Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope is the sci-fi action film that started a pop culture phenomenon, eventually gaining worldwide recognition and popularity. Originally released in 1977 and directed by visionary George Lucas, the film has become synonymous with beloved cinema and classic science fiction.
How to Stream or Download Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
The movie can be streamed or it can be downloaded from iTunes. If you like Star Wars, check out also our review of the first movie in the series (from the chronological point of time).
The Movie Review
Taking place “a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away”, A New Hope tells the story of destiny, redemption, and the duality of good and evil. Besides being a fantastic piece of film, A New Hope is the start of a three-part trilogy; and one that has gone down as one of the best trilogies in all of cinema history.
The story of Episode IV: A New Hope takes place some time after the events of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, the prequel film that released in 2005. After giving into his evil thoughts and turning to the dark side, the masked villain Darth Vader attempts to rule the known galaxy. As we enter Episode IV, a civil war between Vader’s Empire and the Rebellion rage on, with casualties rising higher and higher.
A young Princess named Leia (Carrie Fisher) shows some secret plans inside R2-D2, a quirky and cute droid. Along with the protocol droid C3-PO, R2-D2 escapes their ship when Darth Vader launches an attack and kidnaps the Princess. Eventually, the pair of droids run into Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), a young farmhand working on the desert planet of Tatooine.
From there, A New Hope takes Luke and his droid friends on an incredible adventure, where they meet numerous memorable characters and locations. As Luke becomes more in tune with his abilities with the Force, an ancient power that is said to control all things, his destiny for greatness becomes more obvious. His small existence starts to bump up against the biggest players in the galaxy, and Luke finds himself in the middle of cosmic warfare before long.
Apart from the epic story of good versus evil and the political power struggles, Episode IV: A New Hope brings the audience into a world that feels both familiar and alien. Perhaps that’s the film’s greatest strength; the excellent world-building that leads to an incredible level of immersion.
Even given the film’s age, it’s hard not to feel like you’ve been transported to another planet, as Star Wars does a great job at filling out its world. There’s no better example than the now famous cantina scene, where Luke and his mentor Obi-Wan (Alec Guinness) encounter a slew of unexplained aliens and lifeforms. As they attempt to gain information and evade the roaming Empire forces, they must mingle with these mysterious and thought-provoking creatures.
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope is not only one of the best Star Wars films there is, but it’s also one of the best science fiction movies of all time. Few films reach the level of world-building, character, and charm that Episode IV does. It simultaneously tells a great story about a young man who seeks a bigger and better life and the powers that are greater than he could ever imagine.
It’s jam-packed with excellent action, witty writing, and interesting plot lines. Even as the movie approaches its 45-year anniversary, it still remains incredibly effective and entertaining, despite the aged technology. It goes to show that a truly great story will never lose its effectiveness, even when newer technology prevails.
- Introduces iconic characters like Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, and Han Solo
- Awesome spaceship battles and lightsaber fights
- Contains countless memorable characters, locations, and scenes
- Recent releases of the film have had additional CGI added in, diminishing the overall quality
- Some editing has aged poorly, making cuts and transitions more noticeable