Star Wars IV: A New Hope, July 05

IN 1977, George Lucas tapped into the Universal Mind with the heroic sci-fi adventure of good versus evil and the temptation that blurs the line between them. The mighty epic launched a culture that has picked up steam and followers through two generations—so far. And since the final installation of Revenge of the Sith, there’s never been a better time to revisit the original episode with all the gusto and triumph that electrified our imaginations a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

Lucas’s powerful and timeless story is packed with rich passages about the existence of a mysterious force that binds the universe, and the legend of a heroic race of Jedi warriors who fought against the evil Imperial forces. The cast of intriguing characters includes the believers and non-believers, and the opposition led by Darth Vader, who uses the dark side of the Force. Lucas’s magical genius serves up a smorgasbord of creatures like the Sand People, the jelly-like Jabba the Hutt, the prissy pessimistic droid C3PO, and a legendary bar scene where Obi-Wan (Alec Guinness) meets Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and the Wookiee Chewbacca.

In this ever fresh and amazing episode, the feisty Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) is the consummate Rebel hero for her fearless leadership and her low threshold for B.S. Leia is captured by the Imperial forces for stealing the secret code to their destructive Death Star. She feeds the code to R2D2 with an S.O.S. to Obi-Wan Kenobi, an aging Jedi master who lives as hermit Ben Kenobi on the desert planet of Tatooine on the Outer Rim.

Also on Tatooine lives a restless young Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), whose foster parents keep him working their moisture farm. But when Luke tunes his uncle’s new droids, R2 beams a hologram of a princess asking Obi-Wan Kenobi for help. Luke’s encounter with Ben Kenobi reveals the backstory of the Jedi race that was all but annihilated when Darth Vader joined the Dark Side and killed Luke’s father. Ben gives Luke his father’s lightsaber and asks him to join the Rebel cause. But Luke has responsibilities at home. Or did. His family has just been killed by Stormtroopers searching for the droid carrying their secret code. Luke’s destiny is clear. He’s about to become a Jedi.

Twenty years later, Star Wars IV captured me all over again, from the wide text introduction to the closing credits. Alongside the other classics, Lucas’s legend will live forever as the triumph of good over weakness and evil. Star Wars gives us something bigger and better to believe in. It gives us A New Hope.