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The Real Story of Star Wars

Discussion in 'Original Trilogy' started by Kibble, Sep 29, 2014.

  1. Kibble

    Kibble Rebelscum

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    What is Star Wars about, really?

    Well I think that I know. Its about the contrast between the appearance of something and what it truly is. The Force is a symbol, knowledge of the Force - being a Jedi knight - is the wisdom to know when to look passed the superficial. The overarching story of the Trilogy is about the Rebel Alliance fighting the Galactic Empire. After the dissolution of the Imperial Senate, Governor Tarkin tells us that the Death Stars were built so that the Empire would appear indomitable, to keep the other governors from ditching. The goal of the Rebel Alliance is to destroy the Death Stars, and symbolically destroy the legitimacy of the Empire.

    Ben Kenobi appeared to be just a crazy old wizard, the Millennium Falcon appeared to be just a piece of junk, and Han Solo appeared to not care at all for the Rebel cause. Luke Skywalker sees the outside appearance of things. But Ben tries to teach Luke to trust in the Force. He doesn't have the opportunity to tell Luke much, and by the end of the movie Luke did not fully learn the lesson, has not mastered the Force - he is not a Jedi knight. In the end though, after seeing Han Solo return, going against what he appeared to be, Luke decides to trust in the Force, and succeeds in destroying the Death Star.

    In The Empire Strikes Back, the Imperial Walkers appeared to be undefeatable, the space worm appeared to just be a cave, and Cloud City appeared to be safe. The audience gets to see Darth Vader in a position of weakness for the first time - he isn't just the powerful agent of evil portrayed in Star Wars. But most importantly, Luke and the audience gets to learn more about the Force, thru Yoda. At first Yoda appeared to just be a wierd little swamp alien, but he soon reveals that he is a master Jedi knight. Yoda teaches us that size matters not - that we are more than just our physical form. But Luke still hasn't learned his lesson, the X-Wing appears impossible to move. But Yoda does use the Force to lift the X-Wing, and Luke grows as a character. Then Luke sees a vision in the cave - Darth Vader. Luke fights was appears to be a lord of evil, but behind the mask - behind the thing Luke knows is evil, is his own face. Later Luke sees the future, his friends are captured, and appear to be in real danger, but it is a trap set up by Darth Vader. Yoda and Ben, Jedi knights, know this, but Luke goes anyway. He confronts Darth Vader in a duel but as he is not a Jedi knight yet, he is easily defeated. Then, Vader reveals that he is Luke's father.

    That is not the final growth of Luke Skywalker's character though. In Return of the Jedi, Ben gives a short speech on points of view, further developing the theme of the Trilogy. We meet the Ewoks, who appear to not be important, but end up besting the Galactic Empire in combat, and helping the Rebel Alliance destroy the second Death Star. Then Luke, using what he has learned about the Force, sees passed what Vader appears to be, and confronts him and the Emperor because he knows he can turn him back to good - something even Vader doesn't know. This entire sequence is powerful and emotional, and comes to an epic conclusion when Darth Vader threatens to turn his sister Leia to the dark side of the Force. Luke screams "NEVER!" in rage, and hacks mercilessly at Vader, until he is lying helpless on the floor. The Emperor tempts Luke, saying his anger and hate make him stronger. But seeing Vader at the whim of the Emperor, used up and cast aside, Luke sees that anger and hate don't make you stronger. The Emperor begins torturing Luke to death, and it is revealed to the audience that Vader really is good when he turns against the Emperor and kills him. Luke has been validated, and at this point, he has mastered knowledge of the Force. Luke Skywalker is a Jedi knight.

    I am not, of course, the people who made the Trilogy though, so I can't officially speak for them, and as far as I know, they haven't spoke for themselves - filmmakers rarely do. They let the films tell the story, and let the audiences interpret what they see. And this is my interpretation. Do any of you have a different one?
     
