Archive for the IV – A New Hope Category

Overview of “A New Hope”

Posted in IV - A New Hope with tags on December 2, 2005 by jedicouncil

Okay, so it’s inevitable that the discussion of A New Hope has to come to an end.  As much as I love this movie, it’s time to end the discussion of it, and move on to my favorite movie, The Empire Strikes Back.

I’m excited to see how the first day of the next episode of “The Jedi Council Speaks” has done on podamatic.com.  I also want to encourage listeners to head over to http://www.podcastalley.com and vote for “The Jedi Council Speaks” to help us climb that board as well.  If you can’t find it, just search “Jedi” and it will come up.

So, onto the overview of A New Hope……..


Okay, I have a special place in my heart for the original Star Wars Film.  There is no doubt in my mind that A New Hope has the biggest emotional tie to Star Wars for me.  I remember seeing it so many different times as a kid that I thought I would actually get sick of seeing the movies.  But somehow, no matter how many times I saw the movie I thought it was awesome.  It did break some amazing ground in the special effects ground and as a kid I didn’t see that side of Star Wars.  I saw an amazingly beatiful woman (Leia’s HOT, no matter how you put it!), an awesome hero in Luke Skywalker, an absolutely terrifying villain in Darth Vader and an awesome “weapon” in the Death Star.  As a kid, this storyline seemed incredible to me and the whole movie just entranced me.

So, here is a review of the characters:

Luke:  ********  (8)

So, what about Mark Hamill?  I always say, what about him?  I don’t think he was a very good actor.  I just believe that he was in the right place at the right time. 

Even with all of that, Luke’s role was still interesting.  I do believe that he made a weak center character for this first Star Wars movie and really didn’t add much to the movie, other than providing a “hero-like” backdrop for the real story which is the struggle of the Rebellion against the Empire.

R2D2:  ********* (9)

R2D2 was the most like a kid.  He always seemed like the comedy relief in the movies to me. 

I have never understood why R2D2 just isn’t as cool in this movie as he was in the prequels.  Again, Lucas claims that all “nine” films were written at the same time.  If this is the case, then R2 goes from being a really cool robot with all of these gadgets (the ability to fly, and destroy Super Battle Droids) to a really shitty “tin can” that can only hook into central computers and have no ablities except to roll around on the ground.  All the more reason that I don’t think Lucas wrote all the scripts together. 

 

C3-PO:  **  (2)

 I were to speculate, I believe that George Lucas wanted to make C3-PO the comic relief for this movie.  In reality, if that was the point, then Lucas completely missed the point!  C3-PO seems to be simply annoying and very terciary (think that’s how you spell it) to the story line.

Honestly, as a child, I HATED C3-PO in this movie and as an adult I’m annoyed by him even more in this movie than I was as a child.

 

Han Solo:  ********* (9)

Han Solo was the ultimate male figure for every young boy in the late 1970’s.  He’s a smuggler that does what he sees best for himself and doesn’t care what others think about him.

In the Special Edition, Greedo shoots first and Han shoots back to make it look like it was self-defense.  This completely ruins the “male ego” driven character that I fell in love with in the original Star Wars films.  I make a plea here and now, that Lucasfilm Ltd. change that scene back at some point in time to give Han Solo his integrity back! 

Anyway, I want to say that I thought Harrison Ford did a great job with his role in this movie and I’m glad this janitor had the ability to read scripts for Lucas and have the ability to work on this movie and claim the role of Han Solo.  By the way, for those of you who don’t know, this movie was NOT really Harrison Ford’s first movie.  His first movie was American Grafitti that was also directed by George Lucas.

 

Chewbacca:  ******** (8)

Chewbacca was so unique and I like the fact that we never really know what Chewie is saying througout this movie and many others.

Overall, Chewie is a great sidekick for Han Solo.  I love the invention of Wookies and I think this is one of Lucas’ greatest visions in the Star War universe.

 

Obi-Wan (“Old Ben”) Kenobi:  ********** (10)

I really do like the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope.  Honestly, I believe that this role and the role of Darth Vader are the two people that hold the glue of this particular Star Wars movie together.

I give Alec Guiness doing a great job playing this character and I believe he is the best actor in this film.  I don’t know what other films Guiness has done, but I believe that this role is probably his crowning achievement and he did a great job in his performance.  Kudos to you Alec Guiness for playing a great Old Obi-Wan Kenobi. 

 

Darth Vader:  ********** (10)

I really thought that Darth Vader was the ultimate, hard-core bad-guy.

