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Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)

July 23, 2010

10/10 Epic Architectural Flaws

Confirmed once and for all that the Milky Way truly is the lamest galaxy in existence.

A New Hope is about a teenage farmhand with aspirations for greatness who, through a course of some very convenient and fateful events, finds himself training to become a knight of legend, gets caught up in a plot to rescue a princess and paves the way towards taking down a tyrannical empire by working to destroy their planet-killing weapon/base of operations before the Rebel movement is crushed for good.

Man, A New Hope. I can’t be the only who smiles when I hear those words.

Now, I’ve always heard that THX 1138 and American Graffiti are good movies in their own right, and while I’m sure I’ll get around to actually seeing them before I kick the bucket, something tells me they don’t have jack crap on what George Lucas put together here as a writer, director and all-around dreamer. The impact this movie has had on Earth in general cannot be measured and when the day comes when we all run out of oil and move to Mars or just nuke the snot out of each other, I really hope the aliens that show up discover a copy of this movie and use it to study us by. Why wouldn’t we want to be remembered as Jedi?

Alright, let’s just get started with the script because as awesome as the scale of Lucas’ vision is, I feel like it goes forgetten that he was a damn good writer back in the day. This is the Hero’s Journey at its finest, there’s not a minute of boredom to be found in a single effing frame of this thing and every last character outside of the Storm Troopers who can’t hit the broad side of a barn are all unique, iconical and fun as hell as soon as you’re introduced to ’em. That’s not easy to pull off whatsoever. Geez, this script really is the whole package when it comes to dialogue, story, character development, pacing, etc. and it’s so damn good to be reminded that at one time George Lucas did in fact have a great sense of humor.

I mean, really, was C-3P0 always this funny? Did I just forget that? That conversation he has with R2 after Luke gets pissed off because Leia’s message won’t play and he goes:

3P0: “No, I don’t think he likes you at all.”

R2: beeps and such.

3P0: (turns his back on the droid) “No, I don’t like you either.”


But the whole movie is filled with stuff like that, and it only gets better when Han Solo shows up and starts asking the Storm Troopers “How are you?” while trying to stage a prison break. God, George, why did you ever listen to your kids? You were a seriously funny dude.

And since we’re on the subject, Han is the best character in the Star Wars universe and it’s arguably the best role of Ford’s career. Darth and his Nazi Sumurai helmet are a very close second, but Obi-Wan, Leia, Chewie, R2, and 3P0 are legendary too and this series would be nothing without them. And it breaks my heart that Mark Hamill got his face chewed up so bad in that car wreck after this, because he was one suave lookin’ kid and he really makes Luke awesome. Definitely not a bitch here, not yet at least.

Unreal score by John Williams, too. I don’t usually single out the music in my reviews, but come on, this is something else.

But the wonderful thing about A New Hope is that everyone remembers their first time. It’s right up there with losing your tooth, getting your driver’s license and being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and while I can’t recall every last detail, I’m proud to say that I lost my Star Wars virginity at the ripe young age of five, and let me tell ya’, it was glorious.

My family had just moved from Brooklyn to the suburbs, my dad put a TV in my room for one night (which was a nice little perk that I missed immediately thereafter) and he turned it on just as the opening yellow text was scrolling off the screen. God, the moment I saw that Imperial Star Destoyer chasing down those Rebel scum in their pathetic dingy of a ship, the question came without skipping a beat:

Aiden: “What is this, dad?”

Aiden’s Pops: “Son, this is Star Wars.”

And that was it.

Unpacking boxes could wait, I’d never been a fan of putting sheets on the bed anyway, this is what was happening and I was hooked like a trout. Had to learn the hard way that this had nothing to do with Star Trek, but the seed had been planted, it was love at first sight. And let’s be honest, how could it not be?

Although I will say that it was borderline painful to watch all the CG scenes that Lucas went back and added to the DVDs on this latest go-around, not only because they’re all totally unnecessary and unwanted, but they make it blatantly clear how far from the tree the guy had fallen over the course of two decades. Nonetheless, they’re easy enough to write off in light of the big picture.

Still, what a jackass move. Greedo doesn’t shoot first.

