Star Wars

on May 25, 1977 by BOXOFFICE Staff
Wars The spirit of Buck Rogers lives on as writer-director George Lucas continues to pay homage to that gentleman of the 25th Century in a wow of a sci-fi film. Using 70mm Panavision, with Technicolor prints by Deluxe and ear-splitting Dolby Sound, the LucasFilm Ltd. production is one of the most entertaining films of its type yet done. The special effects, conjured up by an army of experts, are non-stop and the action is first rate. Few fantasies have been made with such a sense of humor and the script contains virtually every cliche to be uttered in a war film or adventure epic; the actors -- especially Harrison Ford in a Chevy Chase-like performance -- add to the fun by delivering their lines in an off-handed way. The pace rarely lets up, since the Gary Kurtz production moves as quickly as the serials from which it was patterned. Credit for the success of the film must begin with Lucas and continue down the lengthy credit list to all who worked on the master film effects. Shot in Tunisia, Guatemala, Death Valley (Calif.) and EMI Elstree Studios, Borehamwood, England. A symphonic score is by John Williams. Should be a very big success.

In a far-off galaxy, princess Carrie Fisher of Alderaan attempts to contact anti-empire forces to overthrow Grand Moff Peter Cushing, his evil lord David Prowse and followers. Fisher is captured and taken aboard Cushing's huge battle station, the Death Star. Her robots, Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker, escape to a rock planet inhabited by farmer Phil Brown, wife Shelagh Fraser and nephew Mark Hamill. Latter contacts aged Sir Alec Guinness for aid. Brown and Fraser are killed. Guinness, who has controlled The Force (energy), enlists smuggler Harrison Ford and his Wooky, ape-like Peter Mayhew, to rescue Fisher. The Ford ship is magnetically drawn to the battle station, where Fisher is found and rescued. Guinness, fighting his former pupil Prowse, allows himself to be slain that he may become a greater force. Since Alderaan has been destroyed, another rebel planet is used as a base. Hamill joins a group of pilots assigned to blow up Cushing's domain. Ford arrives to dispose of Prowse as Hamill completes the mission. Fisher rewards both Hamill and Ford.

The special effects are superb and can be the biggest draw, but don't overlook the other elements. Soundtrack is available from 20th Century Records and Tapes.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… 20th-Fox 125 mins.

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