So, how has my viewpoint on Vader changed?  Well, simply put, I used to hate Vader and view him as a really bad guy and I just wanted to see him die (I even was very happy at the end of Return of the Jedi when I finally saw him die).  Now, I don’t feel the same.  Now I feel sorry for Vader.  I see him as Anakin Skywalker, the Jedi Knight that was so powerful that no one understood his point of view or his point of life and his power.  Because of that, I feel sorry for Darth Vader and see him as a Jedi Knight that was manipulated by the Dark Side and never really had a chance to become what he thought he could really achieve.  Moreover, Darth Vader became what he did out of love.  He simply did not want to see Padme die.  I can understand that because I don’t know what I would do with my life if my wifer were to ever die. 

 

Stormtroopers:  ******* (7)

Okay, so I really like Stormtroopers in general.  I really like guys who dress up like the stormtroopers in fandom like the 501st.  If you don’t know who they are, go over to http://www.501st.com  they have a great website.

This leads me to my only question about Stormtroopers in A New Hope.  If the stromtroopers are so well armored, then why do the Rebels’ wimpy blasters seem to poke holes in their armor at the beginning of the movie?  Somehow, I don’t find this very believable.

 

Tarkin:  ********* (9)

There is no doubt that one of the best “bad guys” in this movie has to be Governor Tarkin as well as Darth Vader.  Tarkin reminds me of a grandfather on a massive pissed-off rampage.

 

Maybe it was because it seems that Tarkin has more power than the Emporer.  He has better control over Vader than the Emporer.  He even gets Vader to stop from killing one of his fellow officers when he says, “release him!”  How often did the Emporer give a direct order to Vader that he followed in the movies preceding A New Hope.  Quite honestly, Tarkin treats Vader like he’s his “bitch” (sorry about the French!).

 

Character List

Luke:  ********  (8)

R2D2:  ********* (9)

C3-PO:  **  (2)

Han Solo:  ********* (9)

Chewbacca:  ******** (8)

Obi-Wan (“Old Ben”) Kenobi:  ********** (10)

Darth Vader:  ********** (10)

Stormtroopers:  ******* (7)

Tarkin:  ********* (9)

 

OVERALL:  4

 

Ultimately, every Star Wars movie will be compared to A New Hope.  There is no doubt that Lucas set some great groundwork in by creating this movie to get the ball rolling on the Star Wars universe.  This movie will live in history as one of the most ground-breaking and altering movies in history.  Congratulations George Lucas on a wonderful beginning to your Star Wars storlyine!

Tonight At Midnight/The Death Star

Posted in IV - A New Hope with tags on December 1, 2005 by jedicouncil

Okay, I feel like a little school boy again!  I’m very excited that tonight at midnight, the next episode of “The Jedi Council Speaks” will come out.  That’s right folks, at midnight you can get Volume I, Episode II which is approximately 1 hour and 36 minutes long (by the way, I did some major editing trying to keep the episode under two hours).  I’m hopin this episode will help my podcast jump to the top of the podomatic chart.  Only one way to find out.  I hope you all take the time tommorrow to listen to the next episode.

Tonight’s blog will be a discussion about the “ultimate weapon”, and although I will not be rating it, it’s hard not to discuss A New Hope without talking about the Death Star.

Tommorrow night, I will recap all of my reviews of the movie, A New Hope, and wil be wrapping up my discussion about this Star Wars movie.  So, on to the blog….


Okay, so I really think that the Death Star really is the ultimate weapon.   The idea that a person has the ability to destroy a planet in the push of a button is a pretty powerful concept that George Lucas created by having the Death Star appear in his films.  I really like the build-up his films have to the creation of the death star all throughout the prequel movies.

I think the Death Star is what makes this movie so interesting and I believe that the movie’s entire plot is centered around this one inanimate object.  The Galactic Senators want to use it, the Rebels want to destroy it, and everyone in the universe fears it.  The entire story revolves around all of this.  C3-PO’s and R2D2’s mission is to get the plans of the Death Star into the hands of the Rebels.  Vader and Tarkin’s role is to get the plans back before the Rebals find a weakness in the Death Star.  Obi-Wan leads Luke, Han, and Chewie into the Death Star in order to try to escape the Death Star to try to find the Rebels.  The Imperials want to use the Death Star to destroy the base on Yavin 4.  The Rebels want to destroy the Death Star before it destroys Yavin 4.  All of the main portions of the story of A New Hope revolve around this object.

Without the Death Star the storyline of Episode IV is completely lost.  I find it most interesting that Lucas decided to start with this portion of the storyline that revolves around the Death Star, the most powerful tool that is created in the Lucas universe.  Just remember how important the Death Star is, because the Imperials tried to create and use it not only once, but twice.

