Star Wars A New Hope Analysis
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Why Star Wars is Awesome! Analysis of Episode IV: A New Hope
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Barring one or two infrequent missteps, each studio has avoided following the same beaten path that Star Wars has walked many times before. But not all is one with the Force. The end result is a handful of chapters that cover the same ground or, worse, bleed into one another without anything wholly original to make them stand out. But Star Wars can be so much more than a reworked samurai parable. Some of the voice acting is also listless. The end product is something simultaneously rushed and low-energy. Which brings us to another p-word: potential. Star Wars Visions cannot be the first and last word in this brave new world. While there are some stumbles — some shorts fit snugly into 15 minutes while others still feel incomplete despite a longer runtime — this should be the first taste of a buffet of brilliant adventures from any creative who wants to beaver away in their own little corner of the galaxy.
Star Wars is so many things to so many people. While the likes of The Mandalorian have broadened the horizons of a franchise that was stuck in its ways for so long, Visions finally opens the floodgates. Visions proves it can be anything you want it to be and, on the basis of these shorts, allowing others to play in the sandbox is only going to work out well for all involved. Epic Fail : Greedo misses Han Solo at point blank range in the Special Editions, only to be immediately killed by the smuggler. Establishing Character Moment : Han shooting first when threatened by Greedo. This is why the change to that scene evoked such a strong response.
Luke's Binary Sunset scene; gazing wistfully into the distance like he was looking at the future. Vader walking emotionlessly past his dead troops and then strangling Captain Antilles to death while interrogating him. He also provides the first introduction of what the Force is capable of; an Imperial officer starts mouthing off about how his "sorcerous ways" are nothing compared to the Death Star, to which Vader casually lifts a hand and chokes the guy from across the room. Vader: I find your lack of faith disturbing. Luke: But that would lead them back Tropes G to H. Gambit Roulette : Darth Vader's ultimate plan to get the Rebel base's location, which Tarkin agreed to on the grounds that it demonstrated that Leia was of more use than he had anticipated, hinged on Luke and Han rescuing Leia and the tractor beam being disabled by the time they got back to the Millennium Falcon.
He sent a pair of Stormtroopers into the Falcon to search for occupants, and the whole thing—Luke and Han attacking the Stormtroopers and Dressing as the Enemy , Chewie being the Trojan Prisoner , Obi-wan evading the Stormtroopers until the tractor beam was disabled, etc. Subverted in that from the perspective of a Force sensitive, there is no such thing as luck. Game Night Fight : Han implies Chewbacca handles it pretty poorly when he loses in games. It's shown when R2-D2 and C-3PO play dejarik with Chewie, with the droids making a move that beats one of Chewie's piece, making him growl in anger.
C-3PO: But, sir, nobody worries about upsetting a droid. Han: That's because a droid don't pull people's arms out of their sockets when they lose. Wookies are known to do that. C-3PO: I see your point, sir. I suggest a new strategy, R2 — let the wookiee win. Admiral Motti: [to Vader] [Your belief in the force hasn't] given you clairvoyance enough to find the rebels' hidden fortre — [Vader silences him with a Force-Choke ]. Tropes I to J. Idiot Ball : The commander of the Star Destroyer doesn't fire on the escape pod leaving Leia's ship because there are no life signs onboard. The Star Wars Lore clearly establishes that droids are very common and perform a wide variety of significant tasks. As such, it is mind-boggling that a senior Imperial officer wouldn't consider the possibility that the pod might have droids onboard that might be important to the rebels.
Though he does immediately tell Vader about this. Leia deduces that the Falcon is being tracked by the Empire, but instead of taking precautions for instance, making a rendezvous with an Alliance ship in deep space , she travels straight to Yavin 4, leading the Death Star right to its target. I Just Want to Be Special : The film begins with Luke saying that he wants to leave home to join the Rebellion, just like some of his friends. It's bittersweet when he gets his wish. He stated that he wanted to join the Imperial Academy even despite the fact that Luke said he had a negative opinion of the Empire when talking to Obi-Wan , as he and Owen discussed at their dinner.
