As I was writing up my post on Muppet Treasure Island, I was flipping around the TV stations and I came across the original Star Wars, what would become to be known as Star Wars: A New Hope, on TNT. So I watched it.
It has been awhile since I have seen this film that started a franchise that is so important to movies and to fandom. It was such a treat this morning seeing the initial film that had so much joy and fun about it, before people got angry and insane over every little thing. How the greatness of this epic came through the screen with great characters, exciting action, wonderful performances and a story that is simple yet full of heart on its own.
Watching it again made me remember how special it was to see Star Wars for the first time. What a special feeling it brought to the viewer, filling him/her with a tale of a hero’s journey from youth to rebel fighter.
Sure, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) was really whiny, but that only serve to show you how much the character grew over the years and the subsequent films. We got continued goodness from Harrison Ford as Han Solo. A brave and heroic princess who was not anyone’s damsel in distress in Carrie Fisher’s Leia. The regalness of Sir Alec Guinness as our first ever Obi-Wan Kenobi. The first time ever to see such iconic characters such as Chewbacca, R2D2, C3PO.
Directed by George Lucas, the film truly holds up and actually looks even better than the CGI fests that populated this franchise in later episodes.
And there was the pureness of Darth Vader, before we knew that he was a hero fallen or that he would one day be conflicted because of his feelings for a son. This Darth Vader was a classic villain who was bad ass and knew what he wanted. He did not hesitate to strike down Obi-Wan with his light sabre and send the old knight straight into the world of Force ghosts.
Each character had an arch and they each became more than they were at the beginning. Han Solo showed his heroic side for the first time (unless you count Solo: A Star Wars Story) as he returned to help Luke blow up the Death Star, an unbelievable weapon that destroyed Alderaan earlier in the film.
There are so many great moments that I can even forgive those tacked on moments that just do not feel as if they fit, such as Han Solo meeting with Jabba the Hut and basically telling him the exact thing he told Greedo. It was an unnecessary scene that felt repetitive and was tacked on just to shoehorn Jabba into the movie. These moments are distractions, but cannot take away from the overall epicness of this classic.
There was a reason why this was such a moment in time. Star Wars was one of the greatest movies ever made.