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Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
aka - Star Wars
USA 1977
Directed by George Lucas
Running time 133 minutes
Rated PG
4 stars

Originally released as Star Wars, this film started a cult trilogy of space opera, and later a trilogy of prequel episodes that were generally and rightly considered far inferior to the original. Set a long time ago in a galaxy far away, the film marries sci-fi and fantasy with panache. The Rebel Alliance struggles to destroy the evil Galactic Empire’s super-weapon, the Death Star. But farm boy Luke Skywalker must first become hero. Other memorable characters included the (an)droids R2-D2 and C-3PO, Han Solo (Harrison Ford’s big break), Princess Leia, the furry Chewbacca and Obi-Wan (played with welcome gravitas byAlec Guiness). James Earl Jones provided the unforgettable voice of the masked villain Darth Vader. Drawing on many influences, from Flash Gordon to Akira Kurosawa as well as Joseph Campbell theories of cultural myth, Lucas wrote, directed and produced the film which is noted for its special effects, massive success, and lasting influence. Star Wars was later re-released with new visual and audio effects which were in the main impressive, but also with several pointlessly mangled story elements including revised character motivations and scenes. BP




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