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Understanding the Influences, Craft, and Power of the Climactic Scene of ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’

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death-star-runI’m coming late to the series by Julian Palmer called “The Discarded Image.” In the video series, he deeply analyzes a scene from a great film, discussing how it creates powerful effects. The final video of the series discusses the climactic scene from Star Wars: A New Hope–the trench scene and destruction of the Death Star.

While he does do some shot, sound, and editing analysis, he also looks at George Lucas’ filmmaking history prior to Star Wars, visually showing how THX-1138 and American Grafitti combine to lead directly to Star Wars. Additionally, Lucas based Star Wars on older cinematic genres, like swashbucklers and war films, to teach himself how to make a mainstream film.

Finally, Palmer discusses the great themes of the film and how it mirrors both the zeitgeist of the era and Lucas’ own filmmaking flubs with the prequels. Star Wars restored the black and white morality to the war film. The people of the Empire are marked clearly as evil. This particularly resonates with story choices in The Force Awakens where a Stormtrooper, previously shown as disposable cannon fodder, defects and becomes fully humanized and valued.

This is a deeply insightful video that any Star Wars fan will appreciate.

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Author: Erin Perry

I'm a high school English teacher specializing in AP Literature and Film Analysis. I'm interested in most things geeky, including superheroes, vampires, zombies, teen culture, postmodern philosophy, pop culture analysis, and combinations of the aforementioned. Follow me on Twitter @eriuperry.

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