| Star Wars Episode IV:|
A New Hope
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, originally just called Star Wars, is the first film of the Star Wars saga. It is the first film released but the fourth chapter in chronological order. A New Hope is the most well-known of all Star Wars films. It was released on May 25, 1977 on a budget of $11 million. It was re-released, sometimes with significant changes, in 1979, 1981, 1982, 1997 (all cinema), 2000 (VHS), and 2004 (DVD). A 3-D release is planned for 2007. As of 2005, A New Hope grossed $461M in the United States and a total of $775.4 million in worldwide boxoffice sales. A New Hope can be considered a popular success as it is currently 19th on the All Time Worldwide Box Office Chart and second in the All Time US Box Office Chart for total gross sales.
The movie is set nineteen years after the formation of the Empire. Luke Skywalker is thrust into the struggle of the Rebel Alliance when he meets Obi-Wan Kenobi, who has lived for nearly two decades in seclusion on the desert planet of Tatooine. Obi-Wan begins Luke's Jedi training as Luke joins him on a daring mission to rescue the beautiful Rebel leader Princess Leia from the clutches of the evil Galactic Empire.
Unlike the later prequel films, this film, along with the two films that follow, mostly focuses on the events of one particular sector of the galaxy, rather than the interstellar perspective that the first three films take.
- Episode IV
- A NEW HOPE
- It is a period of civil war.
- Rebel spaceships, striking
- from a hidden base, have won
- their first victory against
- the evil Galactic Empire.
- During the battle, Rebel
- spies managed to steal secret
- plans to the Empire's
- ultimate weapon, the DEATH
- STAR, an armored space
- station with enough power
- to destroy an entire planet.
- Pursued by the Empire's
- sinister agents, Princess
- Leia races home aboard her
- starship, custodian of the
- stolen plans that can save her
- people and restore
- freedom to the galaxy . . .
The Expanded Universe reveals the events described in the film's opening crawl. The opening crawl reveals that the galaxy is in a state of civil war. The Rebel Alliance has stolen secret plans to the Galactic Empire's secret weapon, the Death Star. (The Rebel Alliance operated an efficient and widespread intelligence network of Bothan spies.) Through this network, the Alliance learned of the construction of the Death Star, an extremely powerful space station capable of annihilating entire planets with its superlaser.
Rebel prisoners aboard the Death Star managed to riot (Death Star Uprising) and got control of a technical readout while Imperial-turned-Rebel Kyle Katarn retrieved further plans (Battle of Danuta). From there they beamed it to Leia's ship, the Tantive IV, while the 501st Legion, under Darth Vader, tracked Rebels to Polis Massa (Battle of Polis Massa), however this was only a set-up for the Empire. Even so, the Rebels, who fought with the defensive upper hand, were crushed. Imperial forces soon discovered the true plot and the Star Destroyer Devastator, under the command of Darth Vader himself, captured the Tantive IV in a space battle above Tatooine (Attack on Tantive IV), where Leia had been trying to reach. She hoped to enlist the help of Obi-Wan Kenobi, who was a fugitive Jedi in hiding on the planet and was watching over the young Luke Skywalker.
Following these events from the EU, the film picks up with Stormtroopers of the 501st taking control of the ship and Darth Vader arriving to assess the damage. Vader is outraged and questions Captain Antilles, whom he eventually strangles and kills. Hiding on the ship, Leia is spotted by part of the 501st, and is shot with a stun blast. Before taking her prisoner, Vader questions her as well. However, before being detained, Princess Leia is able to record a holographic message and give it to R2-D2 to take to Kenobi. Vader orders a command be sent to the Imperial Senate on Coruscant that the ship was destroyed, with everyone on board killed. The droids R2-D2 and C-3PO use an escape pod which brings them to the planet Tatooine.
