Star Wars A new hope Save the Cat beat sheet


Star Wars Save the Cat beat sheet

Opening image

Tiny rebel ship verses the might of the gigantic Empire

Theme Stated

“Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope”

The situation is dire, a hero is needed before all is lost.

Set up

Two droids escape with plans and land on the same planet as Luke, the farmer


Buys two droids which have a hidden message


“You can waste time with your friends once your chores are done”

Obi Wan asks him to learn the ways of the Jedi but he refuses

Break into Two

Mos Eisley Space port. Luke is completely out of his element. Criminals want to fight him and they have to negotiate a deal with a smuggler.

B story

Luke yearns for adventure at the start of the film and meets Han Solo who lives a life of adventure but Luke believe his morals and ethics are corrupt. Han thinks he’s just a farm boy. They don’t respect each other. Ultimately they will earn each other’s respect. Han will display he is a moral character to Luke and Luke will prove he’s not just some stupid farm boy “Great shot kid that was one in a million”

Fun and Games

Escape tattooine, make Hyperspace, begins Jedi training, Alderaan destroyed,


Captured by death star

Bad guys close in

Leia is to be killed,  They rescue her and barely escape the pursuit by the storm troopers

All is lost

Ben commits a form of seppuku and allows Vader to strike a fatal blow.

Dark night of the soul

Whilst Luke mourns the death of his mentor he must fight an attack of tie fighters and the Empire is tracking them. “It will be a day long remembered, it has seen the end of Obi Wan, it will soon see the end of the rebellion.”

Break into three

After analyzing the plans they devise an attack which requires a near impossible shot from an x-wing. Ticking clock introduced here in the form of the death star coming into range from behind Planet Yavin

Gathering the team

Pilots board their X wings, Artoo installed on board, Han asked to join but refuses. All fighters call in, Red five standing by.

Executing plan

Dog fights with tie fighters over the death star and attempts at making the shot on the exhaust port. It’s not easy and rebels are killed, Luke is nearly killed twice

High tower surprise

The team leader makes the shot but it just impacts on the surface (No Princess – the symbolic reward) and then he’s killed

Dig down deep

Luke has to step up and be the one who makes the shot. He loses his wingmen and Artto and is the Rebels only hope.

Execution of new plan

Use the force Luke. He’s going to attempt the shot without targeting computers. Han shoots the fighters on Luke’s tail and Luke makes the shot.

Final Image

Luke has been transformed into the honored hero and the rebellion rejoices


The Empire strikes back/Return of the Jedi Breakdown






5 Replies to “Star Wars A new hope Save the Cat beat sheet”

  1. Your midpoint is wrong, just so you know. The midpoint of this movie is Luke training to use the force because an Up midpoint is where the Hero has seemingly achieved their goal, followed by the Reveal which is Alderaan being destroyed, followed by the Reversal which is the Death Star pulling them in.
    You have the midpoint listed as a Down, which is supposed to be followed by an Up if it’s a Down and not an Up like 99% of all movies, though your example is lacking, and you have your midpoint followed by the Death Star sucking in their ship, another Down but which is actually the Reversal (which starts the Bad Guys Close In because the Hero and/or Team MUST enter the Villain’s world/territory at this point), well that only proves the midpoint is an Up because that Up is then followed by a Down reversal, which is the Death Star tractor beam.
    And the All Is Lost is NOT Obi Wan’s sacrifice but the Team facing death in the trash compactor. If you didn’t know, the ‘Crisis’ is made up of 5 stages, Villain Attacks-All Is Lost-Rescue From Without-Whiff Of Death (which can also be accompanied by a 2nd rescue form without, which Star Wars does, though these are not always in this order) & -Dark Debate.
    The All Is Lost is a moment when the goal now seems impossible, and losing Obi Wan does not make the goal seem impossible, but the entire team being crushed to death in the trash compactor does. At this point the PLANS are the most important thing, and losing them (which would happen if the entire team is dead) would destroy achieving the goal, NOT losing Obi wan.
    Obi Wan’s death is actually a Boon because without it Luke never would’ve been able to receive the needed push (inspiration) and thus make the “Use the force, Luke!” shot to destroy the Death Star later at the end.
    You also have several stages wrong and others missing. The Inciting Interest (yes, Interest, NOT Incident)((the mini-‘catalyst before the real, big & personal catalyst)) is Luke first hearing the message. You are missing the RefusED where Luke expresses his wishes but is denied by his uncle, you forgot the Opportunity where Obi Wan asks Luke to join him, then Luke Refuses, though Half-Commits (which is another necessary step)((1st someone refuses FOR the Hero, then the Hero refuses themselves)) and the Suffering Push is missing after the Hero refuses where something personal happens that forces them to choose to act, which is Luke finding his aunt and uncle killed.
    There’s more, obviously, but now i’m bored ;-P

    1. Thanks James for posting such a long comment. Some people just read and move on. Obviously Star Wars was written before Save the Cat so it’s not possible for George Lucas to have used it as a structural reference. Often things will be out and points can be discussed. I looked up Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat website and they also have a very thorough breakdown of Star Wars. So I’m assuming that would be the official breakdown. It also lists the All is Lost moment as Obi Wan being cut down and the Mid point being captured by the Death Star. It’s here if you want to have a look at it.

      I look at Star Wars from the perspective that the PLANS aren’t the most important thing. The PLANS are the MacGuffin, the most important thing is Luke enduring a variety of challenges and crises where he goes from being a farm boy to a hero who saves the rebellion. Maybe that’s why the All is Lost moments differs.

      I also tried to google The Inciting Interest but couldn’t find any listing for it. I couldn’t find the term Dark Debate associated with Save the Cat either. Did you attend a workshop or something where they used these?

      I’ve also done a breakdown of Star Wars which follows the Hero’s Journey and another one which follows John Truby’s 22 steps to story. Which you may find make interesting reading and flesh out any points you felt were missed.

  2. James, after reading your comment I wonder how old you are because it was all at once childish, ignorant and just plain wrong. You obviously have very little understanding of Save the Cat and probably screenwriting in general. I teach a class in screenwriting and this site is an extremely valuable resource for both myself and my students.

  3. The only part I would question is the catalyst beat. I could be wrong….wouldn’t be the first time, but wouldn’t you say the moment Luke’s uncle and aunt is more of a catalyst beat.

    1. The Catalyst is something that happens to the hero fairly early on the story to kick things off. Often there is some sort of rejection of this catalyst, he’s too young, too afraid, not ready etc. Then later in Act one there is an event which makes the hero cast aside his fears and go all in. The death of Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru is the event which makes Luke take the the leap into the world of Act two. He doesn’t respond to it with the debate stage, instead he says “There’s nothing here for me now. I want to come with you and learn the ways of the Jedi like my father.”

      I’ve also broken down Star Wars using John Truby’s 22 steps and the Hero’s journey

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