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YMMV / A New Hope

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  • 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 gave rise to the character Tenn Graneet in the Legends novel Death Star.
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    • Before the release of the Prequel Trilogy, Uncle Owen was always portrayed as a grumpy, controlling man, determined to keep Luke on the farm as cheap labor, absolutely unconcerned with Luke's dreams of travel and adventure. After the Prequels, he's more likely to be portrayed as a grounded, normal man trying to protect his nephew from forces (and Forces) that would endanger him, and trying to give him a safe, quiet life on the farm.
  • And You Thought It Would Fail:
    • Possibly the greatest example in history. 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.
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    • There were exceptions, such as Peter Cushing, who'd been in enough genre films that were also dismissed beforehand but proved successful, that he knew this would be a hit, if nothing else than with kids.
  • 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 BSoD over Obi-Wan only lasts through part of one scene (also in the novelization Leia tells Han off for ignoring Obi-Wan's death by ordering Luke to the laser turret, only for Han to retort "The old man died to give us a chance to escape. You going to waste that, kid?").
    • Princess Leia doesn't seem as bothered by the destruction of her home planet as you'd expect, or her Cold-Blooded Torture at the hands of Darth Vader. This gets explored in the 2015 Marvel Star Wars comics, in particular Star Wars: Princess Leia: Leia feels personally responsible for the destruction of her homeworld and her parents' deaths, but can't show it, especially with no surviving family or close friends to confide in (she just barely met Luke and Han). Meanwhile, the Rebel rank and file think she's a cold-blooded Ice Queen, while the leadership won't allow her out of their sight to put herself in any more danger.
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    • In retrospect, Owen and Beru are a little too glib about Luke acting like, in Beru's opinion, his father. "He has too much of his father in him" should have been met with a look of horror, not a smile. Then again, it's possible that Obi-Wan didn't tell them what ultimately became of Anakin.
  • 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.
    • One of Harrison Ford's most popular and most endearing performances, and he failed to received a Best Supporting Oscar nod.
  • 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.
  • Critical Research Failure: Han's boast of the Millennium Falcon being the ship that made the Kessel Run in only 12 Parsecs would be impressive... If it weren't for the fact that Parsecs measure distance, not time. The script notes that this is deliberate misinformation, a way of swindling Luke, which Alec Guinness conveys by means of subtle Facial Dialogue (namely a raised eyebrow and slight smirk). 41 years after the film was released, Solo actually has an explanation that fixes the mistake and shows that Han was telling the truth, and was using indeed Parsecs as a measure of distance on a particularly perilous shortcut through the Kessel Run.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Obi-Wan cutting off a thug's arm is pretty horrific - until the other patrons return to their drinks seconds later, as if it's Tuesday.
  • Discredited Meme:
    • There used to be numerous fandom jokes throughout the decades about the Death Star inexplicably having such an obvious weakness as the Thermal Exhaust Port. But when Rogue One came out and retroactively revealed that the weakness was installed there on purpose by the Death Stars designer, Galen Erso, to give an outside force some slim chance of being able to destroy it, the joke lost its purpose and is now stone dead save to those who only have a passing familarity with the movies lore.
    • Likewise, the jokes about the inaccurate use of Parsecs have died off after Solo retroactively showed that Han was using the term correctly all along.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • 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.
  • 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 the other films of the trilogy and especially those of the prequel and sequel trilogies. 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, the original Star Wars is widely considered the game changer in the film industry, kicking off The Blockbuster Age of Hollywood alongside Jaws. It is the most successful film in the series accounting for inflation, it 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. It won the most Oscars of any Star Wars film, winning 6, and the only time any of these movies got Best Picture and Best Director nominations. Likewise, both of Disney's Anthology films, Rogue One and Solo are in effect prequels to this film, separate from the actual prequels by Lucas, which still makes it the most important and constantly revisited film of the franchise, and the most influential.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
  • Genre Turning Point: This film really changed the film industry. It cemented the concept of the Summer Blockbuster, and was one of the first films to rely on special effects. It rejuvenated cinematic science fiction, which was previously the domain of cheap B-Movie exploitation flicks.
  • 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 been 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.
      • The confrontation between Vader and Obi-Wan becomes a lot more heartbreaking after watching the prequels and The Clone Wars, where we see how much they went through together, to the paint where their friendship bordered on brotherhood.
