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Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope DVD

The first film made in the "Star Wars" saga and was released in May of 1977.

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Restoring hope

  • Sep 11, 2008
  • by
Rating:
+5
I was born in April of 1972. My earliest memory is of the Bicentennial celebrations. I seem to remember watching people playing around with fireworks at our neighbor's house. But I'm not 100% sure these memories are accurate.

The first memory I know for sure is accurate is seeing "Star Wars" in 1977. This was back when it was just "Star Wars". Not "Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope". No, it was just a simple, single film.

But what a film it was! I am pretty sure I'd seen movies in theatres before this one, but I don't remember doing so. The first movie I remember seeing after this one is "Star Trek: The Motion Picture". When I got a little older, I remember being very happy every time I went to visit my Aunt Judy because she had HBO, and there was a decent chance they'd be showing Star Wars, so I'd get to see it again. When Christmas and birthdays rolled around, one of the things I'd always ask for was "Star Wars" action figures. My mom always made me use a magic marker to color their feet black so they wouldn't get mixed up with any owned by any of the neighbor kids.

Through the 1980's a lot of my life centered around the "Star Wars" films. I remember seeing "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi" when they were first in theatres. Hell, I've even seen the abortion best known to the world as The Star Wars Holiday Special!

I provide this rather lengthy digression because I want to make it clear that this movie has had a huge impact on my life, and that's something reasonably common to my generation. We're called "Generation X", but in many ways we're really the "Star Wars" Generation. The earliest members of the generation would've been only twelve or thirteen when the first movie came out. The last ones were born when "Return of the Jedi" was still fresh.

With Star Wars George Lucas managed to take several diverse elements (mythology, Japanese cinema, westerns, etc), and combine them into a film that was truly universal in nature. You can take the movie to just about anywhere in the world and people will recognize elements familiar to them, even if they've never seen the movie before.

Even now, thirty-one years after the movie first premired, it's casting a shadow over the world of film. Along with such movies as "The Birth of a Nation" and "Citizen Kane", it completely recreated the way movies are made. Certainly it's one of the most influential films ever made. It's also far more accessible than either of those other two great movies.

Of course no real reflection on this movie could go by without taking notice of the amazing score by John Williams. Even now, I bet you can remember the sound of the music playing as Luke looked out at the twin suns setting, or the music playing as everyone but Chewbacca got medals, and of course you'll remember the amazing theme to the film's opening titles. The film's score gave a gravitas to science fiction music that had been previously reached only by "2001 - A Space Odyssey" (a film not nearly as good and very overrated), and even that movie's score was made impressive by the fact that it was lifted from the classical masters.

Of course back in 1997, many fans screamed, "Murther! Murther most foul!" when George Lucas released the special edition versions of the movies with enhanced special effects and the like. Me, I like the special edition versions of all three movies, especially the first. They don't change the story any, they are prettier to look at, and it was nice to see the movies in the theatres again.

The film is not without flaws. The dialogue is a little clunky and wooden (to those bitching about the prequels being shallow on the dialogue, I suggest you go back and listen to the first three films again). The characters are pretty one-dimensional for the most part.

But despite those flaws, the movie is spectacular, and even now has an impact that cannot be underestimated. I remember a few years ago, after it had first come out on DVD, I had a couple friends over for Christmas. We were talking, playing video games and just generally goofing around. While we were eating, I popped on the movie, and even though we'd all seen it a half a gazillion times, we were still enthralled and gave it our almost undivided attention to a film that came out in 1977. Now that's praise!

This isn't the best film in the sextology. That honor goes to The Empire Strikes Back. But it is the most important film, and one of the best movies ever made.

With this DVD you get the original film and you get the special edition version that was created for the original DVD release back in 2004. Which is better? Eh, honestly I prefer the special edition version, but that's just me. Either way, it's a wonderful buy.