The Galaxy's most desperate hour
Nineteen years after the events of Revenge of the Sith, the Galactic Empire under Emperor Palpatine controls the Galaxy with an iron fist. The Empire is not without resistance, though. The Tantive IV is carrying precious information, vital to the Rebel Alliance. But Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith and his master have long suspected Princess Leia Organa of being a Rebel, and her starship is intercepted by his Imperial Star Destroyer, the Devastator, and boarded by Vader's stormtroopers. Before her capture, Leia stores the vital information inside R2-D2's databank. R2-D2 and C-3PO escape in an escape pod, and land on the remote desert planet of Tatooine. R2-D2 and C-3PO are "recovered" by Jawas after being separated from each other.
The droids are bought by moisture farmer Owen Lars and his nephew, Luke Skywalker. R2-D2 escapes from the Lars' homestead in search of an Obi-Wan Kenobi, whom the droid claims to be the property of. Luke and C-3PO find R2 the next day just before they are attacked by Sandpeople. Luke and his droids are rescued by Obi-Wan Kenobi or, as Luke knows him, Ben Kenobi. Obi-Wan takes Luke to his home.
Luke receives his father's lightsaber, as Obi-Wan recalls his own friendship with Luke's father. Luke is told that a Jedi named Darth Vader betrayed and murdered his father. After discovering Princess Leia's message carried by R2-D2, Obi-Wan attempts to persuade Luke to accompany him to Alderaan. Luke refuses to go until he discovers that his aunt and uncle were brutally murdered by Imperial stormtroopers searching for the droids. Luke, Obi-Wan, and the two droids travel to Mos Eisley to find passage to Alderaan, Princess Leia's home planet.
For 17,000 credits, 2,000 in advance and 15,000 upon arrival, smuggler Han Solo and his first mate, a Wookiee named Chewbacca, agree to take the foursome to Alderaan aboard their ship, the Millennium Falcon. After brief scuffles with the Empire and Jabba the Hutt, the Falcon escapes the Imperial Blockade at Mos Eisley and Han sets a course for Alderaan.
Rescue of the Princess
In Alderaan's place, they find what seems to be an asteroid field. The planet was destroyed by the dreaded Death Star, on the orders of Grand Moff Tarkin, to set an example of the power of the Empire. The Millennium Falcon is pulled aboard the Death Star by its powerful tractor beam.From hidden smuggling compartments, the crew of the Millennium Falcon ambushes an Imperial scanning crew and two stormtroopers. With Han and Luke disguised as the two stormtroopers, the group begins to figure out how to escape. Obi-Wan Kenobi separates from the group to disable the tractor beam, leaving the others alone. While connected to the Imperial Network, R2-D2 discovers Princess Leia is aboard the station. Luke convinces Han and Chewbacca to rescue her with the vague promise of a grand reward. Han and Chewie reluctantly agree. Luke plans to march into Detention Block AA 23, claiming that Chewie is part of a prisoner transfer. C-3PO and R2-D2 are instructed to remain behind, and the trio sets off on their rescue attempt. Luke's plan works flawlessly in that they are quick to subdue the officers and guards in the Princess's cellblock. Unfortunately, no one thought to plan for their escape, and Leia takes charge, blasting a hole in a nearby grate and jumping through while Han and Luke hold off a squad of stormtroopers. Chewie, Luke and Han all dive after the princess into the unknown.
Unfortunately, the grate covers a chute that leads to a garbage compactor that is also home to a resident dianoga. Soon after landing, the creature pulls Luke under the surface, but releases him and is scared away when the Imperials realize where our heroes escaped to and activate the compactor. As the walls close in on the foursome, Luke desperately calls to C-3PO over his comlink asking for the compactor to be shut down. R2-D2 manages to shut down the compactor just in time, although, amidst the muffled cries of joy over the comlink, C-3PO is briefly convinced that his master and friends have been crushed.
After escaping from the trash compactor, the group hurries back to the Millennium Falcon, hoping that Obi-Wan has successfully shut down the tractor beam. They encounter stormtroopers on their way to the ship.