    • 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.
    • Han's snark about not being sure if he likes Leia or wants to shoot her rides the lines of this, Hilarious in Hindsight, Heartwarming in Hindsight, and "Funny Aneurysm" Moment. Yes, Han, you decide you like her. Enough to marry her in two different timelines. Just don't ask about your sons in either timeline. Legends leans more to Heartwarming in Hindsight (even though Anakin dies, and Jacen turns out...badly, they're still Happily Married, raising their granddaughter, and Jaina turns out fine), but Disney canon turns out more Harsher in Hindsight (due to "Kylo Ren" turning out more or less like a worse version of Jacen and the implication they divorced).
    • Remember the infamous edit where the scene where Han shot first is changed to Greedo shooting first before Han attacking in self-defense? Well, in The Last Jedi it turns out that the reason for Kylo Ren's betrayal of the Jedi order is because Luke attacked him first with Ren himself retaliating in self-defense. So in other words, Kylo Ren betrayed Luke because the latter betrayed him first.
    • Lucas decided to change the "Han shot first" scene because he didn't want Han to come off as cold-blooded killer. Come Rogue One, the immediate prequel to A New Hope, how does the movie show that the rebels are squeaky clean good guys? By having the rebel spy Cassian Andor shot a handicapped informant who couldn't escape from pursuing stormtroopers.
    • Darth Vader states that destroying a planet is nothing compared to the powers of the Force. In Revenge of the Sith Palpatine tells Anakin that the Force could potentially create life and cheat death, which Anakin wished to use to protect his wife from dying. Vader is still holding out hope.
    • Fox infamously signed the merchandising and sequel rights to the film away to Lucas under the belief it would flop. Billions of dollars worth of Star Wars merchandise and a sale to Lucasfilm owner Disney later, Fox will always be clouded by that mistake.
  • 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.
    • By the same token, Luke's loyalty to R2-D2, saying that he's not willing to trade him in for a new droid because of how much they've been through together. R2-D2 saved Luke's mother when she wasn't much younger than he was during this movie.
    • 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.
    • For nearly two decades, the identity and past of Luke's mother was a complete unknown. The prequel trilogy answered that question, but Revenge of the Sith in particular showed in deleted scenes that Padme was one of the founders of the rebellion. While A New Hope focuses on Luke taking his first steps in following in his father's footsteps, it also marks the start of his journey to finish what his mother began. Leia did the same before the movie even started.
  • 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!
    • Leia had several different hairstyles considered before her distinctive "cinnamon bun" hairdo was chosen, one of which was 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.
    • Luke's grumbling that if there's an exciting part of the galaxy, Tatooine is the furthest point from it becomes this when you realize what a large role it plays in the expanded universe.
    • Though it was pretty amusingly droll to begin with, Obi-Wan's nonplussed reaction to the Millennium Falcon is a lot funnier when you know that it's now one of the most famous and iconic spaceships in the history of science-fiction. Today, his conversation with Han sounds almost like an irritated adult talking to a giddy young Star Wars fan.
    Han: You've never heard of the Millennium Falcon?
    Obi-Wan: ...Should I have?
    • Palpatine dissolving Imperial Senate became more amusing after watching Revenge of the Sith where he infamously declared "I am the Senate." After dissolving Imperial Senate, Palpatine is, without any doubt, the only "Senate".
    • After Rogue One's ending, Leia's "Diplomatic mission" excuse gets even funnier when you realise she's running it against a guy who literally just saw her ship escape from a massive space battle 5 minutes ago but can't actually call her on it because her explanation technically holds up.
    • The Fight Scene Failure between Vader and Obi-Wan became more hilarious as in Revenge of the Sith they fought with all sort of flips over a fiery river of lava, collapsing buildings, swung on cables through the air and stuff. Looks like they don't age so well between the two films.note 
    • "Aren't you a little short for a Stormtrooper?" After Princes Harry and William had to cancel their cameos as Stormtroopers in The Last Jedi for being too tall, you have to wonder just how short Luke is.note 
    • C-3PO and Han's discussion about droids and Wookiees as well as, to an extent, 3PO's badmouthing Chewbacca in The Empire Strikes Back become much more hilarious after the release of Revenge of the Sith where Jedi Master Ki Adi-Mundi asks this infamous question: "What about the droid attack on the Wookiees?"
