Star Wars - Episode 4 - A New Hope

By:  Karl & Tonya from When It Was Cool (@wiwcool, karl@whenitwascool.com)

 Back in my day we didn't have hope.  We just called it Star Wars!

Back in my day we didn't have hope.  We just called it Star Wars!

We continue our reviews of the Star Wars movies in story order by taking a look at Star Wars - A New Hope or as we like to call it Star Wars - Back in My Day We Didn't Have Hope - New or Otherwise - We Just Had Star Wars.  If you haven't yet done so, please lose a few moments of your life that you will never get back by reading about the abomination of Episode 1 and the mild improvements of Episode 2 and Darth Vader goes bad Episode 3 and the direct lead in to this film Episode 3.9 (AKA: Rogue One). 

Again, I will not be doing a point by point plot analysis.  You've already seen these movies or you wouldn't be here.  So here we go - Star Wars - A New Hope.

THERE BE SPOILERS BELOW.  YE HAVE BEEN WARNED...

Star Wars - Episode 4 - A New Hope takes place literally minutes after Star Wars - Episode 3.9 - Rogue One ends.  At the end of Rogue One we see Darth Vader watching the plans for the Death Star escape via a Rebellion cruiser ship.  At the beginning of A New Hope we see the same Rebellion Cruiser under attack by an Imperial Destroyer and Darth Vader hot on their trail.

Help us Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're our only hope... or maybe there's a couple more it remains to be seen.  Maybe even three if you count Yoda.

The Good

  • Darth Vader.  This is the movie that introduced him to the world (in real time, not in story order) and made him one of the most unforgettable movie villains of all time.  The costume design, James Earl Jones' deep and menacing voice, and his force choke make Darth Vader 100% awesome. 
  • The Aliens.  Who can forget the first time they saw the legendary Mos Eisley Cantina scene? Star Wars has the best alien costume designs- hands down.
  • Special Effects.  This is a movie from the mid-1970s but you would never know it from the cutting edge special effects.  Most look just as good as modern era special effects (and even paved the way for them) and some even look... dare I say it? Better?
  • The Four Heroes.  I believe a lot of the success of the original Star Wars trilogy comes from the on screen chemistry between Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and yes I'll even give the Wookie a medal- Peter Mayhew.  Anytime all four of them are on screen the movie just works.
  • C3-PO & R2-D2.  Yes, I know, we are watching these movies in story order so we have already seen them in four movies at this point.  However, THIS is the movie that made the lovable comedic duo so iconic.  Poor C3-PO has had his mind wiped since Star Wars - Revenge of the Sith but we presume R2-D2 still knows everything making it sort of sick and twisted when Luke kisses Leia and R2 says not a word about it.  "She's beautiful!"- Luke Skywalker.  "Chirp"- R2-D2. Tonya, however, was annoyed by C3-PO and his constant chatter.  Turns out, C3-PO did have a lot more lines in this movie than we remembered.
 From Left to right: Wolfman Jack, Pro wrestler Boris ZhukoV, Steven Seagal, and Reese Witherspoon. 

From Left to right: Wolfman Jack, Pro wrestler Boris ZhukoV, Steven Seagal, and Reese Witherspoon. 

The Bad

  • The prequels screwed up more than they fixed. Watching this in story order instead of in the order they came out really spotlights just how much the prequels messed up in the original story.  Why doesn't Obi-Wan Kenobi know R2-D2 (yes, I'm not playing semantics about "I don't remember ever owning a droid" vs he never actually owned R2)?  There is no way it makes any sense that C3-PO was built by Darth Vader in The Phantom Menace. Why did Obi-Wan and Yoda send the SON OF DARTH VADER to live with the FAMILY OF DARTH VADER when they were supposed to be hiding him.  And so on.
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi.  I loved Old Ben Kenobi when I was a kid but this movie begs a few questions.  First, Obi-Wan seems... well... let's just say he hasn't aged very well.  He looks like a man in his sixties (Alec Guinness was 63 at the time of A New Hope) yet the character Obi-Wan Kenobi should be at least ten years younger.  Desert life is like that I suppose.  Still, it's another one of the problems created by the prequels- the ages seem off.  In the original Star Wars saga there is every indication that Darth Vader should also be about ten years older than he really is as Darth Vader is only 46 years old in storyline when he finally (SPOILER) dies in Episode 6.  Also, Obi-Wan was a pretty bad ass fighter in the prequels but has seems to have lost most of his Jedi fighting skills by this movie.  I suppose he can still convince you that these aren't the droids you're looking for and lob off the arm of Walrusman so- good enough I suppose.  Tonya, however, thought Obi-Wan was great and really like Alec Guinness. 
 Now that's a name I haven't heard in about ten years less amount of time than It appears.

Now that's a name I haven't heard in about ten years less amount of time than It appears.

The Ugly

  • Justice for Chewy.  Look, the movie is awesome.  No way am I going to say something awful about one of the most beloved movies of all time but - Why DIDN'T Chewbacca get a medal at the end? Hmm.
Star-Wars-New-Hope-Chewbacca-Medal.jpg