The Bones of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

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The Bones of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

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Now that we got the prequels out of the way, we’re on to the original trilogy of the Skywalker Star Wars Saga!

This week we’re delving into Episode IV: A New Hope

If you missed any of the previous installments of Good Bones, you can find them here:
Episode I
Episode II
Episode III

And now, for one of my favorite films of all time!

Episode IV: A New Hope

I will offer transparency when I say that I love the next three films in the saga. I grew up on them. At one point we rented a VCR as well as the movie to watch this one at my birthday party. I think I was six.

I’ll try to be unbiased…but we all know there is no try.

The Bones:
Where are the Skywalkers now?
Anakin
Leia
Luke
Hello Obi Wan
Show us the growth of the Empire
Show us the rebels
Bring on the Swagger

Where are the Skywalkers Now?

Anakin

Now called Darth Vader. He’s terrorizing the rebels, strangling people left and right and torturing his own daughter. He’s a bad guy. This is why we love him so much!
Leia
Political activist, running plans for the rebellion and not being intimidated by Darth Vader, whom she does not know is her father. Neither did the rest of oldie moldies us until episode VI. She’s doing Padmé’s legacy proud. (The before Episode III Padmé.)
Luke
Typical teenager. Wants out of the boring farm life and go to the Academy. Or, as we find out in a cut scene, he actually wants to join the rebellion. Whines when he doesn’t get his way. Seems to be a competent mechanic and is dumb enough to trust Artoo. Yup, he’s Anakin’s son alright.

Hello Obi Wan
We all thought he was a crazy old man with some fizzled out powers. We had no idea how bad a** he was back in the day.
He’s the one who opens Luke’s mind to the Force. Then he takes one for the team and lets Darth Vader kill him.

These bones are hard to pick, because these movies were actually made first. Luke never suggests he has special abilities, but if he’s so powerful, and his dad was unwittingly showing off his force abilities at ten, then unless Obi Wan had been stifling him, Luke should have felt something before this. All other force users have. Also, Leia. But, since we didn’t have the foundation of the first three movies to build on, the characters were in square one and we didn’t know any better.
The fight between Obi Wan and Vader should have been much more intense. So. Much. More. Intense. But again, we don’t get it because Lucas didn’t really know the power of that moment. Check out this fan made film that beefs up their fight. It’s kind of awesome!

Show us the Growth of the Empire
Well, they’re clearly in control, and they’re not very nice. We don’t see the Emperor in the original cut of this film, but Darth Vader is enough.

Show us the Rebels
The rebels are small, but encapsulate being the underdog. The Empire has a space station the size of a moon, along with Vader. They seem to be numberless and can get whatever they want. The rebels are few, and they pull us in because they hold to the hope that what they’re doing is right and that it will matter.
The rebellion brings Luke and Leia together, which is key for the rest of the films.

Bring on the Swagger
Let’s be honest. Who’s the real deal in this film? Han Solo. Yes, he shot first. Yes, he’s a scoundrel. Yes, he charges Luke and arm and a leg to get off of Tatooine. Yes, it looks like he’s going to take his money and run. But who gives Luke the chance to take down the Death Star?
Han Solo, that’s who.
He brings the fun, he brings the experience that Luke is sorely lacking, and in the end it’s him who has the biggest change of heart. He didn’t have to come back, he wanted to. For Luke. For Leia. Probably for himself.
Sure, Luke relies on the Force and takes out the Death Star without his targeting computer, his first real step in becoming a Jedi, but without Han Luke would have been blown up a moment before that. By his own father. What is it with Skywalkers killing their own family??

Without the prequels, this movie gives us a glimpse into what the Force can do. With them we see that Luke is his father’s son.

The bones of this movie are solid. Most of the movie is solid. Luke is pretty whiny, but look at his dad. Sheesh, it could have been much worse. Leia is a strong female character when there weren’t too many in science fiction. Han Solo is the guy we all want to watch our backs. And don’t forget Chewie, who is the one who watches Han’s back, and for that we love him.
Vader is great in this film.

I warned you I was biased about this one. It’s stood the test of time for more than 40 years, and will continue to pull viewers in for years to come.

What are your thoughts on Episode IV?


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