Owen wouldn't allow him to, due to how much Luke was needed on the moisture farm and because he was a bit nervous that Luke would turn out like his father. Beru: Luke's just not a farmer, Owen. He has too much of his father in him. Owen: That's what I'm afraid of. Han: [about their plan] This is not gonna work. Luke: Why didn't you say so before? Han: I did say so before! Tropes K to L. Kick the Dog : The destruction of Alderaan, a peaceful planet full of diplomats, firmly establishes the monstrous nature of Grand Moff Tarkin and the Empire as a whole. In essence, Tarkin and the Empire shot themselves in the foot by enabling neutral worlds to jump to the Rebels' cause.
Leia: [from a test shot] And you call yourselves humans. Luke: You know, between [Chewbacca's] howling and your blasting everything in sight, it's a wonder the whole station doesn't know we're here. Han: Bring 'em on. I'd prefer a straight fight to all this sneaking around. Tropes M to N. MacGuffin Blindness : Four stormtroopers fail to recognize that the droids they're looking for are right in front of them, courtesy of Ben's Jedi Mind Trick. Magic Versus Science : Vader lectures Admiral Motti on this when the latter brags that the Death Star is the ultimate power in the universe. Darth Vader: Don't be too proud of this technological terror you constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of The Force.
C-3PO: That malfunctioning twerp! This is all his fault! He tricked me into going this way. But he'll do no better. C-3PO: ' Help! I think I'm melting! Leia: Quick, we've got to get across! Find the controls that extend the bridge. Luke: [sighs] I think I just blasted it Han: We can't get out that way. Leia: Looks like you've managed to cut off our only escape route. Han: Maybe you'd like it back in your cell, your highness. Tropes O to R. Obstacle Exposition : We have the briefing before the attack against the Death Star that clearly outlines their mission of hitting the exhaust port and everything that can possible stop them.
This includes the need for tactical computers to make such a shot, and for good measure there was an unsuccessful attempt mid-way through the battle just so we know just how necessary a precise shot with the targeting computer is. Cue Luke turning off the targeting computer. Obviously Evil : The Empire. Right from the opening shot you can tell they're the bad guys, what with their cold, angular looking starships, the Stormtroopers with their perpetually frowning helmets, their ruthless leader who dresses entirely in black, and so on.
Off-the-Shelf FX : The film had so many production problems, that many corners were cut to make the props and effects. The results made Star Wars one of the tentpole films for how kitbashing can be used to effectively add visual depth ; All of the ships and the surface of the Death Star were made by kitbashing numerous model kits together to give a feeling of detail and grit the film's Used Future tone warranted.
For example, the gap between the upper and lower shells of the Millennium Falcon is filled with the undersides of various trucks. This page gives a good idea towards the specifics of how kitbashing greebling was done regarding Star Wars props. Another reason was simple cost and supply. Even by the mids when the first movie was filmed, WWII-era weapons were still common and easily procured. Even more so, there were tons and tons of realistic plastic props of WWII weapons particularly Nazi weapons left over from 60s-era films or contemporary films such as The Great Escape and The Dirty Dozen. This is why a vast majority of the weapons in the Star Wars universe are modeled closely after German firearms, even down to those used by the heroes such as Han's iconic blaster modeled after a Mauser pistol.
The most iconic Imperial weapon is modeled after a British firearm of the '60's and '70's, the Sterling sub-machine gun, likely as a result of needing large numbers of actually functioning weapons as described previously. It just so happened that at the time A New Hope was being filmed, the British Army was getting rid of most of its stock of Sterlings because sub-machine guns were falling out of favour as infantry weapons, and the rest is history.
