It’s Friday, so that means I’ll be reviewing another Star Wars movie in Episodic Order as we lead up to The Force Awakens. The good news is, I get to spend the day after Thanksgiving re-watching A New Hope, the bad news is reviewing it is kind of a challenge.
It definitely feels weird watching A New Hope to review it. I mean, I’ve seen it probably hundreds of times. It’s hard to look at it objectively given what an influence it has had to movies, culturally, and to me personally. Given that, what can I possibly say that hasn’t been said hundreds of times about this movie? I’ll do my best to give my favorite and least favorite moments.
My favorite moments
I think I always liked the Jawas. Something about them always intrigued me. I think when I was a kid, their clothes probably connected more to the fantasy genre (I don’t know like the Smurfs cartoon) where a character would wear the same attire as the Jawas. So this was the first point in the movie when you realize that this is more than your typical Sci-Fi movie, but also dips into other genres.
I still like hearing Obi Wan telling Luke about the Jedi and his father. I like how after a certain point you realize that this movie has everything. Old wizards, giant dragon skeletons, space ships, robots, Smuggler with side-arms, bounty hunters and somehow it succeeds in presenting it with credibility on all fronts. In other words, none of those parts come across as cheesy or not well done. It works on all fronts, and this is certainly not an easy task.
It’s very interesting how infrequently the Force is used in this movie, and I think that’s a plus in a way. After this movie, you are left wondering what exactly the Force is capable of, but you’ve seen some amazing things. Let’s see, you have the Jedi Mind-trick from Obi Wan, The Force-choke from Vader, the Noise-at-a-distance from Obi Wan (in the Death Star), Luke using the Force to target an exhaust port at full-throttle, and Vader Force-sensing Lukes’ Force powers from a distance. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that is it. So you might say this is a less-is-more kind of approach and it works.
My least favorite moments
That spin that Obi Wan does when fighting Vader. Just seems like he is putting himself into a vulnerable position. I don’t know, maybe he is doing some sort of Force-block or something that I don’t know about, but it just seems too slow to be a wise move.
I don’t know, lately when I watch the end, I can’t help but get sad for Chewie and the fact that he didn’t get a medal. It almost looks like Chewie goes through a series of emotions. From “proud”, to “child-like nervousness”, to “wait a minute, why are you starting with Han and not left to right”, to “WTF. I’m not getting a medal am I”. I feel like if this movie were made today, Chewie would have gotten a medal.
OK, so somehow this movie does feel a little bit slow at times. I don’t know if my tastes have become a little modernized and I want something to be a little more fast-paced. I feel like movies these days try to keep you on the edge of your seats either with intense action or intense drama. So, now rewatching A New Hope, there are times when it does seem to dip to a slightly lower pace. This is a very minor thing, and isn’t a huge negative because the movie still works.
The movie’s great. 4.5 out of 5 stars.