The story is set in the past in a distant galaxy, where inter-galactic travels are prominent. There, the galaxy is ruled by a psychopathic emperor Sith and his most trusted aide- a former Jedi knight, Darth Vader by fear. They have built a giant massive weapon called Death Star which is capable of wiping out the planets in fraction of seconds. Before the plans are executed to build the weapon, the master plans are stolen by fledgling group freedom fighters known as Rebel Alliance. As soon as they get the plans, they start their plans to destroy the space station Death Star of Sith.
Princess Leia Organa puts the plans in the maintenance robot R2-D2. Meanwhile, Darth Vader starts chasing the alliance as soon as he comes to know that the plans are in the hands of an enemy and captures the princess. But Darth Vader is unable to lay hands on the master plans as the maintenance robot R2-D2 and its companion C-3PO, a tall robot make way to Tatooine, a desert planet below. Through a series of mishaps and accidents, the schematic plans lands in the hands of a young farm boy named Luke Skywalker.
Meanwhile Luke here is a simple farm boy who lives with his uncle Owen and Aunt Beru. He, like his friends wants to join the academy, but stays behind in the home as his uncle requires him for harvest. The two droids take those plans to Obi van Kanobi’s hand, a former Jedi knight. After becoming aware of the Alliance’s intentions Kanobi persuades Luke to join hands on the mission which Luke formerly opposes. Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru are brutally killed by The Stormtroopers, the Empire’s soldiers.
Luke coming to know about their brutal death agrees to join hands with Obi Van Kanobi and together they set their mission towards Yavin’s fourth moon, which is the base of The Rebel Alliance, where they must hand over the plans to carry out the destruction. However when they reach Alderaan’s coordinates to find they are destroyed by The Death Star. They soon are pulled into Death Star’s paths and are trapped in a tractor beam. Through a series of narrow escapes, they manage to save the Princess from Darth Vader’s clutches. The story then continues in Yavin’s fourth moon, which is the next target of The Death Star.
Yavin’s fourth moon is the base of the Rebel Alliance. A challenge of eliminating the space station is thrown upon the Rebel Alliance as the Imperials in hot pursuit of The Death Star and plan to destroy the moon completely. There they come to meet Chewbacca, Han Sol and other Alliance members and plan to destroy the space station Death Star. The alliance then set their journey towards the destruction of the space station Death Star. As they attack in groups, Vader becomes aware of the Alliance’s strength and is distracted by other spaceships providing a clear ground for Luke to attack the Death Star.
During their assault, the maintenance robot R2D2 is blown up by Darth Vader as the tall robot CP30 pulls a somersault to distract Vader. Vader meanwhile contemplates to destroy Alliance base and sets his targets on its co-ordinates. Just before Vader is about to fire, the missile is fired to destroy the Death Star. Vader manages to escape from the space station moments before the space station is blown into fragments, scattering all over the galaxy. This marks the end and gives a new hope for the freedom loving planets and communities and a new found confidence to fight against the Empire.
The Empire is thrown an open challenge by destroying Death Star. Star Wars IV in many ways became a bible for the upcoming movies with digital moviemaking. Famous film makers like Steven Spielberg used the lighting and background techniques in Jurassic Park and E. T which turned the movies into blockbusters. Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), a disbanded company from the 20th century Fox was used by George Lucas in creating special effects that was never created before. When Jurassic Park became successful in implementing digital effects, the original vision that George Lucas had for Star Wars IV came into reality.
Today’s Dolby Digital, Pixar Animation studios were ancillary units that pioneered in sound and visual effects. The first scene is that of the maintenance robot R2D2 and the tall robot CP30 which enter into a bickering fight. This scene was inspired by 1958 Kurosawa film The Hidden Fortress. Those two characters were similar to the two bickering peasants in The Hidden Fortress were developed into C-3PO and R2-D2, and a Japanese family crest seen in the film is similar to the Imperial Crest. Star Wars borrows heavily from another Kurosawa film, Yojimbo. In both films, several men threaten the hero, bragging how wanted they are by authorities.
The situation ends with an arm being cut off by a blade. Mifune is offered “twenty-five ryo now, twenty-five when you complete the mission”, whereas Han Solo is offered “Two thousand now, plus fifteen when we reach Alderaan. ” Lucas also derived the name Jedi from the Japanese Samurai culture which was elemental in shaping Obi Van Kanobi. Those two droids while fighting are shown approaching Tatooine. Now Tatooine is similar to Arrakis from Frank Herbert’s book Dune. Arrakis is the only known source of a longevity drug called the Spice Melange; Han Solo is a spice smuggler who has been through the spice mines of Kessel.
