Monumental, it is. This week, “Star Wars” turned 40, and R2D2 hasn’t aged a bit.
On May 25, 1977 B.C. (Before Chewbacca), “Star Wars” opened in 32 U.S. theaters – and nothing would ever be the same again. The film changed the way movies were made and seen, and its effects can still be felt today in its sequels, spin-offs and pop culture impact. Here are 40 things I love about “Star Wars: A New Hope.”
1. The introduction. “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.”
2. That crawling text. “It is a period of civil war.”
3. That John Williams score. Utterly majestic.
4. That opening shot. At once breathtaking and awe-inducing, the first glimpse of that Imperial Star Destroyer looming overhead perfectly set up everything that would follow.
5. Meeting C3PO and R2D2. The greatest robots in cinematic history, inspired by Kurosawa’s “The Hidden Fortress.”
6. Darth Vader arrives. That black helmet! That black cape! That breathing!
7. Beautiful Princess Leia. You will be forever missed, sweet Carrie Fisher.
8. Luke Skywalker’s nasally whine. “But I was going to Tosche Station to be pick up some power converters.” Whaaa.
9. Those Jawas with their light-up eyes. I wish mine could do that.
10. C3PO gets the best lines. “Don’t call me a mindless philosopher, you overweight glob of grease.”
11. Double sunsets. Ah, beautiful planet Tatooine. Not too touristy at all.
12. Those creepy Sandpeople. They ripped off poor C3PO’s arm!
13. Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan. Only an actor as fine as he could deliver such clunky expositional dialogue like it was poetry.
14. Princess Leia’s holographic message. “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.”
15. Luke mourns Uncle Owen and Aunt Vera. “There’s nothing for me here now. I want to learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi like my father.”
16. Mos Eisley spaceport. “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.”
17. Swayable Stormtroopers. “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”
18. Hello, Han Solo! I don’t care if he did shoot first.
19. The cantina sequence. “Hey! We don’t serve their kind here.”
20. Chewbacca. He’s the best walking carpet around.
21. The Millennium Falcon. “What a piece of junk!”
22. Parsec. Huh? What the heck is a parsec?
23. Luke tries the lightsaber. “You have taken your first step into a larger world.”
24. The Death Star. “That’s no moon. It’s a space station.”
25. Leia’s never-ending spark. “Governor Tarkin, I should have expected to find you holding Vader’s leash. I recognized your foul stench when I was brought on board.”
26: That iconic line: “I have a bad feeling about this.”
27. Princess Leia sees Luke in the Stormtrooper uniform. “Aren’t you a little short for a Stormtrooper?”
28. The garbage chute. “One thing’s for sure, we’re all gonna be a lot thinner.”
29. Han’s and Leia’s bantering. “Look, Your Worshipfulness, let’s get one thing straight. I take orders from just one person: me.”
30. Ben’s and Darth Vader’s lightsaber duel. “You can’t win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.”
31. Ben dies! But ... no! Noooooooooo!
32. The Millennium Falcon flees. Luke and Han do battle. “I got him!” “Great, kid! Don’t get cocky.”
33. The debriefing at the Rebel Base. “I used to bull’s-eye womp rats in my T-16 back home. They’re not much bigger than 2 meters.”
34. The rebel attack. “Stay on target. Stay on target.”
35. Darth Vader barrels down on Luke. “I have you now.”
36. But, wait! Han Solo returns! “You’re all clear, kid, now let’s blow this thing and go home!”
37. Luke switches off his computer. “Use the Force, Luke.”
38. The Death Star blows up. “Great shot, kid, that was one in a million!”
39. C3PO is such a drama droid. “You must repair him! Sir, if any of my circuits or gears will help, I’ll gladly donate them.”
40. The final scene. What? No medal for Chewie?