Take the time tonight or tommorrow morning to download my podcast.  Until tommorrow night, May The Force Be With You!

Governor Tarkin

Posted in IV - A New Hope with tags on November 30, 2005 by jedicouncil

Well, I got a chance to listen to Sheep Guarding Llama episode number 26 tonight.  I honestly must say, Scott, that your episode was very unique (I guess).  The girls kind of scared me with the singing and all the gigglyness (is that a word?).  Okay, so no subjects to get on tonight, just straightforward Star Wars talk.  Only 28 hours till the release of “The Jedi Council Speaks” Volume 1, Episode II.  Time to talk about Governor Tarkin….

Tarkin:  ********* (9)


There is no doubt that one of the best “bad guys” in this movie has to be Governor Tarkin as well as Darth Vader.  Tarkin reminds me of a grandfather on a massive pissed-off rampage.  He always seems to have a grip on Vader throughout the movie.  Througout A New Hope, it seems as though Tarkin orders Vader around and Vader consistently seems afraid of Governor Tarkin.  This has always surprised me considering Tarkin is supposed to be merely a Governor.  But for some reason he always seemed very powerful to me.

 

Maybe it was because it seems that Tarkin has more power than the Emporer.  He has better control over Vader than the Emporer.  He even gets Vader to stop from killing one of his fellow officers when he says, “release him!”  How often did the Emporer give a direct order to Vader that he followed in the movies preceding A New Hope.  Quite honestly, Tarkin treats Vader like he’s his “bitch” (sorry about the French!).

 

Anyway, my favorite scene with Tarkin is the moment just before he dies.  I love to watch the scene as we see his profile and watches the screen hoping the Rebels fail in trying to bring down the Death Star.  I really think this shows Tarkin’s stubbornness and his willingness to believe that the Death Star would not be destroyed.  Something to think about, Tarkin believes in Vader outright because he believes that Vader will get to the X-Wings before the Death Star is destroyed.

 

Finally, Tarkin is really the man in control of the situation at the beginning of the movie.  I find it most interesting that we don’t see the Emporer at ALL throughout this entire movie.  So Tarkin seems to take his place for this one movie and really fills in the role of the “Bad Guy in Charge” very well.  So, with this in mind, I gave Tarkin a…..

 

Tarkin:  ********* (9)

The Millenium Falcon

Posted in IV - A New Hope with tags on November 28, 2005 by jedicouncil

Okay, I want to let you all know that Volume I, Episode II of “The Jedi Council Speaks” was completed tonight.  However, I’m NOT going to release it early!  (that’s right Nathan)  The next episode will be released on December 1st at 12 a.m.  That’s right folks, On Thursday morning (or Wednesday night, depending on how you look at it) at midnight, you will be able to download the next episode, so depending on how late at night you stay up, depends on how soon you hear the next episode.  I will tell you the next episode is one hour and thirty four minutes long.

Okay, so tonight’s Star Wars Blog will be a little short again, but I decided to talk about the Millenium Falcon.  I won’t rate it, however, because it is not a character.


I know the Millenium Falcon is not a Star Wars character persay, but I feel as though I can’t help but consider it a Star Wars character.  The ship is definetly full of character, and I feel as though I understand what the Millenium Falcon represents.  In my house the Falcon actually represents a car.  That’s right, my car is referred to as the Millenium Falcon in our house (my kids call it that).  By the way, my wife’s car is called “The Lady Luck”.  That will make more sense when we get to the Timothy Zahn series of books.

Anyway, the Falcon is a character in it’s own way.  It’s ugly on the outside but runs like a gem when you want it to.  Think about how many cars you know of in your lifetime that could be explained this way.  The Falcon is a unique piece of equipment that takes on it’s own life throughout the Star Wars movies it appears in.  As a matter of fact, I think the Falcon becomes a very unique character in The Empire Strikes Back.  Honestly, without the Millenium Falcon, Chewie and Han become dull and boring characters and much of the backstory humor that happens in these three films gets lost.

So, to all of us that own “Millenium Falcons” out there, my hats off to you.  Those pieces of equipment are unique and with a time of Thanksgiving, we should be thankful that we have a car that runs or a ship that actually flies.