  • Hype Backlash: Something of this sort has been happening within the past decade or so, where fans who saw The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi first see them as better films and A New Hope as the weakest film in the original trilogy.
  • 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!"
    • "I sense...a presence I've not felt since..." (Vader remembers being left for dead on Mustafar).
    • "Never forget that in 25th of May 1977, over a million Imperial officers, pilots, crewers, stormtroopers, and janitors lost their lives in the massacre."Explanation 
  • 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:
    • Captain Mod Terrik crosses it by ordering the Jawa massacre, the destruction of the Lars homestead, and especially the grisly murder of Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru.
    • Dr. Cornelius Evazan is most definitely a beliggerent jerkass, but he crosses it by provoking a bar brawl with the intention of drawing Sandtroopers into the cantina and allowing Greedo an opening to locate and take out Han Solo. And that's before we learn what he'd been up to before and after the events of the film...
    • Tarkin well and truly crosses it with the Disaster, in which Alderaan is destroyed on his command. Certain versions make him look even worse after the fact by giving him a line of dialogue during his brief Villainous Breakdown that exposes him as an Omnicidal Maniac, swearing to find the Rebel base if he has to destroy every last star system in the sector in his search.
  • 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 dopey old Saturday afternoon space serial. The film was even nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Only when the sequels come along does it start to become an actual problem, rather than a charm point.
    • "I'm Luke Skywalker, I'm here to rescue you!" is a contender for one of the corniest lines in 20th-century 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: Has its own page shared with the rest of the franchise.
  • 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.
    • Contrary to popular belief, Rogue One did not make Leia's claim to be on a diplomatic mission any more ridiculous. Deleted scenes from this movie have Darth Vader pointing out that they saw her ship fly right through the middle of the battle mentioned in the opening crawl, just as Rogue One eventually depicted. The acting in the scene between them on Tantive IV has always been intended to convey her telling blatant lies and him being annoyed about it.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny:
    • At the time, it was intensely controversial that there were no traditional opening credits. The Director's Guild of America let it slide for George Lucas only because they assumed the film 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, the DGA's insistence that artists be credited at the start of the film on the grounds of asking audiences to sit through credits where they wouldn't read the long list of professionals, seems to have been the wiser course.
    • 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.
    • Han Solo is such an iconic character that it's easy to forget how refreshing he was in the year of its release. Where Lucas had the idea of doing a Genre Throwback and modeled all the hero and villain characters on common genre archetypes and stories, Han Solo was more or less an average '70s guy transplanted to outer space, and his cynical, skeptical, rebellious insouciance was an Out-of-Genre Experience with all the Magic Knight, Princesses, and Cyborgs, making him the most relatable character for many of the adults, who were unfamiliar with the geeky science-fiction/fantasy stuff. Han Solo's climactic Big Damn Heroes where he Changed My Mind, Kid was intended by Lucas to get the part of the audience who wouldn't otherwise be invested in Star Wars on board with his concept. Once Star Wars became mainstream and people readily identify with the story, Han, while still popular, tends to stick out less and indeed newer fans who come from the prequels lampshade Han Solo's Arbitrary Skepticism about the Force given that he would have known the Old Republic as a small child and Chewbacca knew Yoda, when at that time it was intended to Lampshade how stuffy and silly all the mumbo-jumbo Force would be to many of its audience.
    • 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 - or even fandom, full stop. Mostly because it invented movie fandom. The very idea of taking B-Movie serials as seriously with as much money and love devoted to it, and playing the stories straight rather than parodying it (as many within the crew initially assumed to Lucas' constant chagrin), started a revolution in taste by making nerd ideas mainstream.
  • Signature Scene: At this point, one can say the entire film, but specific ones:
    • The very first shot after the titles is one of the most-iconic scenes in all of cinema: first Leia's ship races past the camera, and then Vader's Star Destroyer dominates the shot.
    • Vader's entrance and confrontation with Leia, which is an Establishing Character Moment for both, she's sassy and unafraid of a huge cyborg clad in an intimidating costume, while Vader is authoritative, intimidating, and imperious.
    • Luke Skywalker staring at Tatooine's twin sunset, which is one of the most important recurring images in the entire series, especially with the Force Theme in that scene.
