Film Analysis- Star Wars by azu19


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									Ideology Analysis on Star Wars
This essay will explores ideological messages in the film Star Wars (Star Wars episode 3 Revenge of The Sith, 2005), and other Star Wars films within the Star Wars universe. Ideologies are beliefs, and as such are not always totally rational, logic or proven by empirical evidence or proof. They are also emotive – and often come into conflict with one another – communism versus fascism versus capitalism versus liberalism etc. Ideologies are also a set of ideas and attitudes that strongly influence the way people behave. One of the most obvious ideological messages that we see in the films Star Wars is the idea of Sci-Fi and ships in space. This is one of the most important settings of the films , which is based on times when technology are very advanced compare to the reality of the technology advancement now. The idea of Sci-Fi and ships in space by producer George Lucas is very imaginative and very unrealistic, one of the most unrealistic we can see from the films is the idea of space ship could travel in the speed of light or we can called as „hyper space mode‟, this hyper space mode in Star Wars enable ships to travel between star system. This definitely could not happen in reality, based on scientific points of view objects that travel through the speed of light or hyper space mode would have been vanish. One of the most notable ships in Star Wars are the empire Star Ship Destroyer which we can see in the final part of the film where Darth Vader , one of the notable villains are in the ship observing the construction of another notable elements in Star Wars which is the „Death Star‟ . The Death Star is a star ship space station which shaped like a planet, and has the firepower capable of completely destroying a planet with a single shot ( Vaz and Hata , 1994 ,p.26). The Death Star is so huge that it could held 27,048 officers, 774,576 crew (including troopers, pilots and officials), 400,000 support workers and over 25,000 Imperial storm troopers. These represent minimum crew figures, and the station could probably hold several times this number. It also carried assault shuttles, Skipray Blast boats, strike cruisers, drop ships, land vehicles, such as


AT-ATs (1400 of them), and AT-STs (1400 of them, too, though the number could be bigger) and support ships as well as 7,200 TIE fighters (Vaz and Hata,1994,p.27).

Another important concept in the films is the creatures or we as human beings called them as „aliens‟. In Star Wars we came across lots of different creatures, there was a scene when Jedi master Obi Wan Kenobi when he was sent to a planet called Utapau , where its „people or civilization‟ are a space creatures where their neck are extremely long and their skin are in purple colors and speak in a funny tone of voice. One of the most notable creatures in the Star Wars universe is Chewbacca who also called as a Wookiee , Chewbacca is a creatures that we can see similar to a monkey or an ape,
Chewbacca stood over two meters tall and had a coat of ginger-brown fur ( Mangels,1995 p.30).

This concept of creatures in Star Wars gave us the messages that George Lucas are trying to tell us that we are not alone in the universe, and also the fact that the universe is big it do not only consists of what we called as the „solar system‟, the universe consists of lots of different planet and also different types of living creatures other than us “human beings”.

The second ideological message that we can see from the film Star Wars is the idea of the Jedi knight. The Jedi are philosophical keepers of the peace of an ancient and noble monastic organization from the Star Wars saga, known for their talent in using and manipulate of The Force. Jedi Knights have served to protect peace and justice throughout the galaxy for over a thousand generations (The Jedi internet encyclopedia).The concept and ideas of the Jedi Knight can be related to the idea of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table; they too protect the peace and justice of the people and the kingdom. They even has a Knight code that all knights must follow, such as to give mercy for others and to flee treason. Back to the Jedi, a Jedi are able to use the living things around them to manipulate the Force and wielding their signature weapons the light sabers. Becoming a Jedi is not easy in Star Wars saga , becoming a Jedi requires the most profound commitment and astute mind, as Jedi instruction is rigidly structured and codified to enforce discipline and hinder transgression (Brooks , 1998 p.149). This means in order to become Jedi ones not only needs clear and astute minds but also a very