Sacrifice and victory
Obi-Wan, on the other hand, was destined to meet with Darth Vader. Obi-Wan battles his former Padawan, but this time Obi-Wan sacrifices himself (actually, it was later revealed that Obi-Wan did not let Vader kill him, rather joined the Force before being killed to avoid death) as Luke watches in terror, then screams. Horrified and angered, Luke takes his final blasts at the stormtroopers and dashes onto the Millennium Falcon.
After fighting a squadron of TIE fighters, the Millennium Falcon meets the Rebel Alliance on Yavin 4, and the information in R2-D2 is turned over. General Dodonna plans the attack on the Death Star, an attack so audacious as to receive an unenthusiastic reaction from the pilots, notably Wedge Antilles. To add to Luke's dismay, Han leaves after receiving his reward.
The Rebel strike force begins its attack on the Death Star, as the space station approaches the Rebel base on Yavin 4. The final Rebel ships enter the trench to hit the target that will destroy the Death Star. One of them is piloted by Biggs Darklighter, a friend of Luke who is killed by Vader towards the end of the assault. Most of the Rebel ships are destroyed, save for Luke Skywalker's X-wing. Just before Darth Vader could destroy Luke from his personal TIE Advanced Fighter, Han returns in the Millennium Falcon and clears away the attacking Imperial fighters. Luke fires the proton torpedo into the exhaust port target, and the Death Star is destroyed.
The few remaining ships (those of Wedge, Luke, Han, and Keyan Farlander, a Y-wing Pilot) return to Yavin 4 and a victory celebration commences, complete with awards for the heroes, Han Solo and Luke Skywalker and although Chewbacca wasn't awarded a medal in the movie, he did recieve the honor of having the last line in the film.(Although in the novel of the film, Chewbacca also recieves an award)
The Expanded Universe also reveals some events that happened immediately after events of the film. As a result of Millennium Falcon crippling his TIE Fighter, Darth Vader crashed into the planet Vaal. His journey to V-798 was interrupted by an attack from vicious creatures, but he reached a shuttle that escorted him to Coruscant, where he was formally reprimanded by Emperor Palpatine for failure to stop the Rebels. He then continued his mission to find the Rebel base. His search led him to such planets as Ultaar and Centares.
As depicted in some Star Wars video games, the Rebel Alliance evacuated Yavin IV to escape Imperial retaliation, and fled to Hoth.
- Luke Skywalker .... Mark Hamill
- Han Solo .... Harrison Ford
- Princess Leia Organa .... Carrie Fisher
- Grand Moff Tarkin .... Peter Cushing
- Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi .... Alec Guinness
- See Threepio (C-3PO) .... Anthony Daniels
- Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) .... Kenny Baker
- Chewbacca .... Peter Mayhew
- Darth Vader .... David Prowse
- Voice of Darth Vader .... James Earl Jones (uncredited)
- Uncle Owen .... Phil Brown
- Aunt Beru .... Shelagh Fraser
- Chief Jawa .... Jack Purvis
- General Dodonna .... Alex McCrindle
- General Willard .... Eddie Byrne
- Red Leader .... Drewe Hemley
- Red Two (Wedge) .... Denis Lawson
- Red Three (Biggs) .... Garrick Hagon
- Red Four (John "D") .... Jack Klaff
- Red Six (Porkins) .... William Hootkins
- Gold Leader .... Angus Mcinnis
- Gold Two .... Jeremy Sinden
- Gold Five .... Graham Ashley
- General Tagge .... Don Henderson
- Admiral Motti .... Richard Le Parmentier
- Commander Bast .... Leslie Schofield
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope remains one of the most financially successful films of all time. Adjusted for inflation, the US gross profit is second only to Gone with the Wind and in terms of cumulative gross is second only to the movie Titanic. Considering the distributor, and to some degree the producers, had little confidence in the potential of the film, it was a word-of-mouth hit, having opened only on 37 movie screens in theaters that were persuaded to show it. However, there was immediate impressive business upon release that wildly surpassed the highest hopes of the producers. Furthermore, the revenue increased dramatically as 20th Century Fox acted to capitalize on the spectacular popularity and moved to make the film a profitable success. Some theaters showed the film continuously for over a year.