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More Star Wars: Episode IV - A New ... reviews
review by . May 02, 2011
Well, ladies and gentlemen, I have gotten past the prequels and started into the original trilogy, which whoops the ass of every single prequel (no matter how much I loved Revenge of the Sith). Anyway, moving on. A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, a man named George Lucas (amongst a team of many other people) created a world full of unique creatures and memorable characters that will never be forgot by the science fiction community and the film community in general. That world was the world …
review by . November 09, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Normally when I review a film or book, I try to include a short summary about what the film is about. However, for STAR WARS I'm not going to do that. STAR WARS (and even though it is often marketed as A NEW HOPE, the film is called STAR WARS) is my favorite movie of all time. I saw the movie for the first time during one of the times it was initially re-released in the late 1970s. We were going to see one of the LOVE BUG pictures that were out at the time, but that was sold out so my family …
review by . October 14, 2010
Normally when I review a film or book, I try to include a short summary about what the film is about. However, for STAR WARS I'm not going to do that. STAR WARS (and even though it is often marketed as A NEW HOPE, the film is called STAR WARS) is my favorite movie of all time. I saw the movie for the first time during one of the times it was initially re-released in the late 1970s. We were going to see one of the LOVE BUG pictures that were out at the time, but that was sold out so my family …
review by . March 09, 2010
You have to put yourself in my shoes.  It is the summer of 1977.  I am just about to turn 14.  The best science fiction I  have seen is Star Trek.  The Disney abomination "The Black Hole" is about to go into theaters and will be described as "revolutionary".  So just imagine how startling this movie was back then.      Here is the setting. I am on an exchange trip to Idaho working on a Sunflower farm for two weeks.  Every …
Quick Tip by . October 19, 2010
Memories of college days... I couldn't wait to share these movies with my kids, though they thought the special effects were dated. Hey, there's a story too, and that never gets old.
Quick Tip by . August 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
The remastered scene additions can sometimes be a bit much...
Quick Tip by . July 04, 2010
posted in MovieSucktastic
It's hard to believe the merchandising juggernaut that is the Star Wars franchise started with this masterpiece. Continue to harang George Lucas to put out genuine 1977 versions of the film and not the kid friendly and obnoxious with it's additions Special Editions.
review by . September 26, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Darth Vader
I love Star Wars.  Yeah, hardly an orginal statement but really I do.  The original movie, after seeing endless merchandising, satirizations and parodies, in jokes, Seth McFarlane and Kevin Smith-I can still turn on this movie and from it's opening scene have all that pollution go away and remember that this movie was and still is something special.      The classic battle of good and evil, a young man having his place in the galaxy, colorful rouges, beautiful princesses, …
review by . January 18, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I've never been quite sure why so many people are complaining about the revisions to the original version of A New Hope. It's a great movie, but it came out in an era when people didn't have home video players (much less DVDs). Lucas cleaned up the movies, made the ships more realistic, and generally most of the improvements make the film look better. I agree that I wish Lucas didn't mess with the Greedo scene - I still believe Han shot first. However, that's relatively minor. Don't let that ruin …
review by . July 06, 2009
In 1976 a young director named George Lucas had a vision for a movie.  A movie no one thought would get off the ground at all.  When FOX gave Lucas the greenlight the studio thought it could very well be their swansong.  And how could they not?  The budget, for the time, was pretty big (the number itself might seem laughable now as even some independent films are made for more).  Not only that, but there were many problems.  There was a big desert storm the first day …
About the reviewer
C R Swanson ()
Ranked #61
   I'm an aspiring writer and reviewer. I run a blog, I'm working on a novel and spend my free time reading and playing video games. I also spend waaaaay too much time and money on movies. … more
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The Star Wars logo, as seen in all films

Star Wars is an epic space opera franchise conceived by George Lucas. The first film in the franchise was originally released on May 25, 1977, by 20th Century Fox, and became a worldwide pop culture phenomenon, spawning two immediate sequels, released at three-year intervals. Sixteen years after the release of the trilogy's final film, the first in a new prequel trilogy of films was released, again released at three-year intervals, with the final film released on May 19, 2005.

As of 2008, the overall box office revenue generated by the six Star Wars films has totalled approximately $4.3 billion, making it the third-highest-grossing film series,[1] behind only the James Bond and Harry Potter films.

The Star Wars film series has spawned other media including books, television series, video games, and comic books. These supplements to the film trilogies comprise the Star Wars Expanded Universe, and have resulted in significant development of the series' fictional universe. These media kept the franchise going in the interim between the film trilogies. In 2008, Star Wars: The Clone Wars was released to theaters as the first ever worldwide theatrical Star Wars film outside of the main trilogies. It was the franchise's first animated film, and was intended as an introduction to the Expanded Universe series of the same name, a 3D CGI animated series based on a previous 2D animated series of a similar name.

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