good self discipline. In the code of the Jedi, they are restricted from getting married. The main reason for this is because Jedi are forbidden to form emotional attachments. In contrast to this, the main character of the film Anakin Skywalker goes against the rule, instead he get married with Chancellor Padme Amidala of Naboo in Star Wars episode 2. Because of the emotional attachment between them, Anakin love her too much and afraid of losing her. All this started when Anakin have dreams of her dying in child birth. Master Yoda warned Anakin to beware of all his feeling of afraid of losing, because all this leads to the dark side of the force. But Anakin could not resists from the seduction of Chancellor Palpatine later revealed as the emperor of dark Jedi knight Lord Sidious . He seduced Anakin by telling him that he could teach Anakin how to use the dark side of the force to save Padme from dying, in the end we see the fall of a galaxy hero Anakin Skywalker to a dark Jedi called as „Darth Vader‟ who later destroyed the Jedi council and haunt down all living Jedi, except for Master Yoda and Obi-WanKenobi. The codes of the Jedi are the fundamental code of The Jedi Council, just like the Knights code of King Arthur and The Knights of the Round Table. The code determine how things are done in the Jedi Council, in others words we could also called it as the core values in the Jedi Council. Speaking of the Jedi Council, the Jedi council is a central political entity; the Jedi council was eventually responsible for law enforcement and peacekeeping in the Galactic Republic (Star Wars Internet databank).The Jedi Council could only have twelve members at a time, in the film we can see Master Yoda, Master Mace Windu and Obi-Wan Kenobi are three of the twelve members of the council. The codes of the Jedi are there is no emotion; there is peace followed by there is no ignorance; there is knowledge, there is no passion; there serenity, there is no death; there is the force (Star Wars Internet databank).

The force another important element in Star Wars that must be discuss. The force is an incorporeal energy field that is generated by all living organisms and permeates the universe and all things within (The Jedi internet encyclopedia). The Force as described by Obi-Wan Kenobi: "It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together." Some


groups believe the Force is nothing more than a tool available to some to make their lives easier with all the power they have such as developed skills in telekinesis(reaction), mind control, enhanced physical abilities, and the ability to foresee future events, just like what Master Yoda able to sense Anakin Skywalker future in episode one, by saying he sense suffering in the boy future. Others view the Force in a more symbolic light. The Jedi Order in Star Wars for instance divides the Force into two dimensions, the Light and the Dark Side (The Jedi internet encyclopedia). The light side of the Force is its elegance and beauty restricts the feeling of fear, jealousy and hatred. The dark side of the Force in the opposite of the light side is the element aligned with fear, hatred, aggression, and malevolence; this side of the Force seems more powerful, though it is just more tempting to those that can touch upon the power as it doesn't impose any restrictions on its use. In argument to this Master Yoda stated in the films Star Wars episode 3 that, it is not more powerful but the path to it is much easier. In the Dark side of the force have the powers of producing lightning bolt or thunder waves like what we see in the film when Chancellor Palpatine or Darth Sidious producing lightning waves to kill Jedi Master Mace Windu. But the lightning waves is ineffective against Master Yoda , we can see this when Master Yoda absorb back the power waves produce by Darth Sidious and counter it back on him. So it will be fair to say that the power between both sides is balance.

George Lucas often compared the light and dark sides to the processes of symbiosis and cancer (The Jedi internet encyclopedia). A follower of the light side tries to live in harmony with those around him. Mutual trust, respect, and the ability to form alliances give the Jedi their distinct advantage over the Sith. In contrast, a follower of the dark side is only interested in him- or herself. We can see the differences of the two sides very clearly on how Anakin after being seduced by Chancellor Palpatine kill and destroy everyone in the Jedi temple and he even slaughtered youngling (Galactic Basic slang for children) without any hesitation. Just like what Palpatine asked him to do by saying “Do not hesitate to use your anger and only then you will be strong enough to gain the power to save Padme”. As compared to the light force where we can see Anakin before his transaction to Darth Vader and his master Obi-Wan-Kenobi doing justice and protecting


the peace of the galaxy by trying to save Chancellor Palpatine from the hands of another Dark Jedi Count Dooku and General Greivious .

