Revealing mistake: When Gold Leader enters the Death Star trench, there's a shot from his cockpit. When Luke, Wedge and Biggs enter the trench later, the same shot is used again. This can be seen from a flash of light accompanied by the sound of a shot, followed by three green laserbolts, then another flash/shot and more laserbolts.
Continuity mistake: When Luke first tries his father's lightsaber in Ben's house, it has a blue color but when he is practising on the Millennium falcon, it now has a white or sometimes light blue color. It has nothing to do with lighting because light sabers always have a bright color in the rest of the movie, even in the darkness.
Continuity mistake: When the rebel leaders are studying the tactical illustration of the Death Star, the superlaser's dish is positioned on the battle station's equator. The Death Star's dish is actually offset from its equator, in the station's northern hemisphere. This was because the early CGI used to create the tactical readout of the plans took so long to make that by the time it was finished, the Death Star's design had been changed to offset the superlaser dish, and due to 1970s technology, there was no time left before the movie's release to change the plans, which were accurate to an earlier design of the station.
Continuity mistake: When Luke and his uncle buy C3-P0 and a white-and-red R5-D4 robot from the Jawas, the R5 unit blows up after travelling a few feet. There's a quick shot of R2-D2 back at the Jawa's transport, and behind R2 you can see the same white-and-red R5-D4 unit being worked on by the Jawas. In the next shot it is back over with Luke. (00:19:15)
Continuity mistake: In the trash compactor, as Han says, "I've got a bad feeling about this", Leia's arm is held straight, but in the next shot, it is bent. (01:18:15)
Other mistake: Just before Darth Vader enters the Blockade Runner, there are some kind of tiny white-green lasers in the air. They are sometimes in line with the normal red ones. The stormtroopers and the security guards of Leia are both using red lasers, so there is no reason to see green ones.
Continuity mistake: When Luke returns after dinner, he comes back and finds C-3PO hiding. When Luke finds out that R2-D2 is gone, he runs out of the room and outside. But you see the stairs he runs up to get outside. When you see Luke arrive and takes out the micro-binoculars C-3PO is right behind him. There is no way that C-3PO is that quick to keep up with a younger Luke. What did he do run?
Continuity mistake: Just after the scene where R2-D2 is riding shotgun on Luke's X-Wing fighter and is hit by a shot from Darth Vader, there's a shot of C3-PO standing beside Leia in the rebel HQ, and the dent on C3-PO's head is on the right side (it's on the left side throughout the rest of the movie). (01:56:20)
Audio problem: [Special Edition only] In the scene where Luke and Leia swings across the missing bridge, a number of the shots fired by Leia are "bangs" instead of the laser "zap" sound. The bang is probably from the prop gun used (it shot blanks) and was never dubbed over (until the 2004 DVD release).
Continuity mistake: The microphone on Red Leader's helmet switches from one side of his face to the other, then back again as he pulls out of the Death Star trench (just before he crashes). (Actually the entire shot is mirrored. Check out the scuff marks on the centre of his helmet, they change direction as well.) Other shots and pilots' mics switch too: Red Leader when he says, "All wings, report in", Wedge after a shot of Leia and C-3PO monitoring the battle, Luke when Red Leader says, "There's a lot of fire coming from the right side of that deflection tower" and when Luke says, "I'm hit, but not bad".