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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope: Review

From the beginning of their time, movies have impacted the human race in a way no one would have imagined. Movies influence us in ways we cannot see, or in ways we do not expect. Over time there have been countless films that continue to change us, inspire us, and cause us to think a different way. One movie in particular has caused us to do all these things since 1977. The release of this movie shattered all expectations, it led to a lasting legacy that we see today and continues to be a major influence due to its rich story, content, and music. This movie is known as Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. This film is a film that made history, that was part of one of the greatest trilogies ever known to man and is still watched all over the globe. It has made a lasting influence in so many ways that it is impossible to count all of them. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope is a film that is one of the greatest, if not the best film ever to be made in the history of man due to the fact that it shattered all expectations, for its rich story, and its lasting legacy.

A New Hope was the first film in the original Star Wars trilogy. The film was released in May of 1977 and from the opening weekend, it made millions of dollars at the box office. Although it was very successful, the creator and director George Lucas did not think it would be. However, the film ended up making 775 million dollars worldwide until it stopped showing in theaters. With an eleven-million dollar budget, the film made its money back about seventy-one times over. Unlike anything before, it was advanced in many ways. For starters, the film used an advanced camera called the Dykstraflex. This camera was able to be programmed by a computer to give starships the effect of motion without the object really moving. The Dykstraflex was literally created for A New Hope and has since continued to be improved upon and used in the later films. Audiences were thrilled and amazed at the visual effects created by such a camera. Because of the cameras abilities, Lucas created dogfighting that looked realistic and alive between the Tie Fighter and X-Wing.

Not only did A New Hope have groundbreaking visuals, but the sounds for the film were top quality as well. A New Hope introduced the concept of "sound design", and for a movie set in space with various scenes, it came to be very important. For the many different sounds in the film, the sound producers used real animals, and metal objects to create the iconic sounds we all know today. For Chewbacca’s roar, they used a mix of bears and seals for the rumble sound. And for the Tie Fighter’s screeching noise as it flies, an electronically elongated elephant sound was used. It is clear to see that A New Hope was very advanced for its time. No other science fiction movie had the type of technology used for their films, and this is another reason why A New Hope is one of the greatest films ever made. Nowadays, everyone knows Star Wars and can recognize its great characters, but with A New Hope, it started the popularity of Star Wars. By the end of the film, audiences were fans of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Darth Vader to name a few. Not only did people like the main characters, but also the incredible animals and landscapes George Lucas created. People fell in love with the Jawas, Wookiees, and landscapes and planets such as Tatooine, the Mos Eisley Cantina, and the Death Star. Many scenes have become iconic. An example of one is the scene with Skywalker, Kenobi, R2-D2, and C-3PO. Stormtroopers are on the look out for R2-D2 and C-3PO, but Kenobi uses a Jedi mind trick to safely get them through by the troopers. This scene alone has been mimicked in countless movies and television shows.

A New Hope paved a way for the Star Wars franchise that no one could have anticipated beforehand. By the time the sequel, The Empire Strikes Back, was released everyone knew what Star Wars was and the news of fans dressing up for the premiere as their favorite characters went worldwide. The sequel came out in 1980, just three years after A New Hope. But before it came out, theaters worldwide still ran the original film and attendance was consistent. A New Hope was so loved that audiences could not get enough of it, and when The Empire Strikes Back came out, it was another hit as well. Although it did not break A New Hope’s records, it is deemed one of the best sequels ever to be made. Star Wars has gone on to become a billion dollar franchise. But before the film was directed however, Lucas tried to go to multiple movie companies to find funding. The story was not yet fully developed but he had a rough draft. He was turned down by many companies, but when he pitched to 20th Century Fox, the head of the company, Alan Ladd Jr., said yes. Ladd Jr. said that he believed in Lucas more than the film because he saw talent in the man. Lucas was given the funding for the film and the rest was history.

Star Wars has been around for forty-one years. It is hard to believe that it has been around for that long, and it will continue to live on in so many ways. For starters, in 1999, and 2015, we saw revivals of the franchise emerge. Each and every trilogy is still widely enjoyed and talked about today, with the most recent trilogy to be concluded in late 2019. The new owner of Star Wars, Disney, says it plans to make more movies and new trilogies in the future. Spinoff movies are being made alongside the continuation of the story. The most recent being Solo: A Star Wars Story that was released in May.

Star Wars not only lives on in movies but everywhere else. In Disneyland, there are two rides based on iconic scenes from the franchise, one of the best being Star Tours, where you can go through the trench run from A New Hope. There's even a Star Wars land opening at Disneyland in the near future. The world will not get tired of Star Wars, as you can find television shows, animated series, comics, books, and so much more. If you go to the market, you will find Star Wars related cereal, stickers, cups, and even napkins. There is even a world of Star Wars video games. There is just too much to discuss. Nothing of what was just mentioned could have been possible without the first film. One single film started the Star Wars obsession, and that movie is A New Hope.

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope received seven Academy Awards and was one of the first films to be named culturally, historically, and aesthetically pleasing by the National Film Registry. It is clear to see how adored and loved A New Hope is. It captivates audiences by shattering expectations, with groundbreaking effects, sounds and visuals. It drew audience’s attentions with its rich story, great characters, and fantastic landscapes and vehicles. And lastly, the legacy it created has spawned life long Star Wars fans. A New Hope will go down in history as one of the best films ever made because of all its unique elements. It was beautifully crafted, and perfectly conceived, and perfectly executed. “In my experience, there is no such thing as luck.” - Obi-Wan Kenobi (Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, 1977).

#StarWars #GeorgeLucas #Dykstraflex #ANewHope #SoundDesign

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