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In the Expanded Universe, he casts a shadow that -- though it's a different kind of shadow -- is nearly as long as that of Darth Vader and the Emperor. So they clandestinely send in the new Rogue Squadron, which had been rebuilt with squad members had a number of other martial skills beyond being great pilots.

Grand Admiral Thrawn has reunited much of the remains of the Empire and is ripping the New Republic a new one. Then a wild card enters the fray: the mythical Katana Fleet, massive droid-controlled dreadnoughts that had disappeared from known space due to a computer error during the Clone Wars decades earlier. By chance it's been found, and it's a race to see which side can claim them first -- because the Katana fleet would seriously tilt the balance of the war. Massively outgunned, Wedge pulls a whole lot of seat-of-your-pants gambits out of his ass -- and this pair of books, authored by the late Aaron Allston, is full of great and witty dialogue of the sort you just never got from other "Star Wars" authors.

I treat "Enemy Lines" as a singular entity because the two sort of function as a single book split in half. In "The Phantom Menace," for example, fans complain about all the talk of trade routes and taxes -- but the real problem was just that we didn't understand what any of it meant just from the movie. Enter "Cloak of Deception," which gave the Trade Federation's beef with the Republic exactly the context it needed and by extension improving that bad movie in a real way. It's the most human of all the "Star Wars" stories, full of truth.

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It's also notable as a film novelization because it leans heavily on the Expanded Universe, with other books being referenced heavily. And that's why it qualifies for this list -- a lot of stuff here isn't part of the canon anymore. Wedge Antilles and pals Tycho, Hobbie and Janson, are sent as diplomats to a newly discovered planet full of people who pretty don't give a shit about anyone who isn't a fighter pilot.

It's incessantly funny and weird -- a great little side story that's as witty as they get in this universe. This is what led to the fun and adventurous tone of the space opera. Of course I realize now how crude and badly done they were I wanted to make a Flash Gordon movie, with all the trimmings, but I couldn't obtain the rights to the characters. So I began researching and went right back and found where Alex Raymond who had done the original Flash Gordon comic strips in newspapers had got his idea from.

I discovered that he'd got his inspiration from the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs author of Tarzan and especially from his John Carter of Mars series books. I read through that series, then found that what had sparked Burroughs off was a science-fantasy called Gulliver on Mars , written by Edwin Arnold and published in That was the first story in this genre that I have been able to trace. Jules Verne had got pretty close, I suppose, but he never had a hero battling against space creatures or having adventures on another planet.

A whole new genre developed from that idea. Director Francis Ford Coppola , who accompanied Lucas in trying to buy the Flash Gordon rights, recounted in "[George] was very depressed because he had just come back and they wouldn't sell him Flash Gordon. And he says, 'Well, I'll just invent my own. Lucas began writing in January , "eight hours a day, five days a week", [29] by taking small notes, inventing odd names and assigning them possible characterizations.

Lucas would discard many of these by the time the final script was written, but he included several names and places in the final script or its sequels. He used these initial names and ideas to compile a two-page synopsis titled Journal of the Whills , which told the tale of the training of apprentice CJ Thorpe as a " Jedi -Bendu" space commando by the legendary Mace Windy. After United Artists declined to budget the film, Lucas and producer Gary Kurtz presented the film treatment to Universal Pictures , the studio that financed American Graffiti ; however, it rejected its options for the film because the concept was "a little strange", and it said that Lucas should follow American Graffiti with more consequential themes.

Lucas said, "I've always been an outsider to Hollywood types. They think I do weirdo films. He added: "My main reason for making it was to give young people an honest, wholesome fantasy life, the kind my generation had. We had Westerns, pirate movies, all kinds of great things. Where are the romance, the adventure, and the fun that used to be in practically every movie made? There were also concerns regarding the project's potentially high budget.

Lucas and Kurtz, in pitching the film, said that it would be "low-budget, Roger Corman style, and the budget was never going to be more than—well, originally we had proposed about 8 million, it ended up being about Both of those figures are very low budget by Hollywood standards at the time. Although Ladd did not grasp the technical side of the project, he believed that Lucas was talented.

