"So Let it Be Written... So Let it Be Done"

The life and times of a real, down to earth, nice guy. A relocated New Englander formerly living somewhere north of Boston, but now soaking up the bright sun of southwestern central Florida (aka The Gulf Coast). Welcome to my blog world. Please leave it as clean as it was before you came. Thanks for visiting, BTW please leave a relevant comment so I know you were here. No blog spam, please. (c) MMV-MMXV Court Jester Productions & Bamford Communications

Friday, May 25, 2007

SNMR 3.8: "Star Wars IV - A New Hope"

Tonight begins a special weekend for SNMR as we commemorate and celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the theatrical release of the original STAR WARS (May 25, 1977) film. I'll review the three films from the original trilogy this weekend, one film per day.

So then, tonight's SNMR feature is "Star Wars IV: A New Hope" (1977, PG, 123 minutes), starring Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Alec Guiness, Peter Cushing, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew and the voice of James Earl Jones. The film was written and directed by George Lucas. I'm watching the 1997 Special Edition re-release.

I've seen this film hundreds of times in my life and probably will hundreds more. This is one of my favorite films of all time.

From the DVD's dust case:

A LONG TIME AGO IN A GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY... The Jedi Knights have been exterminated and the Empire rules the galaxy with an iron fist. A small group of rebels have dared to fight back by stealing the secret plans to the Empire's mightiest weapon, the Death Star battle station. The Emperor's most trusted servant, Darth Vader, must find the plans and locate the secret rebel base. Princess Leia, a captive rebel leader, sends out a distress signal that is intercepted by a simple farm boy, Luke Skywalker. Seizing his destiny, Luke takes up the challenge to rescue the princess and help the rebellion overthrow the Empire, along with such unforgettable allies as the wise Obi-Wan Kenobi, the cocky Han Solo, the loyal Chewbacca, and the droids R2-D2 and C-3PO.

From Martin and Porter's DVD & Video Guide 2007, p. 1073:
May the force be with you! Writer-director George Lucas blended the best of vintage pulp science fiction , old-fashioned cliffhangers, and classic fantasy to come up with the ultimate adventure "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away."

This is one of the greatest films ever made and it's legacy firmly established in film lore. It is groundbreaking in so many ways, from special effects to the orchestral soundtrack and overall movie theater sound experience. Before this film, movie related toys were very rare if ever made, now they are commonplace. Nowadays, we take such movie special effects for granted, which is why, to many people, the trilogy of prequels was just ho-hum. Lucas is really a movie pioneer and it's surprising to me that he's never won any major Academy Awards for his work. Someday, when he's older and much grayer, he'll receive one of those Thalberg Lifetime Achievement Awards. He was the first to re-release his movies on DVD with the 1997 Spacial Edition release of the original trilogy. Before that you never saw directors going back to revisit their past films. Last fall Lucas re-released the trilogy on DVD again, this time packaging the original theatrical releases along with the 1997 special editions. The man is brilliant and a visionary.

Overall, the story is excellent and the characters are memorable. How many people incorporate lines from these movies in subtle ways during casual conversation? Sometimes the acting is a bit cheesy, though (hello C-3PO). Even after thirty years the opening theme music, in my opinion the best movie theme music ever written (thank you John Williams and LSO), gets my blood pumping every time I hear it.

Obviously, this film gets five out of five stars. To rate it less is tantamount to treason. If you don't own these films yourself by now, there's no hope for you. None.



At 26 May, 2007 01:59, Blogger An American in Melbourne said...

I'm sorry, I'm a bit of a purist here: The proper name for this film is, and always will be, simply "Star Wars".

Yes, i know that 'a new hope' has always been in the opening sequence, but no matter how the studio execs try to reshape history, the film - as first to be made in the series - deserves no less than to be remembered as the original. Using the awkwardly bulky 'star wars episode IV - a new hope' denies it the the honor this film deserves.

At 26 May, 2007 02:00, Blogger An American in Melbourne said...

that being said - I'd reckon it deserves six stars out of five.

At 26 May, 2007 18:54, Blogger green said...

I agree, the simple title is best, since it is the original name by which this film was first known - so you may remain a purist with my blessing.

No matter how many stars I use in the rating this film would always get the maximum or one over....


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