Yeah, Empire is the best of the series, but that doesn’t take away from how pivotal and flat-out phenomenal this movie was and always will be. Maybe some of it has to do with the crushing disappointment that came with watching the new trilogy again, but this is an unbelievable movie either way, this is where it all started and I know a 10 when I see it. It’s not dated in the least, it’s still visually stunning in so many ways, the lightsaber battle between Ben and Darth actually isn’t all that bad and I really can’t wrap my head around the fact that something so unreal like this was made all the way back in 1977.

Okay, I could write a lot more than I already have, but (hopefully) we all know why it rocks as much as it does, so I’ll just go ahead and wrap this up.

It really is an amazing and rare opportunity to see a movie more times than you can count, return to it years later and be able to experience it all over again with an ear-to-ear grin from start to finish, but that’s A New Hope and it’s no wonder why it launched such a monster of a franchise. It’ll make you laugh, make you cheer, make your heart sink and rise with the flip of a switch and if you’re not on the level, watch it again, something tells me you’ll come around.

Now let’s do the right thing and finally have a moment of silence for Porkins.

We miss you, buddy. Your name was hilarious.

41 Comments leave one →
  1. July 23, 2010 1:52 am

    Really? This bomb? You actually liked this?

    Ugh, throw it in the fire with “The Last Airbender” and “Pootie Tang.”

    • July 24, 2010 11:56 am

      Blasphemy… even if it’s sarcasm!

      • July 26, 2010 9:02 am

        I’m with Kai on this one, and the Pootie Tang hate is completely uncalled for.

  2. Darren permalink
    July 23, 2010 3:44 am

    Ah “Porkins”. Imagine the PC nightmare that would result from naming a chubby character that today.

    First time I saw these movies was during the cinematic re-release in the nineties. I think New Hope is the weakest of the original three. Yes, Jedi has Ewoks, but it also has the best lightsabre battle and the benefit of riding on Empire’s coat-tales.

    • July 23, 2010 8:13 am

      Hahaha, thank God for Porkins.

      I remember seeing them on the re-release too, that was pretty awesome, especially since I was too young to care about all the extra crap Lucas added to them. And I’d say A New Hope is the second best after Empire, but it’s too bad that so many people just remember Jedi for the Ewoks. Awesome movie, and I agree, awesome lightsaber fight.

  3. July 23, 2010 5:33 am

    What a glowing, gushing tribute to Star Wars. And damn right too! This is one film that never gets old (because Lucas keep updating it!).

    It’s interesting that Darrem feels this is the weakest of the three. I never got to see the films on the big-screen (I had to make do with watching the new films on the big-screen and wish I hadn’t bothered) but, depending on my mood, I sometimes think of this one being my favourite and indeed the strongest of the original three.

    American Graffiti is definitely worth seeing by the wayAiden. Really good movie, especially if you like coming-of-age type stuff.

    • July 23, 2010 8:17 am

      Hahaha. Lucas and his CG, man. Dude needs to stop while he’s ahead already.

      After watching this again, I’m almost skeptical as to how Empire could possibly be better, but I’ll get back to you on that next week.

      And I remember trying to watch American Graffiti in High School, but I didn’t give it the fair shot it deserved, just kinda half-watched it. Need to fix that situation, stat.

  4. moriarty permalink
    July 23, 2010 6:47 am

    I’m onthe “Empire strikes back””s is better team… but “New hope” was a great way to get into Star Wars world. Now that I have my own “cinema” at home, is one of those series (yes the return of the Jedi” is less interesting, but a good ending to the series… I’m not counting the 3 horror movies George lucas made in the earlys 2000, just horrible) that I can watch with my nephews and totally enjoy at home.

    And by the way, I loved this: “A New Hope is about a teenage farmhand with aspirations for greatness…” XDDD

    • July 23, 2010 8:19 am

      Man, I can’t wait to watch these with my kids for the first time some day. That’s gonna kick ass. Think I’ll just forget to tell them about the three prequels.

      • moriarty permalink
        July 23, 2010 10:21 am

        Plis, keep “them” in the dark about the prequels…hehehe

        I remember what Lisa Simpson said in the parody episode:

        ” Coming out of the theatre, everyone is complaining, so Lisa and Bart decide to write an angry letter to Randall Curtis (a short version of George Lucas) complaining about the movie. (…)

        After meeting Mr Curtis, they tell him that his characters have lost their way, but he says that they are “getting better all the time, now that they perfected digital eyelash rendering”. Lisa tells him that “better technology does not make for better story-telling”, and that his early movies were timeless classics”

        Jeepers, I’m gonna have to watch Star Wars (original ones) this weekend, again!!!

