Dedicated to Peter Mayhew who passed away just days before this publication. The galaxy seems a little bit smaller without you.
*Originally published November 2015*
This film has to work in 3 separate ways. Firstly it must work as a solo film, as was the original intention, which it does. There’s no messing around with backstories, it just jumps straight into the meat of the action. Secondly it must work as the start of a trilogy, which it does. It leaves enough loose ends and incomplete story arcs to continue. Finally it must work as a continuation of the saga, which it does. It misses out the rise of The Empire and what Obi-Wan has been doing in exile but that’s all probably rather boring, I’d imagine. As for practical effects, I love the sense of realism it adds and the soundtrack, as well as the scenery, are beautiful- now iconic. The casting is also perfect. However I regret I may never see this film as it was when it was released, with George Lucas adding so much CGI it’s almost a different film. Thu lies one of the greatest tragedies in cinematic history. Thankfully this doesn’t stop it from being a fantastic, story driven film and one that I will continue to watch and talk about.
I have never been so happy to be so wrong. Not about the review but about never seeing the Original Trilogy in it’s original form. In 2004, Lucasfilm released yet another altered version of the films but this time with an extra disc featuring the unaltered cuts. To nobody’s surprise, I find them to be much better versions with no CGI to distract from the story or sets. I was also wrong in my belief that the rise of The Empire or Obi-Wans exile would be boring, in fact they are far from it. The television series’ “Rebels” and “Resistance”, so I’ve read, do a fantastic job of filling in the gap between Episodes 3 and 4. Star Wars: A New Hope remains one of the all time greatest films with one of the greatest soundtracks and one of the greatest villains. In lieu of my usual closing statement, I shall leave you with the age old blessing:
May the Force be with you…