If you’re a Star Wars fan, you may be wondering which movie kicked off the franchise. The answer is simple: it was the original Star Wars movie, now known as Episode IV – A New Hope. But let’s dive a little deeper into this cinematic masterpiece and explore its impact on pop culture.
The Beginning of a Saga
In 1977, George Lucas released Star Wars – later retitled Episode IV – A New Hope – in theaters across America. The film was an instant hit, grossing over $775 million at the worldwide box office and becoming one of the most successful movies of all time.
Set in a galaxy far, far away, the first Star Wars movie introduces us to Luke Skywalker, a young farmer who dreams of becoming a pilot. When he discovers a message from Princess Leia begging for help from the Rebel Alliance against the evil Empire, Luke joins forces with Han Solo and Chewbacca to rescue her.
The film culminates in an epic battle between the Rebels and the Empire over the fate of the galaxy.
One of the reasons A New Hope was so successful is because it introduced audiences to some of cinema’s most beloved characters. From Luke Skywalker to Han Solo to Princess Leia to Darth Vader, each character is memorable in their own right.
Fun fact: Did you know that James Earl Jones provided Darth Vader’s iconic voice? David Prowse played Vader on set, but his voice was deemed unsuitable for such an iconic villain.
A New Hope changed cinema forever. It revolutionized special effects and sound design and inspired countless filmmakers and artists. It also spawned two sequels (The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) as well as a prequel trilogy (The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith) and a sequel trilogy (The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker).
Fun fact: A New Hope was nominated for ten Academy Awards and won six, including Best Original Score for John Williams.
So there you have it – the first Star Wars movie in the theater was Episode IV – A New Hope. This timeless classic has stood the test of time and continues to entertain audiences over four decades later.