Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, originally titled Star Wars, is a 1977 science fantasy film written and directed by George Lucas. It was the first film to be released in the Star Wars saga, but it is the fourth film by chronology of events. Among fans, it is commonly abbreviated as ANH.
Nineteen years after the formation of the Galactic Empire, Luke Skywalker is thrust into the struggles of the Rebel Alliance when he meets Obi-Wan Kenobi, who has lived in seclusion for years on the desert planet of Tatooine. Obi-Wan begins Luke’s Jedi training as Luke joins him on a daring mission to rescue the Rebel leader Princess Leia from the clutches of the evil Empire. Unlike the later prequel films, this film, along with the two films that follow, mostly focuses on the events of one particular sector of the galaxy, rather than the interstellar perspective that the first three films take.
The film was released on May 25, 1977, and was re-released several times, sometimes with significant changes in its later releases. Most notable was the 1997 Special Edition theatrical re-release, which was heavily modified with CGI effects and re-done scenes. A 3-D release is planned for 2007. (Wikipedia)