      • July 23, 2010 10:30 am

        Hahaha. Wish I could watch videos at work, can’t resist The Simpsons whatsoever. And have fun watching ’em again! Always worth a reminder of how awesome these are.

  5. July 23, 2010 7:10 am

    I’m still one of the 30 year old refuseniks that refuse to call this ‘A New Hope’ – it’s called Star Wars dammit and get off my lawn you pesky kids with your Vampire Weekends and lack of an anamorphic transfer on DVD!

    Good piece Aiden, you really captured the essence that Star Wars is great cinema and a film to grow up with.

    I feel sorry for those young enough to have seen the (not so) Special Editions first.

    • July 23, 2010 8:21 am

      Hahaha, you had to drag Vampire Weekend into this, didn’t you?

      I hear ya’ on feeling sad for those youngin’s who are stuck with the Special Editions. God, Lucas should really just release the editions without all the crap he added onto them, I’d buy that in a heartbeat.

      • July 23, 2010 4:39 pm

        are you a fan?

        I only mentioned it cos I was at a music festival last weekend and they headlined which changed the demographic somewhat compared to last year with Nick Cave.

        the regular versions are on dvd. officially I think they are extras but they are twinned with the special editions and, as mentioned above, are not anamorphic.

      • July 26, 2010 9:04 am

        Yeah, loved their first album to pieces, Contra’s not bad either, just thought there was too much going on is all. I can imagine they were quite the contrast from Nick Cave though. How was Cave live?

    • July 28, 2010 2:26 am

      Amen – I was going to call out Aiden on loving the New Hope title so much. This movie is called Star Wars, motherfucker! 😉 Though at least the New Hope banner is shown at the beginning of this one – the Raiders re-titling bothers me even more.

      Obviously, these issues indicate that I need more real problems in my life.

      • July 28, 2010 8:07 am

        Hahaha. Man, had no idea I was gonna be touching so many nerves. Is it alright if I refer to the next one as “Empire”?

  6. Uncle Fran permalink
    July 23, 2010 9:39 am

    Out of nowhere comes a Star Wars review, now this is a movie. After checking in the last few days and seeing unheard of titles like Winnebego Man, Battle Royal and Cowboy Bebop I thought you may have in fact been lost is some sort of limbo world Aiden, welcome back. Star Wars and Empire were awesome movie going experiences, like nothing before. Jedi was on its way to joining them until those Ewoks showed up…. and not only ruined Jedi but managed to taint the other two as well. Too bad. Lucas totally lost it at that point as is evidenced by the three most recent in the series, it’s as if they made those movies in conjuction with Burger King & McDonalds so they could have goofy little characters to put in Happy Meals. Well, back to work. Good review though.

    • July 23, 2010 9:46 am

      Hahahahaha. What a comment, man. I don’t think I’ve ever heard you so passionate about a movie since Casino Royale. Yeah, this and Empire are the two that really count. It’s really too bad about Jedi, because in a lot of ways that’s actually a pretty kickass entry, but those damn Ewoks…a omen of things to come if there ever was one. I actually saw on Wikipedia yesterday that it was originally supposed to be a Wookie planet instead of Ewoks, and I have no freaking clue as to why they didn’t stick to the original plan. But hey, at least there’s always A New Hope, right? You going to be in CT this weekend?

      • Uncle Fran permalink
        July 23, 2010 11:35 am

        Hey, check out the Daily News, Darth Vader just robbed a bank in Long Island. The last three Star Wars movies were such bombs even Darth can’t get work anymore. It’s too bad it’s come to this.

      • July 23, 2010 11:39 am

        Hahaha. I saw that. Apparently he had to clarify that “This is not a joke” when he entered the building. Gotta find some way to build a third Death Star in this economy.

  7. July 23, 2010 11:10 am

    Definitely changed the way films were made that is for sure. A true original. Excellent post here Aiden. Though I am still SO HAPPY it got spanked by Annie Hall at the Oscars! :-0

    • July 23, 2010 11:16 am

      hahaha. I saw that on IMDB, was kind of sad actually. Annie Hall is great, but I gotta say, it’s no Star Wars. Not surprised it didn’t win, but that would have been so awesome.

