Thoughts & Observations: Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)

It is time. Time to continue at the beginning. Are you ready?

Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope 

Alternate titles: None needed from me. It already has plenty of those.

  • Spike has returned to watch with me. So this leads me to believe he’s a Star Wars purist.
  • Feels somewhat wrong to put new logos on an classic movie. Oh there’s the old 20th Century logo. You halfway redeemed yourself. And now the modern Lucasfilm one. I’m so confused.
  • Most of my Star Wars references have originally come from Spaceballs. There. I said it.
  • “There’ll be no escape for the Princess this time.” Hey, cheer up C3PO, you Negative Nelly.
  • C3PO frets about being sent to the spice mines or being smashed. Cool as a cucumber, R2 just rolls away.
  • The Stormtroopers are kind enough to set their lasers to stun for Leia. Leia likely set hers to KILL STORMTROOPER. She don’t take no prisoners. Mostly because she’s going to be one.
  • Darth Vader’s breathing apparatus is not timed to work around the dulcet tones of James Earl Jones. He’s breathing heavily and talking at the same time. Which, I guess if you figure he’s half droid at this point anyway, isn’t a major concern. So why did I have to mention it…
  • R2D2 throws constant shade at C3PO. I love it. C3PO needs to be taken down a notch sometimes.
  • Ah so the weird transition wipes started here. Works in the old movies, not so much in the new ones (prequels).
  • C3PO is rapidly becoming my least favorite character. When he insists on walking a particular way on Tatooine, and inevitably goes the wrong way, he loudly complains that R2 tricked him to go that way. Dude. No one can hear you complain. Save it for later.
  • Double-transition wipe! I get it Lucas. It’s super modern to do transition wipes!
  • R2 is attacked by the Oompa Loompas (Jawas). I’ve heard it said before, but were these guys really waiting around for droids to go through that particular canyon…in the desert? Not the best business model.
  • R2 freaks out as he sees droids that could be his great ancestors. “Am I in heaven?” he bleeps, “Or the bad place?”
  • All these alien creatures were added in the modern movies era and seem out of place. So…what did these scenes originally look like without them?
  • Aunt Beru calls out: “Luke! Luke! Let’s make sure everyone knows you’re the main character, not that totally capable Princess facing down Lord Vader. Cue your theme song, will you?”

  • R2 definitely sabotaged another R2 unit. You conniving little genius. R2 is rapidly becoming my favorite character.
  • What kind of harvest could Luke’s family be getting in the middle of the desert? They have no fields. Do they harvest dust?
  • Aunt and Uncle have a heart-to-heart about their problem-nephew. “Luke’s not much of a farmer.” “He’s got too much of his father in him.” “That’s what I’m afraid of.” FORESHADOWING.
  • Spike is now so bored with Luke that he’s growling at nothing out the window.
  • Luke’s ambivalent about the Sand People. First it’s all, “It’s too dangerous out there with the Sand People around.” Then he’s all, “There’s Sand People? Let’s go have a look!”
  • Obi-Wan: “Only Imperial Stormtroopers are so precise.” … So….only when not trying to kill main characters, right?
  • The added CG is very distracting in wide shots especially. Everything leading up to the cantina scene is so heavily altered and CG’d.
  • Bartender is racist against droids. Jerk.
  • Limb chopping is business as usual in this bar and in these movies. The “wanted criminals” who make a point of informing Luke they don’t like him get a Kenobi to the arm.
  • Obi-Wan’s one weakness: haggling. Han Solo: “I’ll take you for 10,000.” Obi-Wan: “How about 17,000?” He didn’t even try his Jedi Mind Trick!
  • I want to make fun of Obi-Wan’s “I know a few maneuvers” as his ship lists lazily to the left…but Family Guy beat me to it.
  • Vader feels Obi-Wan’s presence aboard his ship. The bromance is strong with this one.
  • Luke and Han take turns being the whiny one.
  • When they masquerade as Stormtroopers, Luke says, “I can’t see a thing in this helmet!” Which explains a lot…
  • I absolutely LOVE Han’s faux pas as he tries to pretend that everything is fine after their sneak attack. He asks the guy on the other line, “How are you?”
  • I’m half convinced that C3PO is dirty in all these scenes so that the camera can obtain close-ups on him without seeing reflections of film equipment.
  • When Leia is rescued, she obviously gets nominated as the brains of the operation.
  • Stormtrooper 1: “Do you know what’s going on?” “Maybe it’s another drill.” …. Can you imagine the bad guys staging safety drills?
  • Stormtrooper: “What was that?….Must be nothing.” NPC’s in videogames must have been modeled after these guys.
  • Wilhelm Scream! It happens when Luke and Leia are trapped and shoot Stormtroopers off a ledge above them. Fantastic.
  • Did Obi just get himself killed on purpose? What was with that weird little smile to Luke? Is this his sick way of giving the kid motivation? Why must you follow the Hero’s Journey so closely?
  • C3PO: “Help. I think I’m melting. This is all your fault.” R2D2 beeping: “Bitch please.”
  • We expect this random new guy to lead a battalion of Rebel fighters but he pronounces”Leia” as “Leeuh.” We’re doomed.
  • Luke to Han: “We could use a good pilot like you.” Yeah, you’re right. They’d never expect him to list lazily to the left.
  • Random friend of Luke: “They’ll never stop us!” Yeah that guy is so dead now that he said that.  Later… “I’m hit!” I told you. I freaking told you.
  • “Shields to the front!” Which means the bad guys will get you from behind. Shoot. In the rear. I’m done.
  • Vader, in his pimpmobile, chasing Luke: “The Force is strong with this one.” He hasn’t even used it in the battle yet!
  • Han Solo cowboys his way into the scene.
  • 3 Rebel fighters left…where the heck were they when Luke’s buddy was blasted to bits?!
  • C3PO would gladly donate his circuits to help R2. Where was that loyalty before?
  • Finally, the obligatory awards ceremony to close the film. Leia hands out medals that won’t go with any of their ensembles. The other 2 fighters were lame so they don’t get awards. Stay in school, kids!

I was curious to see how things had changed between the original 1977 film and the modern version I watched. And I was mind boggled. There’s not even one modernized version. There’s at least two (1997 and 2004 AND a slightly different Blu-Ray version). I urge you to take two minutes to Google: Star Wars IV original vs remastered.

For fun, a video series by YouTuber HelloGreedo details the differences between the original Star Wars and the re-made, CG-added version of Star Wars IV: A New Hope. True to form, I started with Part 4 of 7.

This article is another great resource to see the before-and-afters of many scenes.

Also, update after some research: Luke’s uncle is a moisture farmer!? So why does his crop have “seasons?”

I also now understand Han Shot First. This …this is interesting. I may even get into the ethics of changing classic films to “fix” errors at a later date.

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