Tatooine’s part was mostly shot in Tunisia which gave the desert look to the planet. A traditional underground building in Matmata, Tunisia, was used as a set for Luke’s home on Tatooine. Lucas and Burtt created the robotic voice of R2-D2 by filtering their voices through an electronic synthesizer. On the recommendation of his friend Steven Spielberg, Lucas hired composer John Williams, on Spielberg’s recommendation. Lucas felt that the film would envision visually new foreign worlds, but that the musical score would give the audience an emotional familiarity with the planets.
Lucas wanted a grand musical sound for Star Wars, with leitmotifs to provide distinction. Therefore, he assembled his favorite orchestral pieces for the soundtrack, until John Williams convinced him that an original score would be unique and more unified. However, a few of Williams’ pieces were influenced by the tracks given to him by Lucas. The track “Dune Sea of Tatooine” was taken from the soundtrack from Bicycle Thieves, scored by Alessandro Cicognini. The American Film Institute’s list of best scores lists the Star Wars soundtrack at number one.
A New Hope was digitally re-mastered and re-released to theatres, along with The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, under the campaign title The Star Wars Trilogy: Special Edition. The Special Edition versions contained visual shots and scenes that were unachievable in the original release due to financial, technological, and time restraints; one such scene involved a meeting between Han Solo and Jabba the Hutt. ” There are many scenes which used never before felt visual and sound effects. One such scene is the climax scene where The Death Star is assaulted.
It was modeled from the movie The Dam Busters. One particular scene where RAFLancaster bombers fly along German reservoirs and aim Bouncing bombs at the manmade dams. Some special effects sequences were filmed by using Dam Busters as references. The scene used Motion-control photography, in which a computer is used to control a long, complex series of camera movements. This technology made possible the spaceship battles in Star Wars. Another inspiration of this scene comes from the movie The Battle of Britain, particularly a scene where ongoing radio dialogue is shown with pictures of pilot in cockpit.
The parallel and in-between use of classical music style is notable contrasting to the popular orchestral or rock, blues, swings or jazz soundtracks. Most of the visual effects, as earlier stated, used motion control photography, which creates the illusion of size by employing small models and slowly moving cameras. Model spaceships were constructed on the basis of drawings by Joe Johnston, input from Lucas, and paintings by McQuarrie. Lucas chose to ignore the traditional sleekness of science fiction genre by creating a “used universe” in which all devices, ships, and buildings looked aged, worn and dirty.
The fight sequences between “Allied” X-wings and “Axis” TIE Fighters, they had their origins to Pacific Theater. These large rebel fighters were based on the U. S. Navy carrier bomber aircraft, and the smaller, faster TIEs based on the famous Japanese Zero. The characteristic orange suits of the rebels reflect to the uniform of the American Fighter pilots in the Pacific War. Especially, the cockpit design of Millennium Falcon is heavily contrasting to design as Enola Gay and other B-29 Super fortresses. Originally, the battles were copied from film of WWII aerial battles, replacing the British and German aircraft by Star Wars spacecraft.
The helmets that TIE Fighter Pilots wear are similar to those of the Japanese during the Pacific campaign, where as Darth Vader’s helmet resembles to that of a Samurai Style Helmet. Lastly, the costumes of the Imperial Officers bear resemblances to that of German costume that they wore in World War II. Mayan ruins at Tikal, Guatemala, which were used in the film as the rebel base. The light saber sound effect is a combination of the hum of an idling 35mm movie projector and the feedback generated by passing a stripped microphone cable by a television.
Portions of the sound effects for the Millennium Falcon’s engines were recorded at an air show at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s annual convention in Oshkosh, WI. In a gesture of thanks, Lucasfilm donated a model of the Falcon to the EAA Air Museum. ” Meanwhile, voices of several animals including bears, badgers, walrus and camels were used for generating Chewbacca’s voice. Ben Burtt created the sound of Darth Vader’s breathing by placing a small microphone in the second stage (mouthpiece) of a scuba regulator, and then recording the sound made by his breathing through the regulator.
Totally new in film making, New Hope made way for other scientific films to be captured on the camera by creating stunning visual and sound effects. To this day, Star Wars Episode IV, A New Hope remains a milestone in digital film making which altogether defined the new era of films and movies. This movie also brought several revolutions in the animation and sound world. As said earlier, Star Wars will be a milestone in Hollywood for capturing imagination of vivid film makers.