In honor of "A New Hope" turning 39 years old last week, and because I love writing about Star Wars (and needed to write something positive) here are the top 10 best scenes in "Star Wars: A New Hope," one of the most influential Sci-Fi films of all time.
10. The Destruction of Alderaan.
This scene showed what true evil the Empire is capable of, and how little they care about innocent life. I'd say the collateral damage in this scene is about two billion, but if you want specifics go to Wookiepedia.com, I'm sure they know right up to the last person. Also, they murdered Bail Organa (Princess Leia's adopted father and somewhat famous actor Jimmy Smits.) This scene also showed George Lucas and ILM's special effect know-how, because that explosion looks real to this day. Now, if we could just improve on Carrie Fisher's British accent in that scene. Maybe Grand Moff Tarkin was leaching his accent off on her. Also I looked up for your entertainment, the exact amount of the collateral damage on (surprise!) Wookiepedia.com. It says "Out of Alderaan's two billion inhabitants, roughly 60,000 survived the destruction of the world because they were outside of its star system at the time." So... there you are.
9. C-3PO and R2D2 on Tatooine
For this one, I am including from when they landed to when they were bought by Luke. This is really, where, I think the sheer imagination and genius of Lucas shines here. To have two droids narrate the beginning of the movie and us follow their adventures was a great idea. They really are the eyes of the audience. And than their interactions are even better. Robots or (droids) are usually in most movies, unemotional and unfeeling. Well not only is one of these droids prissy, but the other one is a rude potty mouth which really is a recipe for comedic relief that takes hold of all these scenes. "Fine, go that way. You'll be malfunctioning within a week you near-sighted scrap pile." "Don't you call me a mindless philosopher you overweight glob of grease." PSA to George Lucas: I don't know how you went from this to Jar Jar Binks, but don't worry, J.J. Abrams got the humor back. Also, another thing worth noting. Many people want gay characters in Star Wars, but they seem to forget about old Threepio and Artoo. I'm just kidding, they're good friends just like Poe Dameron and Finn. Take that Tumblr.
8. The Detention Center
You know you're in for a treat when you hear that Mouse Droid start going ballistic once Chewbacca roars at it. Actually a pretty funny moment in this movie that's pretty subtle, or maybe I just have the comedic level of a seven year old. Wait! That can't be true! I didn't even like Jar Jar Binks. Anyway, this scene has some classic lines, like Han trying to talk to the Imperial Officer on the intercom. "How are you?" I'm sure this is one of those lines Star Wars lines any fan can quote with the right words emphasized and everything. This scene is the perfect example on what drew people to this movie. Fun swashbuckling action with a straight forward plot. Sure, you may call it simple, but i'll just tell you to watch this scene and not feel the excitement. Or laugh at Han and Leia's already great banter. "Maybe you'd like it back in your cell, your highness." Also, the Stormtroopers have really bad aim in this one. Like, really bad.
7. Tie Fighter Attack
This is a scene that shows the blossoming friendship of Han and Luke, which would almost die on Yavin, and then be reignited on Yavin, and was a brief moment of happiness for our young heroes. Especially young hero Luke Skywalker who seemed to forget all about Old Ben. Anyway, the combination of special effects and practical effects were once again deftly mastered by ILM, who unlikle ILM in the prequels, were on a tight budget. This was a time before everything, including characters could be made using a computer and it still looks more real than most of the stuff I see thrown at me in theaters now. You, see A New Hope got the gritty realism of everything down to a tee. It really takes the emotion out of a scene if you know it's not real, and people should really go back to this time. Because I swear it still looks good. I swear.
6. Talking About the Force
Gosh I love this scene between Obi-Wan and Luke so much. Its scenes like this that really make me believe that George Lucas wrote the prequels before the Original Trilogy, especially when Obi-Wan talks about the Clone Wars. Because come on, it's not like George Lucas was sitting around trying to come up with war names and picked Clone Wars. There was a reason. Maybe it's because it would go over his head, but please note their are no mentions of midichlorians in this short scene. In just a four minute scene we learn pretty much all we need to know about the Force, what the Clone Wars was like, and Vader's betrayal. Sure Obi-Wan partially lies to Luke here, but don't forget he is just a teenage farmboy. If he were told Vader was his father he would probably laugh in this old hermit's face, or it would scar him for life. Besides, what Obi-Wan told him was true, from a certain point of view.
5. The Beginning of a Saga
The start of a New Hope tells us everything we need to know about the Empire and the Rebellion all in one huge, and grandeur shot that once again, is a mix between practical and special effects. Enough said.
4. Mos Eisley Cantina
I love all the scenes that occur in Mos Eisley and especially the cantina, and I love all the characters we got out of this (I'm sure Wookiepedia.com would know all of them) and all the subsequent figures we got. But, I digress and I rant. For it also bears sadness for me, as future generations will never know who shot first unless their parents show them the unedited versions. They will also get CGI getting his tail stepped on, in one of the cringiest scenes of all time. Below is what people were actually paid to animate in 1997.
Hard to believe I know. I have no clue this purpose served. If it was gonna looks this sub par to the rest of the effects (that were made in '77) why include it? But, I digress. Overall, it is still amazing to see how much work was put into the original cut of the Mos Eisley Cantina, including the ever-present attention to detail.
3. Binary Sunset
A scene so simple it perfectly sums up what makes A New Hope so great. A young farm boy who dreams of a life far away from his dull life. A feeling we can all relate to young and old. Of course, I couldn't go through this article without mentioning John Williams. The master himself composes a score so utterly famous, that its medley is still used in every Star Wars movie to this day, multiple times. It's name is simply Force Theme, and is a tour-de-force that will always give me chills in the proper setting. The score makes this scene and it marks the true beginning of the adventure and eventually saga that awaits us.
2. The Throne Room
Once again, Williams hits a home run with the theme here, a triumphant anthem that could be used in almost any victorious situation. (Even weddings are applicable for this song.) How can you not feel victorious when you hear the first notes of the medley. I've never heard anything quite like it, but as soon as you look at the throne room, you can hear the music. It's crazy. Although, Chewie didn't get a medal (Wookiepedia.com knows why though...) you still can't feel anything but joy for our young heroes who somehow go from this, to hiding away on an ice cube planet. Enjoy it while it lasts rebels.
1. The Assault on the Death Star
This is THE ultimate climax to a movie. All points in a New Hope lead up to this final showdown that includes such classic moments like: Porkin's noble end, Vader wiping out the Rebels, and Han's noble rescue. You can really feel the emotion and intensity in this, as their is real fear in Leia's face as her Rebel pilots are being wiped out like flies. There are real stakes in this. The characters you have grown attached to could be killed in this final scene. Then score builds up and up as the X-Wings go faster into the trench, and all of a sudden Luke turns off his display and simply 'uses the Force'. Very iconic words from Obi-Wan and created the movie cliche of abandoning technology and using your new found faith. It's an intense ending that I could never grow tired of and will always watch no matter what. It is a testament to great action and effects with dialogue and score mixed in. I can't praise it or this movie enough.
So that's all folks. Maybe I'll do an Empire Strikes Back one soon, or even Attack of the Clones. I'm kidding guys, who would want to do Empire Strikes Back? Anyway, if you guys liked this check out some of my other Star Wars articles and May the Force Be With You.