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Star Wars: Episode IV- A New Hope
Star Wars is obviously one of the most influential and important science fiction films ever made. It takes classic fantasy archetypes and transplants them into a deep space setting. It was also essential in popularizing the concept of Used Future.

Story: A farmboy's guardians get killed, so he decides to follow his father's (a famous Jedi Knight) footsteps, lead by his father's Old Master. Meets a smuggler, rescues a princess, and joins the rebellion against The Empire.

Content: Lots of blasters and the offscreen deaths of millions of people.

The good:
  • An excellent overarching plot, with a variety of characters, who are all well developed.
  • Special Effects that are excellent for a movie released in the 70's. They still hold up 30 years later.
  • Highly entertaining action.
  • Darth Vader. One of the best villains ever devised.
  • Han Solo. Bad Ass. And played by Harrison Ford.
  • John Williams

The bad:
  • Luke can be...a bit of a whiner.
  • The lightsaber fight sort of pales in comparison to the ones in later movies.
  • Suffers from Seinfeld Is Unfunny, due to it's incredible influence on nearly everything that followed it.
  • Fan Dumb. With this many fans, some will inevitably be jerks.

Overall: An absolute classic of the genre. It helped define science fiction as we know it, so even if you don't like the movie itself, you should still watch it anyway, if only to better understand it's influence. Even years later, it is still one of the best sci-fi films ever.
You'd be better served by watching Kurosawa's Hidden Fortress, of which Star Wars was a functional remake.
comment #298 zeroplusalpha 25th May 09
Better yet, watch both.
comment #302 71.147.58.88 26th May 09
"...of which Star Wars was a functional remake".

No, no, sorry, disagreement here. There's bits of Kurosawa in it, but there's bits of almost everything in Star Wars. Calling it a remake strikes me as disingenuous.
comment #1146 Sen 17th Oct 09
After re-watching it, I can't belive how really slow this movie can be.
comment #1166 wellinever 20th Oct 09
"After re-watching it, I can't belive how really slow this movie can be."

That's an artifact of modern action filmmaking, where everything has to be breathtakingly fast to avoid losing the audience's attention. The pacing of Star Wars is one of those things that reminds you that it didn't always have to be that way.
comment #1170 Fighteer 20th Oct 09
All right, all right, it was a big disingenuous. But I'm still of the opinion that there's more Kurosawa in it than everything else combined.
comment #1171 zeroplusalpha 20th Oct 09
Sen here, haven't logged in yet.

Fighteer: Yeah, totally with you there, the pacing's great. Hell, if you think about it, this movie manages to move fast wwhile still cramming in enough scenes for Character Development and all that - in 2 hrs or so we've gone from Luke being a farmboy and Leia being captured to the Death Star being totally destroyed. And the same fast pacing goes with the other movies. I honestly think that's a way faster pace than any action movie today - hell, District9, chronologically the last sci-fi action film I've loved, only goes as far as the prawns' ship leaving Earth...
comment #1876 92.82.112.77 17th Feb 10
Nice review!
comment #9363 beeruckz 19th Aug 11
You nailed everything that was good about Star Wars in that review, Japanese Teeth. I take my hat off to you.

Although I would personally title the review as "Star Wars - A New Hope", since I'm not a fan of the prequels.
comment #10205 CrazyDawg 23rd Sep 11
The original trilogy's lightsaber battles are based on Samurai fighting styles, which are limited by the assumption that getting hit by a sword will kill you. Making a single wrong move will kill you if your opponent realizes it. The new trilogy's lightsaber battles are based on looking good, visually. If your Suspension Of Willing Disbelief can stand the fact that you only have to hold your sword stationary and your opponent will practically fling himself into it (I'm looking at you, Yoda).
comment #10520 philipw 4th Oct 11
You're being a tiny bit harsh there. A lot of the styles in the prequels have very recognisable influences in fighting style, particularly say Darth Tyrannus who is very clearly fencing.

Also you make it sound like you're trying to imply it's ridiculous not to fight as if getting hit by a sword will kill you, (particularly with your pothole) but not only is it not ridiculous it's a very real thing and the assumption that getting hit by a sword will kill you leads to entirely ridiculous fighting techniques (like fencing :D). Getting hit by a sword _hurts_ it's not instantly fatal and knowing how to deflect the fatal stabs is part of the thing. Taking fencing again (I did fencing can you guess :D), if you stand the right way and put the sword in the right place it can be quite hard to be hit, you can make a wrong move and merely fail with your attack as opposed to dropping down dead.

In the end, movies are visual and part of the Jedi mythos is that they can do some super-human things and so bring on the wacky fighting styles but even that can make sense(Like yoda is an absolutely tiny target, and is capable of jumping around like a frog with absolute precision whilst guarding not only his torso but his entire body with a lightsabre and thus is doing a much better job than he'd do if he wasn't standing still. Key technique of fencing and I guess other sword styles is to try and keep your movements as unpredictable as possible. Standing still = making a mistake). It can go too far but it's surprising how much thought the choreographers (and afterwards the Expanded Universe) put into why the techniques can be viable.

I'm being a bit overpedantic and I've already probably discussed it part it's value, I guess Captain Obvious spurred me on to higher heights of internet debating silliness
comment #10531 Tomwithnonumbers 4th Oct 11 (edited by: Tomwithnonumbers)
"The original trilogy's lightsaber battles are based on Samurai fighting styles, which are limited by the assumption that getting hit by a sword will kill you. Making a single wrong move will kill you if your opponent realizes it."

That sounds fair enough, only there's this thing called the force. If Luke can use it to shoot a womprat-sized exhaust pipe without computer guidance, then Wise Old Man and the Evil Robot can see a sword coming.
comment #10621 tublecane 7th Oct 11
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