  8. July 23, 2010 6:43 pm

    poor poor Porkins…..

    I take issue, Aiden, with you calling the Milky Way the lamest galaxy—We have Klingons and Romulans and Vulcans and Kirk and Picard…….I mean, really, even if the galaxy far far away is better, there’s no way the Milky Way is the lamest

    • July 26, 2010 9:06 am

      The day we invent lightsabers is the day I revoke that comment. Star Trek will never get the Milky Way to where it needs to be.

  9. Branden permalink
    July 23, 2010 9:11 pm

    This movie is the nerd bible. Every geek knows at least some of the dialogue in this movie or could list out the locations in it.


    • July 26, 2010 9:06 am

      Damn right it is. Actually won trivia night at a bar last Summer because I knew an entire category on Star Wars, was the only one at the table who knew was a Ton-Ton was. Pays to be a nerd, homey.

      • July 28, 2010 2:28 am

        “was the only one at the table who knew was a Ton-Ton was.”

        Two things: first, that’s sad. I don’t want to know those people. Second, you obviously weren’t the one at the table that knew how to spell tauntaun. Your nerd card will be revoked shortly.

      • July 28, 2010 7:59 am

        Hahaha, I feel shame. But hey, still got us free beer and buffalo wings. BOOYAH!

  10. Ryan permalink
    July 23, 2010 11:42 pm

    okay…so…i don’t really have a problem with the special edition versions except hayden’s inexplicable appearance at the end of jedi. i cannot emphasize how much that does not make sense. why not add in ewan too? fuck you george lucas!

    but for the other stuff, i think it is fine. people forget how bad the sound and film grain was on the originals. the remastering was pretty good and the death star explosions are 436% better than the originals also.

    my only issue…why not fix ben’s / luke’s light saber colors while you were at it? they both had blue blades…not greenish-white mess.

    • July 26, 2010 9:10 am

      The remastered film quality is great, not gonna argue that, there are just far too many unnecessary scenes and failed attempts at humor that didn’t need to be here whatsoever. The new Death Star explosions were awesome though and I agree with you on Ben and Luke’s lightsabers. Weird call. And I’ll get to the whole Hayden in JEDI discussion when I get around to the movie itself, but yeah, idiotic.

  11. July 24, 2010 1:10 am

    I would have to agree with Darren in that I thought New Hope was the weakest of the three. Not to say that it was a weak movie, just compared to the other two!

    • July 26, 2010 9:11 am

      Man, I really need to watch these last two asap. That’s a big statement right there.

      • July 28, 2010 2:29 am

        Jedi over Star Wars? I’m far from a Jedi hater, but I will never come remotely close to agreeing with that statement. Jedi is great, but it’s not nearly as iconic. The singing lip lady doesn’t help, either…

      • July 28, 2010 8:09 am

        This singing lip lady isn’t ringing any bells, one more bizarro reason to watch Jedi again.

      • July 28, 2010 11:50 am

        I have serious suspicions about Aiden’s Star Warrior creds if he prefers Jedi —

        Although you can’t blame these young kids who were initially introduced to star Wars as a means of getting toys and because puppets are fun (yaaaaaaay puppets)

        Meanwhile, us old men remember that we fell in love with the fight for freedom from the evil Empire, and the inherent soap operatic mood that swirled around Empire and Episode IV.

      • July 28, 2010 12:02 pm

        Good lord, I think I must have written a typo or something. Jedi is the weakest of the original trilogy by a long shot, I don’t know where the eff this all started up but please allow me set the record straight. Man, I couldn’t live with myself if my dear readers thought I liked Jedi over Empire and Star Wars. Just awful.

  12. July 24, 2010 11:57 am

    Dude, Porkins barely fit in his spacesuit… or shuttle for that matter. Great review, Aiden. If you would’ve even gone 9/10 I woulda punched you in the gullet!

    • July 25, 2010 5:53 pm

      Aiden, check your e-mail.

    • July 26, 2010 9:12 am

      Hahaha, was thinking about giving it a 9 before I started the movie, but I was barely out of the first half hour when I realized that there was no way in hell this could be any lower than a 10. Timeless, baby. Timeless.


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