Lucas later stated that Ladd "invested in me, he did not invest in the movie. For Lucas, this deal protected Star Wars ' s unwritten segments and most of the merchandising profits. Since commencing his writing process in January , Lucas had done "various rewrites in the evenings after the day's work. It's always been what you might call a good idea in search of a story.

He changed Starkiller to an adolescent boy, and he shifted the general into a supporting role as a member of a family of dwarfs.

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He based Chewbacca on his Alaskan Malamute dog, Indiana whom he would later use as namesake for his character Indiana Jones , who often acted as the director's "co-pilot" by sitting in the passenger seat of his car. Lucas began researching the science-fiction genre by watching films and reading books and comics.

However, in this draft, the father is a hero who is still alive at the start of the film. Lucas completed a second draft of The Star Wars in January , making heavy simplifications and introducing the young hero on a farm as Luke Starkiller. Annikin became Luke's father, a wise Jedi knight. For example, Luke had several brothers, as well as his father, who appears in a minor role at the end of the film. This version ended with another text crawl, previewing the next story in the series. This draft was also the first to introduce the concept of a Jedi turning to the dark side: the draft included a historical Jedi who was the first to ever fall to the dark side, and then trained the Sith to use it.

Lucas hired conceptual artist Ralph McQuarrie to create paintings of certain scenes, several of which Lucas included with his screenplay when he delivered it to 20th Century Fox. This third draft had most of the elements of the final plot, with only some differences in the characters and settings. The draft characterized Luke as an only child, with his father already dead, replacing him with a substitute named Ben Kenobi. Lucas worked with his friends Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck to revise the fourth draft into the final pre-production script.

Lucas finished writing his script in March , when the crew started filming. He said, "What finally emerged through the many drafts of the script has obviously been influenced by science-fiction and action-adventure I've read and seen. And I've seen a lot of it. I'm trying to make a classic sort of genre picture, a classic space fantasy in which all the influences are working together. There are certain traditional aspects of the genre I wanted to keep and help perpetuate in Star Wars.

For the film's opening crawl , Lucas originally wrote a composition consisting of six paragraphs with four sentences each. It's like a poem. It goes on forever. It's gibberish. Let me sit down and write this for you. George Lucas recruited many conceptual designers, including Colin Cantwell, who worked on A Space Odyssey , to conceptualize the initial spacecraft models; Alex Tavoularis to create the preliminary conceptual storyboard sketches of early scripts; and Ralph McQuarrie to visualize the characters, costumes, props and scenery.

After McQuarrie's drawings for Lucas's colleagues Hal Barwood and Matthew Robbins who were collaborating for a film caught his interest, Lucas met with McQuarrie to discuss his plans for the untitled space fantasy film he wanted to make. Two years later, after completing American Graffiti , Lucas approached McQuarrie and asked him if he would be interested "in doing something for Star Wars.

The film was ambitious as Lucas wanted to create fresh prop prototypes and sets based on McQuarrie's paintings that had never been realized before in science fiction films. He commissioned production designers John Barry and Roger Christian , who were working on the sets of the film Lucky Lady when Lucas first approached them, to work on the production sets. Christian recounted in "George came to the set I was doing, it was an old salt factory design and he helped me shovel salt, just like two students in plaid shirts and sneakers.

And we spoke and he looked at the set and couldn't believe it wasn't real. Christian said that Lucas "didn't want anything [in Star Wars ] to stand out, he wanted it [to look] all real and used. And I said, 'Finally somebody's doing it the right way. Lucas described a "used future" concept to the production designers in which all devices, ships, and buildings looked aged and dirty.

Barry said that the director "wants to make it look like it's shot on location on your average everyday Death Star or Mos Eisley Spaceport or local cantina. Nothing was new. George was going right against that. The designers started working with the director before Star Wars was approved by 20th Century Fox.

Although Lucas initially provided funds using his earnings from American Graffiti , it was inadequate. As they could not afford to dress the sets, Christian was forced to use unconventional methods and materials to achieve the desired look. He suggested that Lucas use scrap in making the dressings, and the director agreed. I used to do it with models when I was a kid. I'd stick things on them and we'd make things look old.