    • The Mos Eisley cantina, with Obi-Wan, Luke, and Han's first encounter as well as Greedo confronting Han.
    • The destruction of Alderaan with the Death Star's laser.
    • Vader's first force choke, when he finds the "lack of faith" of a fellow Imperial disturbing.
    • The entire Death Star infiltration sequence, where Luke and Han meet Leia, have a chase through the hallways, into a trash compactor, and barely escape with the skin of their teeth, mostly for how the action communicates the characters and banter between the three, making them instantly Fire-Forged Friends.
    • Obi-Wan and Darth Vader's duel.
    • The final Space Battle of Yavin, and the destruction of the Death Star.
  • 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 Jabba the Hutt in one previously deleted scene, not to mention a new very poor one in 2004.
    • During the trench run just before the "Use the Force Luke" line, one scene of the Tie Fighters flying into the camera uses a really poorly matted shot. Curiously, this was not fixed in any of the Special Editions.
    • 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."
    • The original Alderaan explosion looked embarrassingly bad. First off, they didn't even attempt to make it look like the planet was actually exploding; they just abruptly jump cut from the planet to a random explosion. Second, the explosion doesn't really seem to line up with where the planet was in the prior shot. Third, and most glaring of all, the explosion effect is very obviously slowed down; they didn't overcrank the camera for the scene, so suddenly the frame rate takes an obvious dip. And on top of that, they clearly weld two explosion shots together, making the whole thing an utter mess and an eyesore to look at...and to rub salt in the wound, the Death Star's explosion looks perfectly fine! Although the Special Edition gets laughed at a lot for adding the ring effect to every explosion, it is worth mentioning that the effect for Alderaan was the only massive explosion effect that was completely tossed out in favor of a totally new one across the whole trilogy, and it generally looks a whole lot better than the original.
    • The technical limitations at the time meant that they couldn't do a good lightsaber activation or deactivation, as the effect for the blade extending was done by having the actor turn the prop away from the camera; note that around half of them are offscreen, and a lightsaber blade is never seen extending at the same speed twice. The ones where Luke is training with Obi-Wan aboard the Millennium Falcon are particularly obvious cuts, given how Luke's pose noticeably changes between frames.
  • Stoic Woobie: Leia. She is kidnapped, tortured, and Forced to Watch as her entire planet is destroyed, killing everyone she loved. Despite this, she doesn't shed a tear throughout the whole film.
  • 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) 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. In the 21st century, this seems downright nonsensical, but in 1977... well, that was Hollywood with a director who doesn't have much clout yet, alongside shooting in the UK. This does at least also qualify as Early Installment Weirdness, as both the Prequel Trilogy, Sequel Trilogy and Anthology films feature a number of women, nonwhites, and nonhumans in prominent roles (and, similarly, the lack of aliens in the film is likely due to budget concerns more than anything). 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. Combined this with how all the Imperial high command are humans. This was codified into Deliberate Values Dissonance with the Expanded Universe, where the various incarnations of the Empire certainly does look down upon most species, with only humans and Sith species (before the latter died out) considered worthy of full citizenship and the Chiss tolerated. Everyone else is sent to the slave pits. note 
    • "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 and just part of his rougish character. Nowadays, it would probably only ever be spoken by a Politically Incorrect Villain. (It is worth noting that this line earns him a brief Death Glare from Leia.)
    • 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 an Idiot!: The imperial officers at the beginning witness R2-D2 and C3 PO's escape pod launch but notice that there are no life forms aboard.
    You'd expect: The imperial officers to destroy the pod just to be safe.
    Instead: They shrug it off as a pod that malfunctioned and let it reach Tatooine.
    The result: The entire Star Wars Saga.
  • 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 (not helped by the fact that despite Lucas's aforementioned statement, Greedo is clearly holding Han at gunpoint for the entire conversation and openly says he plans to kill him, making Han shooting first clear-cut self-defense).
  • 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.
      • In the French dub, the Death Star is now l'Étoile Noire (The Black/Dark Star).
    • Back in the day, in Latin America, R2-D2 was sometimes referred thanks to a Mondegreen as "Arturito" (Little Arthur), because of the similar pronunciation with "Artoo-Deetoo", and it became quite popular.


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