|Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)
Starring: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness
Director: George Lucas
ALSO! Be sure to read our review of the "Star Wars Trilogy" DVD.
A not-so-long time ago in theaters all across the world, George Lucas’ sci-fi epic, “Star Wars: A New Hope,” captivated an entire generation with its thrilling story of adventure while also introducing some truly ground-breaking technology that would prove to inspire future filmmakers for years to come. It has everything you could want in a movie -- action, suspense and comedy -- and yet never forgets to pay homage to the stories that came before it, like “Flash Gordon” and Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
Most people know the story by heart, but here's a quick refresher course: After the Empire kidnaps Rebel leader Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) in an effort to end the ongoing war, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) is sent a message from Leia requesting his help in stopping the evil Emperor Palpatine and his powerful apprentice, Darth Vader, who have constructed a secret space station called the Death Star that can destory entire planets. Obi-Wan recruits Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), a young farmboy who hasn’t yet realized his hidden potential as one of the few remaining Jedi Knights, to join him on his journey, and along the way, they team up with a pair of bickering robots (C-3P0 and R2-D2), a mercenary named Han Solo (Harrison Ford), and his sidekick Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) to help save the galaxy.
“Star Wars" is the perfect example of a film that caters to the tastes of nearly anyone. While the subject material is wrapped in a universe of bizarre aliens and nerdy slang, it's still grounded in the essential elements of storytelling and archetypal characters that appeal to everyone. After 20 years of fanfare and three re-releases --including the 1997 special edition showing off Lucas’ digital updates -- “Star Wars” is one of the most popular films in history and has become more about the experience than the film itself. Featuring a loveable cast of characters, an engaging story and a visually captivating display of special effects, “Star Wars” is one of those few films that you can expect to find in almost anyone’s collection.