According to Christian, the Millennium Falcon set was the most difficult to build. Christian wanted the interior of the Falcon to look like that of a submarine. The garbage compactor set "was also pretty hard, because I knew I had actors in there and the walls had to come in, and they had to be in dirty water and I had to get stuff that would be light enough so it wouldn't hurt them but also not bobbing around. The massive rebel hangar set was housed at a second sound stage at Shepperton Studios ; the stage was the largest in Europe at the time.

Most of the visual effects used pioneering digital motion control photography developed by John Dykstra and his team, which created the illusion of size by employing small models and slowly moving cameras. George Lucas tried "to get a cohesive reality" for his feature. However, since the film is a fairy tale , as he had described, "I still wanted it to have an ethereal quality, yet be well composed and, also, have an alien look.

To achieve this, he hired the British cinematographer Gilbert Taylor. However, he eventually withdrew to work on the Vincente Minnelli -directed A Matter of Time instead, which "really annoy[ed]" Kurtz. Strangelove and A Hard Day's Night both On his decision, Lucas said: "I thought they were good, eccentrically photographed pictures with a strong documentary flavor.

Taylor said that Lucas, who was consumed by the details of the complicated production, "avoided all meetings and contact with me from day one, so I read the extra-long script many times and made my own decisions as to how I would shoot the picture. During production, Lucas and Taylor—whom Kurtz called "old-school" and "crotchety" [63] —had disputes over filming. His lighting suggestions were rejected by Taylor, who believed that Lucas was overstepping his boundaries by giving specific instructions, sometimes even moving lights and cameras himself.

Taylor refused to use the soft-focus lenses and gauze Lucas wanted after Fox executives complained about the look. Originally, Lucas envisioned the planet of Tatooine , where much of the film would take place, as a jungle planet. Gary Kurtz traveled to the Philippines to scout locations; however, because of the idea of spending months filming in the jungle would make Lucas "itchy", the director refined his vision and made Tatooine a desert planet instead. When principal photography began on March 22, , in the Tunisian desert for the scenes on Tatooine, the project faced several problems.

Taylor said, "you couldn't really see where the land ended and the sky began. It was all a gray mess, and the robots were just a blur. But George saw it differently, so we tried using nets and other diffusion. He asked to set up one shot on the robots with a mm, and the sand and sky just mushed together. I told him it wouldn't work, but he said that was the way he wanted to do the entire film, all diffused.

Filming began in Chott el Djerid , while a construction crew in Tozeur took eight weeks to transform the desert into the desired setting. Kenny Baker , who portrayed R2-D2, said: "I was incredibly grateful each time an [R2] would actually work right. Lucas chose Hotel Sidi Driss, which is larger than the typical underground dwellings, to shoot the interior of Luke's homestead.

After completing two and a half weeks of filming in Tunisia, [69] the cast and crew moved into the more controlled environment of Elstree Studios , near London. The film studio was the only one of its kind in Britain or America that could cater nine large stages at the same time and allow the company complete freedom to use its own personnel. Most of the crew considered the project a "children's film", rarely took their work seriously, and often found it unintentionally humorous. Harrison Ford found it strange that "there's a princess with weird buns in her hair", and called Chewbacca a "giant in a monkey suit".

He said that "they were all black and gray, with really no opportunities for lighting at all". To resolve the problem, he worked the lighting into the sets by chopping in its walls, ceiling and floors. This would result in "a 'cut-out' system of panel lighting", with quartz lamps that could be placed in the holes in the walls, ceiling and floors. His idea was supported by the Fox studio, which agreed that "we couldn't have this ' black hole of Calcutta. The moon Yavin 4 , which acted as the rebel base in the film, was filmed in the Mayan temples at Tikal , Guatemala.

Lucas selected the location as a potential filming site after seeing a poster of it hanging at a travel agency while he was filming in Britain. This inspired him to send a film crew to Guatemala in March to shoot scenes. While filming in Tikal, the crew paid locals with a six pack of beer to watch over the camera equipment for several days.