The Dark side of the force has also their own Jedi code just like what the light force has. The codes start with Peace is a lie; there is only passion, through passion I gain strength, through strength I gain power, through power I gain victory, through victory my chains are broken. The force shall free me (J.D.Wiker, 2001, pg.143). From the code we can the see Dark side of the force are the more negative and unethical side compare to the Light side. It is largely based on emotions and passion rather than peace and serenity which are preached by the light side of the Force. The Dark Side of the Force comes from the hate, anger, fear, aggression, vengeance, and malice in all living things (J.D.Wiker, 2001, pg.143). The use of lies and manipulation also are a signature style of the Dark Side , as what Master Yoda stated in the film , the Sith always use lies to manipulate and create confusion to the force . The seduction of Anakin to the Dark Side may be also played by the lies created by Chancellor Palpatine , he told Anakin that he have the power to prevent death , but in the film we do not see how he use this power and he never teach Anakin the power that he was referring.

The dark side of the force should be compared to existentialism. Existentialism is a philosophical movement which claims that individual human beings have full responsibility for creating the meanings of their own lives (, all this are being shared by the Dark Force as well. Other similarities between the two beliefs include awareness of death, and the absence of peace due to the role emotion played in their lives. Existentialism focus on anger and despair, and all these aspects can be define a Dark Jedi or a Sith Lord such as Anakin Skywalker in the film. In final part of the film after he have killed all the Separatist army in the Mustafa system, he told his wife Padme to follow his path and told her that he is becoming a stronger Jedi that he could ever imagine, and explained to her that he could overthrown the emperor (Chancellor Palpatine) and make things both of them wanted. Fortunately Padme did not follow Anakin‟s path, after refusing Anakin, Anakin killed her due to his anger by strangling her using his force power. There was a saying in the Dark Force; fear is the path to the Dark


Side, fears leads to anger, anger leads to hatred, and Hatred leads to suffering (J.D.Wiker, 2001, pg.145).

As comparing the Dark Side of the force to Existentialism, the Light force could be compare to the principles of Buddhism. One of the main concepts of Buddhism is that in order to escape the suffering of life, one must cease their cravings or passions. Only by not craving or wanting anything can you be at peace. Buddhism promotes wisdom, and the doing of good. All of these are teachings are similar to what a Jedi learned. Even a Jedi can be compared to a Buddhist monk, both of them have similarities. Firstly a Jedi and a monk are being restricted from emotional attachment, they are not allowed to get married, and they must always have a peace of mind, anger and craving for power are also not from the teaching of both the Jedi and a Buddhist monk. Just like what we can see from Master Yoda from the film, he never show anger in the film or fear even though all his pupils and apprentice are all being killed by Anakin, he always have a cool and calm personality even when he is battling the emperor (Chancellor Palpatine) in the final part of the film. He also did not have any sense or feeling for more power unlike Anakin and Chancellor Palpatine. Therefore he showed a very good example of what a Light Force Jedi should be.

In conclusion, there are many ideological messages that we can adapt from the film Star Wars. Many of the aspects and elements of the film could link to real life, such as the Light Force of the Jedi can be link to Buddhism and the Dark Side of the force can be link to Existentialism. In my opinion the main struggle of the films Star Wars are the Light side against the Dark side of the force, and also the core values and how things are done between the two sides, also the ideology differences between the both, and finally the ethnicity of the two sides. Another important message that we can get from the film is certainly the idea of ships in space and space creatures. These surely tells us that the universe is very big and maybe there are peoples or creatures that are similar to us that actually existed now or a long time ago , and also are more technologically advanced than us.


Reference List
Andy Mangels, the "Chewbacca" entry, info box; Star wars: the essential guide to characters, pg 30, 1st edition published November 1995. Brooks, Terry "Episode 1: The Phantom Menace",pg 149, Lucas Books and Del Rey 1998. J.D. Wiker, Star Wars Role-playing Game: Power of the Jedi Sourcebook (hardcover; Wizards of the Coast, 2001), Star Wars Internet Databank. Retrieved May 13, 2007 from The Jedi Internet Encyclopedia. Retrieved May 13, 2007 from Vatz , M and Hata , S 1994, From Star Wars to Indiana Jones , The best of Lucas Films Archives , Raincoats book , Canada.




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