The American Film Institute listed it 15th on a list of the top 100 films of the 20th century; in the UK, a poll created by Channel Four named A New Hope (together with its successor, The Empire Strikes Back) the greatest film of all time. However, the film is not universally admired. Some blame it for accelerating a trend towards special effects-driven movies targeting teenagers. Others claim that the trend is a natural consequence of economic and technological forces in the film industry.
When originally released in 1977, it was released simply as "Star Wars", both on promotional material and during the opening crawl of the film itself. For this reason, this film, more than its sequels, is often referred to as "Star Wars", instead of by the "Episode IV" number or the subtitle "A New Hope". In 1980, the sequel, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, was released with the episode number and title in the opening crawl. In a re-released version a year later, "Episode IV: A New Hope" replaced the original opening title of "Star Wars" above the opening crawl.
The film became the fourth chronologically and first in the series of six released to date. While producer Lucas claims that only six films were ever planned, many fans disagree, asserting that they had heard of plans for three trilogies for a total of nine films.
Lucas's intentions for Star Wars involved a grand musical sound, with leitmotifs for different characters and important objects, an approach used to great effect, for instance, in the operas of Richard Wagner. Toward this end, Lucas put together a collection of classical pieces for the composer John Williams to review, as an idea of what effects Lucas desired for the films. The music Williams composed was often distinctly reminiscent of the original classical pieces. In particular:
- The music associated to the opening capture of the blockade runner is very similar to Mars, from Holst's The Planets. In the liner notes to the original sound track recording, Williams implicitly acknowledged the connection by explaining why he didn't simply use Holst's The Planets. He said that he felt he could give the music a more unified feel if he wrote it all himself.
- The "Force Theme" (or "Ben's Theme") has been compared to parts of the ballet Swan Lake.
- The music for the awards ceremony at the end of the movie begins with the Force/Ben's Theme, and then transitions into a theme that, in the liner notes, Williams says is reminiscent of "The Coronation", which probably refers to Elgar's, or, more likely, William Walton's Coronation March.
- The opening title (the "theme from Star Wars", or "Luke's Theme") has been said to resemble John Barry's theme from Born Free, but has a similar facade to the opening strains of the 1942 film, King's Row, scored by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Later John Williams themes, such as those from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial have been said to bear a resemblance to it. Listening to them together, one observes that none is identical to any of the others, but they use many of the same musical intervals to achieve similar, or at least related, emotional effects.
- The music for C-3PO's and R2-D2's arrival on Tatooine is very similar to the beginning of the second part titled The Sacrifice of Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring.
A New Hope was originally presented in monaural sound in many theatres, though the first-run 70mm prints were some of the earliest wide-release examples of surround sound—something not seen in the commercial cinema since the Cinerama and Cinemascope experiments of the early 50's.
In 1997, the movie was digitally remastered as the so-called Special Edition for a 20th anniversary re-release. The controversial (amongst fans) Special Edition contains scenes not in the original release, most notably a conversation between Han Solo and Jabba the Hutt and the infamous Greedo scene change (see below) , as well as numerous other small changes and visual additions. Some of the added scenes were intended for the original version of the movie, but were not feasible without newer advances in special effects technology, particularly in the area of computer generated imagery.