Lucas rarely spoke to the actors, who believed that he expected too much of them while providing little direction. His directions to the actors usually consisted of the words "faster" and "more intense". A lot of actors don't mind—they don't care, they just get on with it. But some actors really need a lot of pampering and a lot of feedback, and if they don't get it, they get paranoid that they might not be doing a good job.

Ladd offered Lucas some of the only support from the studio; he dealt with scrutiny from board members over the rising budget and complex screenplay drafts. At the same time, after production fell behind schedule, Ladd told Lucas he had to finish production within a week or he would be forced to shut down production. Kurtz said that "it came out to be like 9. Under the new system, the project met the studio's deadline. During production, the cast attempted to make Lucas laugh or smile, as he often appeared depressed. At one point, the project became so demanding that Lucas was diagnosed with hypertension and exhaustion and was warned to reduce his stress level.

Moreover, Mark Hamill 's car accident left his face visibly scarred, which restricted re-shoots. Star Wars was originally slated for release on Christmas ; however, its production delays pushed the film's release to mid According to an article in Star Wars Insider No. Richard Chew found the film to have a lethargic pace and to have been cut in a by-the-book manner: scenes were played out in master shots that flowed into close-up coverage. He found that the pace was dictated by the actors instead of the cuts.

Hirsch and Chew worked on two reels simultaneously. Jympson's original assembly contained a large amount of footage which differed from the final cut of the film, including several alternate takes and a number of scenes which were subsequently deleted to improve the narrative pace.

The most significant material cut was a series of scenes from the first part of the film which introduced Luke Skywalker. These early scenes, set in Anchorhead on the planet Tatooine, presented the audience with Luke's everyday life among his friends as it is affected by the space battle above the planet; they also introduced the character of Biggs Darklighter , Luke's closest friend who departs to join the rebellion. There were too many story lines to keep straight: the robots and the Princess, Vader, Luke.

So we simplified it by taking out Luke and Biggs". Lucas was looking for a way of accelerating the storytelling, and removing Luke's early scenes would distinguish Star Wars from his earlier teenage drama and "get that American Graffiti feel out of it". The company had spent half of its budget on four shots that Lucas deemed unacceptable.

With hundreds of uncompleted shots remaining, ILM was forced to finish a year's work in six months. Lucas inspired ILM by editing together aerial dogfights from old war films, which enhanced the pacing of the scenes. During the chaos of production and post-production, the team made decisions about character voicing and sound effects.

Sound designer Ben Burtt had created a library of sounds that Lucas referred to as an "organic soundtrack". Blaster sounds were a modified recording of a steel cable, under tension, being struck. The lightsaber sound effect was developed by Burtt as a combination of the hum of idling interlock motors in aged movie projectors and interference caused by a television set on a shieldless microphone. Burtt discovered the latter accidentally as he was looking for a buzzing, sparking sound to add to the projector-motor hum.

Lucas and Burtt created the robotic voice of R2-D2 by filtering their voices through an electronic synthesizer.

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Darth Vader's breathing was achieved by Burtt breathing through the mask of a scuba regulator implanted with a microphone. In February , Lucas screened an early cut of the film for Fox executives, several director friends, along with Roy Thomas and Howard Chaykin of Marvel Comics who were preparing a Star Wars comic book. The cut had a different crawl from the finished version and used Prowse's voice for Darth Vader. It also lacked most special effects; hand-drawn arrows took the place of blaster beams, and when the Millennium Falcon fought TIE fighters , the film cut to footage of World War II dogfights.

Spielberg, who said he was the only person in the audience to have enjoyed the film, believed that the lack of enthusiasm was due to the absence of finished special effects. Lucas later said that the group was honest and seemed bemused by the film. In contrast, Ladd and the other studio executives loved the film; Gareth Wigan told Lucas: "This is the greatest film I've ever seen" and cried during the screening.

Lucas found the experience shocking and rewarding, having never gained any approval from studio executives before. Lucas had planned to rework a confrontation scene between Han Solo and Jabba the Hutt in Mos Eisley Spaceport by compositing a stop-motion animated model of Jabba to replace the actor Declan Mulholland , but with time and money running out, Lucas reluctantly decided to cut the scene entirely.

