Star Wars

 
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Release date: May 25, 1977

Directed by: George Lucas

Starring: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, James Earl Jones

Budget: $11 million

Box office: $775.4 million

A farm boy sets out to rescue a princess and save the galaxy from the Galactic Empire.

A film which practically defined a subculture and revolutionized special effects in filmmaking, Star Wars holds up to remain a fantastic film. Said effects, making it visually excellent, were a major part of what made it successful upon its release as well as subsequent rewatches more than four decades later, starting off with a grandiose and memorable sweeping title crawl. The film continues to build from there with more and more visually appealing shots. Immediately following the title crawl is the underside of a ship, which in and of itself looks magnificent and impressive yet pales in comparison to what’s following it. Used with an intent to hook audiences, it continues to be one of the most notable cinematographic shots in cinema.  

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Additionally, the path the film’s protagonist is set on may be the basic hero’s journey but the way it’s carried out is what makes it remarkable. The call to adventure Luke Skywalker receives from the two robotic heralds sets him on such an interesting course, completely different from the life he had envisioned for himself. Further, the call to adventure nearly missed him numerous times due to circumstances surrounding the aforementioned heralds and only receiving it because he decided to tinker around. It’s such a simple beginning to a simple story and a testament to how belief in the story being told, along with a desire to tell it in such a grand way, can make something small turn into something much bigger than anyone could possibly have imagined.

The villain is exceptional too, leaving a lasting impression despite having limited screen time. His introduction establishes his character incredibly well, marching on screen to ominous music and summarily dealing an execution only a few scenes later. He is a villain shown as not caring who he kills. Enemy or subordinate, no matter who it is, their misstep will turn into a demonstration of his capabilities. His characterization provides good contrast within the film, with his darkness and evil existing as the perfect antithesis to the light and goodness found in the film’s hero. This is just another example of simple storytelling and characterization being told in great ways to produce a monumental film.

It’s fun, enjoyable and hits everything needed to make the imprint it did. Anyone who hasn’t seen this film needs to.

Awards

Won

Academy Awards

  • Best Art Direction-Set Decoration
  • Best Costume Design
  • Best Sound
  • Best Film Editing
  • Best Effects, Visual Effects
  • Best Music, Original Score
  • Special Achievement Award (Ben Burtt for sound effects)

Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films Saturn Awards

  • Best DVD Collection (as part of "Star Wars Trilogy)
  • Best Science Fiction Film
  • Best Supporting Actor (Alec Guinness)
  • Best Director
  • Best Writing
  • Best Music
  • Best Costumes
  • Best Make-Up
  • Best Special Effects
  • Outstanding Editing
  • Outstanding Sound
  • Outstanding Art Direction
  • Outstanding Set Decoration
  • Special Award (Outstanding Cinematographer)
  • Special Award (For its 20th Anniversary)

BAFTA Awards

  • Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music
  • Best Sound

DVD Exclusive Awards

  • Best Menu Design (For "Star Wars Trilogy")
  • Best Overall DVD, Classic Film (For "Star Wars Trilogy")

Evening Standard British Film Awards

  • Best Film
  • Best Actor (Alec Guinness)

Golden Globe Awards

  • Best Original Score - Motion Picture

Golden Schmoes Awards

  • Second Place - Best DVD/Blu-Ray of the Year ("Trilogy")

Golden Screen Awards

  • Golden Screen

Gammy Awards

  • Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television Special
  • Best Instrumental Composition (For the "Main Titles from 'Star Wars'")
  • Best Pop Instrumental Performance

Guiness World Record Award

  • Most Successful Book Series Based on a Film Series
  • Highest Box Office Gross for a Screenwriter
  • Highest Box Office Film Gross Average for a Director (Male)
  • Most prolific Video Game Series Based on a Licensed Property
  • Largest Fortune Made from a Film Frnachise
  • Most Spoofed Film Series
  • Most Successful Action-Figure Range
  • Biggest Opening Weekend Ever for a Re-released Film
  • Best Selling Single of Instrumental Music

Nominated

Academy Awards

  • Best Picture
  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Alec Guinness)
  • Best Director
  • Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films Saturn Awards

  • Best DVD Collection (For "Star Wars: The Complete Saga")
  • Best Actor (Harrison Ford)
  • Best Actor (Mark Hamill)
  • Best Actress (Carrie Fisher)
  • Best Supporting Actor (Peter Cushing)

American Cinema Editors Eddie Awards

  • Best Edited Feature Film

Awards of the Japanese Academy

  • Best Foreign Language Film

BAFTA Awards

  • Best Costume Design
  • Best Film
  • Best Film Editing
  • Best Production Design/Art Direction

British Society of Cinematographers

  • Best Cinematography Award

Directors Guild of America Awards

  • Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures

Golden Globe Awards

  • Best Motion Picture - Drama
  • Best Director - Motion Picture
  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role - Motion Picture (Alec Guinness)

Golden Schmoes Awards

  • Best DVD/Blu-Ray of the Year ("The Complete Saga")

Golden Screen Awards

  • Golden Screen

Golden Trailer Awards

  • Most Innovative Advertising for a Brand/Product (For Star Wars: The Complete Saga: "Every Moment :30"

Grammy Awards

  • Best Pop Instrumental Performance (For the "Star Wars Trilogy")
  • Album of the Year (For the album "Star Wars (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)")

Golden Satellite Awards

  • Best Overall DVD (for the Star Wars Trilogy)
  • Best Classic DVD (For the Star Wars Trilogy)

Writers Guild of America Awards

  • Best Comedy Written Directly for the Screen