Star Wars: A New Hope Spe (1997)
Star Wars: A New Hope, Special Edition
Star Wars (later retitled Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope) is a 1977 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. The film stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, and Alec Guinness. In the story, a group of freedom fighters known as the Rebel Alliance and led by Princess Leia plots to destroy the Death Star space station, which carries a planet-destroying capability created by the Galactic Empire. This conflict disrupts the isolated life of farmboy Luke Skywalker when he inadvertently acquires the droids containing the stolen plans for the Death Star. After the Empire begins a destructive search for the missing droids, Skywalker agrees to accompany Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi on a mission to return the Death Star plans to the Rebel Alliance and save the galaxy from the tyranny of the Galactic Empire.
Lucas began writing the script to Star Wars after completing American Graffiti. He based the plot outline on The Hidden Fortress and the Flash Gordon serials. Lucas approached Alan Ladd, Jr. of 20th Century Fox, which accepted to finance and distribute the film, after United Artists and Universal Pictures rejected his script. Shot mostly in Tunisia, England, and Guatemala, the film was met with numerous problems during production, including bad weather conditions, malfunctioning equipment, and financial difficulties. The script underwent numerous changes, and Lucas founded Industrial Light & Magic specifically to create the groundbreaking visual effects needed for the film.
Star Wars was released theatrically in the United States on May 25, 1977. The film earned $460 million in the United States and $314 million overseas, surpassing Jaws (1975) to become the highest-grossing film until it was itself surpassed by E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in 1983. When adjusted for inflation as of 2013, the film is the second highest-grossing film in the United States and Canada, and the third highest-grossing film in the world. The film received 10 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, winning six. The film is often ranked as one of the best films of all time. Star Wars was selected to become part of the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in its first year of opening, becoming the most immediate addition at the time, as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." The film's soundtrack was added to the United States National Recording Registry 15 years later.
Lucas has re-released Star Wars a number of times, incorporating notable changes such as modified computer-generated effects, altered dialogue, re-edited shots, remixed soundtracks, and added scenes. Following the film's massive success, it spawned two sequels: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983), both of which became critically and commercially successful. A prequel trilogy was later released; consisting of The Phantom Menace (1999), Attack of the Clones (2002) and Revenge of the Sith (2005). All three films were again commercially successful although met with mixed reviews from critics and fans. A sequel trilogy is currently in development, with a number of the major cast members from the original trilogy returning for the seventh film, The Force Awakens, scheduled for release in 2015.