The sequence was later re-instated in the Special Edition with a computer-generated version of Jabba. Williams had worked with Spielberg on the film Jaws , for which he won an Academy Award. Lucas believed that the film would portray visually foreign worlds, but that the musical score would give the audience an emotional familiarity; he wanted a grand musical sound for Star Wars , with leitmotifs to provide distinction. Therefore, he assembled his favorite orchestral pieces for the soundtrack, until Williams convinced him that an original score would be unique and more unified.

However, a few of Williams's pieces were influenced by the tracks given to him by Lucas: the "Main Title Theme" was inspired by the theme from the film Kings Row , scored by Erich Wolfgang Korngold ; and the track "Dune Sea of Tatooine" drew from the soundtrack of Bicycle Thieves , scored by Alessandro Cicognini. The American Film Institute 's list of best film scores ranks the Star Wars soundtrack at number one. According to Lucas, different concepts of the film were inspired by numerous sources, such as Beowulf and King Arthur for the origins of myth and religion.

The influence of The Hidden Fortress can be seen in the relationship between C-3PO and R2-D2, which evolved from the two bickering peasants, Tahei and Matashichi, and a Japanese family crest seen in the earlier film is similar to the Imperial Crest. Star Wars also borrows heavily from another Kurosawa film, Yojimbo There are also thematic parallels, including the freedom fight by a rebel army against an empire, and politicians who meddle behind the scenes.

Tatooine is similar to the desert planet of Arrakis from Frank Herbert 's Dune series. Arrakis is the only known source of a longevity spice ; Star Wars makes references to spice in "the spice mines of Kessel", and a spice freighter. In passing, Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru are "moisture farmers"; in Dune , dew collectors are used by Fremen to "provide a small but reliable source of water.

The Death Star assault scene was modeled after the World War II film The Dam Busters , in which Royal Air Force Lancaster bombers fly along heavily defended reservoirs and aim bouncing bombs at dams, in order to cripple the heavy industry of Germany's Ruhr region. In addition, the sequence was partially inspired by the climax of the film Squadron , directed by Walter Grauman , [92] in which RAF de Havilland Mosquitos attack a German heavy water plant by flying down a narrow fjord to drop special bombs at a precise point, while avoiding anti-aircraft guns and German fighters.

Clips from both films were included in Lucas's temporary dogfight footage version of the sequence. The opening shot of Star Wars , in which a detailed spaceship fills the screen overhead, is a reference to the scene introducing the interplanetary spacecraft Discovery One in Stanley Kubrick 's seminal film A Space Odyssey. The earlier big-budget science fiction film influenced the look of Star Wars in many other ways, including the use of EVA pods and hexagonal corridors.

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The Death Star has a docking bay reminiscent of the one on the orbiting space station in While the film was in production, a logo was commissioned from Dan Perri , a title sequence designer who had worked on the titles for films such as The Exorcist and Taxi Driver This logo design was originally conceived to follow the same perspective as the film's opening crawl.

In the end, Perri's logo was not used for the film's opening title sequence, although it was used widely on pre-release print advertising and on cinema marquees. The logotype eventually selected for on-screen use originated in a promotional brochure that was distributed by Fox to cinema owners in This brochure was designed by Suzy Rice , a young art director at the Los Angeles advertising agency Seiniger Advertising.

On a visit to ILM in Van Nuys, Rice was instructed by Lucas to produce a logo that would intimidate the viewer, and he reportedly asked for the logo to appear "very fascist " in style. Rice's response to her brief was to use an outlined, modified Helvetica Black. Lucas signed off on the brochure in between takes while filming inserts for the Mos Eisley Cantina scene. Gary Kurtz was impressed with Rice's logo and selected it over Perri's design for the film's opening titles, after modifying the letter W to flatten the pointed tips originally designed by Rice. This finalized the design of one of the most recognisable logos in cinema design, although Rice's contribution was not credited in the film.