Also, using 'previous generation' weapons added to the Used Future feel of the series. The Lightsabers are built out of the flash from old cameras. In the pre Star Wars Cantina scene, there is a wolf-like Shistavanen named Lak Sivrak, whose face is quite obviously a Halloween mask from a store. Sivrak was replaced with Ketwol, a member of the elephant-like Pacithhip species, for the Special Edition and subsequent cuts of the film. Offstage Villainy : The Empire as a whole. They do some remarkable nefarious acts with the Death Star, but we never hear much of how they affect the rest of the Galaxy.
A deleted scene between Luke and Biggs explores this somewhat. Off with His Head! Played With since Obi-Wan disappears instead of being decapitated. Oh, Crap! Vader: I have you now. Governor Tarkin: You would prefer another target, a military target? Then name the system! I grow tired of asking this so it will be the last time: Where is the rebel base? Han: Even if I could take off, I'd never get past the tractor beam. Obi-Wan: Leave that to me. Han: Damn fool, I knew you'd say that.
Obi-Wan: Who's the more foolish? The fool or the fool who follows him? Luke: Will you forget it?! This also makes it the only Star Wars series to be produced before the Disney acquisition. Star Wars: Galaxy of Adventures November 30, — October 28, - an animated web series retelling the events of the films. Star Wars: Visions September 22, - an anthology series of Alternate Continuity anime short films helmed by various creators within that industry.
Video games. Shut down as of late Vader Immortal - A virtual reality game where you, an unnamed smuggler, find yourself trapped on Mustafar as you help Darth Vader with a plan to resurrect Padme Amidala. This holds the distinction of being the only canonical comic book to not be published by Marvel Comics. Following this, the series was renumbered in , this time focusing on the rebels during the interim between Empire and Return of the Jedi. The series was renumbered in , and began following her adventures after the Battle of Hoth in Empire. Age of Republic - an eight-issue anthology series with each part focusing on a hero or villain from the Prequel Trilogy era. Vader - Dark Visions - a five-issue series showing different perspectives about Darth Vader.
Galaxy's Edge - five issue series that ties in to the upcoming Galaxy's Edge theme park. Allegiance - Leia looks to get help for the Resistance from the Mon Calamari. Darth Vader - an ongoing series, taking place concurrently with the renumbered Star Wars comic, following Darth Vader after his battle with Luke Skywalker on Cloud City. Milo and Lina Graf, the two children of frontier explorers, go on a journey through Wild Space to find their parents, who have been abducted by Imperial agents. A tie-in and prequel to the storyline of Battlefront II.
The Mighty Chewbacca in the Forest of Fear! Thrawn comes to odds with Director Krennic and is forced to make an impossible choice between his loyalty to the Empire, or to his homeworld. A Crash Of Fate - two friends go on the run from smugglers and pirates after meeting back together. Force Collector - a teenager searches about his connection with the Force. Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising - the first installment of a new Ascendancy trilogy providing Thrawn's origin.
Short stories. In the aftermath of the Battle of Endor, Blade Squadron rebuilds while struggling to deal with their own relationships with each other before the Battle of Malastare. Blade Squadron leads an assault on Kuat Drive Yards. Takes place from Blade Squadron's perspective during the Battle of Jakku. Other literature. Set shortly after Return of the Jedi , guests board the Starspeeder piloted by rookie pilot droid "Captain Rex" RX on his first flight and go on a misadventure while en route to the Endor moon. The original version of the attraction was later refurbished into Star Tours: The Adventures Continue Present which included many more scenarios and scenes referencing the entire franchise.
The storyline for this version now has guests aboard the Starspeeder accidentally piloted by C-3PO transferring a rebel spy to a rendezvous point. Though the new ride was initially a prequel to the original one set before the events of A New Hope , the inclusion of scenes and characters from the sequel trilogy now puts it at virtually anytime within the internal Star Wars chronology. Taking place after The Last Jedi , guests can interfere with a battle between the First Order and the Resistance, and they can also take control of the Millennium Falcon , while exploring the many repurposed spaces of the old outpost planet.
