Skip to main content
Buy TET Life art on Skateboards and more. etourist Skateboards Store.

The Star Wars Saga: Episode IV, A New Hope *All Spoilers*

Continuing my series of posts, as one of my local TV stations shows every Star Wars movie in order, every Saturday, for the next six weeks leading up to the release of Star Wars, Episode VII, The Force Awakens, here is my response to and thoughts on Star Wars, Episode IV A New Hope.

I'm from a generation that have seen and remember the original theatrical release of Star Wars (before it was sub titled 'A New Hope'). The version I watched this week was a Special Edition release, remastered, with extra digital enhancements and scenes.

For the most part the extra digital enhancements are an improvement. There are a few misses but I'll get into that later. 

As a Star Wars fan I'm one of those who would like to own the original theatrical releases of the original trilogy just because, that's what I experienced first not because I think George Lucas' tinkering ruined the films. Plus it would be nice to have them for comparison with the enhanced versions. I sure hope Disney includes the original versions as an extra on any future home video releases.

At this point it has been a few days between watching the movie and writing this post so if my memory is a bit fuzzy that's why. I do recall that, as I was watching what is essentially the first Star Wars movie ever to come into existence despite the episode numbering, it occurred to me that this movie has slightly more adult leanings than the prequels.

By that I mean the body count is clearly one of the highest of the series with the destruction of Alderan, a massacre of a Jawa clan, the death of quite a few Storm troopers and Rebels on the Blockade runner as well as several Rebel pilots in the final battle and, of course, everyone on the Death Star. Most gruesome though, I feel, was showing the actual skeletons of Luke's Aunt and Uncle.

I'm not saying the other films don't have their gruesome 'adult' moments too but I do feel the rest of the series does play down some of the violence as George Lucas begins to realize kids are a big part of the films target audience, driving up the toy sales. In the prequels we see the destruction of robot armies more than actual living beings and don't really get to anything as near as gruesome looking as the death of Owen and Beru Lars until Anakin starts losing limbs in Episode III.

Of all the films, A New Hope, in my opinion has the strongest, most complete story. It doesn't contain too many scenes that are heavy with exposition and has none of the boring political game playing of the prequels. It has basically one scene explaining how the Empire is structured politically, the iconic scene where Darth Vader's belief in the force is challenged, and that's it. Everything else is about our heroes trying to outwit the Empire before their base is destroyed. Simple.

It's pretty much the space western movie that George Lucas envisioned. Within that it had an East meets West kind of flavor with the wild west mixing in with the more philosophical/religious ideas of various Asian countries. It also didn't mix the ideas in such an obvious way that it borders on relying upon racial stereotypes as much as the prequels do.

Another highlight is that all of the principle characters (and the actors cast in the roles) are very strong and clearly defined. So much so that people are looking forward to their return in Episode VII.

I must admit I wasn't a big fan of Luke or Obi-Wan, even if they had light sabers - which no one had ever heard of until this film. Han and Chewie had my full attention. I also really enjoyed Princess Leia's strength and total disdain for Han. Between the three of them they have many of the best lines and scenes in the film.

What I did take more notice of this time around is that Ben speaks Wookie, or at least understands Chewie almost as well as Han. Before Ben even meets Han he begins his negotiations by speaking to Chewie, telling Luke that 'Chewbacca is first mate on a ship that might suit their needs'. It stands out to me because you rarely see anyone other than Han speaking with Chewie in a way that suggests they actually understand what he is saying.

Another moment that stood out was that C3PO has no memory of having previously lived on Tatooine or having worked for Uncle Owen (as seen in Episode II). You can say he may have had his memory erased but I don't buy it. Not with standing, C3PO and R2D2 are some of the oldest, still functioning robots in the entire series- must be a bit of dementia setting in?

Maybe Owen has a touch of dementia by this point too as he doesn't seem to recognize a droid he previously owned and is repurchasing from the Jawas.

I could probably go on bouncing around this whole film mentioning things that I liked or didn't like so I'll finish with another highlight of Episode IV before listing a few other things worth mentioning.

The relationship between Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin. How good was it that Darth Vader appeared to be subservient to no one and there appeared to be mutual respect between him and Tarkin?

Apparently Darth Vader wasn't all that remains of the Jedi. Sure we know there is Obi Wan Kenobi but Tarkin didn't. Yet Tarkin seems completely unaware that the Emperor is a Jedi too? Hmmm... well before we knew there was an 'Emperor' and that he was a 'Dark Lord' there was Vader and Tarkin. Together they ruled the Empire and it was glorious to watch.

Other things worth mentioning...

  • The enhanced effect of the Death Star being destroyed is one of the highlights of the special edition version. The original explosion was tiny, off center and did not really feel worthy of the size the Death Star was meant to be.
     
  • The digital Dewbacks added to the Stormtrooper desert search scene could have been great but they looked hokey and obviously CGI. Largely because the Stormtroopers riding them lurched around like they'd never ridden a Dewback before. Most experienced horse riders move with the animal and don't flap around against them. I imagine it's the same for experienced Dewback riders.
     
  • I liked all the extra stuff, digitally added to Mos Eisley but it seemed like nearly every scene with new stuff had a comedic moment embeded into it that was more distracting than funny.
     
  • Although I applaud them for trying to incorporate the originally shot but unused scene of Jabba the Hutt confronting Han, it doesn't really add anything that advances the plot and Han's walk over Jabba's tail looks awful. Not even the addition of Boba Fett at the end of the scene saves it.
     
  • In this version of the film it's pretty ambiguous as to whether Han or Greedo shoots first. I've seen a version where it's clear Greedo shoots first and misses so badly from such a close range it makes Stormtroopers look like marksmen. In this version it looks like Han is setting up to shoot first, Greedo has the exact same idea and they shoot at about the same time. You can't really tell with all the smoke from the blaster fire... and I'm fine with that.
     
