It’s the Star Wars 40th anniversary! The space saga celebrates a massive milestone this year, with Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope turning 40! Throughout four galactic decades there have been seven core films, spin-offs, animated stories and games. Star Wars is huge, and continues to grow with even more tales incoming! There are many A New Hope moments that we’re absolutely fond of. So we’ve put together our favourite scenes from the first film, including a messy escape and an emotional duel between teacher and rebellious student.
Our Top Star Wars: A New Hope Moments
1) A Lack of Faith?
Darth Vadar is arguably one of the most feared villains in cinematic history, and had quite the presence during the original Star Wars trilogy. During the opening moments of A New Hope we discover why. James Earl Jones, the voice of Vadar, delivers that iconic line, “I find your lack of faith disturbing” as Vadar’s intentions are questioned. Using a simple hand gesture, the masked villain shows his power through a simple, yet powerful, scene.
2) The Princess’ Message
Once R2-D2 inadvertently ends up in the hands of Ben Kenobi, a hologram message recorded by Princess Leia starts to play, recalling the Resistance’s struggles against the empire and her mission to bring Ben to planet Alderaan. A technological spectacle for the time; a hologram projected on film and a message that spurs on the action. It was a key part of the tale, and one of the memorable moments as Luke is urged into helping Ben. The force is strong, in this one!
3) The End of Alderaan
Spoilers! Alderaan was a planet in the Star Wars universe, once home to Princess Leia and her parents. The mountainous world was important in forming the Rebel Alliance, a movement that aimed to rise against Palpatine’s Galactic Empire. When Princess Leia is captured, however, she ends up witnessing the destruction of her home. To be able to vanquish a planet, in movements, has become a trope in Star Wars – but the first time it’s seen on screen is quite a poignant moment. It solidifies the power of the enemy and what our new heroes are up against. Could a band of strangers team up to defeat such a threat?
4) A Messy Escape
The story reaches its peak when Princess Leia, Luke, Chewie and Han Solo rummage through The Death Star and wind up within a trash compactor. Could things get any worse? Yes, it certainly can as the walls start to crush our heroes. Fortunately, it was a little droid that saved the day by hacking into the system. Will they, won’t they? This scene in particular is one of the more memorable A New Hope moments, one that makes many fans’ lists.
5) Two Suns Fade over Luke
This scene is one of the calmer sequences in A New Hope. Yet as Luke Skywalker gazes into the sunset and John Williams’ score starts to draw you into the orange hues, you know that it’s a turning point – an adventure is about to unfold. Luke’s pondering his fate, what’s beyond his desert home and does he have what it takes? There are no words, no explosions or space fights – just pure emotion woven into colour and sound.
6) The Teacher Meets a Prodigy
Obi-Wan Kenobi sneaks through the Death Star, lightsaber in hand, to meet his former student. Now masked and draped in black, Darth Vadar addresses his former mentor by exchanging blows. The two duel, eyes piercing, ending in Kenobi disappearing into The Force. It wasn’t a twenty minute battle with backflips and fireworks, but a very important scene that drives the rest of the original trilogy. What happened to Obi-Wan?
7) Sharp Shooter
Who shot first? Is Han Solo a cold blooded killer? These questions have plagued fans ever since A New Hope took cinemas by storm 40 years ago. 20 years later, the film was altered, and again in subsequent re-releases. Han Solo having a casual chat with fellow bounty hunter Greedo, both armed, but one doesn’t quite survive the shootout. Though this particular scene is the shortest in our list, it’s still one of the more memorable A New Hope moments because of the controversy surrounding it with fans.
8) A Narrow Target
Of course, there has to be one scene that tops the bill for top A New Hope moments – the final climax, the last battle – the Trench Run. There’s only one way for our heroes to save the galaxy and stop Vadar in his tracks – destroy the Death Star. How can a small fleet of ships possibly stop a planet destroying weapon? Explained in Rogue One, the Death Star plans suggest how there is a teeny, tiny exhaust that can be penetrated by travelling down a small trench. A trench littered with turrets and a lurking Vadar. It’s the near-impossible scenario, yet one aspiring hero and a sharp shooting bounty hunter come to the rescue with seconds to spare.
So there we have it! What are your favourite Star Wars: A New Hope moments?