Longread: Star Wars – A Family At War

Introduction
 

At first, George Lucas probably didn’t know what kind of impact his science-fiction epic saga on Star Wars in the late 70s. As it was rejected so many times, the Fox Company already know what a disaster it would be. But fortunate enough everyone involved was wrong and now it’s one of the largest film franchises ever in cinematic history. It has something that revolutionized our way to watch sci-fi, Kubrick did some in the 1960s, but Star Wars was authentic for everyone who hasn’t been seeing this before. There is something in the first movie that introduces the audience to another theme, another world that everybody wants to be part of.  Since the computer wasn’t totally introduced on the market yet, it has some flaws. Therefore, they did it all with practical effects and miniature models that were enhanced with details and a structure that filmmakers apply to their work present day.  The film contains one of the major twists in the whole saga, as it brings out in the third and final act of the sequel from 1980–that the antagonist Anakin Skywalker aka Darth Vader would be more accurate as the main characters Luke and Leia biological father. This was probably a major twist that reveals in the second movie but since the prequel was released and produced the plot twist lost its point with the Empire Strikes Back. The whole saga contains together as a whole story or an epic saga that is in political conflict with each other. And now Lucasfilm has been bought by the Disney and the war is going on even longer.

 Theme
 

Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)

There is a civil war in the galaxy. The empire led by Darth Vader tries to take over the galaxy. Princess Leia has with the rebellion stolen the plans for the new and dangerous death star, that are capable to destroy whole planets. At the same time – Luke is losing his uncle at his home planet; he teams up with the Jedi-knight Obi-Wan Kenobi and the pilot Han-solo to save princess Leia from the empire and destroy the death star so the peace in the galaxy can be saved.

The first scene in the film suddenly captures you as an audience. The crawl at the beginning of each film in the series appears to have no point at the beginning but after re-watching it, it’s an iconic way to tell begin a Star Wars – film including a Skywalker. The crawl shares a conflict and sense a tone, which is necessary considering how the whole film begins as there is a big battle where the dark lord Vader enters the ship and tries to bring back the Death Star – schematic, that the rebellion stole from the Empire first at Scarif (it explains further in Rouge One (2016)).   At first, we might see a long, tall man with a lightsaber fighting against rebels and a woman, Leia, puts a disc in a droid. And her action is the solution to why Luke Skywalker can destroy the Death Star, the droid, R2-D2, is followed by a communication droid, C-3PO, in gold that speaks and responds directly to.

Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back (1980)

There is no denying that Empire Strikes Back, has the most impact on its audience. It’s a sequel to A New Hope and takes place three years after. The Death Star is destroyed, and the Galactic Empire attempts to hunt down the rebels under the leadership of Vader. Just as Vader tracks down Leia, Han-Solo, and others, Luke discovers the true capacity of the force as he studies it under Jedi Master Yoda.  When his friends are captured, Luke must then decide if he should complete his training or confront Vader.

 The fate of the father-son relationship between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker is revealed which is considered to be one of the mainstream film’s major shocks. This major reveal is led up by a romantic relationship between Leia and Han, just as a large battle on the ice planet Hoth. By the end, Han Solo gets captured by Lando Calrissian who has plotted a swindle against his friends for the benefit of Lord Darth Vader, which takes place in Bespin, the Cloud City.

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983)

With his friends and sister Leia, Luke plans to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt. Leia gets enslaved and Lando is a guard in disguise. Luke, after training with Yoda, returns as a Jedi – just like the film title implies. Afterward, Luke, Han, and Chewbacca, get sentenced to death by a pit monster – Sarlacc. Now, the bounty hunter Boba Fett attempts to attack Luke. But as Han is temporarily blinded, successfully kills Boba Fett. Leia strangles Jabba the Hutt to death. Afterward, the group escapes. Yoda confirms, just before he dies, that Darth Vader is Luke’s Father. The ghost of the dead Kenobi also implies that the other one is Leia, Luke’s sister. The Rebels find out that the Galactic Empire is building a second Death Star, with an energy shield. Lando eventually blows up the Death Star together with the Rebels. Luke gets rescued from the Emperor by Darth Vader, who doesn’t want to sacrifice his son.  Darth Vader is mortally injured in the process to the moment when he dies peacefully. When Leia tells Han that Luke is her brother, they kiss. As they announce a victory, for the victory on Endor, they bury Vader and Luke have three ghosts of his former mentors watching over him.