Also includes in-hotel experiences such as the ability to fly spacecraft and "secret missions" for hotel guests. Action Figure File Card : Some of the s toys had them. Palpatine uses a variety of manipulative political tactics to gain influence and power and engineer distrust in a protected group, painting them as malicious rebels and himself as a victim, earning wide praise across the Republic and turning it into an empire over which he has absolute power, while Padme laments that "liberty dies, with thundrous applause.
The Trade Federation and the Separatists go for the darker take on Raygun Gothic with vessels such as shark-like assault frigates and hover tanks, and droids mostly looking like arthropods , skeletons or zombies , tanks walking on four legs or just evil-looking Killer Robots with red eyes. The Grand Army of the Republic goes mostly from the sleek, modern style in Attack of the Clones , owing to a strong Kaminoan influence to the more blocky and rectangular one in Revenge of the Sith.
However, the vehicles and ships still maintain a segmented, " trustworthy, built by humans like us " look and are colorful and friendly-looking. At the end of the film, the ships are repainted gray, becoming fully this trope. The Galactic Empire maintains the interior sleek and shiny, while on the outside it retains the basic shape the ships had at the time at the Republic, only making it more streamlined and monolithic , composed of basic geometric shapes : triangles, hexagons, rectangles and spheres reminiscent of Soviet and, even more so, Yugoslavian brutalist architecture.
They also change the color scheme to dull gray, sinister black and bone-white. The Rebel Alliance mostly has worn-out equipment at their disposal. A notable example are the Y-Wing bombers which are stripped of their plating and in much worse shape than they were at the time of the Clone Wars. The Alliance's and later the Resistance's capital ships have every bit the same amount of futuristic polish that the Empire uses, but paired with a more rounded, less-threatening exterior style.
Airstrike Impossible : The Rebels and their successor the Resistance sure love flying into extremely dangerous spaces to destroy anti-planet weapons: In A New Hope , Luke and his wingmen dive into the Death Star's trench to fire proton torpedoes into the exhaust port, with the explanation for the tactic being that the port's shielded from above. In The Empire Strikes Back , the Rebel's snow speeders lack the firepower to take down the Imperial AT-AT walkers , so they opt for firing tow cables and flying circles around the walkers which are trying to shoot the speeders down, mind to trip the walkers.
The Force Awakens uses a combination of the above two, with Poe flying through the trench of Starkiller Base with his wingmen and then flying into the weapon itself to destroy the oscillator and destabilize the weapon and the planet it's built into. Rogue One has Blue Squadron diving through an opening in a planet's forcefield, in order to provide air support and reinforcements for Rogue One's commando raid on the Imperial data storage facility.
The entire squadron is destroyed in the battle. They succeed, but at the cost of all the bombers and most of the fighters. Aliens Speaking English : Subverted. Many aliens speak their own languages, and it is not unusual to see multilingual conversations where a human speaks English and the alien speaks a different language. This is also why C-3PO is fluent in over six million forms of communication.
All According to Plan : Many bad guys throughout the franchise use this phrase, most notably the Emperor. All Gravity Is the Same : Ubiquitous. For example, Mustafar , where the climax of Revenge of the Sith takes place, is six times larger than Starkiller Base from The Force Awakens , and yet characters move as freely on Mustafar as they do on Starkiller Base despite the much higher gravity. Alliterative Title : Not within themselves individually, but the titles of all three trilogy cappers Return of the Jedi , Revenge of the Sith , The Rise of Skywalker start with a word that has "R" as first letter.
Following their acquisition of the franchise, Lucasfilm declared that all of the Expanded Universe comics and novels along with the micro-series and video games released before April 25, are non-canon , and all future material and the six films and The Clone Wars are canon. But the old content will still be available, in effect falling into an alternative continuity known as Star Wars Legends. Many additional calendars exist as well, most of which are only used by one planet or at most one solar system.
