Billy Crystal, Bette Midler and Marisa Tomei star in Andy Fickman's family comedy.
George Lucas serves up his own homage to the Saturday morning adventure serials he loved as a kid, in the process creating one of the most revered and successful films ever
Daydreaming farm boy Luke Skywalker (Hamill) longs for a life of adventure and finds it when two droids, one carrying a distress signal from the beautiful Princess Leia, turn up on his farm. Seeking out "crazy old wizard" Ben 'Obi-Wan' Kenobi (Guiness), Luke embarks on his quest to rescue Leia, enlisting the help of cynical Corellian space pirate Han Solo (Ford), his Wookie co-pilot Chewbacca (Mayhew) and the Millennium Falcon ("the ship that made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs") along the way.
Made on a relatively low budget ($11m), Star Wars (or Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope to give it its full franchise title) is a relentlessly inventive film. The attention to minute details gives it a rich texture; there are some fantastic set-pieces (Leia's rescue from the Death Star, the X-Wing dogfights), and Lucas binds the whole film together with a hokey religion (The Force) and fatalistic story lifted from Greek mythology. While Ford famously dismissed the script (complaining that, "You can type this shit, but you can't say it"), Lucas manages to get away with it by making everyone take it seriously - although Ford can often be seen smirking his way through some of the more clunky lines. Then there's the rousing score by John Williams.
So, is this the best film of all time? Certainly not. But it definitely is one of the most enduring, and it's hard not to be seduced.
Horror, mystery and suspense stake its claim on the weekend. A new season of Saturday Night Shocks comes to Film4.
A documentary account of Edwyn Collins' recovery from a cerebral haemorrhage with the help of his wife, Grace Maxwell
BIFA-nominated films including the Film4-backed 45 Years, The Lobster, Macbeth, Amy and Ex Machina will be available in cinemas nationwide from 23 November in a special public screenings event. The
Film4 has received a total of 41 nominations for the films it has backed at this year¿s British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs), with the nomination lists for the Best British Film and Best Director a
A summary of the critics and film professionals who voted for the top 50 Horror films of the 21st Century
As voted for by a panel of horror experts and friends of Film4 & FrightFest