Friday, July 25, 2014
Retro Review: Star Wars (1977)
As I may have mentioned before, I rarely ever call a film perfect. That is mainly because I tend to think every great movie has its fare share of flaws. But Star Wars is not only a perfect film, but it is a sci-fi film that is perfect and to me, that is quite an accomplishment.
Star Wars follows the story of a boy named Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) who joins a rebellion against the powerful Darth Vader with a pilot named Han Solo (Harrison Ford), a Jedi named Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness), two droids named C-3PO and R2-D2, and a Wookie named Chewbacca. As they all join forces, they try to rescue the Rebel leader Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and in the evil Empire's spaceship known as the Death Star.
First off, what makes this film so great is just how it not only manages to have what makes a great sci-fi film, including great action scenes as well as stunning visual and makeup F/X, but a great film in general. It has wonderful direction, engaging characters, a brilliant story, and especially has an amazing score. The musical score really helps elevate the high-paced action scenes as well as some of the more quiet moments of the film. In particular, the scene where Luke is looking out in the open as the sun hits and he is feeling the need to escape his homeland. But one thing I liked about the direction, however, was how writer/director George Lucas handled the action scenes, especially the end fight sequence where he films from the point of view of the different fighter ships. He makes you feel like you are in on the experience. Now onto the characters. One I really liked was Princess Leia because of how even though she is a princess, by the way she handles the situations she is in, you wouldn't know that she is. Normally, princesses in these types of movies are relegated to just going "Ahh, save me", but not Leia, as she is steel-tongued and has no problem handling guns. I also loved Han Solo, who is a bit of a wise guy yet is just so badass. He is the kind of guy that is all "shoot first, talk later" yet thanks to the portrayal of Harrison Ford, you just can't help but love him. Luke Skywalker is also quite an engaging character as he is the lovable youngster looking to learn the ways of the Force. I even liked Obi-Wan Kenobi, the calmly stern mentor who teaches Luke the ways of the Force, and I loved how all the actors played their respective characters.
Another thing I liked was the beginning where we have scenes centered on the POV of just R2-D2 and C-3PO. I thought it was very interesting to see that since sci-fi films usually show us the POV of the human or alien characters and not necessarily robots, in my opinion. I feel that the scenes between those two just added another dimension to the script which is already centered on its main human protagonists. Speaking of which, I loved how the action sequences not only revolved on the brilliant direction, but its characters as well and their interactions. It feels like the action sequences are the centerpiece but they are done very successfully because of all the elements molded together: directing, score, and the characters.
Overall, Star Wars is a fantastic sci-fi odyssey molded into perfection. It has all the elements of a great sci-fi movie and the elements of a great movie in general, and I think that is why it is an essential film that will stand the test of time. If you hate sci-fi, I would say this is a must-see just because it is a classic. But I will say if you love sci-fi and haven't seen this one yet, put this at number one on your watch list. Either way, you will be in for a treat that is one of the greatest films put on screen.