Wookiepedia lists over ten. Yeah, nice going there! Amusing Alien : Many appear in the various works, but Jar-Jar Binks is the most known and most visible example. Anachronic Order : Star Wars could qualify as the king of this trope. First, we have the Prequel Trilogy, which were released 16 years after the Original Trilogy. The Clone Wars actually qualifies thrice , at least in the first two and a half seasons. The majority of the episodes featured in the aforementioned seasons were aired and released anachronically — with two of them taking place before the pilot movie. Then there's the installment's revival season, which is produced after the conclusion of Rebels. The sequel trilogy — probably the only entries in the franchise post-OT to be aired in proper order both in their numbering scheme AND in Real Life time were released in , , and This isn't even getting into the novels, comics, video games, and other media that the franchise has spawned — not to mention future material.
Also happens to various other characters for non-lightsaber related reasons. Ancient Astronauts : Ancient Ewok legend recalls them being visited by a "golden god", who is implied to be a protocol droid, and certainly not C-3PO. Anger Is Not Enough : This is the whole philosophy of the old Jedi Order, who believe that while anger and The Dark Side of The Force in general is a quick and easy way to a lot of power, true mastery of the Force which far exceeds the potency of the Dark Side requires temperance and self-control. Even for the Sith, and Dark Side Force-Users in general, pure anger and other raw emotions only take you so far. True masters of the Dark Side have to learn to yoke the raw power of their emotions with a clarity of thought.
A berserker -esque Darth Maul type might be a physical threat to two or three Jedi at a time, but a cold, cruel, calculating Darth Sidious type can bring the galaxy to its knees without ever touching a lightsaber. Animal-Themed Fighting Style : The Jedi teach distinct forms of lightsaber combat, each named after a creature whose overall nature it emulates. Form I, called Shii-Cho or the Way of the Sarlacc, is the oldest and simplest and employs a stubborn and direct approach to combat, emulating the ambush predator's great patience. Form II, called Makashi or the Way of the Ysalamiri, is primarily used for lightsaber duels and employs deliberate, precise and elegant strikes over power and strength, seeking to disarm and tire out foes.
It is named after creatures know for, among other things, their stubborn tenacity. Form III, called Soresu or the Way of the Mynock, is primarily defensive and especially effective against blaster fire. It is named after the creatures' skill in avoiding attacks. Form IV, called Ataru or the Way of the Hawk-Bat, is a very aggressive form useful against single opponents and which makes extensive use of acrobatics and jumps, emulating the swift aerial predator it's named after. Form V, called Shien, Djem So or the Way of the Krayt Dragon, uses a combination of powerful attacks and defenses immediately followed by aggressive counterstrikes, emulating the ferocious reptilian titans that rule the deserts of Tatooine.
Form VI, called Niman or the Way of the Rancor, is a Jack-of-All-Trades form that combines the previous ones into a synthesis that lacks strong advantages but also significant weaknesses. Form VII, called Juyo or the Way of the Vornskr, is an extremely aggressive form that uses a constant barrage of ferocious, erratic attacks to unbalance opponents; it is named after a species of cunning and vicious pack predators. It has a variant, Vaapad, that employs attacks that are too fast, furious and omnidirectional to count or react to; in the Star Wars Legends continuity, this is named after an eponymous predator whose tentacles strike too fast to be countered unless the creature is dead.
Anti-Gravity : Arbitrarily employed with wanton abandon, yet seemingly at random. Things as small as camera drones and as large as entire cities float around and nobody seems to find it weird that, for example, there are floating landing platforms for spaceships which you need yet another repulsorlift-equipped vehicle to get to and from. Anyone Can Die : If the franchise wants you dead, no matter who you are, you die. This is especially prevalent with a character from a previous trilogy. The Apprentice : The Jedi Order is founded on the concept of apprenticeship, with students Padawan trained primarily by a single Jedi Master before taking on the rank of Jedi Knight, then going on to take an apprentice themselves.