For the US release in , 20th Century Fox commissioned a promotional film poster from the advertising agency Smolen, Smith and Connolly. They used the freelance artist Tom Jung who was given the brief of "good over evil". Some Fox executives considered this poster "too dark" and commissioned the Brothers Hildebrandt , a pair of well-known fantasy artists , to rework the poster for the UK release. Fox and Lucasfilm subsequently decided that they wanted to promote the new film with a less stylised and more realistic depiction of the lead characters. Producer Gary Kurtz turned to the film poster artist Tom Chantrell , who was already well known for his prolific work for Hammer horror films , and commissioned a new version.

Charles Lippincott was the marketing director for Star Wars. As 20th Century Fox gave little support for marketing beyond licensing T-shirts and posters, Lippincott was forced to look elsewhere.

He secured deals with Marvel Comics for a comic book adaptation, and with Del Rey Books for a novelization. A fan of science fiction, he used his contacts to promote the film at the San Diego Comic-Con and elsewhere within science-fiction fandom. While initially only being released in a limited theatrical run, Star Wars was an unprecedented success for 20th Century Fox, soon becoming a blockbuster hit and expanding to a much wider release. It would eventually see many theatrical and home video re-releases.

However, fewer than 40 theaters ordered the film to be shown. In response, the studio demanded that theaters order Star Wars if they wanted the eagerly anticipated The Other Side of Midnight based on the novel by the same name.

Kenner's classic Star Wars toys featured many subtle -- and weird -- variations.

Star Wars debuted on Wednesday, May 25, , in fewer than 32 theaters, and eight more on Thursday and Friday. Kurtz said in , "That would be laughable today. Spielberg disagreed, and believed Star Wars would be the bigger hit. Lucas proposed they trade 2. Fox initially had doubts if Star Wars would emerge successful. The Other Side of Midnight was supposed to be the studio's big summer hit, while Lucas's movie was considered the "B track" for theater owners nationwide.

While Fox requested Mann's Chinese Theatre , the studio promised that the film only needed two weeks. Having forgotten that the film would open that day, [] he spent most of Wednesday in a sound studio in Los Angeles. When Lucas went out for lunch with Marcia, they encountered a long line of people along the sidewalks leading to Mann's Chinese Theatre , waiting to see Star Wars. The film was a huge success for 20th Century Fox, and was credited for reinvigorating the company. Within three weeks of the film's release, the studio's stock price had doubled to a record high. After the screening, the audience was silent, leading him to fear that the film would be unsuccessful.

Ladd was reassured by his local contacts that this was a positive reaction considering that in Japan, silence was the greatest honor to a film, and the subsequent strong box office returns confirmed its popularity. After two weeks William Friedkin 's Sorcerer replaced Star Wars at Mann's Chinese Theatre because of contractual obligations; Mann Theatres moved the film to a less-prestigious location after quickly renovating it. News reports of the film's popularity in America caused long lines to form at the two London theaters that first offered the film; it became available in 12 large cities in January , and other London theaters in February.

Star Wars was re-released theatrically in , , and , [] with the subtitle Episode IV — A New Hope being added in The film was digitally remastered with some altered scenes in for a theatrical rerelease, dubbed the "Special Edition". Since its original release, the film has also been dubbed and subtitled into numerous languages. In , Star Wars was dubbed into Navajo , making it the first major motion picture translated into a Native American language. The retroactive addition of these subtitles was intended to bring the film into line with the introduction to its sequel, The Empire Strikes Back , which was released in bearing the designation "Episode V".

This version of the film runs minutes. The Special Edition contains visual shots and scenes that were unachievable in the original release due to financial, technological, and time constraints; one such scene involves a meeting between Han Solo and Jabba the Hutt. Star Wars required extensive recovery of misplaced footage and restoration of the whole film before Lucas's Special Edition modifications could be attempted. It was discovered that in addition to the negative motion picture stocks commonly used on feature films, Lucas had also used Color Reversal Internegative CRI film, a reversal stock subsequently discontinued by Kodak.

CRI proved to deteriorate faster than negative stocks did, although it theoretically was of higher quality, as it saved two generations an interpositive followed by an internegative , where employed. Because of this, the entire composited negative had to be disassembled, and the CRI portions cleaned separately from the negative portions. Once the cleaning was complete, the film was scanned into the computer for restoration. In many cases, entire scenes had to be reconstructed from their individual elements.

