Running Commentary – Star Wars – Episode IV- A New Hope

Anime Reporter continues the saga of me saying what I thought when I watched things, which shows just how little the word “saga” has come to mean. Today, I’m giving my impressions while watching the original Star Wars film, though, as I realised shortly into watching it, this is the version that George Lucas decided just had to be ‘improved’ with a number of incredibly distracting CGI additions. I should point out that while I like Star Wars, I’m no super fan and I think it’s probably been at least ten, if not fifteen, years since I watched the original trilogy. I’ve been looking forward to this.

00:00 – Okay, here we go, on to the real Star Wars!

00:30 – I have chills!

01:00 – Huh, apparently that whole big empire thing formed in the last episode hasn’t been such a happy arrangement for everyone, after all.

02:25 – Sure, the super long spaceship is cool, but I bet it takes forever to make a U-turn.

03:55 – Remind me why stormtroopers wear armour that does absolutely nothing against lasers when all weapons in this film are laser-based?

04:45 – Hi Anakin! You’re looking well.

05:30 – For a robot programmed to serve humans, C3PO is highly concerned with his own wellbeing.

07:40 – Oh, I get it now. Obi Wan is Dumbledore. R2D2 is Hedwig. This whole “Star Wars” thing is nothing more than a thinly0veiled Harry Potter ripoff!

08:30 – Darth Vader is pretty casual as he discusses interrogating his daughter. For someone with supernatural perception, you’d think he’d figure it out.

09:30 – C3PO is a wet blanket.

13:54 – You know what? I’m calling it. 1977 – less than fifteen minutes in, all manner of robots and spaceships have been seen and these effects are far easier to watch and believe in than the prequels.

15:25 – I spoke too soon as this bluray includes George Lucas’ random CGI lizards just… just being there in the background, serving no purpose other than to look fake and be distracting. We do not approve.

16:30 – Wait! So these desert people make their living travelling around the desert in case they happen to find droids to sell… in the desert?

17:14 – So, carrying the Hogwarts theme forward, I guess this joker must be Harry Potter.

18:23 – Poor Luke never did get to pick up those power converters.

19:40 – Even when he’s being nice, C3PO is a dick.

21:35 – Yep, sure enough. If you raise a kid all alone in the desert, even a hologram of his long-lost sister will get his attention.

23:30 – C3PO is a disloyal dick.

24:30 – Uncle Dursley claims to know nothing about Obi Wan Dumbledore, while also revealing a great deal of information about him.

29:00 – In a fight, C3PO is a useless dick.

31:00 – Obi Wan freaks out at the sound of his own name, then super casually reveals his identity to Luke even though he’s in hiding, while showing no recollection of R2D2.

33:15 – Obi Wan casually hands over Darth Vader’s old lightsaber. “Your father wanted you to have it.” doesn’t quite fit the tone of their last encounter.

34:30 – “Darth Vader killed your father.” – hopefully I’ll be a ghost before anyone asks me if I was speaking figuratively.

36:00 – “You’re a wizard, Luke.”

38:10 – Everyone at this Empirical military  Death Eaters meeting sounds angry, no matter what words they’re actually saying at the time. I’m guessing the motivation was “evil people are angry”?

39:00 – So I guess Darth Vader, who is evil, but not at the very end and who loved Luke Potter’s mom, must be based on Snape?

39:40 – “Too accurate for sand people. Only Empirical stormtroopers are so precise.” Oh, Obi Wan, you have been out of the game for a while. You might find that stormtroopers’ aim has diminished slightly since you went into hiding.

40:45 – The charred skeletons of Luke’s family… how did they even do this? Blasters seem to kill people pretty neatly and quickly. This took a lot of patience.

42:30 – Rather than give his aunt and uncle a funeral, Luke runs off to Hogwarts.

43:30 – George Lucas bombards the screen with a grating CGI assault nobody asked for.

44:00 – “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.” Classic.

44:45 – These CGI additions have aged worse than the 25 years older scenes they appear in. Clashy clashy clashy clash.

45:25 – My favourite band playing upbeat music amidst countless murderers!

47:55 – It’s Indiana Jones! Or is he Ron Weasley in this? That doesn’t seem right.