The Sith use a variant: there is always a single master and a single apprentice in the Galaxy at any time, with the principle that the apprentice will eventually seek to overcome his master and will either succeed or die in the attempt. Though if the Expanded Universe is to be believed, there have been certain eras throughout Sith history where Sith apprenticeship mirrored that of the Jedi counterparts to an extent. Multiple masters trained apprentices, though the Sith ideology remained the same Arbitrarily Large Bank Account : Exactly how the Jedi Order is funded is a complete mystery. Their temple on Coruscant was quite spectacular and they have lots of cool starships and other toys.
Also, for some reason, nobody seems to question how the late Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas was supposedly able to order up an entire clone army and fleet of warships without anyone noticing some kind of budget appropriation. For that matter, the Empire itself. Legions of stormtroopers, the largest warships seen in the galaxy up until that time, thousands of disposable TIE Fighters, orbital weapons platforms, and two moon-sized planet-killing space stations.
What budget crisis? Deleted scenes, such as the one with Luke and Biggs at Tosche Station, implies that the Empire seized several businesses and nationalized whole industries to build a permanent war economy. And considering they rule over an entire galaxy of multiple inhabited planets with all its resources, they were able to tap into a big pool. Lando Calrissian in The Empire Strikes Back when expositing about Cloud City, describes it as a neutral hub of businessmen trying to escape the Empire's policies.
Skeptics in the New Republic doubt that the First Order is threat because they are supposedly nothing but a bunch of poorly-funded fanatics — who hollowed out a planet and turned it into a weapon whole orders of magnitude more powerful than the Death Stars! The Last Jedi does provide some explanation in the Canto Bight sequence. It's a playground for the oligarchs of the galaxy who are revealed to have funded the First Order and the Resistance. Averted with the Separatists, who are able to put up the kind of fight they do against the Republic because they are primarily made up of massive tech conglomerates and trade guilds, and in Legends at least their leader Count Dooku is the most wealthy man in the galaxy Archaic Weapon for an Advanced Age : Lightsabers.
As noted by stunt coordinator Nick Gillard in a DVD featurette for Attack of the Clones , "[the Jedi have] chosen a sword in a time of, you know, laser guns , so they'd better be damn good with it. Anyone else who tries to use a lightsaber is more likely to dice himself into neat chunks. Arc Words : "I've got a bad feeling about this. And, of course: "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away Expanded Universe material somewhat justifies this in that the TIE is extremely cheap to manufacture, and the Empire is depending on their overwhelming numbers rather than their sturdiness. Pilots are also relatively easy to come by in a galaxy this well-populated. This can be inconvenient in space An odd example as it's unclear where the name "Ben" comes from; it's certainly not likely to fool any Imperials who come knocking.
The EU stated that he once used the disguise of Ben and liked it so much he kept using it. Artificial Script : Aurebesh is a fictional alphabet used to transcribe "Galactic Basic," which is Star Wars ' equivalent to spoken English. Ascended Extra : With how much Expanded Universe material is being written, we're well on our way to every single background character from the films getting names and thorough backstories. The winners for this are Wedge Antilles and Boba Fett. Ascended Fridge Horror : Although Return of the Jedi vaguely seems to imply that defeating the Emperor defeated the Empire see this article for why it wouldn't the both the non-canonical Star Wars Legends and the distant sequel The Force Awakens make it clear that the Empire left behind strong remnants that continued to wage war on the Alliance to Restore the Republic.