Digital compositing technology allowed the restorers to correct for problems such as misalignment of mattes and "blue-spill". By , this copy had been transferred to a 2K scan, now available to be viewed by appointment. The final issue of the original theatrical release pre-Special Edition to VHS format occurred in , as part of "Last Chance to Own the Original" campaign, available as part of a trilogy set and as a standalone purchase.

The films were digitally restored and remastered, and more changes were made by Lucas. The trilogy was re-released on separate two-disc limited edition DVD sets from September 12 to December 31, , and again in a limited edition tin box set on November 4, ; [] the original versions of the films were added as bonus material. The release was met with criticism as the unaltered versions were from the non- anamorphic LaserDisc masters and were not re-transferred using modern video standards.

The transfer led to problems with colors and digital image jarring. All six Star Wars films were released by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment on Blu-ray Disc on September 16, in three different editions, with A New Hope available in both a box set of the original trilogy [] [] and with all six films on Star Wars: The Complete Saga , which includes nine discs and over 40 hours of special features.

Fox released A New Hope for digital download on April 10, In December , an interview done by Rogue One director Gareth Edwards revealed that Lucasfilm had recently completed a 4K restoration of the film, but did not elaborate on whether the restored version was based on the original or a subsequent re-release. Star Wars remains one of the most financially successful films of all time. On July 21, while still in current release in 38 theatres in the U.

Following the release of the Special Edition in , [] Star Wars briefly reclaimed the North American record before losing it again the following year to Titanic. The film was met with critical acclaim upon its release. In his review, Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times called the film "an out-of-body experience", compared its special effects to those of A Space Odyssey , and opined that the true strength of the film was its "pure narrative".

Murphy of Variety described the film as "magnificent" and said George Lucas had succeeded in his attempt to create the "biggest possible adventure fantasy" based on the serials and older action epics from his childhood. When Star Wars opened in the UK, stating that Lucas's earlier films were better, Derek Malcolm of The Guardian concluded that it "plays enough games to satisfy the most sophisticated.

The film continues to receive critical acclaim from modern critics.

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Its consensus states in summary, "A legendarily expansive and ambitious start to the sci-fi saga, George Lucas opened our eyes to the possibilities of blockbuster filmmaking and things have never been the same. Gene Siskel , writing for the Chicago Tribune in , said, "What places it a sizable cut above the routine is its spectacular visual effects, the best since Stanley Kubrick 's I doubt that anyone will ever match it, though the imitations must already be on the drawing boards. The film garnered numerous accolades after its release. The original Star Wars trilogy is considered one of the best film trilogies in history.

However, he said that his story material for Star Wars was too long for a single film, prompting Lucas to split the story into multiple films. As the stories unfolded, I would take certain ideas and save them I kept taking out all the good parts, and I just kept telling myself I would make other movies someday. The film has spawned a series of films consisting of three trilogies including the original film , anthology films and an extensive media franchise called the Star Wars expanded universe including books , television series, computer and video games , and comic books.

However, many bootleg copies exist, and the special has consequently become something of an underground legend. A radio drama adaptation of the film was broadcast on the American National Public Radio network in It also featured scenes not seen in the final cut of the film, such as Luke Skywalker's observation of the space battle above Tatooine through binoculars, a skyhopper race, and Darth Vader's interrogation of Princess Leia. The radio version was originally considered to be part of the official Star Wars canon , [] [] but has since been supplanted by revised canonical narratives.

Star Wars and its ensuing film installments have been explicitly referenced and satirized across a wide range of media. Hardware Wars , released in , was one of the first fan films to parody Star Wars. Contemporary animated comedy TV series Family Guy , [] Robot Chicken , [] and The Simpsons [] have produced episodes satirizing the film series. Star Wars , together with Lucas, is the subject of the documentary film The People vs.

George Lucas that details the issues of filmmaking and fanaticism pertaining to the film franchise and its creator. The iconic weapon of choice of the Jedi , the lightsaber , was voted as the most popular weapon in film history in a survey of approximately 2, film fans. Approximately mailboxes across the country were also designed to look like R2-D2. The film was one of the first films to link genres together to invent a new, high-concept genre for filmmakers to build upon.

