Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977)

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Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977)

Post by Admin on Thu Oct 01, 2015 3:49 pm



What genre is this movie? What characteristics and genre conventions have you found during the screening? Please post pictures or clips to support your comments, if available.

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Re: Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977)

Post by HarryStyles on Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:52 pm

Star Wars IV: A New Hope is one of the focal films which formed the convention of the modern day “Sci Fi” film alongside Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Solaris” by Tarkovsky. It seems George Lucas took inspiration from these two films but as they were deemed to be slow paced, Lucas starts Star Wars with a descriptive epilogue, which then allows the viewer to be thrown straight into the action.
 
Even though the genre of Star Wars is Sci Fi, there are other genres that are used in certain characters such as Han Solo as he is a strong leading character who also carries a gun; these are conventions of the Western genre. This theme is replicated in the binary oppositions between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader; this is shown through Luke wearing generally light clothing and Darth Vader wearing all black. Another binary opposition between Luke and Vader is their name as Darth sounds like “Dark” which has connotations of evilness whereas “Skywalker” has the word “Sky” which is “light” and has connotations of hope. This “Light vs Dark” theme also runs in the “force” that the Jedi’s use where there is a “dark side of the force”. Another contrast between Luke and Vader is the colour of their lightsabers; Luke’s is blue which has reflects the “sky” in his name and also blue is a very natural and pure colour however Vader’s is red which is typically associated with danger.
 
Many of main characters in “A New Hope” are extra terrestrial creatures which obeys to the conventions of a Sci fi film as Chewbacca is a bear like creature who could be said is Han Solo’s sidekick therefore are accepted into their world. C3PO and R2D2 are robots who assisted Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker and are the only characters that appear in every movie of the Star Wars legacy. The special effects of the spaceships and planets are visually incredible as Lucas had a large budget and looks really and not done on CGI this is because Lucas wanted to make the film look as real as possible therefore used real costumes instead of CGI for the non-human characters therefore they actually are real. Other conventions of Sci Fi films is the high technology, the props show the technology in Star Wars due to the lasers and touchpads on the spacecraft and the lightsabers that the Jedi’s use.
 
Star Wars’ genre is predominantly a Science Fiction but Lucas has intertwined other genres into it such as the western and action and this linking of genres has formed a convention that all the Sci Fi films this day included such as extra terrestrial life, time and galaxies far far away.

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Re: Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977)

Post by Gym&Groceries on Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:08 pm

Whether or not you have seen it, almost everybody is aware of the film that started one of the biggest Sci-Fi franchises of all time. Star Wars (which was later retitled Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope) was released in 1977 and directed by George Lucas in which was only his third directed film. It was also the first film that he not only directed and wrote but was also the executive producer.
This film (and the whole Star Wars franchise) is synonymous with Science Fiction and modern cinema and is referenced many times in popular culture. Despite it being almost 40 years of age, the practical effects used the film still keep up with today’s modern and computerized effects and have been seen as revolutionary. It was also the highest grossing film of all time until 1983’s E.T. the Extra Terrestrial.
The film contains many now-popular stereotypes. It was one of the first mainstream films that utilized the effects of the time and used them to show completely different and new worlds. This opened Lucas’ creativity to a whole new level as he could easily create new creatures & species as well as new weapons & transport. The ‘lightsaber’ has became a part of popular culture and one of the most easily recognisable. It was these creative decisions that helped earn Star Wars a $775 million profit worldwide.
The opening scene features the now famous ‘crawling’ text, which gives the audience an introduction to Star Wars and some context towards the narrative. As the text begins to go off the screen, the orchestral music begins to fade out and the camera pans down to a planet (the fictional Tatoonie). The soundtrack is then replaced by the sound of engines from the ‘Star Destroyers’ and quick paced dramatic music. which enter at the top of the shot. This wide-angle view displays the full setting of this opening, and showing a planet with a moon nearby would at first be thought to be Earth and the moon. With this one shot, we can already see this alternative universe Lucas has created and we already have some knowledge of narrative. The first two characters we actually see are C3-PO and R2 D2 who are not actually main protagonist and are instead just side characters or ‘sidekicks’. These two characters are very unique as they are ‘droids’. Within the first three minutes, not only have we seen fictional planets and spaceships, but also fictional beings.
This is followed by the ‘Stormtroopers’ coming onto the Rebel ship. This short fight sequence shows some of the practical effects and sounds of the laser guns used. The actual Stormtrooper armour/uniform is also very unique and had never really been seen before in cinema. There are multiple low angle shots of the Stormtroopers which could be seen as a viewpoint of the downed Rebels who now look up to these superior fighters. This leads onto the reveal of the main antagonist ‘Darth Vader’. This is the entrance of one of the most iconic antagonist in film history. There is a medium shot and the use of smoke, as well as low loud soundtrack. As Darth Vader actually enters, there is a low sound of a gong which leads into a deep orchestral sound. The corridor of the spaceship is also mainly white as are the Stormtroopers, when Vader enters the shot he is seen as the only black figure which makes him immediately stand out from those around him, as well as the actually setting. This helps the audience understand that this figure is in a different and superior position to those previously seen. There are then medium close up shots of Vader leading the Stormtroopers into the ship further.
We then see the first main protagonist character, Princess Leia. The first shot we get of her is a medium close shot of her peering around a corner and removing a hood to reveal her full face. She then goes back out of shot and is not seen again for a good few minutes. She becomes the first main character actually shown to audience. However there is a enigma created and a mystery and makes the audience question why she is there and more importantly how is she there.
This scene is important to me as I believe it is one of the most iconic scenes in the Star Wars franchise. I find it intriguing that it is the opening scene and yet none of the main protagonist are actually properly shown. The closest we get to is Princess Leia who doesn’t actually have any dialogue in this scene. I believe that Lucas decided to ‘hide’ the other protagonists (Luke Skywalker and Han Solo) to help establish the setting at the theme of the film overall. We as the audience immediately understand the genre of the film within the first few minutes and opening shots. This is achieved by showing the alternate reality that features which makes this a formative structure as this shows a completely different reality and is a way of escapism for the audience.
The creative decisions in these Star Wars films made it one of the most successful and popular franchises of all time. It also helped launch the careers of Mark Hamil (Luke Skywalker), Harrison Ford (Han Solo) and Carrie Fisher (Leia) whom all have only received small roles in previous titles.

The whole mise en scene of the franchise became very popular and easy to distinguish and become recognisable, even to those fairly unaware of the films. Many of the props and setting have been parodied since or copied in some manner making it one of the all time greats.

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Re: Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977)

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