'Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope' Review By John M

A Flawed Classic
  • OVERALL
    3.5
    GREAT
  • Story
  • Acting
  • Directing
  • Visuals
Over the past week and a half I have re-watched the two Star Wars trilogy's, and decided to review the films because I have taken issue with the blind defense of the original films and hate for the prequels. There's the childhood version and the adult version of Star Wars IV: A New Hope. I think many people blindly hold to the vision of the film they had as a child. As a child growing up in the 1980's I loved the film and films. I would usually watch them once a week playing with the action figures pretending to be the characters with my cousin and friends. I loved my Boba Fett action figure I had. As you can tell he was my favorite character in the first Star Wars series followed by Han Solo and Chewbacca. Sadly I lost those toys along with the my original Transformer toys like Megatron, Jazz, Grimlock, Star Scream and my others that were more likely were thrown out by my mother. Damn I wish I still had them they had good memories and I could sell them for a lot of money. Anyway back to A New Hope. As a child I loved the film never noticing the flaws or problems, and there are quite a few. I think people need to be realistic and wake up from the childhood haze of the old Star War Series

The plot everyone should know by now. It follows a young Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill who lives with his aunt and uncle on a farm on the planet Tatooine. He lives a boring live wishing to leave the farm for adventure. Things change when his aunt and uncle buy C-3PO and R2-D2 from Jawa traders. R2-D2 shows Luke a message from Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) asking for help from Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness). The adventure takes off from there as all of you surely know. The story was written by George Lucas and is generally good. There are a few problems like the main character in Luke Skywalker. As a kid I didn't really pay attention to how unlikeable and annoying the character was, but as an adult you can see it. Then there is the Death Star. I don't understand why the Empire was building it. Talk about a waste of money. They could have just used the money to build enough star ships to overwhelm the resistance. Then there is the flaw in the design. Really they left a little hole in the ship that could take down the entire death star. Finally Darth Vader, Grand Moff Tarkin (Peter Cushing) and the other commanders didn't bother putting more starships around The Death Star for defense.

Even with the flaws I had with the story the acting was really good. The great actors Peter Cushing and Alec Guinness did an excellent job, and so did the now legendary Harrison Ford (Han Solo). He imbued his great charisma and good acting into the best character of the original Star Wars saga. James Earl Jones was magnificent as Vader's voice. Carrie Fisher did a decent job, but like Luke, Leia wasn't a very likeable character. Then there is Mark Hamill who I think did his best as Luke in the first A New Hope. Trying to show his naivety and slowing to come terms with his fate. Still either the way he acted or the way Lucas wrote the character Luke Skywalker comes out as unlikeable and annoying. I also much mention Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) who brilliantly brought life the Wookiee.

What was and is astounding are the special effects. George Lucas did manage to put in amazing special effects for the time with a tiny budget, and more importantly what Lucas did with little help from Fox, which was to his advantage as he kept many of the rights including merchandizing ones. Lucas nearly perfectly blended genres and elements from movies and films like The Hidden Fortress, Flash Gordon, The Guns of Navarone to name a few. It is remarkable what George Lucas achieved with A New Hope. He wrote the story for the film and his drive to see it created and brought to live in theaters is a testament to him. I'm sure many filmmakers would have given up after being turned down by many movie studios and the limited budget and time he had to work on the film, but he persevered. In doing so he created a universe that through him has brought on a life of its own through the sequels, pop culture references, spinoffs in the form of books and television shows and he inspired would inspire filmmakers, actors, and movie goers for generations to come. I will talk more about Lucas later in my reviews for the other five films.

As a child I think I would have given Star Wars IV: A New Hope 5 stars. Does it live up to my childhood memories? No it doesn't. It has plot holes in the story and flaws with the characters. That being said A New Hope is a great starting point with for a fun adventure with a unique story, interesting characters and great action special effects. I know it's hard to ruin your childhood memories, but I think people need to stop blindly defending the original films over the prequels. I know it's hard to see the flaws in things you loved as a child. It was hard for me. As a kid I loved the old GI. JOE cartoon, but as an adult you see the many flaws in the story, characters and the lack of bloodshed and death in a cartoon about solders who are trying to kill each other. It's the same for a film like Independence Day as a young teenager I loved the film I think I would have given it 4.5 out of 5 stars, but as an adult I saw the flaws in the film and I now have only given it 3 stars. Overall Star Wars is my 5th favorite out of the six Star Wars films and a rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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Comments (22)

  1. the MovieGhost

    @john-m Oh no, I've seen and own all six movies. I only meant that I haven't watched the Star Wars movies in quite some time.

    2 years agoby @the-movieghostFlag

  2. The Cryptkeeper: Resurrected

    @john-m Well, my mom does not really touch my stuff thankfully! So it's still all in my closet, at my mom's. All the guns are mismatched, and there are a few GI Joe figures too. They're probably worthless, as far as money goes. But they still have nostalgia for me. I had pretty much everything Star Wars, dude! I think you'd appreciate my action figure collection.

    2 years agoby @cryptFlag

  3. John M

    @redcameraman: Glad you liked my review. I whole heartily agree the prequel deserve more love then they are getting.

    2 years agoby @john-mFlag

  4. John M

    @the-movieghost: Thanks glad you enjoyed my review. Are you saying you haven't seen episodes I, II or III?

    2 years agoby @john-mFlag

  5. John M

    @mcleve02: All right. Well I should have my review for The Empire Strikes Back up in a few minutes.

    2 years agoby @john-mFlag

  6. John M

    @crypt: Thanks glad you liked it. How dis you manage to keep your toys? Damn your lucky.

