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.
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.
Luke Drinks Blue Milk!
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.
"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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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!
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.
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!
questions or comments about this piece?
If you enjoyed this piece, be sure
to check out:
Ten Things I Like About The Empire Strikes Back!!
The Star Wars Holiday Special!
Jek Porkins and Ponda Baba in:
Haunted House Candy Hunt!
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