Skip to main content

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

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET

Popular posts from this blog

Why 'We Believe: The Best Men Can Be | Gillette (Short Film)' Misses the Mark

If you're one of the few people who haven't at least heard about Gillette's short film, We Believe: The Best Men Can Be then take a moment to watch their video below. It seems like it is an earnest attempt to address undesirable male behaviour and attitudes that have become branded with the unhelpful term 'Toxic Masculinity' but for me, and a lot of people, it just missed the mark.

At this point, the real success of the film, despite the Youtube dislike ratio of approximately 2:1 is the increased brand awareness for Gillette - and I guess the 1 million a year for the next three years they will be donating to programs supporting men of positive action (but they could have done that anyway with no fanfare).



I get what Gillette were going for here by showing examples of past/current behaviour/attitudes in communities, business, and media that has brought about terms like 'toxic masculinity' and the #metoo movement. It's an attempt at reflection on whether…

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

Today's guest post is by Artist, Writer, and Mental Health Advocate, Jo B Creative who writes for her blog, Creating My Oddessey.

You 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 - the original exterior of the house - and the light …

My First Time on a P&O Cruise Ship - Mini Cruise Almost to Kangaroo Island

Outwardly I wasn't concerned about my first time on a P&O Cruise ship but inwardly I guess my subconscious anxiety was working overtime. I'll spare you the details but just know my digestive system was pretty empty by the time my partner, Kathy, and I left the house.

That said, once we were on the boat for our three day cruise from Adelaide, South Australia, with a stop at Kangaroo Island (KI), and back to Adelaide again, everything went pretty well, with nothing to be too concerned about. 
The ship didn't leave until four in the afternoon. However we were able to board in time to not only have lunch on the boat but also spend a couple of hours exploring.
Our ship was called the Pacific Eden and is pretty much what you might imagine a cruise ship to be from the outside. Maybe bigger or smaller than you think depending upon whether you've seen a cruise ship before. This particular ship will be retired from March 2019, having been sold to another cruise ship company…

Review: Titans, Season One, Netflix/WBTV Original Series *Minor Spoilers*

When I saw the first trailers for the Netflix/WBTV original series Titans my expectations were set extremely low. Granted my point of reference was the recent Teen Titans Go animated series (and movie), which I've seen a few episodes, and don't like at all. To be fair though, that show is definitely not targeted at me.

Anyhow the Titan trailer didn't do enough to hook me in and Robin's 'F*ck Batman' quote toward the end had my eyes rolling with 'here we go again with a whiney, entitled Robin like the Chris O'donnell version in the 1990's movies.

However, from the very first episode I was pleasantly surprised with the story and ideas presented, and was hooked, to the point of binge watching several episodes in a row if I had time.

We learn Dick Grayson is trying to retire from being Robin and has moved to Detroit, where he's working as a detective for the Detroit PD.

Full disclosure, I've been wanting to see a new take on a live action Robin…

Movie Review: Avengers: Infinity War (2018) *Spoiler Free*

Ten years in the making and Marvel finally releases part one of the Avengers versus Thanos, A.K.A. Avengers: Infinity War.

After seeing all 18 films in the MCU prior to this, and liking most of them, I was pretty confident this movie would not disappoint.

Other than a few minor issues - that are all my personal taste and in no way reflect on the quality of the film - it really delivers. Thanos is indeed the big, bad villain of the MCU that we've been antcipating.

Creating a Mobile Independent Artist Business - Part 10: Opportunities to make money (Part A)

In my last post I looked at What to Create and Finding Your Market. This post is something of a natural follow on from finding your market as many of these money making opportunities include their own market places that you can research to see what kinds of themes and subjects sell best.

It's worth doing this research to find out if the art you're already creating is a good fit for that market place - which is ideal - or if you may have to consider expanding your interests to cover popular themes in order sell in a particular market.

getpaidtodraw.com - Your Questions Answered.

Is it a scam? Is the sales message too good to be true? Can you really sit back, relax and get paid thousands of dollars in residual payments?

If you've discovered the site getpaidtodraw.com and have been looking for someone who has bought this product before taking that leap then this review will peel back the glossy sales message and give you the answers. Prior to buying this product I came across much distrust and misinformation about getpaidtodraw.com by people who hadn't purchased it. There was a real need for information so I decided to take the leap and make the purchase specifically so I could write this informed review. Note that I am not, in any way, a getpaidtodraw.com affiliate.

For this review I will be focusing on the getpaidtodraw system which includes; the ebook, instructional videos and database along with access to the systems author Jules Camber (who replies to emails as 'Jamie, President of Champ Entertainment, Inc and Beats365, LLC'). I'll touch …