Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Star Wars Ep. IV and V Review

I just realized that I forget to review these two movies!

I watched Episode IV: A New Hope back in August, I believe, and then again a couple weeks ago along with Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.  I watched the very end of Episode V just the other night while handing out Halloween candy with some friends which reminded me that a) I haven't posted in a few days and b) I never reviewed these two movies.

As with all my reviews, this is going to be spoiler heavy, so beware!

Let's talk about some characters.

Princess Leia

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The first character we get any information about is Leia, princess of Alderaan and member of the Imperial Senate.  I must admit that my first impression of Leia, particularly in Episode IV, was that she seemed a bit overly-sarcastic and even whiny at times.  

Mostly during the part toward the end when Leia, Han, and Luke are trapped in that little disposal area and the walls are closing in, she seemed to yell at other people to "do something!" even though she herself did pretty much nothing.

Now that I've seen Episode V forgive her a bit for being so argumentative, particularly with Han, because she probably was just being overly mean around him because she wanted to convince herself she hated him.  Of course the fact she really didn't hate him probably made her even angrier so she acted extra annoyingly.  

Her character definitely got better in Episode V, or at least I liked her better in that one because I knew Han liked her and I can't not-like something Han likes (because I love Han and we'll get to that later).

Also, I love how creative her hair styles were!  I want to know who came up with those ideas because they are definitely unique and I appreciate that.

Luke Skywalker

I must say that Luke's first line was probably the whiniest first line in a movie EVER.

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I do like Luke however, and I felt awful when his aunt and uncle were killed.  The music at this moment in the movie was amazing, also.  It was kind of weird though--he went right from seeing his aunt and uncle dead to back with Obi-wan, almost unaffected.  I think it was just weird cutting, but it seemed a bit rushed.

Actually after the first viewing of the movie I had completely forgotten his aunt and uncle had died because I feel that not enough time was given to that scene.

Luke's story line with Leia is...erm...interesting.  I've been spoiled that they're twins (because, who hasn't?) and his attachment to her is a bit strange.  I'm chalking it up to a Nienor-Turin situation: he feels like he knows Leia somehow and is automatically drawn to her, not necessarily in a romantic way.

I'm pretty interested to see how he reacts when he finds out they're siblings in the next episode.

Obi-wan Kenobi

This character is actually very cool!  I want to see the prequels just to find out how he became such a powerful Jedi.  

I love how he acts as Luke's mentor and I was completely devastated and surprised when he died!  I was very relieved, however, to see that he was able to visit Luke later in phantom form in Episode V.

Also I feel that Alec Guinness did a particularly terrific job in this role. 

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Han Solo

I can not get enough of Han Solo!!!!!!!!!

I mean, who doesn't love Harrison Ford?

The scene represented by this photo is just perfection.  Comment below if you know the awesome exchange I'm talking about.

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At first, I was shocked that he was being such a jerk at the Cantina since I thought he was definitely a good guy.  But as the film went on, I found that he was undoubtedly the most well-rounded and interesting character.

The other characters have flaws, sure...I think?  Unless the obnoxious sarcastic comments are supposed to be Leia's flaw, she is pretty much perfect.  Luke has some shady parentage, but he is pretty sound morally.  I  suppose he tried to stop training with Yoda a bit prematurely in Episode V, but I wouldn't call that an overarching flaw.  Obi-wan is so talented and wise I can't really say he has any prevailing flaws.

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But Han distinctly lacks faith (which I find disturbing) in the Force and is very self-centered and greedy when it comes to smuggling.  His character arc is so wonderfully fulfilling and I just love it!

There are multiple instances in which we are hit with the crushing news that Han isn't going to help out anymore because he's done is part and he is leaving.  But when we need good ol' Han the most, he always comes back and is deep down faithful to his friends.

Han also begins to abandon his "on my own" mentality (I mean, excluding Chewy) after awhile with Princess Leia and begins to accept that he might actually be in love.

This was the most emotional scene for me in the entire movie, even more than the "I am your father" scene.  Emotions were flurrying through my head faster than leaves in a leaf blower.  Is Han going to die?  Why didn't he say "I love you" back?? 


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The simple fact that Princess Leia successfully softens up Han makes me like her a thousand times more, and pushes her out of the "annoying" category.

With Leia, Han has something to lose and it's so tragic to watch.


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The fact that Episode V just ends without Han makes me die a thousand deaths inside.  How could they not bring Hanny back for a beautiful little ending like Episode IV?  HOW.