    2 years agoby @john-mFlag

  7. T. King (Red Camera Man)

    @john-m: Good review. These are great films (all 6 of them), but I really think the prequel trilogy deserves credit too. Like what @crypt said, I grew up with the prequel trilogy; I wasn't born during the time when the original trilogy came out, so I watched the prequels first (starting with 1 & 2 way before 3 came out in theaters), and then my mom showed me her old VHS tapes of the original trilogy afterwards. I love "Star Wars," and I have all 6 of them on DVD. :-)

    2 years agoby @redcameramanFlag

  8. the MovieGhost

    @john-m Nicely done, as always Hunts. I haven't watched these movies in quite some time. I remember for a week or so, all I watched were the OT movies. But that was only because I was playing Empire At War xD

    2 years agoby @the-movieghostFlag

  9. THE JOKER

    @john-m No man! I will definitely read your reviews! I much prefer the honest reviews over the fanboy ones! Which is why I do enjoy your's very much!

    2 years agoby @mcleve02Flag

  10. The Cryptkeeper: Resurrected

    @john-m It has been a while since, I myself, have viewed these movies. For me, not growing up in the 80's, the prequel set is "the trilogy" for me. I grew up watching those once a week, like you, and with all the action figures I still have tucked away in my closet.

    Fantastic review, I should re-view this series as well. But I definitely agree, from what I can remember.

    2 years agoby @cryptFlag

  11. skywise

    @john-m My favorite SW comic was the Dark Empire story. Loved the idea of Luke turning going over (to an extent) and returning from the Dark Side. And that art. Beautiful.

    Man when you start saying things like The prequels were better and you will show it; well then I am very intruiged. Bring it on.

    2 years agoby @skywiseFlag

  12. John M

    @mcleve02: Then you better not read the rest of my reviews outside of Empire Strikes Back, because I'm not going to be kind to Return of the Jedi and I show how much better written and acted the prequels are.

    If you haven't I highly recommend you read the novels. Especially the pre-films. I've found that the most interesting in the games, novels and comics especially learning about the Sith characters.

    2 years agoby @john-mFlag

  13. THE JOKER

    But the comics are pretty great. Dark Horse does a lovely job with them for sure!

    2 years agoby @mcleve02Flag

  14. THE JOKER

    @john-m THE PREQUELS WERE BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL!!! :O

    haha I must respectfully disagree! But I respect your views on all that you write! I think they had the potential to be better, but the acting just killed them for me... Hayden dear lord... Mannequin Skywalker all the way!!! XD

    2 years agoby @mcleve02Flag

  15. John M

    @skywise: You're right ILM saved the film along with Han, Chewbacca and Vader. What the film has going for and I think will always be remember for is the rich and unique universe Lucas and the film created along it's influence on pop culture and Hollywood and most likely launching Harrison Ford's path to stardom.

    2 years agoby @john-mFlag

  16. John M

    @mcleve02: Even with the rating I gave A New Hope it's still a remarkable film for how it was made, and the influence it's had the film and tv world, and especially pop culture.

    I'm a Star Wars fan who's read the comics which are really good. I've read a few of the novels and played Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic games. I consider myself a Star Wars nerd. I think the fans your talking about are the ones that go to all the conventions to see the stars and dress up like their favorite characters. That's something I'll never do.

    I think they'll be more upset at my review for Return of the Jedi then anything else. Though I don't think many will be happy because overall the prequels were better then the original trilogy.

    2 years agoby @john-mFlag

  17. THE JOKER

    @john-m Nice review again! Although the nerds may have your head on a platter for the score! But Very valid points and scoring in my opinion! If this is 3.5 I'm curious to see you review on the Clone Wars!

    2 years agoby @mcleve02Flag

  18. skywise

    Oh ya, about throwing out those old toys. If only I had known. I didn't actualy throw mine out..I donated them so they went to a good cause at least.

    You know what I did manage to keep though? My comicbook collection and I have recently gone through and "realisitcly" priced them. I probably have 3,000 dollers worth of comic books. Possably more. I tended to skew low on the charts but I believe that most are mint or near mint condition.

    2 years agoby @skywiseFlag

  19. skywise

    @john-m Nostalgia is like a drug. It blinds us from seeing what is right in front of us. This filmf is flawed in a serious way but the charm and character and the ground breaking FX patch the holes on what could have been a sinking ship.

    Now when I watch this movie I find those silly issues the most endearing.

    this droid has a bad motivator!

    2 years agoby @skywiseFlag

  20. John M

    @jasdjqs: Thanks glad you liked it. It sucks especially now with Ebay and Amazon. You first have sentimental connection to the toys and then there is the monetary. Like a original Megatron toy. I've seen it sell for $4000. Mine wouldn't be in mint condition, but I kept my toys in pretty good condition and I'm sure I could have sold it if I had to for a few hundred. Though I would keep Grimlock and Jazz as they were two of my favorite characters.

    It also happened to my mother when she was a child. She had all this Beatles memorabilia that I'm sure is worth thousands of dollars now, but my grandmother through out.

    2 years agoby @john-mFlag

  21. jasdjqs

    We look past the flaws when we are young. But theses movies are a great escape from our regular lives. The more we dissect a movie on the flaws the more you wont be in touch with any movie. unless it is painfully obvious we look pass the flaws and enjoy a true classic. Good review i love the "mom throw" out thing, cause i am in the same boat, my mom throw away allot of my memories !!!

    2 years agoby @jasdjqsFlag