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Ten Things I Like About Star Wars: A New Hope!
by: Protoclown

Star Wars: A New Hope has become a classic in the 30 years since its release, and looking back at the film today, it's easy to see why. Though it's definitely the slowest of the Star Wars movies, it's by no means boring, and most fans regard it as one of the two best movies in the series. There are plenty of reasons to love this movie, but I've selected ten particular moments that really stand out and define the film as classic for me.


#1: Han Solo Chases
The Stormtroopers!

Our heroes are wandering the corridors of the Death Star trying to get back to the Millennium Falcon, when all of a sudden they round a corner and run into half a dozen stormtroopers who are just as surprised to see them. Without even thinking about it, Han recklessly starts chasing them down the hallway, firing his blaster like a madman and intimidating them into running away with his "crazy powers". I think they totally ruined this moment in the Special Edition, where Han rounds a corner and encounters an enormous room filled to the brim with stormtroopers ("cuz more is funnier, am I right guys?"). For my money, it's much funnier in the original when they reach a dead-end, everyone halts, and the stormtroopers collectively seem to realize that running from a guy they outnumber 6-to-1 is really kind of stupid. And so the chase continues back up the hall, this time with Han being pursued by the stormtroopers.


#2: Luke Drinks Blue Milk!

Okay, so this isn't the most exciting thing on this list, but when I was a kid, seeing Luke and his Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru drinking what appeared to be blue milk out of space age Tupperware containers blew my friggin' mind, man! I was so curious to know what their mysterious "space food" and "cosmic drink" tasted like. It only dawned on me years later that Tattooine cuisine probably tasted about as appetizing as tree bark and windshield washer fluid, but when you're a kid these kinds of things keep you up at nights, dammit.


#3: "You'll Be Dead!"

This is one of my favorite cheesy exchanges of dialog in the entire trilogy. Luke is just sitting there minding his own business when all of a sudden a guy, who we'll pretend for a moment I'm not dorky enough to know the real name of so we'll just call him "Pigface", rudely taps Luke on the shoulder and informs him that his friend "Walrusface" doesn't like him. Luke kind of has an "oooooookay" moment and goes back to minding his drink when suddenly the guy taps him again and tells him that he doesn't much care for him either. At this point Luke is clearly uncomfortable, so he apologizes, which prompts Pigface to warn him that he'd better be careful because he's wanted in twelve systems. It's pretty clear that Pigface is a drunk just spoiling for a fight and Luke's totally not playing into his hands, so when Luke meekly responds "I'll be careful", ol' Piggy gets up in his face and says "You'll be dead!" Then of course Obi-Wan kicks some ass and starts chopping arms off. I just love the way the actor delivers his lines though—makes me chuckle every time I watch the scene.


#4: The Clumsy Stormtrooper!

I don't think there's a person alive who doesn't know about this one already, but it's such a great moment I'd be remiss if I didn't include it. Threepio and Artoo are holed up in some kind of control room waiting for Han and Luke to rescue Princess Leia when some stormtroopers suspect something is amiss and break into the room. And that's when Captain Klutzo (on the right) smacks his head into the bottom of the door when he walks into the room. I can only imagine they couldn't afford to film another take of this, George Lucas thought it was funny, or they just didn't notice until they were editing the film. In any event, they even added in a sound effect of his helmet going "clink" against the door and the lead stormtrooper says "see to him!" but doesn't turn around at all, which makes me think they probably didn't notice until they were editing. Regardless of why it ended up in the movie, millions of fans are now extremely glad this hilarious shot is there.


#5: Han Shoots Greedo!

This is another moment that they completely ruined in the Special Edition, and I don't think there's a Star Wars fan alive who doesn't prefer the original version of this. Han Solo is hanging out in the Mos Eisley cantina when Greedo, some punkass upstart of a bounty hunter, corners him and attempts to take him in for Jabba the Hutt. Han distracts the inexperienced Greedo by picking at a spot on the wall with one hand, carefully pulls out his gun with the other, and shoots Greedo dead from under the table. This is probably the single most badass Han Solo moment in the trilogy, and Lucas completely undermined what used to be a great dynamic character by having him wait to shoot in "self defense" (which is what it was originally anyway, since Greedo had a gun pointed at him), and the revised version just looked awful since no one believed for a minute that even a chump like Greedo could have missed from point-blank range. George Lucas now claims that Greedo shooting first is how he originally intended the scene, but there's no special effects limitation that would have prevented him from doing that in 1977, and if you watch the scene, it's obviously not constructed that way and the change feels painfully forced. George Lucas is made of lies.