The Special Edition also had several scenes in which the events depicted were changed from those depicted in the original version; these changes are controversial as well, with many dedicated fans feeling the changes weaken the movie. One of the more notorious changes involves a scene in which Han Solo defeats a bounty hunter named Greedo. Greedo was holding Solo at gunpoint in the Mos Eisley Cantina. Their conversation reveals that Greedo is after the bounty Jabba the Hutt put on Solo. During the conversation, Solo is discretely removing his blaster from its holster under the table. Toward the end of the conversation, Greedo suggests that Jabba might be content to take only Solo's ship (the Millennium Falcon) to cover Solo's debt. Han then says "Over my dead body," to which Greedo replies, "That's the idea. I've been looking forward to this for a long time." In the original version, Solo says "Yes, I bet you have," and then shoots and kills Greedo, who never takes a shot. In the Special Edition, the scene is altered so that Greedo shoots first, somehow missing Solo at point-blank range as Solo fires. This change has been criticized/ridiculed in popular culture, most notably in the films of Kevin Smith.
Lucas was apparently concerned that having Solo shoot first portrayed him as an aggressor who takes life in cold blood, which is inconsistent with the heroic persona that Solo is supposed to exemplify. Greedo still shoots first in the revised DVD release in 2004, but the effect has been redone to be more convincing so both shoot almost at the exact same moment.
On September 21, 2004, A New Hope, along with its successors Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, was released in a 4-disc boxset. The DVD featured improved visuals and sound effects, as well as some additional changes. With a few exceptions, most of these are minor or cosmetic in nature.
Sources and inspirations
The film drew inspiration from a number of sources. This was conscious and has been acknowledged by George Lucas in interviews. It is characteristic of much myth-building.
The Hidden Fortress
Lucas has stated that Akira Kurosawa's 1958 film The Hidden Fortress (USA release 1962) was a strong influence. The resemblance between the two buffoon farmers in The Hidden Fortress and the two talkative droids in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope is apparent. Indeed, when the droids find themselves alone on Tatooine, even the music and the style of "wipe" cuts are a clear homage to Hidden Fortress. When Motti is criticizing Darth Vader, he is about to mention the Rebels' "hidden fortress" before Vader cuts him off in the middle of the last word.
The Dam Busters
The climactic scene in which the Death Star is assaulted was modeled after the 1950s movie The Dam Busters, in which RAF Lancaster bombers fly along heavily defended reservoirs and aim "bouncing bombs" at German manmade dams in a bid to cripple the heavy industry of the Ruhr. Some of the dialogue in The Dam Busters is repeated in the Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope climax and in fact the cinematographer for Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Gilbert Taylor, also filmed the Special Effects sequences in The Dam Busters.
Battle of Britain
Scenes from the Death Star assault are also reminiscent of the film Battle of Britain, particularly in showing the face of the pilot in the cockpit, and the radio dialogue between teams named after colors. Another inspiration comes from Battle of Britain's long combat scene near the end of the movie which is presented without dialogue or sound effects, but with a classical movie background. The parallel between the use of classical-style music, rather than popular orchestral or even more recent rock, blues, swing, or jazz soundtracks, is notable.
The real-life battle provided inspiration also, with World War II providing a heavy influence on the look and feel of the films. While the dogfighting between the "Allied" X-wings and "Axis" TIE Fighters, the ships were based more on the Pacific Theatre, with the larger sturdier Rebel fighters based on the United States Navy carrier-borne aircraft, and the smaller but faster and more manoeuvrable enemy TIEs based on the famous Japanese Zero. The costumes of the pilots reflect this, with the characteristic orange flight suits of the rebels, which are very similar to the flight suits worn by American fighter pilots in the Pacific War. The cockpit design of the Millennium Falcon is also heavily based on the design used in the famous B-29 Superfortress, such as the Enola Gay.
The helmets worn by the TIE Fighter pilots are reminiscent to those of the Japanese during the Pacific campaign, though this is not as blatant as the "Samurai style" helmet of Darth Vader. Lastly, the uniforms of the Imperial officers are quite similar to those worn by the Germans in World War II.
