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Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope - ITV

Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford in a stand-off
(Image credit: ©1977 Lucas Films)

The ground-breaking original film in the sci-fi fantasy phenomenon. 5/5 stars

A long, long time ago, back in the decade that fashion forgot, a new film burst on the scene like a supernova and expanded the known boundaries of movie science fiction.

The impact of Star Wars on both the film industry and the viewing public over the last 42 years has been phenomenal. For the first time, comic book-style sci-fi heroics were matched to imagery, music and special effects that were comprehensively exhilarating.

The movie is like a well-oiled space machine: everything is geared towards entertainment and even the silly dialogue ('I'm Luke Skywalker, I'm here to rescue you') is exactly right. And the film also launched the career of struggling actor Harrison Ford as Han Solo.

In 1997 director George Lucas gave his favourite big baby a subtle make-over for its re-release as a Special Edition: some of the special effects were made just that little bit better and around five minutes of footage was added--including a meeting between Han Solo and Jabba the Hut. In either version, the movie still stands as one of the greatest Hollywood crowd-pleasers of all time.