Is Episode 4 the First Star Wars Movie?

When it comes to the Star Wars franchise, there is often confusion about which movie was released first. Many fans believe that Episode IV: A New Hope was the first Star Wars movie ever made, while others argue that the original 1977 release was simply titled “Star Wars.”

So, which one is it? Let’s take a closer look.

Episode IV: A New Hope

First released in 1977, Episode IV: A New Hope is considered by many to be the first Star Wars movie. The film introduced audiences to Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo as they battled against the evil Empire led by Darth Vader.

The film’s opening crawl famously begins with the phrase “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..” before launching into the story of Princess Leia’s desperate attempt to deliver stolen plans for the Death Star to the Rebel Alliance. However, even though this was technically the fourth episode in George Lucas’ planned saga, it was released first in theaters.

“Star Wars”

Before it became known as Episode IV: A New Hope, George Lucas’ original Star Wars film from 1977 was simply titled “Star Wars.” This film told the same story as A New Hope but lacked an episode number and did not include any of the subtitle information seen in later releases.

At this time, George Lucas had not yet planned out his entire saga and believed that there would only be one Star Wars movie. It wasn’t until after its success and fan demand for more that he began working on sequels and expanding his universe.


While some may argue that “Star Wars” is technically the first movie in terms of release date and title, most fans consider Episode IV: A New Hope to be the true beginning of the Star Wars saga. Regardless of which one you consider to be first, there’s no denying the impact that these films have had on pop culture and the world of science fiction.

Ultimately, whether you prefer to call it “Star Wars” or Episode IV: A New Hope, there’s no denying the importance and influence of this iconic film.