Star Wars: Episode IV – a New Hope | Release | Cast | Plot
Star Wars is a 1977 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas, produced by Lucasfilm, and distributed by 20th Century Fox.
20th Century Fox changed the release date of Star Wars to the Wednesday before Memorial Day, May 25, 1977, out of concern that it would lose against other summer pictures, such as Smokey and the Bandit. However, few cinemas requested that the film be screened.
In return, 20th Century Fox requested that cinemas buy Star Wars in order to screen The Other Side of Midnight, a highly anticipated film based on a best-selling novel. On May 15, exactly ten days before the film’s premiere, The New York Times published the first advertisement for it.
The stock price of 20th Century Fox doubled within three weeks of the film’s premiere, setting a record high. Prior to 1977, the biggest yearly profit for 20th Century Fox was $37,000,000; in 1977, the business earned $79,000,000.
Although the film’s cultural neutrality contributed to its international success, Ladd grew worried during its Japanese debut. The audience’s silence following the screening caused Ladd, Jr. to fear that the picture would be unsuccessful.
He was then informed that in Japan, a film’s greatest honor is quiet. C-3PO, R2-D2, and Darth Vader put their imprints on the theater’s courtyard during a ceremony witnessed by hundreds.
- Mark Hamill
- Harrison Ford
- Carrie Fisher
- Peter Cushing
- Alec Guinness
- David Prowse
- James Earl Jones
- Anthony Daniels
- Kenny Baker
- and Peter Mayhew
are featured in this film. It is the first installment in the Star Wars film series and the fourth chapter of the “Skywalker Saga” in chronological order.
Rebel Alliance spies have stolen schematics for the Death Star, a huge space station capable of destroying entire worlds, during a galactic civil war.
Imperial Senator Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan, who is secretly one of the Rebellion’s commanders, obtains its blueprints, but her vessel is stopped by an Imperial Star Destroyer commanded by the merciless Darth Vader.
Before she is kidnapped, Leia hides the plans in the memory system of astromech droid R2-D2, who leaves with his companion, protocol droid C-3PO, in an escape pod to the nearby desert planet Tatooine.
Jawa traders capture the droids and sell them to moisture farmers Owen and Beru Lars, as well as their nephew Luke Skywalker. Luke discovers a holographic recording of Leia begging for assistance from Obi-Wan Kenobi while he is washing R2-D2.
Later, once Luke discovers that R2-D2 is missing, he is assaulted by Sand People while hunting for him but is rescued by Luke’s acquaintance “Old Ben” Kenobi, who reveals that “Obi-Wan” is his real name.
Obi-Wan tells Luke about his days as a Jedi Knight, the former protectors of the Galactic Republic who drew their magical skills from a metaphysical energy field known as “the Force,” but who was eventually pursued to near-extinction by the Empire.
Luke discovers that his father fought with Obi-Wan as a Jedi Knight during the Clone Wars until Darth Vader, Obi-old Wan’s student, went to the dark side of the Force and murdered him. Obi-Wan gives Luke the lightsaber used by his father, which is the trademark weapon of Jedi Knights.
R2-D2 plays the entirety of Leia’s message, in which she urges Obi-Wan to take the Death Star plans to Alderaan and offer them to her veteran father for examination.
Luke first denies Obi-offer Wan’s to follow him to Alderaan and learn the ways of the Force but is forced to accept when he learns that Imperial stormtroopers killed his aunt and uncle and destroyed their farm while searching for the droids.
Luke and Obi-Wan travel to a cantina in Mos Eisley to employ Han Solo, a smuggler with a bounty on his head due to his debt to the local gangster Jabba the Hutt. Obi-Wan, Luke, R2-D2, and C-3PO depart Tatooine with Han and his Wookiee co-pilot Chewbacca aboard the Millennium Falcon while being pursued by stormtroopers.
Grand Moff Tarkin, after interrogating Leia about the location of the Rebel Alliance’s stronghold, destroys Alderaan as a show of force before the Millennium Falcon can reach it. The Falcon is grabbed by the Death Star’s tractor beam upon arrival, but the crew escapes capture by hiding in the smuggling compartments.
As Obi-Wan leaves to destroy the tractor beam, Luke convinces Han and Chewbacca to assist him in rescuing Leia after learning that she will be executed. Obi-Wan sacrifices himself in a lightsaber duel with Darth Vader after weakening the tractor beam, allowing the rest of the crew to escape the Death Star with Leia.
The Empire traces the Falcon to the covert Rebel base on Yavin IV using a tracking device. The drawings disclose a concealed vulnerability in the thermal exhaust vent of the Death Star, which may allow the Rebels to spark a chain reaction in its primary reactor with a targeted proton torpedo strike.
Luke joins their X-wing starfighter squadron in a desperate strike against the impending Death Star while Han abandons the Rebels after collecting his prize for rescuing Leia. In the subsequent combat, Vader leads a squadron of TIE fighters against the Rebels, who suffer massive losses.
Han and Chewbacca come unexpectedly to aid them in the Falcon and knock Vader’s spacecraft off track, preventing him from shooting down Luke.
Luke, guided by the disembodied voice of Obi-spirit, Wan uses the Force to target his torpedoes at the exhaust port of the Death Star, destroying it mere seconds before it launches on the Rebel stronghold. Leia awards Luke and Han heroic medals at a triumphant ceremony at the base.