Multiple studios turned the film proposal down and most of the management of 20th Century Fox outside of Alan Ladd Jr. thought it would be a final embarrassment before Fox closed its doors. Even George Lucas' director's guild thought it was going to bomb, which was the only reason they let him release it without any opening credits. After the film exploded into the public consciousness, everyone else changed their tune saying this film was the kind of unorthodox creative dare that company founder, Daryl Zanuck, often won big with.
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • Luke gets over Owen's and Beru's deaths pretty easily, making his reaction to Obi-Wan's death rather unusual. Averted in the novelization, in which he weeps after discovering the carnage, and even his Heroic B.S.O.D. over Obi-Wan only lasts through part of one scene.
    • Princess Leia doesn't seem at all bothered by the destruction of her home planet, or her Cold-Blooded Torture at the hands of Darth Vader.
  • Award Snub:
    • Many people see it losing Best Picture to Annie Hall as this. Both are widely considered to be fantastic movies, though, and quite a few Star Wars fans even regard Annie Hall as the one film they were okay with losing to, given that it's about as different to the usual Oscar Bait films as A New Hope was.
    • Quite a few see Alec Guinness losing Best Supporting Actor to Jason Robards in Julia as this. Given how much Guinness came to hate the fame he gained purely for playing Obi-Wan Kenobi, however, this could have been for the best.
  • Complete Monster: Grand Moff Tarkin is a ruthless Imperial officer, and one of the Emperor's top agents. While in command of the Death Star, he has Princess Leia tortured and, even after being provided with the information he wanted, forces her to witness the destruction of her homeworld of Alderaan, killing billions of innocent people.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Porkins is only on-screen for about a minute before being blown to smithereens, but is probably the most popular background character in the movie.
    • Wedge Antilles (one of the only surviving pilots of the Battle of Yavin) got a relatively minor amount of screen time, yet became popular enough to bring back in the rest of the series, helping lead the fight against the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi. He was also going to have a Face Death with Dignity scene at the start of The Force Awakens until Denis Lawson declined to return and it was given to a new character.
    • The Mos Eisley Cantina denizens. In the actual film they're basically set pieces instead of characters, but they did their job in the narrative - giving the viewer an impression of just how diverse The Galaxy is - so well that most of them have received extensive backstories in the Legends continuity.
  • Fandom Berserk Button: Han shot first. Don't imply otherwise unless you're joking.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Many fans ignore how Greedo was made to shoot first when he confronts Han Solo in the Special Editions, since the change contradicts Han's character.
  • Fight Scene Failure: The lightsaber duel between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader is rather awkward to watch, even compared to the fights within in the other films of the trilogy and especially those of the prequels and The Force Awakens. It was a result of the original lightsaber props being very heavy to hold, yet so fragile that they were constantly broken. In-story, it's handwaved as a combo of Obi Wan's advanced age and being out of practice, and Vader knowing he didn't have to waste time going full throttle on Obi Wan.
  • First Installment Wins: While many feel The Empire Strikes Back is better in just about every department, the original Star Wars is widely considered a game changer in the film industry, kicking off The Blockbuster Age of Hollywood. It is the most successful film in the series accounting for inflation, and had the biggest gross of the Special Edition releases; and Star Wars parodies usually take most of their inspiration from A New Hope. It also has the highest score of any of the Star Wars movies on Metacritic at 92, even beating out The Empire Strikes Back, which fans usually consider the best in the series.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The last shot of the movie. Seeing the entire cast smiling and standing together triumphantly is a lot more gut-wrenching to watch, especially knowing what happens to them later on in The Force Awakens.
    • This moment:
    Aunt Beru: He's just not a farmer, Owen. He has too much of his father in him.
    Uncle Owen: That's what I'm afraid of.
    • Not only did Luke's father become Darth Vader, but we later see in Attack of the Clones that, the same day Owen met Anakin, Anakin killed a whole tribe of Tusken Raiders out of anger. Evidently he's afraid Luke will do something like that.
    • After watching the prequels, seeing Vader so callously shoot R2 with a TIE Fighter blast makes him seem all the more cruel. He might not have known it was R2 or even aiming for him but it still jerks a tear.
    • Also, Darth Vader, later revealed to be the father of Luke Skywalker, had Luke's Uncle and Aunt murdered by stormtroopers, meaning he had his stepbrother killed. Several years later, with The Lion King, Simba's father ends up killed by his uncle. The connection between the two? Both Vader and Mufasa (Simba's father) were portrayed by James Earl Jones.
    • Garven Dreis, aka Red Leader, was shot down by Darth Vader in the last moments of the film. A New Hope also proved to be the last acting role that Drew Henley, the actor who played Dreis, would partake in, retiring shortly thereafter due to being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Also, Dreis being shot down by Darth Vader is even more harsh after the revelation that he and Vader (then known as Anakin Skywalker) were originally comrades.
