'Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope' is Peanut Approved

Joseph Meinert
February 28, 2024
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope




Peanut Approved:
The Golden Thumb
Joe's Score:
The Golden Thumb
Burt's Score:
The Golden Thumb
Peanut Gallery Rating:
Coming Soon

What better film to rate first here at Peanut Approved than the one that started it all. I'm sure I had seen The Lion King and other Disney movies of that era before seeing it, but A New Hope is really the first film I remember watching. We had borrowed the VHS boxset from a family at school. Then came the weekend. My parents went out one night and my siblings and I were under the watch of a babysitter. I don't recall what any of them were doing at the time, but I vividly remember sitting alone on the couch in our living room watching Star Wars and having my mind blown. To be exposed to such imagination at that young of an age was a blessing and huge influence. For many years after that, my brother and I shared an incredibly fun and imaginative childhood. We would dream up all sorts of wild games with rich and vivid worlds and characters built around them, which I attribute a lot to being exposed to the creativity George Lucas instilled in that movie.

After falling in love with the original trilogy, I got the VHS boxset for Christmas that year, which I still have squirreled away somewhere, and the rest was history. 1999 came soon after and I remember seeing all the marketing and getting hyped on The Phantom Menace. I remember exactly where I was and who I was with when I saw Episodes 2 and 3 in theaters. I was a Star Wars kid, for sure. By the way, shoutout to my mom for taking us to see all those movies. Sitting through them with us is one thing, but the gift of being exposed to that imagination and creativity I spoke about is immeasurable. When I think about it now, the creativity I feel and can tap into in all of my endeavors as an adult, must be in some part due to being given that gift, which I cannot be thankful enough for.

The genius of A New Hope is in its simplicity. At its core, it is a story about good versus evil and if you've ever taken a writing or philosophy class you will probably be familiar with the fact that the plot of the film follows The Hero's Journey beat for beat. The Hero's Journey is a concept explored and made famous by Carl Jung and Joseph Cambell in their respective works. Essentially, it lays out plot points that are exactly the same across a vast number of stories from different cultures and times in history. In other words, it's a story as old as time, which means it resonates with all humans. This appeal to all audiences through a story about hope and triumph over evil paired with a fictional universe that was creative and unlike anything else at the time is exactly why A New Hope is a classic. It's also why so many movies today fall flat, they no longer appeal to all audiences and if you don't like what they're putting out, they blame the moviegoer rather than looking inward to what could have made a more compelling story.

I can go back and watch A New Hope anytime and it never gets old, which is exactly why it gets The Gold Thumbs Up from Peanut Approved.