48:10 – That’s not how parsecs work.

51:55 – Pointless CGI is pointless.

52:10 – Being hunted by the empire, C3PO continues to be a dick to R2D2.

52:46 – CGI Jabba is an affront to the eyes.

56:55 – Forgot to say, with distaste, that Greedo shouldn’t have had the chance to open fire in that last scene. I’m no superfan, but even I know #hanshotfirst

59:15 – I’m not trying to disparage the Death Star and it’s destructive capabilities, but I don’t think that’s how lasers or planets work.

1:03:05 – Darth Vader does a lot of standing around compared to the old high-flying, needless agility days.

1:04:30 – “That’s no moon” Great, thanks Obi Wan, now I’m thinking about how Pluto isn’t a planet and it’s making me sad.

1:06:55 – “I feel something. A presence I’ve not felt since…” *casually walks away*, Darth Vader is pretty lax as he remembers the day he lost his legs, wife, children, friends, turned his back on his oaths and lost his identity.

1:10:00 – Obi Wan says goodbye to Luke almost as if he won’t be back. Huh.

1:13:00 – Man, Chewbacca is taaaaaaaaaaaalll. I mean, I knew that, but it really stands out in some scenes.

1:19:30 – That garbage chute leads to a pool of a lot of machine parts that seem way too big to fit down that chute in the first place.

1:22:25 – Clunk! Stormtrooper did not watch his head and I get to see the only one of George Lucas’ revisions on this film that I actually approve of.

1:23:45 – As the trash compactor tries to crush our heroes, I can’t help but feel that Indiana Jones should have more experience with booby traps.

1:27:45 – Han charges, screaming at six laser-wielding stormtroopers, only to then have to run away from 25 or so. I guess eventually one of them might have managed to hit him.

1:28:45 – Lukes uses his handy grappling hook from his utility belt, with no concept of the irony this would have later in his career.

1:30:00 – Darth Vader and Obi Wan meet for the first time since their flip-heavy, balancing act volcano-world fight. I’m sure both are relieved that, in their older age, they’re now fighting in a corridor and not, say, an acid-tornado (patent-pending).

1:32:15 – Obi Wan Dumbledore and Snape Vader show their age with their combat skills.

1:32:30 – Obi Wan Dumbledore apparates out of his robes instead of letting Snape Vader kill him (because it’d be too much to precisely rip-off Harry Potter).

1:36:20 – C3PO is a dick.

1:40:20 – Everyone watching the Death Star schematics looks bored, except for Luke.

1:42:45 – So far, in this movie, virtually everyone except Luke and anyone with a serial number for a name, has had their names mispronounced fairly often.

1:44:05 – C3PO acts like an un-dick, but only for the briefest of moments.

1:45:00 – Obi Wan starts whispering ghostily to Luke, not when he’s standing around and has time to think, but right as he’s about to take off on a highly dangerous mission flying in space and probably shouldn’t be distracted.

1:45:45 – These Red fighters do not sound off in numerical order.

1:49:55 – Darth Vader gets into a fighter to defend the Death Star. He’s hands on. I respect that in an evil puppet of a galactic tyrant.

1:56:00 – Luke chooses to listen to the voice in his head in the middle of this military mission he just sort of got allowed to take part in.

1:58:00 – Given how Anakin dealt with not being allowed to love, Luke’s going to be pretty unstable when someone tells him he can’t date Leia, and also why he can’t do that.

1:59:45 – This award ceremony is very much like the Episode I ending, but not terrible.

Final verdict: Well, C3PO is a dick, it has to be said and I really don’t appreciate the terrible CGI additions, but all in all I think this is a pretty interesting take on adapting the story of a young wizard which came out twenty years after this movie. I feel like I’m finally watching Star Wars and the last three movies were essentially like if someone made a Smallville or Gotham style series called Slytherin, and it followed Snape’s time in Hogwarts, becoming the Half-Blood Prince and full of incredibly tedious references to characters of the original series…which would be a bad thing, just in case any television executives stumble across this random post.

Anime Reporter brings you reviews and insights on anime, manga and whatever else I feel like! Welcome!

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Posted in American Film, Reviews, Running Commentary

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Anime Reports
June 2016
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