Jackson used the concept for his production of The Lord of the Rings trilogy to add a sense of realism and believability. Some critics have blamed Star Wars , as well as Jaws , for ruining Hollywood by shifting its focus from "sophisticated" films such as The Godfather , Taxi Driver , and Annie Hall to films about spectacle and juvenile fantasy. They marched backward through the looking-glass. The publication said it was a "big early supporter" of the vision which would become Star Wars.

In an article intended for the cover of the issue, Time ' s Gerald Clarke wrote that Star Wars is "a grand and glorious film that may well be the smash hit of , and certainly is the best movie of the year so far. The result is a remarkable confection: a subliminal history of the movies, wrapped in a riveting tale of suspense and adventure, ornamented with some of the most ingenious special effects ever contrived for film. American Film Institute []. Star Wars was voted the second most popular film by Americans in a nationwide poll conducted by the market research firm, Harris Interactive.

Reputable publications also have included Star Wars in their best films lists: in , Empire magazine ranked Star Wars at No. Lucas's original screenplay was selected by the Writers Guild of America as the 68th greatest of all time. In addition to the film's multiple awards and nominations, Star Wars has also been recognized by the American Film Institute on several of its lists. Little Star Wars merchandise was available for several months after the film's debut, as only Kenner Products had accepted marketing director Charles Lippincott's licensing offers.

Kenner responded to the sudden demand for toys by selling boxed vouchers in its "empty box" Christmas campaign. Television commercials told children and parents that vouchers within a "Star Wars Early Bird Certificate Package" could be redeemed for four action figures between February and June The novelization of the film was published as Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker in December , six months before the film was released.

The credited author was George Lucas, but the book was revealed to have been ghostwritten by Alan Dean Foster. Marketing director Charles Lippincott secured the deal with Del Rey Books to publish the novelization in November By February , a half million copies had been sold. Marvel Comics also adapted the film as the first six issues of its licensed Star Wars comic book , with the first issue sold in April Roy Thomas was the writer and Howard Chaykin was the artist of the adaptation.

Like the novelization, it contained certain elements, such as the scene with Luke and Biggs, that appeared in the screenplay but not in the finished film. Lucasfilm adapted the story for a children's book-and-record set. Each page of the book contained a cropped frame from the movie with an abridged and condensed version of the story. The script was adapted by E. Jack Kaplan and Cheryl Gard. An audio CD boxed set of the Star Wars radio series was released in , containing the original radio drama along with the radio adaptations of the sequels, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the film. For other uses, see A New Hope disambiguation. Theatrical release poster by Tom Jung. It's the flotsam and jetsam from the period when I was twelve years old. All the books and films and comics that I liked when I was a child. The plot is simple—good against evil—and the film is designed to be all the fun things and fantasy things I remember.

The word for this movie is fun. Star Wars has no points of reference to Earth time or space, with which we are familiar, and it is not about the future but some galactic past or some extra-temporal present, it is a decidedly inhabited and used place where the hardware is taken for granted. Main article: Star Wars soundtrack. See also: Star Wars sources and analogues. War films such as The Dam Busters and Squadron , which used aircraft like the Avro Lancaster top and the Mosquito bottom , respectively, were inspirations for the battle sequences.

On opening day I I said, 'You know a lot about the film. See also: Changes in Star Wars re-releases. What makes the Star Wars experience unique, though, is that it happens on such an innocent and often funny level. It's usually violence that draws me so deeply into a movie—violence ranging from the psychological torment of a Bergman character to the mindless crunch of a shark's jaws. Maybe movies that scare us find the most direct route to our imaginations.

But there's hardly any violence at all in Star Wars and even then it's presented as essentially bloodless swashbuckling. Instead, there's entertainment so direct and simple that all of the complications of the modern movie seem to vaporize. See also: Cultural impact of Star Wars. AFI Years AFI's Years Hearn , p. British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved May 25, Archived from the original on July 9, Box Office Mojo.


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