    • Try watching Obi-Wan in the original trilogy knowing how Alec Guinness felt about his work on Star Wars.
    • Leia's Cold-Blooded Torture at the hands of Vader is disturbing enough, then comes the revelation that he was (unknowingly) doing it to his own daughter.
    • In this film, Obi-Wan tells Luke that Darth Vader "betrayed and murdered [his] father", before it's explained in Return of the Jedi that "What [he] said was true, from a certain point of view." In The Force Awakens, we see Kylo Ren literally betray and murder his own father, Han Solo.
      • Obi-Wan's whole backstory hurts more than ever since the same things happen to Luke by the time of The Force Awakens.
    • It's a bit painful to see that one tossed-off line in the opening crawl about the Death Star plans being stolen by a group of rebels, after Rogue One revealed just how much pain and effort went into that mission, and how high the cost was, including the deaths of the entire team.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight:
    • Luke and C-3PO's bond throughout this film and the OT becomes more heartwarming once it was revealed in The Phantom Menace that Threepio was originally built by Anakin, making Luke and Threepio, in a sense, brothers.
    • In regards to Rogue One, none of the members that stole the plans of the Death Star manages to survive the events of the movie, but with Luke managing to destroy the Death Star, it's heartwarming to know that Jyn and her crew's deaths were not in vain.
    • Peter Cushing enjoyed his role as Grand Moff Tarkin so much he regretted the fact that Tarkin dies, because it meant that he couldn't come back in another Star Wars film. In Rogue One, Tarkin returned as a major figure, with Cushing recreated via digital technology, so he did come back after all.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Obi Wan's line that the blaster marks are too precise for Sand People and must be from Stormtroopers gets funnier as the series goes on. We see (Justified and not) stormtroopers miss nearly everything they shoot for, while the Tuskens are able to hit pod racers moving at hundreds of MPH in The Phantom Menace. If you think about it, it's more just showing that Obi Wan's been in hiding for so long. The last time he was hanging around with troopers they were kicking ass, and then killing Jedi. There's also the fact that that Sandcrawler is huge and slow. Even a Stormtrooper could probably hit that just fine.
    • Given what we later discover about Vader's policy on employee mistakes in the next movie, Admiral Motti comes off as exceptionally stupid for picking a fight with Vader, especially by mocking the religion the Emperor holds to. This is even lampshaded by Grand Moff Tarkin in the Death Star Technical Manual, where he expressed that if Motti didn't keep his opinions to himself regarding the Force, he won't last long under Palpatine's Empire.
    • Just going by the films, Palpatine may not have ever let on to anyone but his apprentices that he was a Sith Lord.
    • According to the novelization, Obi-Wan was uncomfortable about Luke's questions about his father, but unlike Owen, Obi-Wan *didn't like lying* so he told the truth from a certain point of view: Darth Vader killed Luke's father.
    • Those who got to watch this first before they encountered the reveal that Luke and Leia are twin brother and sister may call the latter as a cop-out from the romantic triangle issue, but it does add some flavor to the films. With that knowledge, Han and Chewie have become two unfortunate guys getting caught in the middle of a big family mess, acting as some kind of baby sitters as the two siblings start putting things together. And it does add some more humor at how the two separately snark at his ship when each sees it for the first time.
    Luke: What a piece of junk!
    Leia: You came in that thing? You're braver than I thought.
    • "I'm never coming back to this planet again."
    • C-3PO exclaiming "Thank the maker!" is amusing, when you know who built him. "Thank Darth Vader!"
    • This is the Death Star, as it debuted in 1977. This is Mimas, one of Saturn's moons, discovered 3 years later.
    • Han's line "Where did you dig up that old fossil?" has gotten funnier on two counts: first, Harrison Ford went on to play Adventure Archaeologist Indiana Jones, and second, in the sequel trilogy, Ford will be older than Alec Guinness was during the making of the OT.
    • Han's general attitude towards Obi-Wan is this, as in The Force Awakens, he finds himself in basically the same role, guiding the younger protagonists through their adventure. Also becomes Harsher in Hindsight, considering both Obi-Wan and Han meet a similar end.
    • In Mos Eisley Cantina, Cornelius Evazan brags to Luke that he has the death sentence in twelve systems. In Revenge of the Sith, it was revealed that Obi-Wan Kenobi also has the death sentence across the Empire thanks to Order 66.
    • Garrick Hagon plays Luke's friend Biggs. Years later, he would provide the voice for a character turning into a clone of Mark Hamill's other famous role.
    • In 2016 Carrie Fisher revealed that she and Harrison Ford were sleeping together during filming, unknown to everyone else. Yeah, even before Lucas decided Leia should end up with Han, the actors were heading there.
