also known as Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Directed by Irvin Kershner
The opening crawl reveals that the galaxy is in a state of civil war. The Rebel Alliance has stolen secret plans to the Galactic Empire's secret weapon, the Death Star, an extremely powerful space station capable of annihilating entire planets. In a series of transmissions, the plans were beamed to the rebel blockade runner Tantive IV, a Corellian corvette in the service of Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan. Imperial forces under the command of Darth Vader have captured the rebel ship in a space battle above Tatooine (Attack on Tantive IV), where Leia had been hoping to enlist the help of Obi-Wan Kenobi, a fugitive Jedi in exile on the planet. Stormtroopers take control of the ship, and Darth Vader arrives to assess the damage. Vader is outraged by the resistance and questions Captain Antilles in a fatal interrogation. Hiding on the ship, Leia is spotted by a squad of troops and is shot with a stun blast. Before taking her prisoner, Vader questions her as well. However, before being transferred to Vader's Star Destroyer, Princess Leia is able to record a holographic message and give it to R2-D2 to take to Kenobi. Vader orders a command be sent to the Imperial Senate that the ship was destroyed, with everyone on board killed. The droids R2-D2 and C-3PO use an escape pod which brings them to the planet Tatooine.
On Tatooine, the droids are captured by Jawas while wandering the desert. They come into the possession of Owen Lars and his nephew, Luke Skywalker. Luke accidentally triggers part of the holographic message, causing him to suspect that the R2-D2 may have been stolen, and that it really belongs to an "Obi-Wan Kenobi."
Returning to his garage before nightfall, Luke discovers that R2-D2 has escaped. The next day, Luke and C-3PO set out to find R2-D2. After finding him, they are attacked by Sandpeople, but rescued by the arrival of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Luke and the droids are brought to Obi-Wan's hut, where Obi-Wan tells of his days as a Jedi Knight and reveals to Luke that his father was a Jedi as well. When Luke asks how his father died, Obi-Wan says he was "betrayed and murdered" by Darth Vader. He then talks about the mysterious energy field called the Force. Finally, Obi-Wan and Luke see the holographic message from Princess Leia, who asks for Obi-Wan's assistance to take the droid and the plans to the planet Alderaan. Obi-Wan invites Luke to come with him to Alderaan, but Luke refuses, citing his responsibilities at home. On Tatooine, Obi-Wan, Luke and the droids discover dead Jawas and scattered Bantha tracks. Obi-Wan suspects that Imperial Stormtroopers ambushed the Jawas in an attempt to find the droids. Realizing that the troopers likely learned who the droids were sold to, Luke races back to the Lars homestead, only to find his family murdered and his home destroyed. He returns to Obi-Wan and decides to come to Alderaan and become a Jedi. The group goes to Mos Eisley Spaceport, where they encounter a smuggler named Han Solo who agrees to transport them on his ship, the Millennium Falcon. (Shortly before, Luke witnesses Obi-Wan's skill with a lightsaber as the old man subdues two fugitives that harass Luke in the cantina where they find Solo.) As the old Jedi and his companions make their way to the ship, they are attacked by Stormtroopers. They hastily board the Millennium Falcon and make a speedy launch. After leaving the planet's surface and dodging attacks, the ship and its crew escape.
On the Death Star, Leia remains imprisoned and has resisted interrogation. However, when threatened with the destruction of her home planet of Alderaan, she discloses that the Rebel Base is on Dantooine. Grand Moff Tarkin destroys Alderaan anyway, as a display of the Death Star's power. Later, when it is discovered that the Rebel Base on Dantooine is deserted, Tarkin orders the Princess executed. En route to Alderaan, Obi-Wan instructs Luke in the ways of the Force. When they arrive at where Alderaan should be, the crew discovers only a hail of debris and a moon-sized space station - the Death Star. A tractor beam takes hold of the Falcon and pulls it into the Death Star. Inside, Obi-Wan attempts to disable the tractor beam holding them there. The rest of the group learns that Leia is being held in a nearby cell awaiting execution. They make their way through the station and rescue the Princess. After switching off the tractor beam, Kenobi encounters Vader, and a lightsaber duel ensues. The duel distracts the guards long enough to allow Luke and his companions to board the Falcon. Once he sees that they are safely near the ship, Obi-Wan allows himself to be struck down by Vader, which causes Kenobi's body to vanish, and allows him to become one with the Force. Luke screams in horror, gaining the attention of the Stormtroopers, who attack Luke and his companions. Obi-Wan advises Luke through telepathy to run into the Falcon.
The Millennium Falcon escapes, fighting off Imperial starfighters along the way. Unknown to them, the Empire allowed the escape in order to track their ship to the Rebel Base. They finally reach the Rebel hideout, on Yavin IV where they pass the plans on to the Rebel leadership. The Rebels retrieve the Death Star plans from R2D2 and make preparations to assault it. The tactic involves flying along a canyon-sized groove in the station's surface, then firing a torpedo down a narrow ventilation shaft. The torpedo will travel to the main reactor and start a chain reaction that will destroy the entire station. Luke and a group of Rebel fighters begin their assault on the approaching Death Star. Several squadrons of Rebel ships are destroyed by Imperial fighters and Luke's "Red" group begin their run down the canyon towards the ventilation port. As Luke makes his run down the canyon, he hears the voice of Kenobi, instructing him to use the Force and Luke turns off his tracking computer. Vader closes in on Luke. Just as he is about to deliver a fatal blow on Luke's X-Wing, Han Solo and Chewbacca fly in, shooting and destroying one of Vader's wingmen. Panicked, the second wingman attempts to take evasive action, but his fighter hits Vader's and sends it flying out of control into deep space, while the wingmen's own fighter crashes into the Death Star. Luke, hearing Obi-Wan's voice, turns off his targeting computer of the Rebel fighter, and successfully launches torpedoes down the shaft, destroying the Death Star and scoring a huge victory for the Rebellion against the Empire.