A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... The Jedi Knights have been exterminated and the Empire rules the galaxy with an iron fist. A small group of Rebels have dared to fight back by stealing the secret plans to the Empire's mightiest weapon, the Death Star battle station. The Emperor's most trusted servant, Darth Vader, must find the plans, and locate the hidden Rebel base. Princess Leia, a captive Rebel leader, sends out a distress signal that is intercepted by a simple farm boy, Luke Skywalker. Seizing his destiny, Luke takes up the challenge to rescue the princess and help the Rebellion overthrow the Empire, along with such unforgettable allies as the wise Obi-Wan Kenobi, the cocky Han Solo, the loyal Chewbacca, and the droids R2-D2 and C-3P0.


Character's name Portrayed by
Luke Skywalker Mark Hamill
Han Solo Harrison Ford
Princess Leia Carrie Fisher
Obi-Wan "Ben" Kenobi Alec Guinness
Grand Moff Tarkin Peter Cushing
Darth Vader David Prowse
C-3PO Anthony Daniels
R2-D2 Kenny Baker
Chewbacca Peter Mayhew

In Other Languages

Language Title
Spanish La Guerra de las Galaxias
Portuguese Guerra nas Estrelas
Japanese スター・ウォーズ:新たなる希望
Chinese 星球大战:新希望
Korean 스타 워즈: 새로운 희망
Thai สตาร์ วอร์ส: ความหวังใหม่

Production timeline

  • May 1974: The first draft of the film's script was completed by George Lucas.
  • January 1975: A second draft, still with lots more differences from the final film, was completed.
  • August 1, 1975: The third draft included the title "The Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Starkiller".
  • March 15, 1976: The fourth and final draft was completed for the film.
  • March 22, 1976: Principal photography began on this date, and filming took place in Chott el Djerid.
  • December 1976: The film was originally to be released on this date, but was delayed by five months.

Release timeline

Format Country of origin Date
Original theatrical USA May 25, 1977
First re-release USA July 21, 1978
Second re-release USA August 15, 1979
Third re-release USA April 10, 1981
VHS (Rental) USA May 27, 1982
VHS USA September 1, 1982
VHS Japan May 21, 1985
VHS UK June 1986
VHS re-release USA September 11, 1990
VHS re-release (subtitled) Japan November 21, 1990
VHS re-release (THX-certified) USA August 29, 1995
VHS re-release (THX-certified) Japan October 21, 1995
Special Edition USA January 31, 1997
VHS (Special Edition) USA August 26, 1997
VHS (Special Edition) UK October 6, 1997
VHS (Special Edition) France October 16, 1997
VHS (Special Edition) South Korea October 20, 1997
VHS (Special Edition) Latin America October 31, 1997
VHS (Special Edition) Japan November 7, 1997
VHS (Special Edition re-release) USA November 21, 2000
VHS (Special Edition re-release) Japan November 22, 2000
DVD USA September 21, 2004
DVD (separate film) USA September 12, 2006
DVD re-release USA November 4, 2008
Blu-ray Disc USA September 16, 2011
Blu-ray/DVD Combo USA October 8, 2013
Format Position Release date
Theatrical 3 May 25, 1977
VHS 3 September 1, 1982
DVD 33 September 21, 2004
Blu-ray 40 September 16, 2011

Television broadcast timeline

Broadcast date(s) Channel aired Notes
  • February 26, 1984
  • February 14, 1987
  • November 23, 1988
Cbs-logo The 1988 broadcast featured commercials for Cinderella on VHS and McDonald's toy figurines of Oliver and Dodger from Oliver & Company.
January 1–May 26, 1990 The Disney Channel 1986
  • June 26, 1993
  • December 8, 1993–December 18, 1996

USA Network logo

USA Network 1996

February 4, 1997 Fox logo The film did not actually air on this date; instead, aired on the Fox Network at 8:00 p.m. was a documentary film called Star Wars: The Magic and the Mystery.
  • May 6, 1997
  • November 14, 1998
  • November 4, 2001
  • May 11, 2002
Off-network syndication This was the original theatrical version.
January 23, 1998 Showtime logo 1997 This broadcast marked the debut of the Special Edition on premium cable television. It later premiered on off-network syndication on February 5, 1998.
  • December 6, 1998–March 14, 2000 (original theatrical)
  • September 3, 2000–May 5, 2002 (Special Edition)
TBS Superstation logo 1999

The original theatrical version aired for the last time ever on this network.

TBS Superstation was the Special Edition's first cable network where it was broadcast.

February 7, 1999 PBS The Special Edition aired on this date and network.
  • July 16, 2000
  • May 4, 2002
Cbs-logo The Special Edition aired on this date and network.
  • February 11, 2001
  • May 11, 2002
  • February 1, 2003
Off-network syndication The Special Edition was broadcast on these dates. All three films also aired on CBC Television every Saturday at 9 p.m. from January 15-29, 2005.
April 27, 2003 TBS Superstations 2003 Strangely, the original theatrical version of the film aired on this date.
November 11, 2006–November 5, 2007 Cinemax logo 1997 Presented in high definition, at a 1080i resolution.
February 4, 2007–December 26, 2007 HBO HD logo Presented in high definition, at a 1080i resolution.
April 11, 2008–January 4, 2014 Spike TV logo
September 18, 2016-present
TBS 2015 Transparent
September 23, 2016-present
TNT Logo 2016

Home video timeline

Main article: Home video timeline for the Star Wars films


Entire trilogy

  • The Star Wars Trilogy: Special Edition/Star Wars Trilogy: Official Website (1996-1997)
  • Official Star Wars Web Site (1997-1998)
  • Star Wars: Welcome to the Official Web Site (1998-1999)
  • Star Wars: Welcome to the Official Site (2000-2008)
  • (2008-present)

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

  • Star Wars: A New Hope (1998-2001)
  • Star Wars: Welcome to the Official Site (2001–July 1, 2008) (redesigned on October 23-24, 2004)


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