Lucas has made mention of the film "633 Squadron" directed by Walter Grauman when citing movies that inspired themes or elements in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. The "trench run" in A New Hope wherein Luke flies his X-wing through a "trench" on the Death Star and destroys the ship was inspired, at least in small part, by the finale of 633 Squadron, which involves several Royal Air Force planes flying at low level up a fjord against heavy, ground-based anti-aircraft fire, to attack a factory located at the base of a cliff at the canyon's end.
The planet Tatooine is similar to Arrakis from Frank Herbert's book Dune, although desert worlds were not original to Herbert. The planet Mongo from the Flash Gordon comics was also a desert world. In general, the Star Wars movies have followed the convention, common in space opera, in which planets stand in for regions of the Earth, so that there would be a desert planet, a jungle planet, and so on.
Triumph of the Will
The scene where Princess Leia gives Han and Luke medals is very reminiscent of a long scene in Leni Riefenstahl's 1934 film Triumph of the Will. Both scenes have large and enthusiastic crowds seated in a shallow amphitheatre bounded by columns, with a low dais where the leader stands. (Of course, in Triumph Of The Will, Adolf Hitler was the leader in question.)
- Shooting began on March 22, 1976 and ended on July 16, 1976.
- James Earl Jones's name did not originally appear in the ending credits. At the time, Jones felt he hadn't done enough for the film to deserve one. His name was added for the film's 1997 re-release. (Strangely enough, a year later he was credited in the opening of The Star Wars Holiday Special.)
- Darth Vader's breathing is a recording of sound designer Ben Burtt breathing with a scuba diving tank by placing a microphone inside the regulator.
- A New Hope has the most profanity of any type uttered in the Star Wars movies. Obi-Wan and Han Solo both used the term "damn fool" once, and Han in response to Leia's shooting an escape route in the detention block floor, "What the hell are you doing?". Only two other installments featured use of profanity in the series, with Han's "Then I'll see you in hell!" in The Empire Strikes Back, and Dexter Jettster referring to the cloners of Kamino as "damn good ones" in Attack of the Clones. Revenge of the Sith contains no profanity, though rated PG-13.
- Originally, if the film did poorly at the box office, Lucas planned to turn the novel Splinter of the Mind's Eye into a low-budget sequel to the movie. According to an interview with Alan Dean Foster in Empire magazine, the book was written to be filmed as a low budget sequel if Star Wars was not a huge success. That's why it takes place almost entirely on a fog shrouded planet. Additionally, Harrison Ford was not signed for the sequel as of the writing of the book, which is why Han Solo does not appear in it.
- The Tusken Raider (played by stuntman Peter Diamond) who attacks Luke was filmed raising his weapon over his head once. Editors Paul Hirsch and Richard Chew moved the reel back and forth so the Raider raised his weapon several times.
- Finagle's Law frequently plagued the production. One day into filming in Tunisia, the country had its first major rainstorm in fifty years. The storm ruined the salt flats where the Lars Moisture Farm was filmed. ILM was in chaos from trying to achieve new special effects and 20th Century Fox kept pressuring Lucas. The project became so stressful that Lucas nearly suffered a heart attack from trying to deliver the film on time.
- Kenner Toys was the only company that bought license to sell merchandise for the film; however, the company believed the film would flop and produced only a few toys. When Star Wars became a hit, they were unprepared and were unable to produce more toys for Christmas.
- The two gunners in the Death Star superlaser shaft are ILM modelmakers Grant McCune and Joe Johnston.
- Some early promotional material for the film emphasized a romance between Luke and Leia, highlighted by their brief good luck kiss before jumping the chasm on the Death Star. This theme continued on into the comic book spinoff as well as Foster's Splinter of the Mind's Eye sequel. Save for a faux-passionate kiss between Luke and Leia early in Empire Strikes Back, the romantic angle was downplayed when Lucas began developing the relationship between Leia and Han Solo, and was dropped entirely after it was revealed in Return of the Jedi that Luke and Leia were siblings.
- On May 26, 1977, the New York Times described Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope as "the most beautiful movie serial ever made".
