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Star Wars vs. A New Hope

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I’ve always called it A New Hope simply because its easier than having to say “Star Wars: The original one from '77.”

That said, a lot of people (especially on this site) insist on simply calling it Star Wars. Which do you say and why?

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I always call it Star Wars. Sometimes the original Star Wars (1977) if more clarity is needed and I’m lucky enough to be writing or typing it out.

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I dont mind calling it A New Hope. It gives it its own identity since technically theyre all called Star Wars. Also lets face it. Whether or not youre an OUT or SE supporter, we are more accustomed to it saying ‘Episode IV A New Hope’ at the films start than seeing the original 1977 crawl with no title or number. All video releases until and since the 2006 DVDs have had ‘Episode IV A New Hope’ at the beginning, both original and Special Editions.

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Up until the early 2000s it was widely known as Star Wars and labeled as such, even with the A New Hope subtitle in the opening. I, and a surprising amount of nonfans that I’ve encountered, tend to refer to it as simply Star Wars, but when I’m in a discussion about the series and the story I’ll refer to it as a New Hope. I never refer to any of them by their episode numbers though.

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moviefreakedmind said:
I never refer to any of them by their episode numbers though.

I refer to the prequels as prequel #1, prequel #2, and prequel #3.

They don’t deserve any more than that, in my opinion.

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I usually call it Star Wars, only if it’s not clear from the context what am I talking about (franchise or movie) I call it “the first one” or “Episode 4”

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I usually call it “Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope”.

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Even the 1997 SE poster just called it Star Wars.

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I call it luck.

So, a new book came out and we learned so much, and it is called, "Anguilosaurus, Killer of the Living".

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In almost all circumstances, I call it Star Wars, mostly because that was the name of the movie the first several times I saw it, and it was the name of the movie during the period when it took the world by storm and saturation-bombed commercial media, and it was the name of the movie when it won all its accolades. For at least four very intense Star Wars-centric years, that’s the only name the entire planet used for it, and that’s a lot of people you need to convince to change what they’ve been doing for years.

I never saw the film with its altered name in the theatres, and only saw it that way on home video. Because of that, I never stopped calling it Star Wars. Similarly, I never started called Raiders of the Lost Ark “Indiana Jones and the …” just because it said that on the box. Besides, for the first fifteen years or so of home video, “Star Wars” was always still printed in much bigger type than “A New Hope”, unlike “Empire” and “Jedi”, which were printed much bigger than “Star Wars”. If you look at the boxes from the time, you’ll see it. The world still considered it Star Wars, and the marketing folks weren’t about to lose a sale by confusing people. I really never even head of anyone calling it “A New Hope” until maybe 1995. As far as I know, “Star Wars” was the only name anyone called the film until around then.

Then, around the Special Editions, people started pushing the “A New Hope” name hard, and also episode numbers. The focus on episode numbers always bugged me, because through much of my childhood, I’d considered Star Wars to be Episode I, since Empire came out as Episode V, and Star Wars had no episode number, I just naturally assumed we skipped three episodes between Star Wars and Empire.

I have no problem calling the Special Edition version “A New Hope”. As far as I’m concerned, the Special Editions are completely different films and I’m happy to be able to use a different name for one of them to avoid tainting the original name.

I should add that saying Star Wars is much easier than saying “Star Wars: The original one from '77”, and gets the point across just as well.

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Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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CatBus said:

I should add that saying Star Wars is much easier than saying “Star Wars: The original one from '77”, and gets the point across just as well.

But that’s the problem, it doesn’t. 99% of the time (and slightly less of the time here but still a larger percentage of the time) it doesn’t clarify which Star Wars you are talking about.

I support calling it Star Wars to make a point, but I don’t do it because it takes too long to clarify.

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Episode I: The Ridiculous Menace / Episode II: Attack Of The Ridiculousness / Episode III: Revenge of the Ridiculousness

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TV’s Frink said:

CatBus said:

I should add that saying Star Wars is much easier than saying “Star Wars: The original one from '77”, and gets the point across just as well.

But that’s the problem, it doesn’t. 99% of the time (and slightly less of the time here but still a larger percentage of the time) it doesn’t clarify which Star Wars you are talking about.

I support calling it Star Wars to make a point, but I don’t do it because it takes too long to clarify.

You must talk to the wrong people 😉

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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DuracellEnergizer said:

CatBus said:

Then, around the Special Editions, people started pushing the “A New Hope” name hard, and also episode numbers.

I thought the use of episode numbers only really started catching on when TPM was released, becoming firmly entrenched once AOTC arrived.

You’re probably right. So, my timeline looks a little like this:

“Star Wars” near-exclusive: 1977-1995 (~18 years)
“Star Wars” or “A New Hope”: 1995-2000 (~5 years)
“Star Wars”, “A New Hope”, or “Episode IV”: 2000-present (~15 years)

If this is more-or-less accurate, we’ve only really recently hit the milestone where people have been calling Star Wars something other than “Star Wars” longer than they were calling it simply “Star Wars”.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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DuracellEnergizer said:

CatBus said:

Then, around the Special Editions, people started pushing the “A New Hope” name hard, and also episode numbers.

I thought the use of episode numbers only really started catching on when TPM was released, becoming firmly entrenched once AOTC arrived.

Yep. It was really quite brilliant what Lucas set up back in 1980. There are so many fans who accept the PT and give it a free pass, simply because it slots into the big gaping “Episode I to III” hole he left in 1980 and the saga feels incomplete to them starting at the actual beginning. Of course, it makes it all the more frustrating to those of us who are critical of it. But it was a bit of well-planned marketing genius to make the films seem necessary regardless of how they turned out.

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DuracellEnergizer said:

CatBus said:

Then, around the Special Editions, people started pushing the “A New Hope” name hard, and also episode numbers.

I thought the use of episode numbers only really started catching on when TPM was released, becoming firmly entrenched once AOTC arrived.

Granted I was six when TPM came out and I couldnt read well yet so when I watched the OT as a young child, I hadnt noticed the episode numbers. So I was the same way, I didnt know of the episode numbers until TPM came out and since then I have taken them into consideration. These days I usually refer to them by their film name and not so much their number although sometimes I may still say ‘Episode (insert number)’. However I usually do say A New Hope so most people know exactly the film I mean.

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Usually I refer to it as Star Wars, but there have been times by which I referred to it as A New Hope, generally when listing or comparing. But I never call it Episode IV, because as far as I’m concerned, it always has been the first episode for me - the storyboards for ESB can back me up on that.

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I have the same issue with Raiders of the Lost Ark

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joshuar said:

I have the same issue with Raiders of the Lost Ark

Raiders will always be Raiders or Raiders of the Lost Ark to me. The video covers aint foolin me and also the title is unchanged within the movie itself.

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I see them as two separate films really. Kind of like Apocalypse Now are Apocalypse Now: Redux are considered two different films and addressed as different films based on their different titles.

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It’s funny, in germany the situation is totally different.
They added the episode Titel for the first time in the late 90s so most people knew it just as star wars… Back than if you called it “a new hope” most people just got confused.

I am not very emotional about the Titel I think it makes sense to add it trilogy wise so that every episode has its own Titel… But most of the time it is just star wars for me.

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