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Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope


6. Star Wars

Perhaps the most iconic and culturally ubiquitous film ever made, Star Wars is the first film in my favorite film franchise of all time, and many would argue that it is the best. It's the quintessential hero's journey tale, following the story of a farm boy named Luke who will go on to save the galaxy. I mean I'm sure all of you know the story of the first Star Wars film so I'm not going to give a full synopsis.

I've already reviewed two of the Star Wars films on my list so you all already know my thoughts on the franchise as a whole so talking about the movie that started all this 40 year long hullaballoo I think the thing to realize is that this film really just sets the standard for every film that has come since it in the big budget hollywood film industry. Everyone wants a big franchise and this is the grandaddy of them all. And for good reason. This film was phenomenal. It's narrative was so well paced and structured the effects are unmatched for their time (and are still fairly convincing now even though they obviously are a bit dated, you know, after almost 40 years), and above all else it's just a film that creates a feeling of childlike wonder in many respects. This is a film that I've watched probably more times than i should have (hell in the last 8 months I've seen it 6 times and I've been watching it for 10 years.

The characters in the film are also fantastic. Luke is a compelling hero as he's just a kid who dreams of something bigger but he hasn't quite figured out how to get there yet. Han is a charming but selfish jerk with a heart of gold in the end (and is kind of bullsh*tting his way through life) and Leia is a capable princess who, while seemingly is a damsel in distress ends up saving the guys on more than one occasion. Obi-Wan is the quintessential sage/old mentor type and Alec Guinness brings it in this film as he just adds a whole level of gravitas to the film with his presence. Vader is imposing (though not nearly as impressive a villain as in the later films) and the Empire as a whole feels like a powerful foe.

Of course you can't talk about this film without talking about the iconic score. The original trilogy to me has the best music in film history. It's instantly recognizable and adds so much to the film. John Williams is a living legend. Binary Sunset is and always will be my favorite piece of music ever, it's just so beautiful and encapsulates everything this franchise is about so well.

Overall, there's not much I can say about the film that hasn't already been said, it's a near-flawless film (though the cinematography isn't as good as it's sequels and the dialogue isn't great, both courtesy of George Lucas--bleh) and absolutely deserves a spot in the top 10 and it's recognition as one of the great films of all time.