- The Millennium Falcon was modeled after a hamburger next to an olive.
- The sound of TIE fighters was created by combining an elephant's scream with the noise of a car driving on wet pavement.
- Other films that opened in May 1977: Smokey and the Bandit, The Car, and Day of the Animals.
- Sissy Spacek auditioned for the part of Princess Leia, and Christopher Walken, Kurt Russell and Robbie Benson read for Han Solo.
- A New Hope was known by several titles during its screenplay stage, including The Adventures of the Starkiller.
- Episode IV was not originally known by its current title; rather, it was known as simply Star Wars. The A New Hope subtitle came about during the film's 1980 re-release following the release of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.
- This is the only Star Wars film in which neither Yoda nor Palpatine make an appearance. Yoda is not mentioned, as the character had not yet been created. Palpatine is mentioned, but referred to only as "the Emperor".
- Initially, Lucas did not allow Harrison Ford to audition for the part of Han Solo because he wanted to use unknown actors for the roles of Solo, Luke and Leia, and Ford had already worked with Lucas in American Graffiti. Other actors who auditioned for Solo's part included Kurt Russell and Perry King, who was eventually cast in the role for the National Public Radio adaptations (see below). For the role of Leia, Lucas seriously considered Cindy Williams (who also starred in Graffiti), as well as Terri Nunn, the lead singer of the dance-pop group Berlin. However, Ford was brought into the casting auditions to help by reading Solo's lines opposite other actors, and eventually Lucas decided that it was Ford's performance who best fit his idea for the character (Ford's reaction to Nunn's interpretation of Leia elicited a roll of his eyes). Lucas' decision to use unknown actors also went against the advice of his friend, director Francis Ford Coppola.
- This is the only Star Wars film where "The Imperial March" is not played in some form or another, as it had not been written at the time.
- The sounds for R2-D2 included not only computer sounds but also the sounds of baby talk.
- A New Hope was only first released in 40 theaters however, it broke 39 of those 40 theater records
- To gain access to Princess Leia's holding cell, Luke and Han pretend to be stormtroopers and hold Chewbacca "prisoner." They tell the cell block commander they are transferring him from detention block 1138. This is a reference to George Lucas' first film, THX 1138.
- Peter Sumner, who played an uncredited role as Lieutenant Pol Treidum (the character who said "TK421, why aren't you at your post?") in A New Hope, reprised his role as the same character for the 1999 Star Wars fan film The Dark Redemption.
- When the film was released in 1977, a very young Ewan McGregor went to see the film with his siblings to see their uncle, Denis Lawson, who played Wedge Antilles.
- George Lucas never intended to use the voice of David Prowse, who portrayed Darth Vader in costume, because of Prowse's west country British accent. He originally wanted Orson Welles to provide Darth Vader's voice. However, he felt that Welles' voice would be too recognizable, so he cast James Earl Jones, who was not as well known. Prowse was not pleased.
- Before signing on as the film's sound designer, Ben Burtt auditioned for the role of Luke Skywalker.
- Just prior to the film's completion, Mark Hamill was cast as David Bradford on the TV series Eight is Enough. Hamill believed the film was going to be a hit, and wanted to focus on his film career. He only played David in the series' pilot, and Grant Goodeve took over the character for the rest of the show's run.
- The first time Chewbacca climbs into the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon, he bumps his head on a small pair of dice hanging from the ceiling. These dice are never seen again in the film, nor do they appear in the rest of the trilogy.
- Many of the exterior landscape shots of Yavin IV were filmed at the Maya ruins at Tikal.
