Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (Star Wars #4)

There it is. A New Hope. The Star Wars I grew up on.

Man that’s a great opening. The scale of the Star Destroyer, dumping us in on the ‘everyman’ droids, and that Vadar scene. Spectacular.

It’s kind of strange both watching this after re-watching the prequels and after so long. Strange after the prequels because, having been filmed decades later, everything seems somewhat more low tech than it should be, given what wonders we saw only decades before at the height of the Republic–even Obi-Wan got old hard. It could easily be explained away as most of the movie taking place far away on the outer rim or out in space in a smuggler’s ship or in the underfunded underdogs of the rebellion, but it still feels a bit weird.

Overall, the story is fairly straight forward. The galaxy is under a reign of terror, there’s a rebellion fighting back ‘for the people’ (more on that in a bit), and a farm boy from the middle of nowhere is about to find himself way in over his head. I like the idea of Luke as a big hero–but not a chosen one, as Anakin was supposed to have been, even if they did subvert that rather well.

There’s quite a lot of good action, absolutely spectacular

There’s a reason that Star Wars defined science fiction in a large way for many years–and arguably still does.

One random point:

The Rebels are Terrorists

Okay. Vadar is certainly a baddie and the Storm Troopers are obviously supposed to be bad guys, but we really don’t get that much sense for how the actual average person, or even the larger society on a whole in the galaxy is going under Imperial Control. Is it really that bad? Are they really actually the bad guys?

If you manage to turn it all around, the Rebels are essentially domestic terrorists trying to overthrow the current regime. And in blowing up the Death Star, just how many innocent contractors and support personnel did they kill off? Was it really a matter of the ends justifying the means? (Given that the Death Star had already completely wiped out one planet, just as a show of force). Are they actually the bad guys?

Yeah. It’s complicated. The Rebels are supposed to be the good guys, the Empire the baddies, and it’s supposed to be all black and white. That’s what Star Wars does. But I really wish for something a bit more. I think that’s one reason I like Rogue One so much. I had thought about watching that chronologically (before A New Hope), but decided to go with the core 9 first. We’ll get to it eventually.

Rankings

A solid movie, I still think far better than any of the prequels. It’s a bit slower and older than many of the Marvel movies I’ve watched this year, but getting a chance to rewatch all 9 (now; 11 really with Solo and Rebel One) is worth doing!