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Characters

Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)

Just like Dorothy in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz or Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit, Luke Skywalker on Tatooine in Star Wars is a reference to our ordinary world. They feel like they don’t belong there or are a mismatch in the fictional universe. From when the moment when Luke finds out that his aunt and uncle are dead, he’s ready to attend the quest or adventure. Just like Lord of the Rings, Star Wars has some supernatural aid too, that comes in handy when in need, that includes a magical and powerful ring or a lightsaber.

 But as for the villain who’s rather inactive most of the film, you barely see Darth Vader also known as Anakin Skywalker, in the film even if he is a central point. He has a powerful agenda yet he can’t stand his ground. Therefore, he is a static character. There is no denying that George Lucas shapes Vader as an archetypical Black knight. You’ll notice it by his black clothes, he is powerful, carries his weapon, and is a central villain in Luke – the hero’s tale.[3]

 Even though Leia Organa or Han Solo, these characters don’t have as much depth as needed. Each character is constructed as a stereotype, with some humility developing. The Saga centers around Luke, Leia, and Anakin. Just as Luke and Anakin are static and relentless characters, Princess Leia Organa shows her willpower. That she doesn’t take orders from someone else, even if she is captured by the main villain in the saga.  The use of an old mentor in these heroes’ tales is not a secret. J. R. R. Tolkien provided it already with the Lord of the Rings, with Gandalf as the company’s and the hero’s mentor. Those who have already seen the prequels know the main story of Obi-Wan Kenobi. And just like in the epic tale about Frodo’s journey to Mount Doom, Kenobi sacrifices as well to the evil power surrounding the hero’s world. The Bridge of Kazadum in the mountain was the place where Gandalf sacrifice himself for the sake of the company, Kenobi does it likewise toward the end of A New Hope.

Symbolism

The symbolism in the first three films, a not hidden well as it shows several allegories about Second World War. That the whole Galactic Empire, the rise, and fall, is a pure parallel to Hitler’s Third Reich. It’s probably not news for those listening to this, but it’s interesting that the stormtroopers are a symbol for the Nazi army, that Darth Vader has some likeness of the leader from Imperial Japan and there are even those who argue that Yoda has a facial and personality after Albert Einstein, based on their with and intelligence.

 Genre

The whole aspect of the George Lucas family sci-fi fantasy is a space opera with a science-fiction setting. But is it really a science-fiction film? George Lucas has said that “Star Wars isn’t a science-fiction film, it’s a fantasy film and a space opera.” which is odd cause it feels like a science-fiction film, but the criteria for that aren’t enough.

The Constant War

 The Impact on the film industry

The impact of Star Wars itself a cultural phenomenon, an instant classic, and a milestone in storytelling and filmmaking, is immersive that it’s still a talking point years after 1977. What made the story and the film so passionate, probably for those living in the 1970s is that is connects generations and it’s a blockbuster that few don’t know about. Despite the failed directing from Lucas, the over-used budget, and the hand-crafted stop-motion work embedded in the film, which is maybe it’s why the film holds as one of the better family-oriented hero stories in space. It colonized space and created its whole universe, which Disney still earning cash on. The quote from the Skywalker Saga is almost infinite.

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The effect on the whole film industry shows that the passion the filmmakers put into their works makes them worthwhile. It’s reported that George Lucas did foresee the immersive success the first film would have. He was broken. Everyone was broke at the time. He took a mortgage on the house, to finance the film. Technical cameras were not invented yet, so they had to invent the products to use. Everything was almost groundbreaking in certain terms of this film. At least, according to DisneyPlus documentaries detailing the work, it also shows the dedication of the film and the effort of making the first film good. And it tells. The whole stories continue afterward. However, George Lucas capitalized on merchandise products from the films, making him rich. The film changed the industry in how to make a film, how to earn cash on merch, and how to tell a story of a good and a bad team set in space.

The Star Wars original trilogy, consisting of Episode IV: A New Hope, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, and Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, is renowned for its iconic characters, thrilling action, and epic storytelling. However, beneath the surface of these films lies a rich tapestry of themes that explore some of the most fundamental human experiences and emotions.

One of the most prominent themes in the original trilogy is the struggle between good and evil. The battle between the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire represents a classic struggle between good and evil, with the Empire standing for tyranny and oppression, and the Rebels fighting for freedom and justice. This struggle is personified in the characters of Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, with Luke representing the hero fighting for good, and Darth Vader representing the embodiment of evil as the ultimate villain. Another key theme in the original trilogy is the idea of redemption and the power of the individual. Darth Vader, the main antagonist of the series, ultimately redeems himself by sacrificing his own life to save his son, Luke, highlighting the idea that even the evilest of individuals have the capacity for good. This theme is also reflected in the characters of Han Solo and Lando Calrissian, who both go through a journey of personal growth and redemption.

