Your Complete Guide To The Star Wars Cinematic Universe

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Original Trilogy

Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope

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Released: May 25th, 1977

Runtime: 2hrs 1min

Directed by: George Lucas

Written by: George Lucas

Starring: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse, Peter Cushing, Denis Lawson.

Significant characters introduced: Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia Organa, Han Solo, Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi, C-3PO, R2-D2, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, Rebel Force Wedge.

Notable universe developments: Princess Leia joins forces with Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Chewbacca in an attempt to prevent the Empire’s use of a terrifying weapon; Luke is introduced to The Force; Luke achieves his ambition of becoming a fighter pilot and destroys the Death Star.

Note: The 1997 re-release of the film contains a previously deleted scene featuring Jabba the Hutt.

Opening crawl: “It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships striking from a hidden base have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire. During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armoured space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet. Pursued by the Empire’s sinister agents, Princess Leia races home aboard her starship, custodian of the stolen plans that can save her people and restore freedom to the galaxy…”

A ship carrying Princess Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) is captured by Imperial forces, but she has successfully hidden the stolen Death Star plans in the memory banks of R2-D2 – an astromech droid. R2-D2 escapes to Tatooine with the protocol droid C-3PO – only to be captured by Jawa traders. These traders sell the droids to farmers Owen and Beru Lars, and their nephew Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) – of whom they are guardians.

Luke finds a message from Leia saved in R2-D2, in which she addresses Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) – so Luke sets out to find him, with R2-D2. In doing so, he learns of The Force, the Jedi Knights and the fact that his father – Anakin – was a Jedi along with Obi-Wan. Giving Luke a lightsaber, Obi-Wan tells him that his father was killed by Darth Vader.

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Imperial forces murder Owen and Beru Lars, and Luke accompanies Obi-Wan as he hires the smugglers Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) to take them to Leia’s home of Alderaan in the Millennium Falcon to deliver the stolen Death Star plans. When they arrive, they find the planet has been destroyed. Captured by an Imperial tractor beam, the Millenium Falcon is taken aboard the Death Star, whereupon the team rescues Leia and Obi-Wan is killed.

The Falcon makes a daring escape, although the team do not realize it now carries a tracking beacon that enables the Empire to follow them straight to the secret Rebel base. In the final battle, the Rebels suffer heavy losses, but Luke rises to the occasion, uses The Force and destroys the Death Star.

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