Exactly 40 years ago Thursday, the story of a restless boy in a galaxy far, far away, changed the way we looked at sci-fi movies and moviemaking, period. Thanks, “Star Wars.”
Formally titled, “Star Wars: Epsiode IV — A New Hope,” George Lucas gave the world a thrilling, rich, angsty and imaginative tale of warriors, heroes, scoundrels and evil empires.
The May 25, 1977 debut in just over three dozen theaters came away with a weekend domestic box office of $1.5 million. That was a lot. The movie would go to rake in three-quarters of a billion dollars worldwide.
Everything about the movie felt special, starting with what would become standard for highly anticipated theater events — crazy long lines.
We are crazy about “Star Wars.” The franchise has released nine episodes, including last year’s standalone “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” It’s not done. “Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi” was scheduled to be out Dec. 15.
But the beginning will always be the best for many fans.
Along those lines, here are five of the most enjoyable scenes from the original.
At the cantina
This was just … so .. much … fun. The song, the creatures, all of them weird, but proof of the true universality of finding camaraderie in a bar.
Plus, it’s the first look at swaggering flyboy Han Solo. He totally blindsided Greedo.
Darth Vader doing his thing
It was almost like that Empire officer lived in a vacuum. He clearly had heard rumors about the “magic.” The choke-you-to-death-without-touching-you magic. Yet, he taunted Darth Vader. Well, he sure found out the hard way what a moment of fail that was.
Luke meets Obi-Wan
Impetuous, dismissive farm boy Luke gets his bell rung pretty good by a Tusken Raider while trying to find the stolen R2-D2. He is saved, for what would be the first of many times, by an old dude in a cloak. Ben!
George Lucas made you read. At the movies. It didn’t last long, but man, it sure helped build the excitement.
‘Help me, Obi-Wan’
A hologram princess. There is not a movie around that would not be improved with such a scene. “Titanic”? Maybe as the ship starts sinking. “The Martian”? Anytime after Matt Damon’s character gets stranded on Mars.