Classic Film Kid: Star Wars
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, spoilers lay ahead…
Hello guys, and welcome again to my Classic Film Kid blog! Today we are summing the word classic up to a T by reviewing one of the most iconic and influential films in cinema history, Star Wars from 1977, written, directed and produced by George Lucas and starring a cast including Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, the late Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness, Peter Cushing, and many more.
It’s very hard nowadays to turn a corner in a shopping centre and not find someone as a Stormtrooper, or someone selling toy lightsabers, or heck, someone trying to mimic the breathing of Darth Vader. Star Wars is a phenomenon, and we have this film to thank for this. But today, we will mainly be just looking at this standalone film, like I do every other film I’ve reviewed, and eventually, we should see why this film is so amazing and able to not only tie in with the films and multiple spin-off media around it but also stand on its own two feet.
So, unless you for some reason have never seen the original Star Wars (the site’s called the GEEK show, you probably have), the architectural plans for a space station of the evil Galactic Empire, known as the Death Star, have been stolen by the Rebel Alliance and are now possessed by two missing droids. The Empire is now on a destructive hunt for these two droids, and a random farmhand called Luke Skywalker has them. This causes him to meet Obi-Wan Kenobi, and his life is changed forever as he goes on a frantic mission to get the plans to the Alliance, rescue their leader Princess Leia, and destroy the Death Star.
An awesome premise for an awesome film. Let’s get into it, shall we, by saying this is a classic.
What I always love about Star Wars is that the structure is just seamless. The movie flows excellently, and there’s rarely a dull moment (when I mean dull and unnecessary, may I point you to the fluffy bear-things in Return of the Jedi). There’s always something to keep you invested (with one exception which I’ll get onto.) The fast pacing, smooth old-fashioned transitions, and exhilarating space battles really help to propel the story along, as we keep moving between characters and learning more info, the film’s momentum never drags. We have the iconic opening crawl, setting the scene for the film and then it’s BAM! soldiers get captured and a raspy guy in a black suit, namely the iconic Darth Vader, is very annoyed about something. We then learn why he’s annoyed, we then see the escape of two droids, then we see a young man buy these same droids and randomly stumble across Leia’s message.
Let’s talk about the characters. My favourite heroes are the ones who are thrown into the events with no prior knowledge, and this is why I love Luke Skywalker so much. He was just a worker who wanted to pick up some power converters, and yet he never got to pick them up because he was out flying ships through trenches after a guy who has choking abilities. He stumbles across Leia’s message, and it’s because of this that he is thrown into the conflict. Harrison Ford plays Han Solo, one of the coolest characters in movie history. He just oozes an awesome vibe all over the place, although he never really gets as much development as Luke or Leia. Let’s hope the Han Solo anthology movie we’re getting Christmas 2018 will do that for us. And Leia is kind of the damsel-in-distress, but she does do considerably more than just scream, ‘HELP!’, which makes her probably the best damsel-in-distress in movie history. And R.I.P Carrie Fisher, you were so good.
The villains are also fabulous as well. Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin doesn’t have any cool features like Darth Vader, but his character is still pretty threatening, and Peter Cushing packs in a great performance. Darth Vader is obviously an icon. The bellowing cyber voice by James Earl Jones sends shivers down your spine, you feel the aura of his presence whenever he chokes someone, you want to duck behind a cushion every time you hear the deep breaths. But the one thing I praise the most about Star Wars is its look. This film looks absolutely stunning even 40 years on. The models still look convincing, the camera moves and techniques are really creative, and the multiple ship battles look better in the 1970s than the prequels managed over 20 years later. Don’t worry, I won’t talk about the prequels. The score by John Williams is iconic, and rightfully so. The orchestral pieces suit the film perfectly.
Now there is a flaw that I do have with this film, and I must address that the release of A New Hope I watch is a cut with added scenes and effects, and a bit of the added material is a scene between Han Solo and Jabba the Hutt. This is the only scene that feels like a bit of a lull. We did not need this scene: Han’s problems were already addressed in the iconic Cantina Band sequence (accompanied by ADDICTIVE music) between him and Greedo. This scene between him and Jabba feels like the same information, and should not have been edited back into the film. But acknowledging the fact that this scene wasn’t in the original 1977 cut, Star Wars: A New Hope is a pretty much flawless film. It still holds up today and is a relentlessly entertaining adventure with a great self-contained story and fantastic characters.
Star Wars gets a 9.5/10.
Well, that was fun. Thank you once again for reading, and I shall see you next time. This is the Classic Film Kid, signing off!