Movie Review: Star Wars IV: A New Hope

by Catherine McCafferty
Average rating of 5/5. (3 Ratings)
My rating
  • I love it!
  • I like it a lot!
  • I like it.
  • Just okay.
  • Not for me.
star wars

  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • Running Time: 121 minutes

Quick Take: There is no Force quite like a shared story.

Star Wars was the Harry Potter of its time. No, there weren't any books in the run-up to the film. But it produced the same magic of opening up a whole new world -- "a galaxy far, far away" -- for imaginations to roam free. Something had been missing from movies, but we didn't quite realize that it was genuine fun and excitement until Star Wars exploded onto the screen. Just as kids today read Harry Potter books and watch the films till they've memorized them, we went to see Star Wars again -- and again. As we waited breathlessly for the next installment, we listened to the crazy cantina music, bought the action figures, and maybe even read the book.

Thirty-plus years after its premiere, despite disappointing prequels and more dazzling special effects, the original Star Wars still holds its own. The fun and the adventure, the level of detail in that imagined galaxy, still take us to that movie place where -- even though we have a remote now -- we have to watch it all the way through. And it takes our kids -- even with their increasingly high expectations of entertainment -- along to that magical movie place, too.

Kids Will Like:
Did we mention the Chewie rowwwwrrrrrs? A New Hope is rich in role-play material. Expect any tubular appliance or utensil to become a lightsaber, any vehicle or cockpit-like space to become the Millennium Falcon. Don't be alarmed if your little Jedi dons a bath-towel cape and stalks around the house with a menacing breath (or, perhaps more alarming, tries to twist her hair into bagel buns). Parents Will Like:
As its title implies, A New Hope is at heart a simple story of good versus evil where good triumphs in the end. In an uncertain and sometimes frightening world, that reassurance can go a long way.

Heads Up:
The glimpses of Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen's smoking skeletal remains are grisly for an adult to see, much less a child. And if your child is already scared of the dark, you probably don't want to add a fear of the Darth. In short, think carefully about when to introduce your youngest ones to Star Wars. Also, while we all have fond memories of that wacky cantina, don't forget about that severed arm on the floor (Obi-Wan's handiwork) and Han Solo shooting first in the 1977 scene with the bounty hunter (in later versions, the bounty hunter shoots first).

Own It?
Yes, and expect your kids to replay their favorite scenes endlessly.

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