Safe from danger, the Millennium Falcon flies off into the galaxy. Solo brags about how well he did in the escape, but Leia suspects that it's not over yet, and that the Imperial forces are still tracking them. He tells her that he only cares about getting his money, and she leaves the room, annoyed. "Your friend is quite the mercenary. I wonder if he really cares about anything or anybody," she says to Luke as he enters the cockpit.
Luke sits down next to Solo and they discuss the princess. "Do you think the princess and a guy like me..." Solo begins to ask, but Luke quickly says, "No." The Falcon lands at the rebel base, on the fourth moon of the planet Yavin Prime.
On the ground, Leia greets a man from the rebel forces and tells him about the information in R2-D2. They hook R2 up to a computer, and observe a blueprint of the Death Star. Meanwhile, on the Death Star, Tarkin receives word from a fighter pilot that the group has landed on the moon off Yavin.
The rebels meet and discuss the fact that the Death Star has a weakness, a small exhaust port that is not shielded and could be apprehended to blow up the station. General Dodonna speaks to the group and devises a plan to do so. Many are skeptical of the plan, including Wedge Antilles, a pilot, but Luke thinks it can be done.
On the Death Star, Tarkin and Vader plan to blow up the rebel base.
As he prepares to get in his craft, Luke says goodbye to Solo, who is going off to pay his debts now that he's received his reward. Luke is disappointed in him, but Solo insists that he doesn't want to risk his life. As Luke walks away, Solo tells him, "May the Force be with you." When Luke runs into Leia, she kisses him on the cheek when he expresses the fact that he misses Obi-Wan.
At his craft, Luke runs into Biggs Darkflighter, a friend from Tatooine, who is excited for the mission. R2 is boarded onto Luke's craft to provide technical assistance, as 3PO tells him to make sure he comes back in one piece.
The rebel forces take off to embark on the mission. As he leaves, Luke hears Obi-Wan say, "Luke, the Force will be with you." They fly towards the Death Star, and the Death Star's rays have trouble targeting the small rebel crafts. Vader orders for the release of the Black Squadron, an elite force of smaller crafts.
A battle ensues, and Luke flies effectively. Vader himself boards an imperial fighter ship and joins the fight. Vader shoots down several rebel X-Wings, and Luke almost gets shot down, but Wedge comes to his rescue. Suddenly, Luke hears Obi-Wan's voice tell him to "Use the force, Luke," and he bravely flies towards the trench. Suddenly, several Imperial fighters are shot down by Han Solo, who has unexpectedly decided to help out in the Millennium Falcon.
With the portal clear, Luke shoots the Death Star's weak spot and blows it up in a fiery blaze. Vader is the only Imperial representative to escape.
Back at the base, Luke, Leia, and Solo embrace, excited about their victory. In a special ceremony, Luke and Han Solo are given medals by Princess Leia for their contribution to the rebel cause.
In this section of the film, the protagonists are introduced to the Rebel forces. On an obscure moon of a large gas planet, large groups of Rebels are organizing to take down the Imperial forces. While Luke and the others have been going through the struggle alone, they now find themselves amongst peers, a well-organized group of thinkers and fighters willing to risk what it takes to bring down the Death Star.
Luke quickly finds his place among the Rebel forces as a pilot. While he has always been a simple farm boy, he is eager to take his expertise to a larger stage. His provincial optimism even proves to be an asset, as when Wedge Antilles is worrying that they will not be able to destroy the Death Star, and Luke is confident that they can because of his experience shooting small animals on Tatooine. Throughout the course of the film, Luke has come into his own and become a more confident subject, stepping into the adventurous shoes that he has always wanted to occupy.
Despite the fact that he has been killed, Obi-Wan lives on in the spiritual realm. Luke bemoans the fact that his mentor is no longer around to give him advice, but when he takes off for the mission to the Death Star, he hears Obi-Wan's voice telling him that the Force is always with him. It seems that while death has robbed Obi-Wan of his mortal existence, it has only strengthened him and turned him into an entity as omnipotent as the Force itself.
The film, in addition to being visually stunning and expertly realized, is made all the more epic and suspenseful by its iconic score. Written by John Williams, the lilting orchestral score perfectly complements the plot, and builds the stakes of the action, pulling the viewer in. The soaring lines of melody can signal triumph and victory, while the pulse of horns and trumpets foreshadow moments of danger. Additionally, Williams writes in leitmotifs to accompany certain characters and recurring elements of the plot, which only enriches our understanding of and investment in the story.
Star Wars ends with a stunning victory for the Rebel forces. Luke is able to wield the power of the Force to help destroy the Death Star, and Han Solo has a change of heart and decides to fight for the Rebellion instead of just going off to spend his reward. The Death Star, the symbol of Imperial power and antagonism in the galaxy, is destroyed in one fell swoop. Both Luke and Solo are rewarded for their heroism, and awarded medals by a princess.