Black Friday and Stormtrooper

Posted in IV - A New Hope with tags on November 27, 2005 by jedicouncil

Okay, I want to begin by saying that this is the third time I have attempted to make this blog tonight.  For whatever reason, my computer and internet connection are not working with me tonight.  So, I thought tonight’s two topics could go hand in hand.  You know, thousands of people dressed alike and pushing and shoving to try to help themselves to the best deal in the galaxy.  Sounds familiar, don’t it?  Okay, so I’m going to start off tonight’s blog very off beat and talk about Black Friday and the economy.  Did anyone on this blog read the economic news on Wednesday?  It was reported that they expect to see a six percent increase in consumer spending during this holiday spending according to the three major shopping industries Wal Mart, KMart, and Target.  My first reaction was, “what are they smoking?!!”  Have these people looked around at what has happened to our country in a year?  We are in a war (which usually creates a recession until the war is over), we have had a miriad of natural disasters, gas prices are up a record twenty percent from last year, and now product prices are expected to start jumping five and ten percent including staple items such as bread and water.  Then, Alan Greenspan has decided to up the interest rates a total of four percent over the past year.  But, remember when your pocketbooks are the most empty, you’re expected to spend six percent more than last year!  I’ll tell you why Black Friday was so chaotic at stores this year.  It’s for one reason, the bargains!  People didn’t want to spend this year what they spent last year, so they attacked the stores for the biggest and best bargains and now shopping will go down between now and Christmas unless the bargains start to look better.  Let’s face it folks, most of us are spending less.

As an aside, I must say that I made a trip to Burger King this weekend and we all bought ourselves some Star Wars watches.  All in all, they are pretty cool.  Although, I don’t know why they decided to put on a “holographic back” to the watch.  Why would I buy a watch and then hide the time?

Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox now and do a short blog about Stormtroopers……..

Stormtroopers:  ******* (7)


Okay, so I really like Stormtroopers in general.  I really like guys who dress up like the stormtroopers in fandom like the 501st.  If you don’t know who they are, go over to http://www.501st.com  they have a great website.  By the way, the stormtroopers that are in the new Star Wars Battlefront II game are all from the 501st, so they have made a name for themselves.  Anyway, the one thing I like about stromtroopers is that when you see one of them, you almost expect to see millions of them of the like.  So, you rarely ever catch a stormtrooper by himself.  Instead, the smallest group you find them in are in squads of five or six.  Isn’t that they way we would like our military to work?  They also make a great addition to the Star Wars universe as the badboys of Darth Vader’s.  I just can’t picture any other troopers behind Vader other than a stormtrooper.  I think they set themselves apart from the badguy army dudes from any other sci-fi film.  They are ominous (you don’t see their faces), they are scary, and they are armoured.

This leads me to my only question about Stormtroopers in A New Hope.  If the stromtroopers are so well armored, then why do the Rebels’ wimpy blasters seem to poke holes in their armor at the beginning of the movie?  Somehow, I don’t find this very believable.  So, I gave stormtroopers a:

Stormtroopers:  ******* (7)

Happy Thanksgiving

Posted in IV - A New Hope with tags on November 24, 2005 by jedicouncil

Okay, so today’s blog does not announce which character we will discuss today, and neither will this intro.  Instead, I will let you read on to find out what character I am reviewing today.  Okay, so I’ll be honest, tommorrow there may not be a blog from this website.  Not because I don’t want to, but because I will be out there with over two million Americans shopping on “Black Friday”.  Oh yeah, and since I live so close to the boarder with Pennsylvannia, why would I shop in New York with eight and a half percent tax, when I can travel one hour south and only pay four percent tax.  God, I love this country!  Okay, onto the discussion about my next character from A New Hope……


Okay, I chose a holiday to review this character because this character deserves a holiday unto himself.  Of course, I’m talking about Darth Vader!  When I first saw Darth Vader (and could remember what I saw) I remember that I was so scared of him I would have peed my pants if I weren’t wearing diapers at the time.  He really is the ultimate bad-guy.  And now that the prequel has come out, my viewpoint on this character has since changed.  So, I’ve decided to tell you what I thought of Darth Vader after my first viewing of A New Hope and then I thought I would give you my viewpoint now that it has changed with the release of the prequel.

I really thought that Darth Vader was the ultimate, hard-core bad-guy.  We first see him at the very beginning of the movie when he first boards the Rebel Cruiser looking for “the plans” .  Of course, we don’t know what the plans are till later, but we do see Vader’s disdain for human life.  He threatens and kills a Rebel officer and even threatens one of his own officers as well.  He then finds Pricness Leia and threatens her life immediately as well.  I remember the most powerful fearful characteristic of Darth Vader was the ominous, constant breathing that you hear everytime he is on the screen.  Of course there are other features that make him fearful.  Like the fact that you never see his face and he is always dressed in black.  For me, the other fear is the constant reference to The Force, this “religion” (as one of the Senators put it) that we know very little about by this point in the story.  Going on, Vader tortures Leia with a really cool looking droid and Leia gives him a planet that is supposedly the location of the Rebel base.  Of course Vader doesn’t trust her and decides to blow up her home planet of Alderaan.  Another Dark moment for the good guys and another victory for Vader.  After they blow up the planet, they manage to catch the Millenium Falcon and search the ship for the stolen plans, which are no where to be found.  Finally, Vader searches the Death Star for a distrubance in the Force which he has detected, but can’t tell where it has come from.  He finally finds the “disturbance” and finds that it is Obi-Wan being aboard the Death Star and fights Obi-Wan on the spot.  He defeats Obi-Wan (and little to his knowledge started the chain reaction that will lead to his own demise).