#6: The Dianoga!

In the trash compactor on the Death Star, there is a creature called a Dianoga (and I am enough of a dork to know that but let's pretend I only just looked it up), and nobody really knows what it looks like because all we ever see is a freaky eyestalk and a bit of a tentacle. It sucks Luke under the nasty water and the only thing that saves him is the fact that the walls started closing in, causing Mr. Dianoga to promptly get the hell out of there. As awesome and tension-filled as the walls-closing-in scene is, to me the creepiest thing about the garbage compactor is just knowing that there's something alive swimming around in there.


#7: Old Farts Lightsaber Duel!

This has got to be the least exciting and most visually unimpressive lightsaber duel in all of the movies, but for that very reason, it has its own humorous charm. It kind of makes sense too, because it basically amounts to an old man fighting a robot, so it has all the adrenaline pumping action that you might expect from seeing a geriatric fight a quadruple amputee. Vader doesn't seem to really "get into" most of his lightsaber duels, and it becomes obvious in Empire that he's more than capable of kicking ass but he just likes toying with people, but at this point in the story we still don't know that so he kind of comes across as a feeb. My favorite part in the entire duel has to be when Obi-Wan slowly spins around for no good reason at all, totally opening his backside up for Vader to take a few leisurely swings, but Vader was apparently caught snoozing and he somehow he manages to finish spinning and get his blade up in time to block. Wonderfully choreographed? Perhaps not. Damned amusing to watch? You bet!


#8: Drunk Jawas!

It amuses the hell out of me every time I notice these surely-drunk jawas just sort of chilling outside the Mos Eisley cantina (which is so scummy it doesn't even have a name, like "Bob's Place"). I can only imagine what kind of lives these jawas lead, working hard all day scavenging and stealing parts, and then heading off to the bar to get away from their old ladies and knock back a few drinks. Ah, who am I kidding? Look at those guys! They're more than likely unemployed. On a side note, it seems to me than many Star Wars fans have come to the same conclusion that Obi-Wan is almost certainly a tremendous boozehound and regular patron of said cantina. I mean, think about it: the guy probably feels totally responsible for Anakin becoming Darth Vader and killing all the other Jedi in the first place, so it's no wonder he'd be drowning his sorrows in a bottle all the time. Hell, I'm surprised that he was out of the bar long enough for Luke to have found him in the desert!


#9: Vader Chokes a Bitch!

Of all the scenes in this movie, this one probably dates it in the 1970s more than any other, because of all the old guys sporting serious sideburns sitting around a table discussing plans and politics. One guy pipes up that he doesn't believe that Vader's so-called super powers are anything to write home about, so Vader in turn gives him (and the audience) a much-needed demonstration. This is the first instance where we really see the Force in action, we learn that Vader's powers are legit and that he's totally playing for keeps. I just love the facial expressions this guy makes as he clutches his throat and pretends he's being choked.


#10: A Spastic Tusken Raider!

The Tusken Raiders, or "Sand People", were always cool because they were a bit of a mystery. No one really knows what they look like under their rags and cloth-wraps, so they really grabbed hold of my imagination when I first saw the movie as a child. Our first close encounter with them in the movie is about as close as you can get, as one of these freaky dudes sneaks up on Luke and attacks him from behind. He gets super excited and holds his gaffi stick up in the air, thrusting it up and down and grunting like a fool. It's a really great, tense moment in the movie and it's also fun to reenact and annoy your friends every time you pick up any kind of stick-like object. Of course, in doing so, you will also look like a complete idiot, but hey, that's never seemed to slow me down.


So that's my Star Wars list. Go back and take a look at my Empire list if you haven't seen that and you enjoyed this. Jedi is certainly forthcoming and I'm even thinking about doing the prequels as well. But the question is, if I do the prequels, would you rather I try to actually find ten things that don't suck about those movies (which would be quite a challenge, I'm sure, but it could be fun), or would you rather see the ten most sucktastic things about them? Write in and let me know what you'd like to see—I'm open to either idea!

Have any questions or comments about this piece?
Email Protoclown


If you enjoyed this piece, be sure to check out:

Ten Things I Like About The Empire Strikes Back!
Ten Things I Like About The Empire Strikes Back!!

and

The Star Wars Holiday Special!
The Star Wars Holiday Special!

and

Jek Porkins and Ponda Baba in: Haunted House Candy Hunt!
Jek Porkins and Ponda Baba in:
Haunted House Candy Hunt!


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