The galactic civil war has raged for many years with losses on both sides. The Rebel Alliance has stolen plans for the Galactic Empire’s Death Star, a moon sized space station with capabilities to destroy entire worlds. Imperial Senator Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan is secretly one of the Rebel Spies and has the schematics in her possession when she passes them onto a droid amidst an attack on her vessel. She sends the droid to the nearest planet as the ruthless Darth Vader makes way onto her ship.
The small droid, R2-D2, accompanied by a protocol droid, C-3PO, are captured on the planet by Jawa traders and eventually make their way into the hands of Owen Lars, a moisture farmer. Lars sends his rebellious teenaged nephew, Luke, to clean the droids and while doing so he stumbles across the message that Princess Leia has left behind. Luke connects the “Obi-wan Kenobi” in the message to Old Ben Kenobi, the elderly hermit that lives in the hills.
When Luke takes the droids to Ben, he uncovers the truth behind Ben’s past. That he was a Jedi Knight, a galactic peacekeeper, studied in the ways of the Force…a metaphysical energy that runs through all things. They had been nearly hunted to extinction during the course of the civil war by the Imperial Army and the notorious Darth Vader.
As R2-D2 plays the Princesses full message a course of action becomes clear. They must go and help her no matter the danger. For they are her “only hope”.
-Genre: Space Opera
-Creator: George Lucas
-Length: 121 minutes
-Rating: PG (moderate violence without blood and gore, mild use of alcohol, moderate intense science fiction scenes)
-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), iTunes (Buy/Rent), Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blue-Ray, or look for it at your local library
-Main Cast: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse
-Page of Reference in RP1: 22
Review (contains spoilers):
I do really love this film. The original film is wonderful. It’s a beautiful world that Lucas built with a perfect balance between action and exposition. This film has what is truly lacking in the prequel films.
The story is told at times that make sense from Obi-wan Kenobi explaining the Force to Luke when they are dealing with R2-D2, to the bits and pieces that you get from Han Solo and from the council sessions of the Imperial Army. Nothing feels forced like in Episode 1 yet we get enough information to feel included in the world and its goings on unlike Episode 3.
The characters are real and fleshed out with all their faults and strengths and weaknesses. The practical effects still hold up today. Extraordinarily little looks bad to a modern audience (a little in the sabers and the laser blasts…a bit in the space scenes) and I credit this to the fact that more modern CGI techniques were not really a thing.
It’s a great film and quite family friendly. There is violence but it is mostly gore free with the exception of one minor dispute on Tatooine. Great story and great film.