- Raymus Antilles
- Wedge Antilles
- Arliel Schous
- Tour Aryon
- Bom Vimdin
- Danz Borin
- Devin Cant
- Lirin Car'n
- Chall Bekan
- Wenton Chan
- Nalan Cheel
- Shann Childsen
- Swilla Corey
- Tedn Dahai
- Figrin D'an
- Dannik Jerriko
- Biggs Darklighter
- Jabba Desilijic Tiure
- Dice Ibegon
- Jan Dodonna
- Garven Dreis
- Shada D'ukal
- Karoly D'ulin
- Tajis Durmin
- Elis Helrot
- Davin Felth
- Feltipern Trevagg
- Rennie Gallou
- Ickabel G'ont
- Del Goren
- Feyn Gospic
- Greedo the Younger
- Hem Dazon
- Chad Hilse
- Bob Hudsol
- Daine Jir
- Ariq Joanson
- John D. Branon
- Hrchek Kal Fas
- Sai'torr Kal Fas
- Kal Nkai
- Kal'Fanl C'ndros
- Baniss Keeg
- Obi-Wan Kenobi
- Kitik Keed'kak
- Garouf Lafoe
- Evram Lajaie
- Beru Lars
- Owen Lars
- Leesub Sirln
- Camie Loneozner
- Laze Loneozner
- Ellorrs Madak
- Talos Merkin
- Yerka Mig
- Nar Millich
- Mauler Mithel
- Tech Mo'r
- Firin Morett
- Mosep Binneed
- Grondorn Muse
- Nabrun Leids
- Momaw Nadon
- Doikk Na'ts
- Theron Nett
- Nevar Yalnal
- Het Nkik
- Jek Nkik
- Hol Okand
- M'iiyoom Onith
- Bail Organa
- Leia Organa
- Dark Curse Phennir
- Ponda Baba
- Jek Porkins
- Djas Puhr
- Bren Quersey
- Elyhek Rue
- Rycar Ryjerd
- Pello Scrambas
- Lak Sivrak
- Anakin Skywalker
- Luke Skywalker
- Han Solo
- Windum Starkiller
- Janek Sunber
- Merc Sunlet
- Cassio Tagge
- Wilhuff Tarkin
- Tawss Khaa
- Mod Terrik
- Galen Torg
- Palo Torshan
- Ryle Torsyn
- Pol Treidum
- Trinto Duaba
- Brindy Truchong
- Unut Poll
- Jon Vander
- WED 15 Septoid 2
- Vanden Willard
- Gela Yeens
- Wullf Yularen
New droid models
- 3PO protocol droid
- ASP-7 labor droid
- CLL-8 binary load lifter
- CZ communications droid
- EG-6 power droid
- IM4 sentry droid
- IT-0 interrogation droid
- KPR security droid
- LIN demolitionmech
- Marksman-H training remote
- M-HYD binary hydroponics droid
- MSE-6 mouse droid
- R1-series astromech droid
- R2-series astromech droid
- R3-series astromech droid
- R4-series astromech droid
- R5-series astromech droid
- RA-7 data droid
- WED-15 Treadwell
- WED-15 Septoid Treadwell
- Alliance to Restore the Republic
- Desilijic kajidic
- Galactic Empire
- Galactic Republic
- Jedi Order
- Sith Order
New sapient species
- Florn lamproid
- Mantellian Savrip
- Bimm (near-human)
- Stennes Shifter
New vehicles and vessels
- 9000 Z0001 Landspeeder
- A-1 Deluxe Floater
- Air-2 racing swoop
- BTL Y-wing starfighter
- Bulk cruiser
- Carillion-class starship
- Class-6 escape pod
- crew carrier
- CR90 corvette
- Death Star I
- Dowager Queen colony ship
- Flare-S swoop
- GR-45 medium transport
- Imperial Corellian ship
- Imperial I-class Star Destroyer
- Sentinel-class landing craft
- SX-14 field hover-ute
- T-16 Skyhopper
- T-65 X-wing starfighter
- TIE Advanced x1
- TIE boarding craft
- TIE/ln starfighter
- V-35 Courier landspeeder
- Void Spider TX-3 Air Taxi
- X-34 landspeeder
- XP-38 landspeeder
- YT-1300 light freighter
- YT-2400 light freighter