STAR WARS Episode IV
A New Hope

George Lucas gave us much more than a movie, he gave us story that would transcend time and generations, made apparent, in part, by the blockbuster 20th anniversary re-release.

Review By M. REID BAILEY

STAR WARS, Episode IV
A New Hope

(1977)

This page was created on March 27, 2000
This page was last updated on May 19, 2005

CREDITS

Directed by George Lucas
Screenplay by George Lucas

Mark Hamill .... Luke Skywalker
Harrison Ford .... Han Solo
Carrie Fisher .... Princess Leia Organa
Peter Cushing .... Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin
Alec Guinness .... Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi
Anthony Daniels .... C-3PO
Kenny Baker .... R2-D2
Peter Mayhew .... Chewbacca
David Prowse .... Darth Vader
Phil Brown .... Uncle Owen Lars
Shelagh Fraser .... Aunt Beru

Produced by
Gary Kurtz
George Lucas (executive)
Rick McCallum (special edition)

Original music by John Williams
Cinematography by Gilbert Taylor
Film Editing by Richard Chew and T.M. Christopher (special edition), Paul Hirsch and Marcia Lucas

MPAA: Rated PG for sci-fi action violence.
For rating reasons, go to FILMRATINGS.COM, and MPAA.ORG.
Parents, please refer to PARENTALGUIDE.ORG

CD SOUNDTRACK

CD infoStar Wars, A New Hope:
The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Slimline Package)

There is no soundtrack composer working today more talented or consistent than John Williams, and the Star Wars trilogy represents some of his finest work. Though he uses few major themes (mostly tied to specific characters, signaling when they appear on the screen or do something important), there's also enough variety in the incidental music to keep things interesting. From the instantly recognizable opening music to the medley that accompanies the closing credits, this is excellent work that perfectly captures the innocence and sense of adventure of the film. At the same time, the Star Wars score stands up very well as a piece of music on its own. --Genevieve Williams

Disc: 1
1. 20th Century-Fox Fanfare
2. Main Title/Rebel Blockade Runner
3. Imperial Attack
4. Dune Sea of Tatooine/Jawa Sandcrawler
5. The Moisture Farm
6. Hologram/Binary Sunset
7. Landspeeder Search/Attack of the Sand People
8. Tales of a Jedi Knight/Learn About the Force
9. Burning Homestead
10. Mos Eisley Spaceport
11. Cantina Band
12. Cantina Band, No. 2
13. Binary Sunset [Alternative]


Disc: 2
1. Princess Leia's Theme
2. Millennium Falcon/Imperial Cruiser Pursuit
3. Destruction of Alderaan
4. Death Star/The Stormtroopers
5. Wookiee Prisoner/Detention Block Ambush
6. Shootout in the Cell Bay/Dianoga
7. The Trash Compactor
8. Tractor Beam/Chasm Crossfire
9. Ben Kenobi's Death/Tie Fighter Attack
10. The Battle of Yavin
11. Throne Room [End Titles]


POSTER
BOOK
Book infoThe Star Wars Trilogy
by George Lucas, James Kahn, Donald Glut

For the first time, here is a Special Omnibus Edition of the complete texts of the three novels that tell the complete story of everyone's favorite adventure--The Star Wars Trilogy. Including: STAR WARS, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, and RETURN OF THE JEDI.

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REVIEW
BY M. REID BAILEY
EMAIL Riposte@home.com
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away ... That’s how it all started over 20 years ago. Since then scores of people have seen Star Wars in theatrical release, re-release, and several different video releases. Star Wars has not merely entertained us but has become a noticeable part of every day life, popping up in our vocabulary, spiritual conversations, and the ubiquitous merchandising, redefining the boundaries of pop culture in the process. Star Wars has proven itself timeless. It’s not the special effects, the acting, or the characters as much as the story itself that has had the greatest impact.

George Lucas gave us much more than a movie, he gave us a story that would transcend time and generations, made apparent, in part, by the blockbuster 20th anniversary re-release. To do this he reached back into time to revive age-old myths and story elements that have existed for thousands of years. Stories of reluctant heroes who, against impossible odds, obtain personal redemption as well as the salvation of others are not new, but they are powerful and we have always loved them. In a recent Time magazine interview George Lucas said that he intentionally set out to recreate the hero myths of western culture.

Throughout the history of story telling, the hero’s involvement is often brought about by outside intervention and it is no different for our current hero, Luke Skywalker. Luke is forced into a raging war when he inadvertently buys a pair of androids that have escaped from interstellar war ships. The "droids" bring about an invitation to a local hermit, Obi Wan Kenobi, a member of old-order heroes known as Jedi Knights. Luke learns that Obi Wan was once mentor to Luke’s father, also a Jedi knight, believed long since deceased, and that he taught Luke’s father the ways of the Force. Obi Wan explains that the Force is "... what gives the Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together."
In the aforementioned Time magazine interview Lucas related that he created the idea of the Force, and included it in the movie, in order to get people thinking about God and not to promote one particular religion. This would answer the detractors that accused him of sugar coating a hidden religious agenda.
But if the idea of the Force is to get us thinking about God, then from the Christian perspective this means God as revealed in the Bible through the incarnation of Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches us that God is Spirit. He is everywhere present. The Spirit of God was transferred to the first man and imbued him with life.
As Luke grows in his knowledge of the Force he learns that the Jedi knights were keepers of the teachings of the Force. He learns a Jedi knight "can feel the Force flowing through him," and that while the Force partially controls his actions it also obeys the commands of the Jedi.

