A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, the Universe was taken over by the Empire, a tyrannical group of evil leaders with bad intentions. Fortunately, a Rebellion has been put together with the help of Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher). The Rebels have gotten a hold of the plans of the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the Death Star, a space station as big as a moon with the power to destroy whole planets. But the Princess has been captured by Storm Troopers led by the crueler than cruel Darth Vader (voiced by James Earl Jones), and it’s up to a couple of gay droids to pursue her mission. R2 D2 and his golden bitch C3P0 land on a sand covered planet where they’re captured and then sold to Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and his uncle. They work on a farm, but Luke dreams of becoming a pilot. The arrival of the droids will change his life forever: his uncle and aunt will be killed by Troopers and it will lead him to Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guiness). He used to be a Jedi knight, i.e. a powerful warrior with the ability to use the Force, the energy that binds the universe together. He’s ready to mentor Luke into becoming a Jedi himself, but first they have to save the Princess. Along the way, they’ll also meet Han Solo (Harrison Ford), a pilot whose illegal smuggling has gotten him into trouble, and his buddy and partner Chewbacca, a big furry Wookie. All together, they’ll try and help the Rebels destroy the infamous Death Star.
For better or worse, “Star Wars” changed moviemaking forever with its overwhelming special effects and astounding box office success. It spawned two sequels and even a new trilogy of prequels, as well as more junk than you could imagine. It’s hard to pinpoint what turned George Lucas’ film into such a phenomenon. Maybe it’s the fact that there hadn’t ever been anything quite like it. Maybe it’s the way Lucas merged various myths and movies to create an immediately distinctive and unforgettable saga that would turn on generations of moviegoers. To be honest, I’m not a huge Star Wars fan. Of course I enjoy the various characters and locales, and I have great admiration for Lucas, who somehow achieved to create a whole universe. But then again, it’s kind of shallow, childish and corny, and “Episode IV” is actually a bit slow (the finale, a big video game sequence, is particularly overlong).
Still, I can’t deny that this is one of the most important and influential movies ever made, and there is more fun stuff in this film than in most. The movie looks breath-taking, the special effects still look neat and Lucas’ imagination is amazing. Then there’s John Williams’ great, great score and the perfect casting. Mark Hamill is enjoyably enthusiastic and likable. Harrison Ford is macho and cool, and I dig the sexual tension between Fisher and him. And how about Chewie, who just screams and groans like a maniac! The gay robots are amusing, and so are the countless weird creatures the film presents us. And last but not least is Darth Vader, possibly the coolest bad guy in movie history, with the face mask, the black cape, the hollow breathing and cold, terrifying voice. The philosophy is simplistic but interesting, and I loooove the light sabers. Even though there are tons of flicks smarter or more entertaining, few are as visionary as “Star Wars”.