Essay on Star Wars Film Analysis

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Essay on Star Wars Film Analysis

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

The film, through its plot and staging, showcases a materialistic world full of religious ideologies. Through a functional approach to religion, it depicts an integrated system of philosophical ideologies and beliefs substantiating their characters and plots thereby creating a widespread way of life for its larger audience. It also portrays the racial situation in the 80s and how far the US has come over the past four decades in terms of equality and equity to all races.

The Film and the Racial and Religious Trends of 1970s

Reflection of Religious Trends-essay on Star Wars Film Analysis

The film was a subject of religious advancements in three ways. First there are people who believed star wars to be a religion on its own. There were also those who argued that the Force was an entity identical to Jesus, the creator of life. Finally, others for instance Manichaeism adopted the line of argument that there are two equally matched spiritual forces (one the light side and the other the dark side) which combat to form the universe (Pratiman, 2016). The bottom line was how the movie managed to portray characters who managed to carry out actions such as shooting lasers from their hands, mind controlling and levitating, by believing in the Force. This is in parallel with the underlying concept of religion or salvation: Believing in a particular deity.

The aspect of belief and religion was critical in the American society during the 1970s. It was a time when many people were not conscious of their faith and those who did not have any, were willing to believe and follow. Just two years prior to the movie release, religion had been the subject of the largest mass suicide and one of the most harrowing tragedies in American history: The Jonestown Massacre. At the direction of cult leader Jim Jones, 909 followers of his church Peoples’ Temple died from cyanide poisoning (ADST, n.d.). The country was going through a period of religious ignorance and people desired for a following. Many were likely to be convinced by anyone who came to them with eloquence and a knowledge of the supernatural creator who was able to sort out their problems. In the movie, Luke Skywalker is convinced by Obi-Wan Kenobi to learn the ways of the force in a similar fashion as Christians, so as to take part in the insurgence against the galactic empire. Thus the movie portrayed religion as a sect with the ability to convince the people into believing. The conviction comes because humans feel week and deficient and believe that a certain supernatural force can fulfill their heart desires.

Reflection of Racial Trends-essay on Star Wars Film Analysis

Race portrays has evolved over the different episodes of Star Wars. The absence of non-white protagonists in the movie series could easily be taken as a reflection of the racial position. Off-screen, Lucas admitted to considering making a black Han Solo and an Asian Obi-wan Kenobi, but realized that he was not set for a multi-racial romance saga and backed off (Pianka, 2013). And it was until about halfway through the fifth episode that Lando Calsissian is introduced as the first black character in Star Wars. This was perhaps the beginning of a noteworthy appreciation of non-white characters into the film industry and more specifically star wars.

In terms of character, the only black man in the film is portrayed as the arch-villain and intimidating. Yet the black man is not even in charge of his own doings. Vader turns out to be the lap dog of Emperor Palpatine, because naturally the highest position of power in the Empire must go to a white man (Pianka, 2013). Consequently Lando is portrayed as a shady businessman bossing a gas mine at Bespin and little is left to wonder whether he was a thief and a swindler or not.

In totality, the Star Wars series portrays the situation of overt racism over the past five decades. The radical 1960s had seen a battle for civil rights among the blacks. Many had lost their lives in the process. Blacks were still being stereotyped as thieves, robbers and viewed as the poor. It was evident that discrimination by race was still the order of the day. Yet even the film industry portrayed what the society perceived of non-whites.

New Trends-essay on Star Wars Film Analysis

Accordingly, The Empire Strikes Back has been hailed as the most popular film saga because of its popularity. Lucas’ intention was to create a modern mythology of differentiating right from wrong by using religious symbolisms. The film has since been accredited for a change in culture in the U.S since its production. Notable was the significant impact in fashion, technology and religion. In the religious world, the film was a foundation of a freshly acquired faith to many. A British census stated that nearly 40,000 citizens identified Jedi and the Star War warrior culture and customs as their religion, making it rank as the fourth-largest faith in the land (Pratiman, 2016). In terms of Race, Star Wars episodes have come out to portray a more diversified and inclusive character base. There is evidence that the racial situation in the 80s is different from the present one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

ADST. (n.d.). The Johnstown Massacre. Retrieved from Huffpost: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/adst/the-jonestown-massacre_b_8592338.html

Pianka, J. P. (2013, May). The Power of the Force: Race, Gender and Colonialism in the Star Wars Universe. Retrieved from https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1040&context=etd_mas_theses

Pratiman. (2016, November 14). Artifact Analysis: Representation of Religion in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. Retrieved from Medium: https://medium.com/@spratiman/artifact-analysis-representation-of-religion-in-star-wars-episode-v-the-empire-strikes-back-1980-bc76c05d3be8