After the disappointment of my last AFI outing (#88 Easy Rider) whatever the next selection happened to be would be an improvement. The arrival yesterday of the Star Wars saga Blu-Ray boxset prompted a viewing of Episode IV A New Hope (or just Star Wars as it was when it first hit the cinema screens).
An embarrassing admission, an early memory for me was being left inconsolable as my older brother and his friend were allowed to go to the cinema to see this amazing new film, but I was considered too young (at the tender age of 4, I couldn't see what the problem was!), this was only to be overshadowed by my brother (who was fairly indifferent about TV's greatest hero) getting to meet Tom Baker, during his tenure as The Doctor, and not being allowed to go as it was an event that his class at school was taking part in.
Anyway, back to the film. The opening shot of the movie sets the scene for the epic scale of George Lucas' space opera. Princess Leia's space ship looks huge as it enters the frame, and is subsequently dwarfed by the imperial star destroyer in hot pursuit.
Trying to think back to watching this as a child, the cast of characters was very appealing, the C3PO & R2D2 double act, the mysterious wizard-like Ben Kenobi, Han Solo the anti hero, Luke & Leia the kick ass teens, the creepy Grand Moff Tarkin and of course the man/machine that you love to hate Darth Vader.
Watching it back as an adult, some of the dialogue is a little clunky, but there was something about this story that fired my young imagination.
Despite Mr Lucas' unending need to go back and tinker with something that was perfectly good in the first place, it doesn't detract from the enjoyment of the film.
The dogfight sequences as the movie reaches its climax still have the wow factor now that they had all those years ago.
With regard to the Blu-Ray transfer (which I will get around to reviewing in full, once I've been through all the films & the 40 hours of added content), the picture is immaculate and the DTS 6.1 Master HD soundtrack is very impressive, John Williams' soundtrack has never sounded better. Home cinema nerds (like me) will love it.