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STAR WARS: EPISODE IV – A NEW HOPE – SPECIAL EDITION (1977)

icon-dots A CELEBRATION OF 20TH CENTURY FOX

Sometimes great movies come about because someone believes in the artist more than the pitch. That was the case with the original Star Wars. After the failure of his first feature, THX 1138 (1971), George Lucas decided to try a more optimistic science fiction picture. Originally, he wanted to remake the classic sci-fi serial Flash Gordon (1936). When he couldn’t get the rights, he created his own future world inspired by current politics, with idealistic rebels fighting an empire of evil. United Artists, Universal and Disney all passed on the project, but 20th Century Fox head Alan Ladd Jr. gave him a shot. Ladd didn’t completely understand the plot, but he believed in Lucas as a filmmaker, and it paid off. With a cast composed largely of unknowns (Alec Guinness and Peter Cushing were the only big-name actors), Lucas changed movie history. No more would science fiction be the realm of wobbly cardboard space ships and papier-mâché monsters. Even with a relatively low budget of $10 million, Lucas and his special effects team created an eye-popping yet lived-in world. It was the birth of a cinematic empire, inspiring two direct sequels, a prequel trilogy, a sequel trilogy, additional films, TV series, toys, comic books and novelizations. (d. George Lucas, 121m, DCP)

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