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IB Film - Case Studies
Star Wars
Title: Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope 

Director: George Lucas 

Year: 1977 

Synopsis: A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, an Empire controls the inhabitants of hundreds of worlds. A rebellion aided by Princess Leia makes their way back to base when they are boarded by an Imperial Star Destroyer. Leia sends a message for help with a couple of droids to the planet below. 


A New Hope was the first of six films released in the Star Wars saga- two films continue the story, while a prequel trilogy tells the back-story. The first Star Wars movie is one of the most successful films of all time and it is generally considered to be one of the most influential films as well, mostly thanks to its innovative and ground-breaking effects. Lucas began to work on Star Wars in May 1973 and it was released in May 1977. The movie had a budget of $11,000,000, earning $460 million in the United States and $337 overseas. It received several awards, including 10 Academic Award nominations. It was re-released numerous times, sometimes with important changes- the most notable versions are the 1997 Special Edition and the 2004 DVD release. In these versions, the effects were moderated using computer generation. At the 50th Annual Academy Awards, Star Wars won several awards, including the Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Effects, Visual Effects, Best Music, Original Score, Best Sound, Special Achievement for Sound Effects, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Screenplay and Best Director. It also received six BAFTA nominations: Best Film, Best Editing, Best Costume, Best Production/Art Design, Best Sound and Best Score- the film won in the latter two categories. The soundtrack also won a Grammy. Star Wars has undoubtedly influenced many films and film makers as well. It began a new generation of special effects and high-energy motion pictures. It was one of the first films which linked genres- such as space opera and soap opera. Finally, together with Spielberg's Jaws, it changed the film industry, focusing away from personal filmmaking of the 1970s and shifted towards fast-paced blockbusters for young audience. "Star Wars and Jaws did not betray the cinema at all: they plugged it back into the grid, returning the medium to its roots as a carnival sideshow, a magic act, one special big effect which was a kind of rebirth." Tom Shone




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