    • In her message to Obi-Wan, Leia reminds him, "you served my father during the Clone Wars." She doesn't know the half of it!
    • The ending of Rogue One reveals that Leia knew full well her cover was blown when Vader boarded her ship, yet she still went through the whole song and dance anyway just for show.
    • Leia had several different hairstyles considered before her distinctive "cinnamon bun" hairdo was chosen, which included long blonde hair. Then, Return of the Jedi revealed that Leia was twins with the blond Luke, which would've made that blonde hairdo appropriate.
  • It Was His Sled: Darth Vader kills Obi-Wan Kenobi.
  • Memetic Loser: Greedo, after George Lucas edited his scene so that he shoots but misses Han Solo at point-blank range. Even LEGO got in on the fun with a Funny Background Event in Revenge of the Brick wherein Greedo repeatedly fails to hit a dartboard positioned only a few inches away from him.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "These are not the droids you're looking for."
    • "I have you now!"
    • "Use the Force, Luke."
    • "I felt a great disturbance in the Force; as if millions of voices cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced."
    • "Stay on target..."
    • "Almost there..."
    • "The Force Is Strong with This One"
    • "I find your lack of faith disturbing."
    • "Great shot, kid! One in a million!"
    • "Red ____, standing by," with the space filled in with your reference of choice. Partly thanks to 4chan, but mostly thanks to Family Guy's spoof.
    • "That's No Moon!, it's a space station."
    • "Cover me, Porkins."
    • "Who's the more foolish: the fool or the fool who follows him?"
    • "Faster and more intense!", from documentaries in which the cast say that this was Lucas' only suggestion after a shot: "Do it again, but faster and more intense."
    • "This bickering is pointless!" An excellent line to use if there's a Fandom Rivalry between two or more fanbases, but you're part of all those fanbases and you feel there's no need to bicker against each other.
    • "You may fire when you're ready."
    • "You are a part of Rebel Alliance and a traitor. Take her away!"
  • Misblamed:
    • Vader did not destroy Alderaan. Tarkin did. Some fans actually forget this.
    • The wingman who flies on Vader's left somehow manages to escape blame for his flub. Han Solo only shot one of Vader's wingmen - the other one simply overreacted to Han's surprise attack and crashed his TIE Fighter into Vader's of his own accord.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Grand Moff Tarkin orders the Death Star to destroy the planet of Alderaan, killing billions of innocent civilians.
  • Narm Charm:
    • The movie's dialogue is wooden and very corny, but it's also considered one of the most endearing aspects of the film, to the point where almost all of the film's lines are instantly quotable meme fodder. It's deliberately written that way, as Lucas was trying to revive/create the quintessential dopy old Saturday afternoon space serial. The film was even nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.
    • "I'm Luke Skywalker, I'm here to rescue you!" is a contender for one of the corniest lines in modern cinema, but it works because we have gotten to know Luke and we know that he unironically means it to the core of his being.
  • Never Live It Down: Luke's "attraction" to Leia is confined mostly to this film and Splinter of the Mind's Eye and never goes anywhere, but in the eye of popular culture he will always be the butt of incest jokes.
  • Older Than They Think: Ben Kenobi memorably sensing that "millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced" through the Force is strikingly similar to Spock hearing "the death scream of a hundred Vulcan minds crying out" through Vulcan telepathy in the Star Trek episode "The Immunity Syndrome," which aired in 1968, nine years prior to Star Wars.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny:
    • At the time, it was so controversial that there were no traditional opening credits. The Director's Guild of America let it slide for George Lucas only because they assumed it was going to bomb and be quickly forgotten. It obviously didn't, but when Lucas did it again for The Empire Strikes Back, the DGA issued Lucas a hefty fine that he paid before leaving the DGA altogether. Today, many filmmakers forgo traditional opening credits, or even opening titles, that now it seems like the DGA overreacted.
    • The first lightsaber battle on screen between Vader and Obi-Wan is fairly stilted and even dull compared to the ones in the films to come.
    • A common refrain from people old enough to have seen the film upon its initial release is that it's simply not possible for anyone born afterwards to properly appreciate how much it changed everything about both movies and movie fandoms.
  • Special Effect Failure: Inevitable, considering the film was produced on such a low budget and nobody expected it to be such a hit, though many of the effects are shockingly good in spite of this.
    • The infamous "Han Shot First" scene in the remastered editions. The digital editing isn't so great at convincing you that Greedo shot first, and Han's attempted "dodging" is particularly bad. It doesn't even look so much like "dodging" as much as it does "Greedo misses at point blank range."
    • A failure first seen in the special editions was the use of a (very poor) CGI Jaba the Hutt in one previously deleted scene. That particular model was replaced in the 2004 edition with one that (arguably) looked even worse.
