A Hero Falls (others have to be thrown)

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by sigh-expletive, Jul 1, 2005.

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  1. sigh-expletive Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2005
    A Hero Falls (others have to be thrown)

    If you?re nerd enough to read a star wars blog(which obviously I am) than you are nerd enough to have heard George Lucas discussing his use of thematic repetition. Lucas stated that he likes to take the same idea and view it from different perspectives. ?Like a symphony,? was how Lucas put it. The six Star Wars films are rife with variations on themes: The dual before a seated Palpatine in ROTS, and ROTJ; Anakin and Luke both prone to rash action at the thought of losing those whom they care about; Uncle Owen discouraging Luke from leaving the farm just as Clieg Lars once did to Anakin, around the very same table; and of course, ?I?ve got a bad feeling about this? (which is pretty significant when a Force-sensitive says it). There are countless more. At any rate, I?ve been pondering recently, the use of the "bottomless pit" as a motif in the Star Wars films.

    The ?bottomless? pit appears in four out of the six films, and whether shown literally, or figuratively, it is used by Lucas to represent death - or surrendering to mortality (in Eastern teachings, death, surrender, non-attachment are all intertwined). In episode I, Qui-Gon dies at the edge of an abyss. Obi-wan, on the other hand, gets knocked over the edge twice in the dual and just barely hangs on. The dual ends when Darth Maul finally falls(pun intended).

    Episode III sees Obi-wan once again nearly falling to his death at the platform on Utupau. We also see the charred torso of Anakin pulling himself back up from the molten oblivion below him having betrayed everyone who has loved him in his lust to cheat death, having been dismantled by his mentor, he still can?t let go. The ?bottomless fall? is most significant in the dual between Yoda and The newly enthroned Emperor Palpatine. The fight is mostly one sided until Yoda re-finds his focus, going toe to toe bare handed electric power with Sidious. The two at this point were so well matched that they blew each other off the platform and over the edge. Yoda scrambles to hold on, but does, inevitably fall. The last cut of that sequence shows the Dark Lord of the Sith dangling by one arm, having cheated death, laughing at the demise of the ?little green? Jedi.This repetition of the abyss theme now adds even more gravity to Luke?s willingness to just simply let go rather than take Vader?s hand at the end of Episode V.
    Lastly, in Episode VI where Luke, having succumbed to fear and rage, stands over a beaten Vader at the edge of an abyss, guard rails cut in two. It is at this point Luke understands and soon enough, so will Vader. Palpatine,(in a call back to Epidode III) finally falls, or more accurately, is thrown down the bottomless pit. Like his teacher Darth Plageous, Sidious, for all his powers cannot cheat the inevitability of mortality. Vader on the other hand(pun not quite intended) finally accepts death and in doing so, is redeemed.

    So, garbled as it may be, there is my treatise. Check it out next time you view the two trilogies. There are, no doubt, many more. As I?m writing this very sentence I realize I didn?t even mention the Sarlaac - the ravenous abyss. Keep your eyes and ears open for more repeating themes in Star Wars.

    Jedi Sigh-Expletive
  2. DS615 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 2003
    star 4
    Very nice, and very well thought out.

    How about the "bottomless pit" Luke and Leia encounter on the Death Star? The one where Luke blasts the controls.

    It's only AotC that I don't remember a "pit" in.
  3. TheForgottenJedi Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2004
    star 4
    Yeah, many themes running through the films, fun to look for and find.

    It's only AotC that I don't remember a "pit" in.
    Well you could make an arguement for when Padme gets stuck in the molten tube, that its like a pit. She is about to be fried and faces the fear of death there.
  4. jedimaster11 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 23, 2002
    star 2
    Closest thing is Obi-Wan being cut loose by Jango and falling during their fight on the landing pad on Kamino...

    In ROTS, the elevator shaft scene..Anakin holding onto the ledge after R2 drops the elevator down the shaft..
  5. YoungAngus Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 7, 2005
    star 5
    The plot holes create a giant endless pit.

    as a basher might say. But im not, I love the movies. thats preety interesting about the pit thing, When you started talking about pits I first thought about the sarlacc, and the thing Obi Wan was on in ANH to turn off the tractor beam both wernt metioned really.
  6. Jedi_Ford_Prefect Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2003
    star 4
    AOTC has no "bottomless pits"?

    What about the perils and pitfalls that Obi-Wan and Anakin experience in their hunt for Zam Wessal on Coruscant? Both Kenobi and Skywalker experience free-falls amongst the skyscrapers of the city, Lucas using the architecture to create speed-lines in the image to enhance their nature as "bottomless" pits.

    Also remember Padme's fall onto the conveyor belt in AOTC, besides the symbolic uterus she finds herself trapped in, only to be freed from it by falling.

    In ROTS, never forget the elevator shaft. Palpatine seems awfully unfomfortable hanging like that!

    Also missed were the "bottomless pits" of the Death Star in ANH, again involving Kenobi-- the tractor beam pit-- and the Skywalkers-- "Find the controls that extend the bridge!"
  7. mandragora Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 28, 2005
    star 4
    As the lard biscuit observes, we see Anakin "falling" at least twice in AOTC - the towers of Corouscant, the ride on the shaak. I really recommend reading lard biscuits treatise on the "falling theme":[link=http://www.lardbiscuit.com/lard/shroud4.html][/link]
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