Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - September, 2011


"Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Heinonen



A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away a battle raged between the Empire and the Rebel Alliance.  As our film opens, the spaceship of Princess Leia has been taken over by the Empire and Darth Vader.  Before they are captures, Leia dispatches a pair of droids, R2D2 and C3PO, to the surface of Tatooine in an effort to get a message to Obi Wan Kenobi.  When Ben and his nephew Luke Skywalker purchase the droids, they have no idea of the cargo that R2D2 carries inside of his memory.  This opens one of the classic modern films that helped to launch a franchise of unparalleled success.


  • 20th Century Fox
  • 1977, Color, Rated PG, 2 Hr 5 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Codec: AVC @ 33 Mbps
  • 1080p
  • English 6.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher
  • Directed by George Lucas
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No


Of course everyone reading this has seen Star Wars at this point, likely more times than they can count.  The film that helped to launch the idea of the summer blockbuster has finally come home to Blu-ray.  Yes, it’s not the original theatrical cut, and it’s not even the Special Edition cut, but it is still Star Wars.  Watched through the eyes of a grizzled film snob, some parts of the beginning of the film can seem a bit cheesy, and Luke is a bit whiny, but any complaints quickly vanish as I once again turn into the person that has loved Star Wars since I was a kid.  No description that I can give to the film will change your opinion about it, but regardless I love it.


Star Wars has never looked better.  From the opening scenes there is so much more detail and clarity in scenes that it’s amazing.  The only scenes that had any issues that I could see are the first few scenes with C3PO and R2D2 on Tatooine, but that looks to be film damage to me and not the fault of the transfer.  If there is a downside to this transfer it’s that the props used in the film (helmets, blasters, even the CGI) cannot look as convincing as you can see it in detail.  Of course you can’t fault a transfer for being too revealing, so I will just say that Star Wars on Blu-ray is a revelation for home viewing.

The soundtrack has also been brought up to a new level with the classic John Williams score blasting from the opening scroll, to the effects of spaceships and fights throughout; there is nothing I could find wrong with it.  It is as good as the image is, and that’s saying something.


The disc features two separate commentary tracks, and the box set includes too many special features to count, spread across three Blu-ray discs.