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  2. Cole

    Cole Force Sensitive

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    Great post. I always thought the theme was something like "Size maters not". Luke is just a hick farmboy from a backwater planet, yet he his able to defeat the big bad much like David and Goliath. The rebels are a small "insignificant" band, yet they defeat the Emporor. Yoda is diminutive yet very powerful. No mater how much the the underdog, if fighting for the good and with a full heart, one can overcome the greatest of tribulations. I think this theme fits in with what you're saying though. Once again, great thoughts on the OT.
     
  3. Rebo

    Rebo Nearsighted Whill Guardian
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    I think you are definitely onto something. There is a clear unifying theme throughout the saga that true strength is found in the spirit. Smaller or weaker character frequently save the day. Characters who may seem suspicious or untrustworthy prove loyal. Characters who seem irreparably evil are redeemed.

    As you say, the Empire is all about the appearance of strength to maintain order. Vader in his ridiculous get up is designed to instill enhanced fear. The stormtroopers as a nameless faceless mass of death are the same. Their ships are large and angular. The interiors are sparse and grey as if the entire entity was just a large personification of death and despair.

    But, although I agree that all these themes exist. I’ve always been of the mind that the central theme of the Saga was the natural vs the industrial. Many of those ideas stated above can work with either theme (or both).

    Sticking with just the OT to keep this conversation on track. Vader is the personification of the evils of technology. The wires and metal intertwined with his flesh and bone. “He is more machine now, than man. Twisted and Evil” As if the machinery itself had corrupted him.

    The Empire is bleak and gray and lifeless. The rebels live in Machu Pichu. Yoda lives among the organic. Trees and swamps. They create the force and make him more powerful than any other from his hideaway in the swamp.

    Our heroes where earth colors… tans, and browns. On Tattoine, Luke is a farmer and lives in a home molded from stone.

    To me, the empire has always represented the destruction that comes with industrialization, with the Rebels fighting to preserve “life” not just in the human sense, but in the sense of all the flora and fauna of the galaxy. Luke meanwhile must choose. The ideal of Yoda, surrounded by the organic, or the prospect of Vader twisted by the technical. As Luke faces temptation, he wears black to mirror his father and is left alone in the sterile confines of the death Star.

    The themes are not mutually exclusive, and actually fit together well. But those are just my thoughts.
     
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  4. Cole

    Cole Force Sensitive

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    I just thought of a good quote to exemplify your take on the Star Wars theme: "Unlearn what you have learned." (yoda)
     
  5. Mike

    Mike Rebel General

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    Actually, there is a huge amount of material available where Lucas (and others who worked on the movies) explain in detail the how's and why's of his story. DVD commentaries, making of books, interviews, etc.

    The OT has elements of everything that has been posted here. The David vs. Goliath, Industrial vs. nature, etc.

    Many of the rebel alliance capital ships look organic, almost like whales. With smooth curves. The Imperial capital ships are angular, cold, industrial. The colors of the rebellion are mostly browns, greens, blues, warm and organic. The imperials are black, white, red, hard cold and industrial. The rebellion is a small group going against the larger more powerful Empire. As we see in ANH where the little rebel fighters go against the huge Death Star. The empire is faceless, and everyone looks the same, where as the rebellion is diverse and different.

    At the end of the day the story is of good vs evil, using different motifs to tell the that story.
     
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  6. padawan529

    padawan529 Rebel Trooper

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    I think both of you are right, but I think both of these are themes for virtually every movie. What's special about STAR WARS and many movies of its era (The Godfather movies, for example) is this idea of moral ambiguity. Most movies prior to the 70s stuck with the traditional good guy / bad guy dichotomy. STAR WARS explored the fluidity of morality and the concept of redemption, not just through Vader's character, but through other major (Han Solo) and minor (Lando) characters.

    And from what Lucas and others have said, we should be seeing even more about this theme in the ST. Can't wait!
     
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