Hello everyone, Jonny here. I'm starting a new thing in the blogs dedicated to my thoughts on movies, old and new. It's not a planned thing and I don't know when I'll make the next one. The first movie is the sci-fi cultural phenomenon: Star Wars IV: A New Hope
So please don't send me hate mail but...........I've never seen a Star Wars movie until now. (dodging cans and tomatoes) Before I start my initial thoughts on the movie I feel I should explain my background with the franchise.
According to my mom, when I was a very young baby she and my dad showed me both Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark. For whatever reason I found Raiders to be more engaging and I asked my dad to show me the other films. The Indiana Jones franchise is part of my childhood and Last Crusade is one of my top 5 favorite movies ever. So as I continued to expand my love and knowledge of Indy's adventures, Star Wars was left behind
Though my love for Indy in some way kept me from caring about Star Wars, the big reason was because I knew the story. That's the funny thing about Star Wars, most everyone knows the story before watching. By 4th grade I knew about the Death Star, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke uses the Force, Darth Vader is Luke's father. And this wasn't because of the internet, it was just common knowledge. While this shows just how important Star Wars has become to our culture, it also alienated me from the movies. Why should I watch the movies if I know everything about it? That was my mentality for almost two decades.
The last thing I think I should tell you is that I'm more of a Star Trek fan, specifically The Next Generation (Captain Picard ALL THE WAY!!!). I love the franchise for it's more logical slower pace, taking time to explore different political and philosophical topics, as well as it's characters (some of this I'll bring up in my review). So based on what I saw from Star Trek I always thought that Star Wars was inferior and childish, which wasn't fair. So I apologize on that front. But now.....
Something I should note is that I did have to watch the Special Edition. I don't want to focus on that because honestly there's nothing new I can say about them that hasn't been said. The CGI is bad. Really, REALLY bad. Seriously, The Matrix holds up better than this (I'm not that big a Matrix fan either).
So I think this movie has been spoiled by hype, because I was kind'v underwhelmed. It was still a great movie, don't get me wrong. Just, not as good as the public makes it out to be. Everyone acts like A New Hope is this perfect masterpiece, this new mythology, but it's got problems. I think my biggest issue with the movie is pacing. One common complaint I hear about Guardians of the Galaxy is the pacing moves too fast, going from new location and fight scene to the next, glossing over what should big character moments and emotional scenes; deciding to focus on just having fun space fights and settings.
Honestly, A New Hope feels the same to me, especially the first half. We go from a ship beginning attacked to robots in the desert to being captured and sold to finding Obi find Han and leaving. So much happens yet feels like not much. I know just enough about our characters to tell them apart, yet I wish I knew more. Sometimes I was really annoyed by the fast pace. Two examples being the scenes were Luke sees his dead parents and Vader killing Obi-Wan. These should be powerful moments, yet we only really get one scene of the characters reflecting on it. It feels like an honest cop-out to me. In fact, Luke shows more grief for Obi-Wan (someone he's met for days) then his aunt and uncle (his legal guardians who RAISED HIM FORM BIRTH). Seriously, what the hell?! I think Lucas was more concerned with showing the world and how it works (which is more obvious in the prequels)
That being said, it is an imaginative world. The city of Tatooine looks lived in and the bar scene was great. I feel the bar had the most character in the movie. Everyone's emotions and personality is shown to us with little to no dialogue. I love how when Obi-Wan kills that jerk everyone just turns around and continues drinking, not wanting any trouble. Friggen hilarious. BTW this movie has a great sense of humor.
As for the characters, I liked them. For as little development we get they still feel real. I think it comes from the interactions. Luke's good nature clashes with Han's "only-looks-out-for-myself" attitude. Han and Leia challenge each other's authority. And Han's disbelief in the Force angers Obi-Wan. Does Han Solo get along with anybody? One thing that did bother me was C-3P0's jabs at R2-D2. I'm certain these insults are suppose to be to like friends who joke at each other, but sometimes they just seemed mean-spirited.
Also, side note: In the movie they pronounce Leia as "LEe-ah", not "LAY-uh". I don't know why they changed it but I think the original pronunciation is better. I mean, it makes more sense with how "Leia" is spelled.
The action and suspense is great. Though I complained about pacing, the fast nature allowed A New Hope to constantly keep surprising me. We could be in the middle of a lazer gun fight when we suddenly move to a scary monster attack in the trash, followed by a suspenseful scene where the walls start to move almost crushing our heroes. I couldn't keep my eyes off it. Weeeeeellllll....there is one scene.
There's a part in the final Death Star dogfight where a group of rebels including Porkins is being being chased by Darth Vader in a ship. They fly through the base's ridges as Prokin's tries to launch missiles into the Death Star's weak point and honestly, you could cut this whole 10-15 minute scene. Not only does it go on way long then it has any right to be, but it's also ultimately pointless. Porkin's group doesn't accomplish anything and the whole scene is reused for Luke's attempt. And not just the idea of the fight. The shots of flying into the base's trenches, the lazer cannons firing, and Darth Vader blowing up an X-Wing are literally reused only five or so minutes after we've seen it. I thought I accidentally rewound the movie. It's the only moment in the movie I felt bored. And it's a shame too. This is the final battle against the Sith base, I SHOULDN't be bored.
Something I expected more of was lightsaber fights. Yet the only lightsaber fight is between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader. While it is a warranted fight, I feel cheated that Luke never fights anyone with his saber. A good portion of the movie is Obi-Wan teaching Luke how to wield such a civilized weapon, yet Luke never needs it. He just uses his blaster.
With the lack of Luke using his saber, unresolved issues with Darth Vader, and the general pace, it's obvious to me that this was planned to be a trilogy. It made me want more, but not in a good way. Though Lucas wrote all six episodes before he actually made the film, Fox only asked for one film. A New Hope was supposed to be a self-contained stand-alone film. Because of this, I expected more finality in the end. It irritates me that the ending feels so rushed and generally unfinished
I'm sorry if I seemed overly mean in this review. The truth is, I liked A New Hope. It was fun and I don't regret watching it. I can see why people like it, just not why they love it to the degree they do. Nothing about it changed me. But I think Star Wars is like Disney. Unless you have that nostalgic, emotional connection from childhood, it won't effect you as an adult. I didn't grow up with Star Wars, so to me, they will always just be movies to me. Good movies, but just movies.I hope you enjoyed my initial thoughts on seeing A New Hope for the first time. Hopefully you Star Wars nerds and nerdites understand me. I plan on watching the rest of the original trilogy as well as The Force Awakens during my Christmas Vacation. Maybe I'll do more movie reviews, though there's not much coming out for a while. I plan on seeing Captain America: Civil War, Star Trek: Beyond, and Batman vs Superman. Though after seeing the trailers for all three, Captain America is the only one I'm confident for. But that's a blog post for another day.