    • During the trench run just before the "Use the Force Luke" line, one scene of the Tie Fighters flying into the camera is obviously a flat photo-stat.
    • One failure that was fixed in the 1997 special editions and onward; in the shot just after Vader's "I have you now!" line, freeze-framing will reveal that the Tie Fighter to the right of Vader is completely absent for two frames.
    • The Stormtrooper rifles were made from fully-functional British Sterling submachine guns, and fired "Hollywood blanks" to provide smoke and muzzle flash. During the gunfight across the chasm in the Death Star (where Leia kisses Luke before swinging across) the sound of the blank cartridges is heard when Leia takes a few shots, instead of the usual sound effect dubbed in.
    • There are also a few scenes (at least in earlier versions) where cartridge casings are being visibly ejected from the "blaster carbines".
    • As with The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, in the unedited theatrical cut a number of shots featuring TIE Fighters have a faint silhouette of each model's garbage matte.
    • The two shots in which the pilots enter the trench. It's pretty obvious that they're the same shot reused twice. But it's so awesome you probably won't care.
    • During Obi-Wan's duel with Darth Vader, there's a brief shot where Obi-Wan's lightsaber prop isn't reflecting the set lights properly, and you can see the prop for the metal tube it is. Oddly, the glowing CGI effect was never added to this shot to cover it, not even in the special editions.
    • During the films production, there were attempts to use front projection effects for a handful of the landspeeder scenes where Luke and Threepio are looking for Artoo, but they ended up looking so terrible that they were left on the cutting room floor.
    • Just before the TIE fighter attack on the falcon, there's two instances of the ship being hit back to back...except instead of being the usual "shaking the set" effect (where the set itself is mechanically shaken), they just "vibrate" the focus of the image back and forth in a very unconvincing manner, exactly the same way a Pan and Scan effect would be done.
    • Fixed in the Special Editions onward, but in one scene, the only way they could conceal the wheels of Luke's landspeeder was to smear Vaseline on the camera lens, resulting in a giant orange blob seen under the speeder that was jokingly referred to as "the force field."
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: This is some fans' reaction to the Special Edition, particularly the above-mentioned Greedo Shot First scene.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • There is not a single female (except Princess Leia, but she’s not in the military) or nonwhite person of any sex among either the Empire or the Rebel Alliance. Also, there aren’t any aliens (besides Chewbacca, but he’s a mercenary) to be seen, either. Not even Rubber-Forehead Aliens, of the sort which were so heavily featured in the cantina scene. This might qualify as Early Installment Weirdness, as both the Prequel Trilogy and the Sequel Trilogy feature a number of females, nonwhites, and nonhumans in prominent roles. Even the latter two installments of the original trilogy had Lando, Mon Mothma, and various aliens as part of the Alliance.
    • The attitude of the head guard in Leia's detention area — "Where are you taking this — thing?" suggests that Empire higher-ups look with disdain upon nonhumans.
    • "If we just avoid any more female advice, we ought to be able to get out of here." In 1977, this line was simply part of Han Solo's Belligerent Sexual Tension with Princess Leia. Nowadays, it would probably only ever be spoken by a Politically Incorrect Villain.
    • One thing the first film did have was older, even elderly people — not just Alec Guinness and Peter Cushing, but many of the background actors in the rebel base sequence. Several of the flyers are distinctly past their prime, not all are conventionally attractive, and Porkins is even overweight! This casting creates additional realism; these men are veterans who remember and fight for the Old Republic.
    • In a meta example, Luke and Leia's sexual tension. Yes, we all know they're brother and sister now, and yes it's debatable if they were ever intended to be at this point, but as characters, they're completely unaware of their relationship, so there's no reason for them to have an issue being attracted to each other.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: This film completely revolutionized special effects for modern movies.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: This film got a U rating in the UK, despite shots of Luke's uncle and aunts' burning corpses and a close-up shot of Ponda Baba's severed arm in the Mos Eisley bar after Obi-Wan Kenobi chops it off with his lightsaber. Not to mention numerous on-screen deaths and an inferred genocide.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: The fact that Lucas acted shocked and disappointed that fans would actually prefer "Han shot first", and then went on to assert that the original version basically has Han shoot Greedo in cold blood. George's attitude has led to analogies being made to the "gun control" debate of today.
  • Win the Crowd: For many, it was the first Star Destroyer shot. This was actually George Lucas's intention, and it was subsequently one of the most expensive shots of the film - he believed that if he hooked audiences from the beginning, then they would likely come back for more.
  • Woolseyism: In the Italian versions of the movie, the Death Star was called the Morte Nera, which means the "Black Death." It's a very fitting name, as like the Death Star, the Black Death also resulted in a large extermination of people.

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