Too Much Love Will Kill You: The Damage Repeat Viewings are Doing to my Opinion of A New Hope

I probably watch Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope once every eighteen months or so. Every time I do, I enjoy it less and less. Here's why.


She gets more annoying each time I watch it. I'm sorry but she does. It's something to do with how Solo is cool and belligerent and she's just belligerent.

Leia the Strong Female Character

I buy the argument that Leia is a fine example of a strong female Hollywood character less and less. She needs to be pulled out of jams far too often, she looks pathetic in the garbage crusher scene, she's the butt of all Solo's 'jokes', she's suggested to be the protagonist and then subverted in favour of Luke and in the final battle, where is she? Behind a glorified desk. It's the James Bond debate all over again. Only the other way round.


He gets more annoying each time I watch it. I'm sorry but he does. It's something to do with how Solo is cool and belligerent and he's just belligerent.


A random selection of Han Solo one-liners;

'Sorry about the mess.'
'Boring conversation anyway.'
'Don't everyone thank me at once.'
'Get in there, you big furry oaf!'
'I take orders from just one person: me.'

Not actually that good are they? Not exactly, 'I'm the party pooper' or 'put the cookie down'. Maybe around the 'you've been erased' level.

Plot holes

Harsh perhaps, because the more you watch any film, the more these will show themselves and grate. There's a good list here. At least the first and fourth of those have really got on my nelly for at least the last two viewings.

Digital trickery vs Practical effects

I watch the DVD versions. I don't so much mind the concept of Lucas going back and adding digital effects (I like that Mos Eisley looks better populated, for example) but the real problem for me with this throughout the film is how much they increasingly jar with the 1977 practical effects. Witness: anything in Mos Eisley vs the animated chess pieces on board the falcon.

Stupid Stormtroopers v Awesome Clones

Proof positive that bad sequels can effect how you view good precursors. In this case: stormtroopers. Compare and contrast their portrayal in Episode IV with how they appear in Episode II. In the latter, they're a crack fighting force on the verge of a galactic take-over. In this, they're a bunch of idiotic lemming-like canon-fodder, who sacrifice themselves to Han and Luke's blasters more times than R2D2 beeps. Either one in isolation would be fine. Together, their characterisation just doesn't work.

Knowing Alec Guinness doesn't care

Reading things like this, which was re-publicised by Business Insider around the time Episode VII was announced, brings new meaning to the moments when Guinness offers up pronunciations like 'light... saber' and other maladjusted efforts to conceal how little fun he is actually having. I'm afraid my reading of his performance suffered as a result. His decision to give in to Vader is, well, like him giving up on the whole thing.

Every race that's not humanoid basically sounds the same

Everyone that stops and doesn't speak English (Mos Eisley is great for this again) is basically a remix of R2D2's beeps. Gigantic universe and everyone talks in a language derived from a tin opener? Behave.


  1. That's...a bit harsh? I haven't watched any of the Star Wars since I conducted a marathon (1-6) back in uni 5 years ago that I can't "really" comment with any authority but the Leia observation is a bit harsh. She's a princess, I wouldn't expect her to be with the pilots (or anywhere else). In any case when it comes to the planning she's as important, if not more, than that old general whateverhisname.

    Han Solo's one liners arent' great to read (which goes for most of the script which could be as clunky as one of my year 5 essays), but the way Harrison Ford delivers them is the charm.

    Anyhoo, I'm Star Wars-ed out. Not looking forward to the oncoming barrage.

    1. Oooh yes, look forward to a gazillion 'news' articles on a gazillion 'news' sites between now and VII.

      Good point about her being a princess and not flying but, I don't know, she still seems increasingly pathetic to me. Both her and Luke, in this one only, have really started to grate.

      Agree in principle too on your point on the Solo one-liners but, after you've heard them for the tenth time, even with Ford's delivery, they're as creaky as they are on the page.