Hello. and welcome back to my series of Star Wars reviews! We are now at the section you all have been waiting for: the original trilogy. Considering it recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, I thought it would be the perfect time to take a look at one of the most influential and iconic science fiction films ever made: Star Wars. Directed by George Lucas, this space opera launched one of the biggest movie franchises of all time. So who’s ready to dive in? Let’s get started.
It’s so hard to start a review of such an iconic piece of movie history. So I’ll start with my first viewing of this film. I wasn’t around in the 70s, so I wasn’t able to view this film in theaters, of course. When I was 4, my dad brought home this film on DVD, from Blockbuster (when it was still around). When I sat down and watched this incredible movie, I felt a rush of adrenaline, like I had just sat down in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon and went into hyperspace.
The opening scene sets the perfect tone for the film. John Williams’ score phenomenally begins this film and the facial expressions on the Rebel soldiers’ faces really make an impact. They show you not only the fear of the Empire but the fear of something much worse…Darth Vader. One of the greatest villains in cinema history. A figure that strikes both fear and excitement into the minds of viewers. Once you see the iconic character, you know you’re in for a show.
After this, we get a glimpse of another very iconic scene: Princess Leia putting her message inside R2-D2. Once the 3PO and R2 leave, we get to see the true power of Vader, and the reason why fear envelops the Rebels as soon as they speak of him. While many argue that Vader could’ve used the Force to choke the Rebel, that doesn’t matter when you see Vader doing what he does best: not giving a crap. He wants the information, and he will get it, no matter what.
When you look at the Prequel Trilogy, it’s safe to say that they are leaps and bounds ahead of the Original Trilogy when it comes to the planets, but George Lucas really makes the most out of what ones are featured in this film. Tatooine is without a doubt one of the most iconic pieces of scenery in a film, and it really works here. The special effects have also aged very well. It’s ironic how the newer films’ green screen and CGI is worse than the original film.
We are introduced to Luke Skywalker soon after the droids arrive on Tatooine. This was the dude I wanted to be when I was younger. I would play with lightsabers in the style of his, and it was always a good ol’ time acting like a Jedi around the house, doing swaggy poses and moves. Not only is Luke one of the most iconic characters in movie history, but I also enjoy how much he grows from film to film. He goes from a naïve farm boy (Episode IV) to a reckless Padawan (Episode V), to a smart and cunning Jedi Knight (Episode VI).
Soon after, we are introduced to Obi-Wan Kenobi (known as Ben in this film) and a weapon for a more civilized age: the lightsaber. It really helps to have a trilogy that utilizes these powerful swords in a more tense and slow manner. Considering the Prequel Trilogy basically toss pacing in the trash, it’s refreshing when the Jedi and Sith aren’t twirling lightsabers like a baton over and over.
John Williams’ score is an undeniable piece of movie history, but it is ridiculous how phenomenal and iconic his music is in this film. Since the Star Wars films are space operas, it really helps to have a mesmerizing score to go along with the epic space battles. My favorite piece of music in the saga stems from this film, and it’s “The Throne Room”. A perfect conclusion song for the film. The special effects have also aged very, very well. And I’m not talking about the remastered version, I’m talking about the original 1977 version. This is a film that, even though it came out four decades ago, still looks good, and that’s a pretty hard feat to accomplish.
The characters? Phenomenal. The story? Fantastic. The visual effects? Great. While its legacy and impact definitely come into play when people judge the film, Star Wars is such an amazing film that never gets old. It, without a doubt, earns an A+.
Star Wars stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse, James Earl Jones. Directed by George Lucas.