A Long Time Ago, In a galaxy far, far away…
Star Wars in Review;
In 1977 George Lucas’s Dream Child Star Wars, came to Fruition. Chapter IV A New Hope, which by the way all I knew it as was “Star Wars”. “A New Hope” I don’t recall until Lucas brought the films back out in 1997. Let me begin by saying this Film not only changed my life, but the life of the Movie Industry as well. It was the Return of the Epic, a Space Opera if you will, the likes none had ever seen. But let’s break it down.
The Story; Good vs. Evil, Son vs. Father, the Empire vs. the Republic. Our story begins with the Evil Empire capturing Princess Leia as she attempts to deliver the Plans of a Deadly Space Station, The Death Star, to her Republic Leaders so they might Forge a Strategy to destroy it, and offset the Evil Empires plans of Planetary Domination. But instead she is captured, and the plans are stored in a robot known as R2-D2, and launched off to the Planet Tatooine, where it ends up in the hands of our Hero of the Film, Luke Skywalker. This however does not come without consequence as when the Empire searches for these plans, led by the Dastardly Darth Vader, Lukes Aunt and Uncle, his Guardians, end up meeting their deaths.
Meanwhile R2-D2 leads Luke to a man known as Obi-Wan Kenobi, or as the locals now call him, Old Ben. Known to be some old Wizard to the Tatooine People, the truth is, Ben Kenobi is the last of a Legion of Freedom Fighters known as Jedi Knights. Ben goes onto explain to Luke that Darth Vader had killed his Father, who wasn’t just a Pilot, but a Jedi Knight himself. Ben then gives Luke his Father’s Sword, or Light Sabre as it were, and after watching a Hologram Message from R2-D2, from Princess Leia, requesting Obi-Wan’s help, suggests that Luke partake in an expedition to the Princess’s Home Planet Alderaan as well. Luke, though he longs to be a Pilot like his Father, says that he must stay to help his Uncle, unbeknownst to him his Uncle had already been slain. Ben at this point goes on to explain the Ways of the Force, a Mastering of the manipulation of Energy that surrounds all of us, and a Fundamental Tool of the Jedi Knight.
After finding out that his Aunt and Uncle have been killed at the hands of the Evil Empire, Luke decides to join Old Ben, and the two of them, as well as R2-D2 and C-3PO, a Protocol Droid, head into Mos Eisley to hire a Pilot to take them to the Princess’s Home Planet. The two of them find a Pilot by the name of Han Solo, and his partner Chewbacca, a Wookiee, which is basically a very tall Man Beast. As the Empire moves into Mos Eisley seeking out Luke, Ben and R2-D2, it is discovered to the Audience that Han Solo is being hunted by the Ruthless Gangster Jabba the Hutt, for he owes Jabba a lot of money.
Meanwhile as a Test of the Death Star’s Power, and an attempt to ascertain the location of the Rebel Base from Princess Leia, the Empire destroys her Home Planet Alderaan with a single blast from this new Operational Death Star Space Station. The Princess is devastated by this, and is thrown into a Prison Cell where she awaits execution. At the point of Alderaan’s destruction, Ben Kenobi upon Han Solo’s ship The Millennium Falcon, suddenly feels very ill. “I feel a great disturbance in the Force…” being a Jedi himself, Ben feels the sudden loss of millions of people. When their ship arrives to where Alderaan used to be, they are shocked to see that there is nothing left but debris, and soon the Death Star, which is still in orbit near bye, uses their tractor beam to pull The Millennium Falcon to it.
Once inside the Death Star, Luke, Han and Chewbacca are able to locate and free Princess Leia. Ben on the other hand, shuts down the Tractor Beam so the Millennium Falcon can make its escape, but also comes head to head with Darth Vadar, his old pupil. As Luke, Han, Princess Leia, Chewbacca and the Droids head to the ship to escape, Luke sees Ben Light Sabre Battling with Darth Vader. Ben noting that Luke sees them, lets Darth Vadar strike him down, in order to reinforce Luke’s Conviction to kill Darth Vader himself, for Ben being older, could no longer defeat him.
Luke is distraught by this, but the Republic, now with the Death Star’s Plans in their Hands, has devised a strategy to destroy it. Luke pulls himself out of his misery, and joins the Fighters that are to approach the Great Death Star, and with an immensely difficult Laser Shot, cause it to destruct. Luke pleads for Han Solo to join the undertaking, but Han out of fear of his Life from Jabba The Hutt, is determined to take his payment from Ben, Luke and Princess Leia, and pay back Jabba as soon as possible.
In the end Luke and many other Fighter ships make their way to the Death Star, all being destroyed save Luke. Luke, with R2-D2 connected to his Fighter, makes his way to take the shot, in hopes to destroy the Death Star. Darth Vader, however, who’s joined the battle himself in his Fighter, determines that Luke is Strong with the Force, and moves in to take him out. Meanwhile, Ben, through telepathic communication from the afterlife, something that trained Jedi’s are able to do, convinces Luke to use the Force rather than his Ships Laser Tracking Systems. Just as Luke is about to take the shot, Darth Vader is about to take him out when, ZAM!! Laser shots from above strike Vadar, and the other Empire Fighters, and Darth is set spinning off to Space. “You’re all Clear, take the shot!” the voice of Han Solo suddenly rings through Luke’s communicator, Luke takes the shot, and destroys the Death Star, using the Force.
That just about sums it up; I may have missed a few things.
Han Solo (Harrison Ford) – A scoundrel with a Heart as it turns out. Han Solo is the epitome of the Unsung Hero by design. It’s all about him, until the chips are down, at which point his efforts and successes are robust. He was my favorite Character as a kid. Let’s face it, I wanted to be him.
Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) – The Winey hero, with boat loads of potential. Luke is the driving spirit behind the film. And though he is but a wining farm boy at the beginning, he is showing signs of being a Masterful Warrior and freedom fighter by the end.
Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) – A fiery, self-righteous, arrogant, strong, bull headed leader of her people. Princess Leia is the Heart of the Republic.
Old Ben Kenobi (Obi-Wan Kenobi/Alec Guinness) – Ben is all that is Wise, and Good in the world. Through his Vigilant Wisdom and Guidance, Luke is lifted to a new level of Consciousness, and Strength.
Darth Vader (Voice – James Earl Jones Actor – David Prowse ) – The Best Villain to ever hit the Big Screen, in my humble opinion. Darth demonstrates the Alluring Qualities of Evil, and the Vastness, and the Extent of its reach.
R2-DW (Kenny Baker) – R2-D2 shows how Excellent Directing, can make even an inanimate object completely lovable.
C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) – The ever present Nagging Mother. Who also appears to have an endless amount of usable information.
Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) – No offense, but he is the Ever Loyal Dog to Han Solo. If Dogs could Stand, and Rebuild Space Ships from scratch, Chewbacca is your man… Or, Man’s Best Friend. He also has a Huge Heart, and an Excellent Sense of Humor. He gets Han more than anyone else.
The Director; George Lucas is able to Bring Forth an Epic Tale of Good vs. Evil, by use of a wide assortment of poignant character’s, in a world that he himself created, in a place far, far away. To put Lucas into words in regards to this first installment of the Star Wars Films is no easy task. I will say, he always left you wanting more.
The Writer; See Above.
Overall Rating; AAA+. Yup, a Triple A. Epic Story, Epic Character’s, Epic Scope.
Star Wars (DarkJade’s) First Look
Filmcraft (Volume 2) – The Empire Strikes Back