3. Star Wars: A New Hope
Both anchored by George Lucas, A New Hope tops Revenge of the Sith despite the latter’s enormous gravitas; primarily due to A New Hope starting everything with its trailblazing visual effects and inventive sci-fi storytelling, in addition to the fact that none of the other films would exist without the success of this 1970’s cinematic risk.
A New Hope also ranks so highly because of its unbridled sense of adventure, which is immeasurably difficult to replicate. Brave heroes unflinchingly take on bold tasks and are even faced with death, however, the story never loses track of its zestful tone. The characters are brought to life in an impressively effervescent manner and even the droids are playfully energetic without ever stooping to a point of silliness or inconsequentiality.
A New Hope made stars out of Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher, while Sir Alec Guinness lends his experience to the cast. A common collaborator of one the greatest filmmakers to ever live, David Lean, Guinness took a chance when signing on to play Obi-Wan Kenobi, and to this day is the only Star Wars actor nominated for an Academy Award. He balances the troupe’s exuberance with serene poise and his flawless dialogue delivery.
A New Hope is also the only Star Wars movie to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, which is a testament to its groundbreaking emergence in 1970s cinema. The phenomenal musical compositions, the painstaking production design, the revolutionary utilization of puppets and models, and especially George Lucas’ expansive scope and creative vision all started with a movie that is retroactively titled A New Hope and grew extensively after this science fiction extravaganza exploded onto screens, establishing a monumental cinematic universe.