Beautiful, Han-filled ending:

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Angst-procuring, Han-less ending:

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Oh, and for the record: I'm pretty sure Han shot first. 

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Well he was not exactly what I expected him to be like...0.0

I did not imagine his voice to be so gargly and high!  Gee, you would think I would know what Yoda sounds like, but this only goes to show how little I knew about the films before a couple months ago.

As for his actual character, he was fairly static in Episode V, which is a-okay.  You need some mentor character to remain static sometimes, though he seemed to kind of be a replacement of Obi-wan.  

He was just so funny when he was riding Luke around to help him train.  In a weird way he reminded me of Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid.

Trying to work out?  Distracting this is not:

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Darth Vadar

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Yikes, this is one freaky villain.  I attribute his scariness one hundred percent to the music of John Williams.  To be honest, the voice is not as scary as, say, Smaug's, and since it's an older film, the effects are not the creepiest either.

But this score tips Darth Vadar over the edge into ominous realm and whenever you hear his theme you just know something crazy is about to go down.

Additionally, I like that Darth Vadar serves some other, unnamed, unknown villain--the Emperor.  The fact that we don't know exactly who our opponent is, or rather what they're like, makes things much more mysterious. 

Not knowing where the tiger is in the jungle is much scarier than seeing it right in front of you.

R2-D2 and CP30

Especially in Episode IV, I feel like R2-D2 is the real MVP.  He gets ejected from a spacecraft, wanders the desert, is kidnapped and sold, travels the desert again, and successfully finds Obi-wan--all without losing his data.  Three cheers for R2-D2!

CP30 has some hilarious moments in both films.  He's just so prim and proper all the time and it's so funny how people react to him.  I especially love the moment in Episode IV when he realizes he has had his intercom thing turned off the entire time that Luke has been screaming for his help as he, Han, and Leia are trapped in the closing room.  

Then CP30 turns on the intercom only to hear Luke and Co.'s relieved shouts of joy.  CP30 misinterprets them as shrieks of pain and believes he has let them all be killed.  

The funny moment immediately preceding one of the most stressful sequences is really perfect and I love that.

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Episode IV

Episode IV tells the story of Luke, Leia, Han, Chewy, R2-D2, and CP30 as they work together to blow up the Death Star, the Empire's most powerful weapon.

We're first introduced to Princess Leia whose ship is being taken over.  She quickly sends instructions for help via R2-D2 and CP30 accompanies him as they flee Leia's ship.

R2-D2 and CP-30 land on Luke Skywalker's planet where he works with his aunt and uncle.  Luke longs for adventure and to join the Rebel Alliance and is given the chance when his uncle purchases R2-D2.  Luke follows the droid to find Obi-wan Kenobi where he learns more about the important mission entrusted to R2.

Luke returns home to find that his aunt and uncle have been killed.  With nothing left to lose and an extra grudge against the Empire, Luke consents to helping Obi-wan with saving the princess.

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They meet up with a smuggler named Han Solo who agrees to give them a ride in his spaceship undetected so they can reach the Death Star where Leia is being held.

Once there, there is a huge action sequence in which eventually Han and Luke eventually rescue Leia with the help of CP30 and R2-D2.  Obi-wan Kenobi fights lead villain Darth Vadar and sacrifices himself in the end to the dismay of Luke.

The episode ends with Leia rewarding each of the heroes and thanking them for their service.

Even though the Star Wars world is very different from, well anything else, I didn't feel that this movie was over-burdened with exposition like so many fantasy and sci-fi movies are. In fact, I really appreciated the pacing in this film, with only two exceptions one, I mentioned before concerning Luke's home's destruction, and the other when Alderaan blows up and then is never mentioned again.

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I thought that each of the characters began to have slight revelations throughout the course of the film which was very interesting to see.  Luke changed from being a wide-eyed eager little kid to beginning to understand the gravity of the situation when Obi-wan dies; Han begins to soften up and realize he may not be so independent as he once thought; Leia calms down a bit and is less uptight, etc.

The film making is very, very good for the time period.  Today some of the costumes (especially in the Cantina) are honestly extremely hideous, but then again they are supposed to represent foreign creatures, so I suppose it makes sense.

Luke looking out over his planet is a gorgeous shot, and I really liked the lighting in the majority of the movie.  The original film was a bit dark, but the digitally updated (again though, Han shot first) version has beautiful color.

