The Star Wars franchise returned to the big screen in 2015 with The Force Awakens, though this Galaxy Far, Far Away has since found greater success on television than in theaters. The future of the franchise on the big screen now feels somewhat uncertain, though a handful of projects are in various stages of development.
None of them have definitive release dates, unfortunately, and it seems Lucasfilm is currently on expanding this franchise through Disney+ instead (which has proved to be no bad thing thus far).
To fill that Star Wars shaped void in your lives, we're now taking a look back at the Skywalker Saga, and after delving into The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith earlier this year, we're making a start on the classic original trilogy. For some of you, suggesting that anything in these didn't work may be sacrilege, but we think this feature might just put a different spin on certain moments in "Episode IV."
So, to check this one out, all you guys need to do is click the "Next" button down below...
Did Work: Escape From The Death Star
It's easy to forget just how much of A New Hope takes place solely on the Death Star, especially as there are a lot of moving parts, all of which prove to be utterly fantastic for the most part.
An undeniable highlight sees Han Solo running into an entire battalion of Stormtroopers and quickly doubling back on himself with them in hot pursuit, while the interactions between a disguised Luke Skywalker and Han as they attempt to rescue Princess Leia ("Aren’t you a little short to be a Stormtrooper?") delivered plenty of classic lines.
Of course, the actual escape is perhaps the most memorable sequence as the two heroes blast TIE Fighters out of the sky, leading to the now also iconic, "Great, kid! Don’t get cocky."
Didn't Work: Darth Vader's "Demise"
When George Lucas was struggling to get Star Wars made, sequels may have been on his mind, but still unlikely at that point. Including Darth Vader in the final battle was an understandable decision, though making this his only time in a TIE Fighter was a surprise; the prequels made it clear that Anakin Skywalker was an ace pilot, but that honestly didn’t come across here.
The way he was dispatched was most disappointing, with a stray shot from the Millennium Falcon sending him hurtling off into space to his apparent death (which most assumed to be the case).
While this is ultimately far from a huge deal, it feels like little more than a convenient way to get Vader off the Death Star before it was destroyed by the Rebels than a truly compelling end for the villain.
Did Work: The Trash Compactor
After escaping from the aforementioned Stormtroopers, Han, Luke, Chewbacca, and Princess Leia find themselves in even greater peril when they end up in a trash compactor.
While they struggle to find a way out, things take a rather sinister turn as it becomes apparent that they’re not alone in there, and the walls soon start closing in on the heroic foursome.
Throw in C-3PO’s rather amusing belief that the cries of joy he could hear were actually the sound of them all being crushed, and this whole thing just worked perfectly. A pulpy and thrilling little sequence in the movie, it added some extra drama in a more unique manner than just another blaster fight.
Didn't Work: A Whiny Hero
Luke Skywalker is a fan-favourite for many, but it's easy enough to appreciate why a large majority of fans came out of A New Hope way more interested in Han Solo. The key issue was with the way the future Jedi is portrayed as often seemed too much like a whining teenager (something he has in common Anakin, though that probably wasn't a deliberate decision by Lucas).
"But I was going into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters," he moans at one point before moping over the fact he has to clean up R2-D2 and C-3PO for his aunt and uncle.
Highlighting a moment like that may seem like a nitpick, and while far from a huge part of the movie, scenes like these did make Luke a little hard to relate to and root for early on in this story.
Did Work: The Opening Crawl
One of the most effective and amazing parts of A New Hope is also its simplest.
The opening crawl immediately immerses us into this Galaxy Far, Far Away, and perfectly sets the stage for what comes next. The way the camera panned down to reveal that gigantic Imperial Star Destroyer in pursuit of the tiny Rebel ship was breathtaking, and a moment as epic today as it was back then.
The way it just consumes the smaller spacecraft immediately makes it apparent that the odds are stacked against our heroes, and this stands out as arguably the best opening to a Star Wars movie out of the nine main chapters in Lucasfilm's often divisive Skywalker Saga.
Didn't Work: Greedo Shoots First
Like it or not, Han no longer shooting first is officially part of Star Wars canon (despite the latest edit on Disney+ attempting to make things a little more ambiguous).
At the end of the day, these films did belong to George Lucas, and it was really his choice what he did with them. That doesn’t mean we have to like it of course, and the filmmaker’s belief that heroes don’t shoot first is what led to him switching things up so that Greedo is the one who initially fires his blaster at Han, leading to the Millennium Falcon pilot taking him out in retaliation.
It’s a decision by Lucas which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, and while it doesn’t exactly ruin the movie, it’s an alteration which fans hate. Of course, one person who couldn’t give a damn is Harrison Ford, so maybe we should all chill out about it. It's still a hard one to accept, though.
Did Work: Darth Vader's Introduction
A New Hope kicks off with an epic battle between the Rebels and Empire, and while that’s an effective and exciting way to start the movie, things take an even greater turn when Darth Vader makes his first big screen appearance.
The contrast of this huge figure clad in black on the white ship and surrounded by the white clad Stormtroopers is startling and instantly establishes Vader as someone the audience should sit up and take notice of. He also looks downright terrifying, and that’s not something you can say the same of in the case of the majority of movie villains these days.
George Lucas really nailed this introduction, and following it up by having him choke someone to death with one hand was pure brilliance as it established that the Sith Lord wasn't someone our heroes should trifle with.
Didn't Work: A Little Too Much R2-D2 And C-3PO
R2-D2 and C-3PO are admittedly iconic, but their hijinks in this movie are, well, tedious.
Even though it’s not exactly a huge chunk of the movie and is necessary to kick off the events of this story, their bickering is tiresome, and it t came as a relief when they were attacked by Tusken Raiders (Lucas' sense of humour has always received something of a mixed response; just look at Jar Jar Binks in The Phanom Menace).
Of all the ways to spend the first act of this movie, it would have been much better to show Luke’s flying skills or more of Ben Kenobi. Extra time with Darth Vader would have been nice, but the point is that we spent far too much time than was needed with these two when other characters could and should have been highlighted here.
Did Work: Assault On The Death Star
The movie jumps fairly quickly into the final assault on the Death Star, but that’s no bad thing given how downright amazing a sequence it was. The battle between the X-Wings and TIE Fighters is awe-inspiring, though there are two highlights which made this final fight so exciting.
The first comes when Han Solo makes his surprise return ("You’re all clear kid, now let’s blow this thing and go home!"), while the second follows happens almost simultaneously as Luke Skywalker channels the force to destroy the Death Star with the help of the fallen Obi-Wan Kenobi.
These are two extremely satisfying moments which define who both of these characters are, and it still feels like an incredibly rewarding moment for fans of this iconic franchise.
Didn't Work: Obi-Wan Kenobi Vs. Darth Vader
Without taking the other Star Wars movies into account, this lightsaber battle in A New Hope is...fine. While Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader jumping around like their younger selves would have looked a little silly, the observation from fans that this scene essentially looks like two old men pointing sticks at each other isn't far wrong, and fan edits have vastly improved it.
There’s certainly a lot of drama here, though the prequels have really made this scene problematic due to the fact that there really should be a lot more dialogue between the two. The way Obi-Wan sacrifices himself again feels like an all too convenient way to remove him from the equation and turn him into a Force Ghost; having got to know him, he deserved better.
A New Hope should never be remade, but upping the action here should have been a priority for Lucas when he decided to start tinkering with his original trilogy all those years ago.