Finally, the Rebels decide to attack the Death Star and Vader and Tarkin don’t believe that the Rebels will be successful and yet they come close to hitting the “Thermal Exhause Port”.  So, Vader goes out in his own ship and starts hunting down Rebel pilots one by one on his own.  He gets to destroy a whole bunch of Rebel ships until Luke is the only one left, but Han comes to save the day and Vader’s life is spared because he gets pushed away from the Death Star before it blows up.  I think by that point, every Star Wars fan knew there would be a sequel, or Darth Vader would have died on the Death Star.

So, how has my viewpoint on Vader changed?  Well, simply put, I used to hate Vader and view him as a really bad guy and I just wanted to see him die (I even was very happy at the end of Return of the Jedi when I finally saw him die).  Now, I don’t feel the same.  Now I feel sorry for Vader.  I see him as Anakin Skywalker, the Jedi Knight that was so powerful that no one understood his point of view or his point of life and his power.  Because of that, I feel sorry for Darth Vader and see him as a Jedi Knight that was manipulated by the Dark Side and never really had a chance to become what he thought he could really achieve.  Moreover, Darth Vader became what he did out of love.  He simply did not want to see Padme die.  I can understand that because I don’t know what I would do with my life if my wifer were to ever die.  That is how my viewpoint of Darth Vader has changed.  Even after all of this, I still give Darth Vader a……

Darth Vader:  ********** (10)

*HAPPY THANKSGIVING BLOGGERS AND BLOG READERS!!!!*

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Posted in IV - A New Hope with tags on November 24, 2005 by jedicouncil

Okay, so I was bound to screw up sooner or later.  Last night I had quite the night at the Crissman household.  My wife and I decided to finnish up a makeover of our bathroom last night and into today to change over our very “blah” white bathroom into a purple/lilac colored bathroom with a carpeted floor and all.  The really cool thing that we found in our bathroom is a laundry shoot into the basement that we didn’t even know existed in our house, so we were very excited to find that.  Okay, so tonight we’re going to talk about Obi-Wan Kenobi’s role in A New Hope……

Obi-Wan (“Old Ben”) Kenobi:  ********** (10)


I really do like the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope.  Honestly, I believe that this role and the role of Darth Vader are the two people that hold the glue of this particular Star Wars movie together.  We first learn about Obi-Wan as “Old Ben” Kenobi, some old hermit ont he planet of Tattoine.  He seems to be this old guy that no one knows anything about.  I think that is what makes Obi-Wan so awesome in this movie, there is a lot of intrigue that seems to follow this character at every turn.

Luke finally finds Old Ben to give him R2 back and to get the message to Ben.  Ironically, Ben Kenobi doesn’t recognize Luke’s own sister but says they need to figure out a way to rescue Princess Leia.  They decide to hire Han almost on the spot and become deeply involved in the training that Luke is now to undergo.  Interestingly, Obi-Wan ended up training both Luke and Anakin, which I find very interesting considering they are father and son.  Anyway, we find out Alderaan has been blown to bits and has disappeared.  Going on, Ben helps to free the Millenium Falcon and finds Darth Vader on his way back to the ship.  This is where the best quote from the movie comes from, “when I last left you I was but the student, now I am the master”.  I love this quote in this scene because it explains so much about what happens in the prequels without seeing them.  It does prove that in some ways Lucas may have written this whole storyline all at once.  Going on, Obi-Wan deliberately lets Darth Vader kill him, knowing that he has learned the power to “come back from the dead” which he learned from Yoda, who learned it from Qui-Gonn (of course we don’t officially find this out until Episode III came out).  Finally, Obi-Wan helps Luke have the confidence to shoot down the Death Star and good wins the day.

I give Alec Guiness doing a great job playing this character and I believe he is the best actor in this film.  I don’t know what other films Guiness has done, but I believe that this role is probably his crowning achievement and he did a great job in his performance.  Kudos to you Alec Guiness for playing a great Old Obi-Wan Kenobi.  That’s why I gave Obi-Wan a:

Obi-Wan (“Old Ben”) Kenobi:  ********** (10)