Star Wars (film)

Star Wars
Film poster showing Luke Skywalker triumphantly holding a lightsaber in the air, Princess Leia kneeling beside him, and R2-D2 and C-3PO behind them. A figure of the head of Darth Vader and the Death Star with several starfighters heading towards it are shown in the background. Atop the image is the text "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..." On the bottom right is the film's logo, and the credits and the production details below that.
Theatrical release poster by Tom Jung
Directed byGeorge Lucas
Produced byGary Kurtz
Written byGeorge Lucas
Music byJohn Williams
CinematographyGilbert Taylor
Edited by
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • May 25, 1977 (1977-05-25) (United States)
Running time
121 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States[2]
Budget$11 million[3][4]
Box office$775.4 million[3]

Star Wars (also known as Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope) is a 1977 American epic space-opera film written and directed by George Lucas. It stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, David Prowse, James Earl Jones, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, and Peter Mayhew. It is the first installment of the original Star Wars trilogy, and was retroactively made the fourth episode in the nine-part 'Skywalker saga' (albeit being the first released).

Lucas had the idea for a science-fiction film in the vein of Flash Gordon around the time he completed his first film, THX 1138 (1971), and began working on a treatment after the release of American Graffiti (1973). Star Wars focuses on the journey of Luke Skywalker (Hamill), who along with Han Solo (Ford) and the wizened Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi (Guinness), attempt to free Princess Leia (Fisher) from the clutches of the Galactic Empire and the Sith Lord Darth Vader (Prowse, voiced by Jones). The heroes, in league with the Rebel Alliance, attempt to destroy the Empire's planet-destroying space station, the Death Star.

Star Wars was released in a limited number of theaters in the United States on May 25, 1977, and quickly became a blockbuster hit, leading to it being expanded to a much wider release. The film opened to a positive response from critics, most notably for its groundbreaking visual effects. It earned a total of $775 million, surpassing Jaws (1975) to become the highest-grossing film at the time until the release of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). When adjusted for inflation, Star Wars is the second-highest-grossing film in North America, and the third-highest-grossing film in the world. It received ten Oscar nominations (including Best Picture), winning seven. In 1989, it became one of the first films to be selected as part of the U.S. Library of Congress's National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." At the time, it was the most recent film in the registry and the only one chosen from the 1970s. In 2004, its soundtrack was added to the U.S. National Recording Registry. Today, it is regarded as one of the most important films in the history of motion pictures.

The film has been reissued multiple times at Lucas's behest—most significantly with its 20th-anniversary theatrical "Special Edition"—incorporating many changes including modified computer-generated effects, altered dialogue, re-edited shots, remixed soundtracks and added scenes. It launched an industry of tie-in products, including novels, comics, video games, amusement park attractions, and merchandise including toys, games, clothing and many other spin-off works.The film's success led to two critically and commercially successful sequels, The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983), and later to a prequel trilogy, a sequel trilogy, two anthology films and various spin-off TV series.


The galaxy is in the midst of a civil war. Rebel spies have stolen plans to the Galactic Empire's Death Star, a colossal, moon-sized, space station capable of destroying entire planets. Imperial Senator Princess Leia, secretly one of the Rebellion's leaders, has obtained the plans, but her starship is captured by an Imperial Star Destroyer under the command of the ruthless Darth Vader. Before she is captured, Leia hides the plans in the memory of astromech droid R2-D2, who, along with protocol droid C-3PO, flees in an escape pod to the desert planet below, Tatooine.

The droids are captured by Jawa traders, who sell them to moisture farmers Owen and Beru Lars and their nephew Luke Skywalker. While cleaning R2-D2, Luke accidentally triggers part of a holographic recording of Leia, in which she requests help from Obi-Wan Kenobi. The next morning, Luke finds R2-D2 missing, and while searching for him, encounters "Old Ben" Kenobi, an elderly hermit being a friend of Luke's who reveals himself as Obi-Wan. He tells Luke of his days as one of the Jedi Knights, former peacekeepers of the Galactic Republic who derived their power from an energy field called the Force until being all but wiped out by the Empire. Contrary to what his uncle has told him, Luke learns that his father fought alongside Obi-Wan as a Jedi Knight until Vader, a former pupil of Obi-Wan's, turned to the dark side of the Force and murdered him. Obi-Wan presents Luke with his father's old weapon: a Jedi lightsaber.

R2-D2 plays Leia's message for Obi-Wan, in which she begs him to take the Death Star plans to her home planet of Alderaan and give them to her father for analysis. Obi-Wan invites Luke to accompany him to Alderaan and learn the ways of the Force. Luke declines, but changes his mind after discovering that Imperial stormtroopers have killed his aunt and uncle and destroyed their farm. Obi-Wan and Luke visit a cantina in Mos Eisley, where, after a brief confrontation, they meet smuggler Han Solo, who owes money to local mobster Jabba the Hutt, and his Wookiee co-pilot Chewbacca. After negotiating a price, Obi-Wan, Luke, R2-D2 and C-3PO join forces aboard Han's ship, the Millennium Falcon.

Death Star commander Grand Moff Tarkin orders the destruction of Alderaan via the Death Star's turbolaser as a show of force.[5] The Falcon crew discovers the planet's remains and is captured by the Death Star's tractor beam, which Obi-Wan goes to disable. Luke discovers that Leia is imprisoned on the Death Star, and rescues her with the help of Han and Chewbacca in a swashbuckling series of escapes. After Obi-Wan sacrifices himself in a lightsaber duel with Darth Vader to enable the heroes to escape, the Falcon escapes amid a fierce dogfight with Imperial TIE starfighters. Using a tracking beacon placed aboard the Falcon, the Imperials follow the rebels to the hidden base on Yavin 4.

The Death Star plans reveal that it can be destroyed by triggering a chain reaction from an external exhaust port. Luke joins the Rebel fighter squadron in a siege against the approaching Death Star, while Han collects his payment, intending to leave and repay Jabba. In the ensuing battle, the Rebels suffer heavy losses after several unsuccessful runs. Vader leads a squadron of TIE fighters and prepares to attack Luke's X-wing, but Han returns and fires at the Imperial fighters, sending Vader spiraling away. Guided by Obi-Wan's spirit, Luke turns off his targeting computer and uses the Force to destroy the Death Star just before it can fire on the Rebel base, killing numerous Imperials, including Tarkin. On Yavin 4, Leia awards Luke and Han medals for their heroism.

Other Languages
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Зорныя войны. Эпізод IV: Новая надзея
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Yulduzlar jangi
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope