Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)
Starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse, James Earl Jones, and Alec Guinness
Directed by George Lucas
I have gone 35 years without watching any of the Star Wars films. It was "my thing." As a college student who graduated with a concentration in film, I made in known when asked that I'd never watched Star Wars. Whenever I said that, people were always blown away.
And now that Disney owns the franchise (and for another reason which I'm unable to currently reveal - edit: which is now "revealed" in the comments below), I had to give in and watch. It is what it is. There was no inherent opposition to the series...it's just that I'd waited so long, the "not watching" was more comedic than anything else.
And now "my thing" is over. Rather than write actual reviews of the series (and I'm only watching episodes IV-VI at the moment), here are my random stream of consciousness thoughts (not necessarily "reviews") that occurred while watching the film.
10:00pm - A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...
10:04 - I've always heard that Stormtroopers can't hit anyone...They're shooting people down in this opening scene, though!
10:05 - It's tough not to see Darth Vader and not want Rick Moranis to be under the suit. (Go Spaceballs!)
10:09 - There was not much of a budget spent on casting these minor actors...Yikes!
10:15 - One of those robots in the robot dump looked like Wall-E!
10:16 - Oooh...a clock wipe to change scenes...
10:19 - Luke Skywalker's a whiny little runt here initially.
10:27 - Teen Idol Luke with the wind whipping through his hair as he stares at the two moons as the music swells...the gals all swoon...
10:29 - The hovercraft special effect was kinda cool.
10:35 - First lightsaber...and first mention of "The Force" - and, also, finally getting into some actual story after thirty minutes of what felt like nothing much...
10:41- I can't say that I'm too sad that Aunt Beru is dead as her acting skills left a little to be desired...
10:44 - The new CGI is so noticeable in this scene as they hovercraft into some town...it stood out to me right away...
10:46 - Chewbacca! And droid racism abounds at the cantina! And chopping off of legs!
10:49 - And Harrison Ford! Showing more charisma onscreen in mere minutes than most everyone else other than the stoic Alec Guinness!
10:51 - Even I know about this infamous "Han Shot First" scene...
10:58 - First light speed!
11:00 - There's something to be said for villains who are able to implode an entire planet...
11:08 - "I sense something. A presence I have not felt since...(trails off)..." Some of Lucas's dialog...sheesh...
11:13 - We haven't had a wipe to change scenes in a long time! I missed them!
11:14 - Chewy reminds me of a very hairy Rebecca Romijn as Mystique...
11:21 - Sure, it was kinda cool that something grabbed Luke in the garbage chute, but it just disappears? "It just let me go?" And all is good? Why even add that? Why not just have the chute start compacting right away which is tense enough...
11:30 - The Stormtroopers really are ineffective.
11:33 - I feel like I should be more affected by Obi Wan dying...but the scene feels so sillily thrown away.
11:37 - Honing beacon! I should've seen that coming! Intrigue!
11:48 - His name is Porkins! Porkins?!?!
11:51 - This end action scene is actually surprisingly effective.
11:56 - At least Vader's a good shot to make up for the inadequacies of the Storm Troopers.
11:58 - "Remember...the force will be with you always." (As a Catholic, every time I heard "The force is with you," I wanted to add, "And with your spirit.")
11:59 - One final wipe to change scenes!
12:01 - And a kaleidoscopic transitional wipe inward to end!
Listen, Star Wars isn't bad. Were I an eight year-old kid watching this for the first time, I'd think it awesome. As a thirty-five year-old adult, it's decidedly less exciting. Yes, I can place myself into the time it was made and I'm able to recognize it's quality of special effects for the time, but Lucas does have some story problems. Let's be honest with each other -- the first thirty minutes really goes nowhere as it rather lullingly starts off.
I'm gonna admit that I'm not quite sure I understand the huge fandom yet. Maybe it will become clearer with subsequent films.
The RyMickey Rating: B-