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Episode V

Episode V tells what happens after the Death Star is destroyed by Luke.  The Empire is growing increasingly anxious about the rising of a Skywalker, particularly Darth Vadar. 

Skywalker goes off to train with Jedi master, Yoda, while Leia, Han, Chewy, C3P0, and R2-D2 travel.  Eventually the latter's ship needs to land, so they visit one of Han's "friend's" place.

Unfortunately the Empire got to Han's friend first and the company is ambushed there.

The Empire's ultimate goal is to capture Skywalker and transport him to the Emperor, so they decide to test out their preservation technique on Han.  Han goes in and doesn't come out for the rest of the movie D':

Skywalker returns to help Leia and company and eventually duels with Vadar who recommends that Luke turn to the Dark Side of the Force.  Luke refuses to cave into Vadar's pressures in probably the most dramatic and famous scenes of all time.

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Leia and Co. escape and pick up Luke on their way out.  The movie ends with everyone staring dramatically into the distance WITHOUT HAN.

The character development in this film picks up where the last left off, and it is very gradual and realistic changes; nothing randomly develops unexpectedly, thank goodness.  Han in particular is becoming even more awesome (if possible) than in Episode IV (I love Han), demonstrated by his willingness to go off and rescue Luke in the winter storm.

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Leia also becomes more likable as I mentioned, mostly since she spends more time with Han and I love every scene with Han in it.

This film looks loads better than the Episode IV.  I wasn't around in the 70s, so I can only assume that the first film did so well that the budget for special effects, lighting, and sets was just boosted a lot and it led to a very aesthetic movie.

All in all, I absolutely love these two movies and I can't wait to see the next one!!! 

What did you think of Star Wars Episodes IV and V?


  1. In the scene where Leia said "I love you" Harrison Ford was supposed to say "I love you" back, but but then just said "I know" instead, and it's much more in tune with Han's personality. I love it when bloopers or messed up lines like that work and make it into the cut *ahemviggo*

  2. Yay, Star Wars!!! The three originals are my all-time favorite movies, and Luke Skywalker is my absolute favorite character, hands down. Just wait until you see Return of the Jedi - he reaches his pinnacle of awesomeness in that movie. He reminds me so much of Frodo, in that he is willing to suffer and sacrifice himself in order to do what's right. His character arc from farmboy to mature hero (and the incredible decision he makes in Return of the Jedi) utterly fascinates me. So does his loyalty, faith, idealism, and mercy. I even wrote a poem based on his actions in the last film, filling in a gap between two particular scenes.

    He does mature throughout the movies, but that doesn't mean he's whiny in the first one. He's not! He's just frustrated, and he longs to make something of his life - the brilliant sunset scene explains everything without a word of dialogue.

    I don't consider his decision to leave his training to be a flaw, either. In fact, I consider it an example of one of his greatest strengths - his unshakeable loyalty. He never hesitates to risk his life in order to help his friends (or even strangers, like Leia still was when he rescued her in IV). This is one of my pet topics, so I could ramble on forever and drag in my comparison with one of Aragorn's decisions, but I'll restrain myself;).

    In fact, I should probably restrain this entire comment. I could go on and on, believe me! Just a few more random things.

    I also love R2-D2. He's absolutely adorable, and his personality reminds me of my dog.

    Yes, the music is amazing, and really fun to play on the piano. My favorite theme to play is "Luke and Leia" from the brother-sister revelation scene. Their twin relationship was also spoiled for me, but that scene lost none of its sweetness.

    Oh, and I agree about the exchange pictured in that photo. "We're all fine here now, thank you... How are you?" There's so much great humor; I quote all three movies constantly.

    To sum up: I love Luke:) I like all the characters, but none compare to him. He's the best. The End:).

    Happy All Saints Day!

    - Ellen

    1. Awesome, I'm glad you recognize the scene I was talking about XD
      Happy belated All Saints to you too!

  3. Man, I wish I was seeing these films for the first time at this age, as you are. ^_^ It must be so fun! I've known these movies since I was a little kid, so it doesn't have the same effect (though I love them to death) as it would if I could see them for the first time NOW.
    I'm so glad you're liking them so far! I can't wait until you get to my favorite one, Episode VI. :)

    1. It is pretty amazing. I've heard so much about them from my older siblings and friends but not enough that I was spoiled about everything. It is so awesome to finally connect the dots and see what everyone has been obsessing about all these years! I'm very excited for Episode VI, I hope to watch it this weekend :)