  • This film we get a nice explanation of what the force is from Ben. He makes it sound like anyone has the potential to be a Jedi - even those with a midichlorian deficiency. The Force is an energy field not a biological predisposition. At least it was until Episode I came into being. 


I think that's all I wanted to mention. The original film, in my opinion is still the best. Episode V is a very close second only because it isn't a complete story. Star Wars didn't really need a sequel but we're all glad that they decided to continue the story. That said, if you only ever see one Star Wars film. Episode IV is the one I would recommend.


Comments


Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET

Popular posts from this blog

Guest Post: MY SOOPER DOOPER NEW CONSERVATORY/ART STUDIO!

Jo's new Art Studio/Conservatory. Today's guest post is by Artist, Writer, and Mental Health Advocate, Jo B Creative who writes for her blog,  Creating My Oddessey . Y ou should see our (almost) brand new conservatory, half of which is my art studio. 'Lucky me!' I think to myself. Not every creative bod can boast that. It's HUGE! Like a giant greenhouse. We first moved to our pleasant cul-de-sac house - great for raising kids - when our son, who's on the cusp of thirty-one, was four. One of the main reasons that we wanted it was that, apart from its location on the fringes of a historic market town in rural Hampshire, UK, it had a sizable conservatory looking onto the back garden. It was brown wood framed and had a corrugated transparent roof sloping down from downstairs ceiling height. On the face of it, it doesn't sound that glamourous, but we loved the idea of a conservatory. Luxury! I even liked the red brick walls which it was built against -

Batman v Superman: Dawn of the Onesie #Sadbatman

Although we haven't seen it clearly for sure, film director Kevin Smith (who has seen a well lit, color photo of the suit), says Ben Affleck's Bat costume is pretty much identical to the Frank Miller, Dark Knight Returns suit. If that's true then Ben's world weary Batman will be going 'old school' and be wearing his underpants on the outside (as he should).

Course Review: YouTube for Bosses - Sunny Lenarduzzi. How to grow your YouTube Channel into a Business

YouTube for Bosses Free Mug...  or the most expensive mug  you'll ever buy? I've been subscribed to  Sunny Lenarduzzi's YouTube channel for a few years, learning a lot on how to grow a following on sites like YouTube and Instagram. If you have any interest in growing your own YouTube channel I'd highly recommend watching some of Sunny's videos on the subject.  Definitely explore her 2019 back catalogue for the most useful information. This year she's been on a bit of a 'being authentic' pivot that, personally, doesn't resonate all that much with me (but probably speaks volumes to anyone with similar experience). I'm not saying she shouldn't or isn't being authentic, it's just I didn't subscribe to hear stories about her life journey. To get back on track, Sunny runs a successful online business with her flagship course, YouTube for Bosses , a stand alone paid course that does act as something of a gateway to further paid (but opt

One Week on Light n' Easy #lightneasy

My partner, Enigma, and I recently decided to try Light n' Easy to replace all our daily meals in an effort to eat healthier (and not have to think at all about cooking evening meals). Enigma is about to embark on her third week of their full menu but I caved after one and opted just to get the dinners.

Book Review: Time Rich by Steve Glaveski

I remember listening to a podcast interview with Steve Glaveski where he talked about 'being in flow' and how artists and other creative people struggled with time management because they needed to be in the 'flow state' to do their most creative work. The 'flow state' is basically being on such a roll with whatever you're doing you don't want to stop just because your diary says you've scheduled something else for the next 30 minutes. I don't remember too much from the podcast but it really resonated with me so much that I immediately ordered a copy of Steve's second book, Time Rich - Do Your Best Work, Live Your Best Life  that he was promoting at the time. To cut straight to the bottom line, probably one of the most disappointing books I've read in quite a while. Which is not to say the content is bad, it's just the title and blurb information, in my opinion, completely misrepresents what the book is about. There is a strong sugges

Movie Review: Long Story Short (2021) *Very minor spoilers*

Written and directed by Australian actor, Josh Lawson, Long Story Short is a fun rom-com about putting things off until the 'right' time and maybe how that isn't a good strategy for life. Rafe Spall plays Teddy, a guy who has a reputation for putting things off, and waiting too long to act on important decisions like setting a wedding date to his fiance, Leanne (Zahra Newman). It's not that he's lazy or unmotivated, it's just that he likes to wait for the perfect time to act. One day while visiting his father's grave he meets a strange woman (Noni Hazlehurst) who promises to give him a gift on his wedding day. Teddy doesn't think too much of it but then, on his wedding day, he jumps forward a year in time, where Leanne is celebrating their one year wedding anniversary. Teddy barely has time to comprehend his predicament before he flashes forward to their two year anniversary. Long Story Short inevitably will be compared to the Bill Murray movie, Ground

The Braille Skateboarding App - How it Changed My Mind on Switch Skating

My Profile on the Braille Skateboarding App. Braille Skateboarding launched it's new Skateboarding App worldwide on November 23rd, 2020. About a month prior to that they did a 'soft launch' via email for anyone living in Australia. I'm guessing this was to give the app a final test in the real world before launching it proper. Rather than explain what it is, watch Aaron Kyro, founder of Braille Skateboarding, run you through the app in the launch video below.  In a nutshell the app is virtually everything Braille has to offer accessed right from your phone, from tutorials to the Braille Army Community. The app is free but you can unlock more features if you upgrade to a paid membership. Braille App Trick List. One of the apps unique free features is keeping track of the tricks you've learned and giving you an overall score so you have some way to measure your progression. There is an extensive list of tricks, covering all types of skateboarding, categorized by diff