In preparation to the upcoming Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, I thought it was a perfect moment to re-watch the episodes 4, 5 en 6! Since I was a little girl I loved these films. I loved the story, the actors, the amazing creatures, the lightsabers, the spaceships and of course Yoda. I’ve seen this first trilogy more than twice, but never wrote a review on them. But now you can read my review on this first trilogy, starting with episode 4.
The series started in 1977 with Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, where Princess Leia and her rebels start their fight against the Empire and Darth Vader. While Leia tries to protect their information about the Empire’s Death Star and send a droid – R2D2 – to a certain planet, Luke Skywalker is just an ordinary young man living with his aunt and uncle. But Luke is anything but an ordinary person and more of his past comes clear after two droids, whereof one is R2D2, crosses his path. After Luke finds out what R2D2’s mission is and realises he is a Jedi knight, he joins forces with an old Jedi master, a cocky criminal pilot and his wookiee, and the two droids to rescue Princess Leia and save the universe from the Empire and the evil Darth Vader. Director George Lucas is truly the master of the Star Wars universe. Lucas directed episode IV, I, II and III, but he also wrote and created a lot of Star Wars related stuff. Like tv-series, video games and short movies. He never imagined Star Wars would be the huge success it became. At first he was certain the film from 1977 would flop and therefore skipped the premiere. He and others couldn’t be more wrong. The film won seven Academy Awards, among them best music, editing and effects, and was nominated four times! And even now the Star Wars universe is still very popular.
The stars of the film are Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford who play the roles of respectively Jedi Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and smuggler Han Solo. These three are so different from each other, which makes it fun to watch the scenes with them together. Luke is a very decent man who lives with his aunt and uncle on the planet Tatooine. He doesn’t really know anything about his parents nor does he have the skills of a Jedi, yet. When his path crosses with R2D2 and C3PO, he gets a glimpse of the beautiful princess Leia and decides to save her. Luke comes across as a softy who wants to do what feels right. Compared to Han Solo, who only thinks of himself and money, Luke is kind of a dork. Solo is charming, funny but also a criminal which draws the attention of some bounty hunters. Princess Leia is nowhere near a damsel in distress. She can take care of herself and is quite a badass woman.
The other characters at the good side are Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinnes), the droids R2D2 (Kenny Baker) and C3PO (Anthony Daniels), and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew). Where R2D2 only ‘bleeps’, the golden C3PO talks a lot and mostly he ends with “We’re doomed”, the hilarious pessimist. Chewie is Han’s fluffy friend and co-pilot who only makes these weird noises I always try to imitate. At the Dark Side, there is – of course – Darth Vader, who’s played by David Prowse but voiced by James Earl Jones. Why they used two different actors for this role is a question to me… I think the voice of Darth Vader is truly amazing. It’s dark and deep and gives the right vibe to the character. Which is very needed, since you don’t see any facial expressions. The ‘helpers’ of the Empire are dressed like they are part of the German army. Even after thirty years it seemed the US held a grudge against Germany. The Stormtroopers are always interesting since I never understood why they would wear such an uncomfortable suit. They don’t see a thing and miss a lot of shots! Which is good for the good ones of course. The other character, the alien creatures, look amazing as well! Sometimes it’s just really funny, because what the hell are these creatures with their own language?
It might not come as a surprise that the techniques and special effects are a bit outdated. I can’t remember how I thought about that when I was little, but it – I’m talking about the destruction of the planet and the Death Star – doesn’t look that impressive as in modern films which use special effects and CGI. Nevertheless, it certainly doesn’t affect the story in any way. The action scenes might come across as funny sometimes, but you never look at the film in a way that it’s bad. The effects are just not as good as what we are used to these days, but that’s okay. The lightsabers are amazing though. I still want to have one of those for myself! The setting is brilliant too and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the various spaceships, nor the effect shown when Solo’s Millenium Falcon is going to light speed. The last aspect which makes the film an amazing classic, is the score. John Williams composed an amazing and remarkable soundtrack. It’s a score which fits perfectly with the film and is actually one with it.
After seeing Star Wars: A New Hope, I’m even more excited to see episode VII The Force Awakens in cinema next week! But first I will watch episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, with the same amazing cast and spaceships!