The Bible tells us that the living Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, will move the Christian along like wind in a ship’s sails. It is up to the Christian whether or not he listens to the prompting of God. The Bible reveals that God is moved by the prayers of believers, and that authority has been given to the Christian to impact things in heaven and on earth.

It’s important to remember that neither the Force nor Star Wars are Christian allegories and direct correlations can’t be drawn for the sake of spiritual instruction. But Star Wars is an important and powerful spiritual allegory in general.

As Obi Wan Kenobi awakens Luke to a spiritual realm that he never knew existed, Luke begins a quest to find his own destiny as well as to rescue a princess from the clutches of evil, embodied in the person of Darth Vader. Along his way he meets with a reckless pilot, Han Solo, who has little use for the Force or its spiritual significance, relying entirely on his own survival skills.

As a Christian progresses along his own path he is counseled by the Bible to trust only in the Spirit of God and not in his own strength. By doing this he grows in the knowledge of the provision that God has made for him.

Luke’s furthering quest brings him to the space fortress where the Princess is being held by Darth Vader. Vader, Luke has learned, was once a Jedi Knight until he allowed himself to be taken over by the "dark side" of the Force, following a path to power through evil. It is certainly easy enough to see a symbolic connection between Darth Vader and Satan.

Satan was once an important servant of God until pride turned him against God. Satan was expelled from the presence of God for all eternity and spends the time until his final judgment by luring people to an evil path that is apart from the Spirit of God. When Satan tempted Jesus he offered him wealth and power. Jesus countered all of the attacks by relying on the truth of the Bible and exalting the Spirit of God.

But an important difference in Christianity as opposed to that of the dark and light sides of the Force, is that Satan is subservient to God. Satan was created by God as an angel and in no way is a balancing evil to God’s good. God is the only all-powerful deity. Satan will ultimately be judged by Jesus Christ, the co-equal manifested nature of the Holy Trinity, and be cast forever into eternal punishment.

With the princess rescued, the band of adventurers is in need of a miraculous escape. In order to achieve such an escape, Obi Wan Kenobi confronts Darth Vader in battle. Through an intimate understanding of the Force, Obi Wan realizes the best way to propel Luke to the limits of his own spiritual journey is by allowing himself to be killed.

Obi Wan, as a Christ type, allows himself to be killed in order to win the freedom of others. Before he is struck down, Obi Wan informs Vader that his death would allow him to become more powerful than was imaginable. As Vader strikes the death blow Obi Wan vanishes, seemingly absorbed into the Force itself, only to reappear in Luke’s thoughts later on, to direct him in the ways of the Force.

Many times throughout the Gospels of the New Testament, Jesus says that only through His death and resurrection would His true ministry be done. The death of Christ on the cross was a substitution for the payment of man’s sins. After Jesus’ resurrection he ascended into heaven leaving an empty tomb behind, but before He ascended He promised the gift of the Holy Spirit that would impart the will of God into believers and direct them in their lives.

During the final climatic scenes Luke is reminded by Obi Wan’s presence through the force not to rely on his own judgment or that of computers but rather to "use the Force". The Bible reminds Christians not to rely on what they see but rather to walk by faith, and that the greatest strengths of all come from surrendering your weaknesses to God. ""Not by might, not by power, but by Spirit" says God".

While Star Wars is not a film about Christian allegory it is a very powerful movie with lasting imagery and a timeless story to which we can all relate at some level. We see ourselves as the young Luke Skywalker trying to figure out how he fits in with the physical and spiritual worlds around him. And while our quests may not be intergalactic in scale we are all constantly faced with decisions that will impact our futures and our relationship with God, the ultimate "force" in our lives.

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STARWARS NOT ON DVD!
Subject: Lucas On God? Phantom Menace
Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2000
From: Christopher

They say, "Money is the root of all evil"! Well, all I have to say about that is: George Lucas is taking this saying to heart when it comes to his Star War movies. Did you know that he is not releasing any of his Star War movies on DVD because he claims he will loose money by creating the movies in this format! The poor man. To Hell with his fans I guess. With estimates in the Billions for the total gross for these films, the man is claiming he is broke and cannot afford to put even the latest episode on DVD. I guess the situation that Mr. Lucas is in is such that we should all chip in to put food on his table yes? After all it is the Christian thing to do. Greed is something for evil men and I see this is the case for the person in your article were it states: LUCAS ON GOD: "I think there is a God. No question." I leave the judging up to you.

COOL ANALYSIS
May 17,1999. Cool and groovy analysis of this classic film. --Mat

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