The theme of family and the bonds of friendship are also central to the original trilogy. Luke, Leia, and Han Solo form a powerful bond of friendship, representing the idea that even in the darkest of times, the strength of friendship and the bonds of family can help us overcome any obstacle. The relationship between Luke and Leia, in particular, highlights the importance of family and the bonds of siblings. The theme of destiny and the power of the Force is also central to the original trilogy. The Force is a mystical energy that binds the galaxy together, and the Jedi are its guardians. Luke’s journey to becoming a Jedi Knight is one of self-discovery, as he learns to harness the power of the Force and accept his destiny as a savior of the galaxy. The Star Wars original trilogy is a masterful blend of action, adventure, and storytelling that explores some of the most fundamental human experiences and emotions. The themes of good and evil, redemption and the power of the individual, family, and friendship, and destiny and the power of the Force, all combine to create an epic and enduring tale that continues to resonate with audiences around the world.

Music in Star Wars

Music is an integral part of the film experience, often helping to set the tone, create atmosphere, and convey emotion. One of the most iconic and celebrated film composers of all time is John Williams, who has composed the scores for some of the most iconic films in history, including the Star Wars franchise.

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John Williams began his career in the film industry in the 1950s and has since composed the music for over 100 films. He is best known for his work with director Steven Spielberg, with whom he has collaborated on many films, including Jaws, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and the Indiana Jones series. However, Williams’ most iconic and enduring work is his score for the Star Wars franchise. The Star Wars franchise, created by George Lucas, is renowned for its epic storytelling and iconic characters. Williams’ score for the franchise has become just as iconic as the films themselves, with many of the themes and motifs from the original trilogy becoming synonymous with the Star Wars brand. The main theme of Star Wars is particularly iconic and instantly recognizable and has become one of the most recognizable pieces of music in popular culture.

The score for the original trilogy, as well as the prequel trilogy and the sequel trilogy, is an integral part of the Star Wars experience and helps to create the sense of wonder and adventure that is at the heart of the franchise. Williams’ music perfectly captures the epic scale of the Star Wars universe and the emotions of the characters, making it an essential part of the Star Wars experience. In addition to the main theme, Williams also composed many other memorable pieces of music for the franchise, such as the Imperial March, which is associated with Darth Vader and the Empire, and the Force Theme, which is associated with the Jedi and the Force. All of these themes and motifs have become iconic and have been used in various Star Wars media, from video games to theme park attractions.

In conclusion, John Williams’ score for the Star Wars franchise is an integral part of the film experience and has become one of the most iconic and recognizable pieces of music in popular culture. Williams’ music perfectly captures the epic scale and sense of adventure of the Star Wars universe and helps to create the sense of wonder and emotion that is at the heart of the franchise. His contributions to the franchise are undeniable, and his music will continue to be an important part of the Star Wars experience for generations to come.

 Conclusion

In conclusion, the impact of the Star Wars franchise on the film business has been significant and far-reaching. The original trilogy, released between 1977 and 1983, set the foundation for the franchise and established it as a cultural touchstone. The success of the original trilogy paved the way for multiple sequels, prequels, spin-offs, and merchandise, making it one of the most successful and enduring franchises in film history.

The Star Wars franchise has not only been a financial success but also a creative one, influencing countless other films and media in the decades since its release. The groundbreaking special effects, action sequences, and iconic characters and music have become staples of the industry. The franchise has also played a significant role in the development of modern movie marketing and merchandising. The Star Wars franchise was one of the first to heavily market merchandise alongside the films, and it set the standard for how movies are marketed today.

The franchise’s impact can also be seen in the way it has inspired countless other creators and filmmakers to explore science fiction and fantasy genres and to take risks with their storytelling. The legacy of Star Wars continues to be felt in the film industry today, and it will undoubtedly continue to influence filmmakers and audiences for many years to come. It has set the standard for special effects, action sequences, and movie marketing, and it has inspired countless other creators to explore science fiction and fantasy genres. The franchise is truly one of the most successful and enduring franchises in film history.

The impact of the Star Wars franchise on the film business has been significant and far-reaching. The original trilogy, released between 1977 and 1983, set the foundation for the franchise and established it as a cultural touchstone. The success of the original trilogy paved the way for multiple sequels, prequels, spin-offs, and merchandise, making it one of the most successful and enduring franchises in film history.

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