Starring: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Alec Guinness, James Earl Jones
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Drama
With May being the 40th anniversary of the legendary ongoing sci-fi film series, the film that started it all takes audiences both old and young to a new galaxy where hope and democracy are on the brink of destruction from the Empire of the Sith. While lightsaber dueling didn’t improve until the later films, the special effects for its time were considered to be memorable and outstanding achievements. To this day, Star Wars let alone the original trilogy remain as an instant classic among old and new fans alike.
Violence/Scary Images: For young viewers, Darth Vader, the Sand People, and other lifeforms can come off as a little intimidating but nothing that should definitely be a worry. Storm troopers are shot down along with rebels and a planet is blown up.
Language/Crude Humor: “Hell” is thrown around from time to time such as from Han Solo.
Spiritual Content: A large amount can be found with the classic idea of “the chosen one” who is destined for great things. The Force is seen as a pantheistic belief where one is all and all is one to a certain degree since the Force flows and relies on concentration.
Sexual Content: None.
Drug/Alcohol References: Ben Kenobi and Luke go to a bar to find Han and Chewie but nothing else beyond that.
Other Negative Content: None.
Positive Content: Friendship, bravery, courage, and faith can all be found in the film through the rebellion as they fight for all against the Empire.
Before getting into the review, I would like to point out that this review covers the original film, before the edits during the DVD releases, which fans can easily point and notice. When I was young and saw Star Wars on VHS, my mind exploded in countless directions as I experienced a film that would play a large part of my film and personal life. Though I was (and still am) more of a Darth Vader fan and a follower of the Dark Side, I found Luke Skywalker to be quite an interesting character over the years. He represents the typical yet classical hero who always wanted to achieve greatness yet never had the opportunity due to his circumstances. Despite this, lo and behold, adventure comes his way as he comes into contact with Ben Kenobi and a hologram message from Princess Lea of Alderaan. Starting out from rags and ending in being awarded as a hero is something that children dream of in their life time, myself included.
On this adventure, a variety of characters with opposite personalities are well-balanced in both their writing and script. Even in their arguments and disagreements do they blend well together as they play off each other’s dialogue. Audiences have the rebellious standoff character, the character with a heart and endurance, the wise mentor, and the independent female who acts more of a leader than a princess despite her social status on Alderaan. The story overall in itself is well-blended with action, drama, suspense, and even moments of comedic relief with R2-D2 and C-3PO.
Since my first watch of Star Wars, Darth Vader soon became my favorite movie villain of all time. What makes his character so intimidating that he wears a full-face mask that hides any emotional expression. As if that was not enough, his deep breathing and somewhat robotic voice adds to the to how much of a great villain he is. Until Episode V, Darth Vader remains a mystery for audiences as to who he is behind the mask and why he is who he is as a conqueror and a ruler.
One of my personal favorite thoughts about Star Wars is the fact that it starts right off into action with the little background story that was told in the opening scene with the running paragraph. From then on, we are immediately watching Vader and his Stormtroopers take down the rebel ship. Furthermore, the action for its time in the sci-fi genre was absolutely astonishing, hence its Oscar win for Best Visual Effects and Editing. Furthermore, what makes Star Wars significantly great is that it does not rely solely on multiple alien languages and races to be a sci-fi film. The characters not only speak English, but also have a large amount of sarcasm, wittiness, and overall human traits. Even robotic characters such as R2-D2 or other races such as Chewbacca don’t have to speak a single human word to portray emotion and a sense of connection through their own language and beeps.
As previously said, Star Wars is a classic story of a boy destined for greatness. What also makes it great and memorable is the fact that the story is a also a classic telling and portrayal of good and evil. This idea later evolves and develops as seen in Episode V and VI after Darth Vader’s reveal, but regardless, the depiction of good and evil is classy not just in who is fighting but in the symbolism, costume design, colored lightsabers, and more. It is no surprise that the Stormtroopers let alone the Empire itself represent an evil that symbolizes Nazism and WWII, from the name ‘Stormtroopers’ to the grey uniforms, totalitarianism, and fight for freedom and the republic. Classic storylines such as this remains classics for people of all ages, as seen in Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, Star Trek, and much more.
If there is any difficulty that I had with Star Wars that I still have today is that at certain points, it does take its time in the area of dialogue. As a child, it got boring and as an adult, it’s not a problem really but it is noticeable.
As seen in Star Wars VII and Rogue One, Star Wars continues to remain alive today as a fantastic film for people of all ages that are sci-fi fantasy fans. Despite the difficulties with the prequel trilogy, the original trilogy remains as a classic and groundbreaking in its time. It is a series that certainly will not be forgotten any time soon.
Trey Soto holds a B.A. in Communication Studies from Biola University, emphasis in Interpersonal/Rhetorical Theory. He has been a Film Critic/Analysis for over a year at Geeks Under Grace and other websites such as Temple of Geek. In his spare time, he enjoys comic book literature, screenwriting, production assistant freelancing, photography, cosplay, and hosting his own film podcast T.V. Trey on Podbean and iTunes.
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