Countdown to Skywalker: “A New Hope” Review

December 8, 2019


One of the most historic movies in cinema history, and it belongs to arguably the most famous science fiction franchises. “A New Hope” sparked the film industry with its cinema magic of starfighters blasting each other in space, the nostalgic Darth Vader breath echoing throughout corridors of ships, tales of bounty hunters, rebels, Jedis, and more!

This all-star cast, including now well known names like Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Alec Guinness (Obi-Wan Kenobi), Peter Mayhews (Chewbacca), James Earl Jones (Darth Vader) and Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), included many new faces to the entertainment world. For much of the cast, this was their big break, including the main three characters. For some, this was their first big break including the main trio and to the others, this was a huge project that would further boost them up. 

 When the movie began, the original title was actually called “The Star Wars: The Adventure of Luke Starkiller,” which you will notice many references to the name Starkiller later in the franchise (wink, wink). Though many people did not consider it to be the best since the sequels to it blew the Box Office literally to a galaxy far, far away, let’s dive into what made the movie a hit in the 70s.

First off, the acting is just a little cringe worthy, but pretty funny, especially towards the beginning of Luke’s story. This is not, of course, to undermine Mark Hamill, as this was one of his earliest big roles for a film. He nailed it, of course, giving the story a relatable character for the audience to connect to… at least for this film.

This story is set up when Luke’s aunt and uncle are killed and he is left with perhaps the most famous robots in the history of movies, R2-D2 and C-3P0. Following the supposedly last Jedi Obi Wan-Kenobi, or Ben Kenobi, Luke ends up having to make the choice of following Ben into the Resistance (because he was just too short to be Stormtrooper).

Along the way, we are introduced to Harrison Ford’s character Han Solo, one of the most famous smugglers in the galaxy. Ford’s character, alongside Carrie Fisher and Peter Mayhew’s Chewbacca, all of them make the story move along in the best way possible.

With Fisher’s feministic yet powerful acting and attitude as the Princess of Alderaan, Leia Organa, she has redefined womens’ roles in cinema history, and is who really brings “Star Wars” to life. Harrison and Chewie just help the story make it funny, absolutely hilarious, and help create one of the most iconic and lovable duos to date.

Another intriguing element to this movie is the odd story behind Darth Vader’s two actors, David Prowse who stands in as Vader and James Earl Jones who voices him. While Prowse was actually supposed to be the actor, voice and everything, it ended up being Jones’s voice because George Lucas thought Jones’s authoritative voice, booming with hatred and menace was a better fit.  In the end, it’s safe to say this was the right call with Jones’s Vader voice becoming one of the most iconic voices in movie history. 

And lastly, the birth of the Lightsaber. The final Lightsaber between Vader and Kenobi is probably one of the coolest movie scenes in the series, and to think that there wasn’t that much technology in the late 70’s for effects like that is amazing and stunned many beloved sci-fi fans. And not only fans but other filmmakers as well.

Furthermore, “A New Hope” ended up inspiring a generation of new space operas like Ridley Scott’s “Alien,” Gene Roddenberry’s “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” Roger Corman’s take-off called “Battle Beyond the Stars,” the arcade game Galaga, Nick Castle’s “The Last Starfighter” and more. Seriously people there are endless spin-offs, rip-offs, take-offs and I can go on for another three pages.

But without a New Hope, even though it has a lack of action and loses your interest after a while, and the love around it, none of these could have existed. This movie started one of the biggest franchises in the world and continued to only get better with “Empire Strikes Back” and further on, “Return of the Jedi.” 

Featured Image Citation: “Star Wars:Episode IV—A New Hope” is by 20th Century Fox and Lucasfilms. This still was released for press and is protected in that this is a review and is being used for educational purposes. RedEye claims no ownership of this photo. 

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About the Contributor
Tyler Lericos, Staffer
Tyler Lericos was a staffer for Manual RedEye 2019-20. He loves filmmaking and music composing, and spends a lot of time with his baby brother, Jack. You can contact him at [email protected]

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