Although if you keep watching, you'll notice that the four snowspeeders line up in a straight line, curve to the right as a group, and then split into pairs to take out two walkers. Presumably the split is where they get the name "delta". The Star Wars Expanded Universe portrays "Attack Pattern Delta" in this context as referring to advancing in single file and then peeling off at the last minute, to present a smaller target to the AT-AT's relatively clumsy weapons. See the article on Wookieepedia. The Expanded Universe has quite a collection of these. One of the Star Wars arcade games treats Attack Pattern Delta as an offensive action, where three snowspeeders concentrate their fire on a single point in an enemy's armor.
Repeatedly parodied, usually taking the form of "Attack Pattern Delta consists of flying straight at the enemy in the only direction they can actually shoot back". Author Appeal : Much of the film with its fondness for cool spaceships which can be tricked and tuned up like hot rods is a result of Lucas' own passion for fast cars. The Jedi and its mystic nature, as well as the Empire and their battleships are a result of his own passion for war movies, samurai movies, and Eastern mysticism. Author Catchphrase : Characters will frequently utter "I've got a bad feeling about this" right before a situation goes south.
A New Hope : Luke says it before entering the Death Star, and Han Solo repeats it just before the walls of the trash compactor start to crush him. The Empire Strikes Back : As Leia and Han walk out into a dark meteor to investigate a loud noise, Leia mouths off the phrase just before an alien pest attacks her. An act later, Han Solo repeats it as the Ewoks carry him off to be burned alive. The Phantom Menace : This is Obi-Wan's first line, as he feels something unusual and elusive vaguely related to the mission he and Qui-Gon are sent on. Attack of the Clones : Anakin mentions the bad feeling he has as three giant monsters are released into the arena to eat him and his chained friends.
Revenge of the Sith : At the end of the opening dogfight scene, Obi-Wan repeats the phrase as he and Anakin fly into a spaceship as it's doors begin to close. The Force Awakens : Han Solo gets another shot at the phrase when the Rathtars are released on his ship. Rogue One : Subverted Trope. K2-SO gets halfway through "this" before his friends tell him to shut up, on account of the fact that they're trying to sneak into an enemy base. Poe's reply of "Happy beeps, buddy! Happy beeps! Solo : Inverted as Han says "I have a very good feeling about this. Author Usurpation : With the exception of Indiana Jones , Star Wars was so successful that most people don't know or care about any of the other movies George Lucas made.
Awesome, but Impractical : Super Star Destroyers. They're very powerful, but they can still be destroyed by a less expensive fleet. It's outright stated that their purpose is psychological warfare; you can build a bigger fleet for the same cost, but nothing inspires the same amount of terror as a Super Star Destroyer showing up on your doorstep. Regular Star Destroyers certainly make a strong impression, but they fall into being a warship version of Master of None. Part battleship, part fighter carrier, and part troop transport, they aren't a proper match for most ships that are dedicated to a specific area of focus.
EU works explain that this is because conventional Imperial military thinking viewed Star Destroyers as mobile fortresses. They're overbuilt like they are because the intent was that they operate independently and police entire star systems singlehandedly. As the Rebellion moved more into open combat against the Empire rather than an insurgency, the flaws in the Star Destroyer design became more apparent. Any planet-destroying superweapons may it be a Death Star or Starkiller Base definitely isn't worth the time and resources. While a superweapon can instantly wipe out an entire planet, the charge times for the main weapon is lethargic, the movement speed is slow, and the cost in manpower and supplies is expensive.
Not to mention the significant loss in personnel and resources if destroyed the first Death Star had a complement of 2 million on board. Even their psychological potential is considered ineffective as the destruction of Alderaan by the first Death Star only increased Rebellion support by inciting outrage instead of fear. The worst part is that a destroyed planet can't even be harvested for its resources, whereas a orbital bombardment or planetary occupation would avoid unnecessary collateral damage and ensure that the intact planet is still usable.
Lightsabers, deliberately so. While deadly in the hands of a Jedi or Sith, to anyone who lacks a Jedi or Sith's discipline, training, and command of the Force, they're too difficult to use and dangerous to their user to make them practical.