Saga Connotations and Oblique References

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    I've been wanting to make a thread like this for awhile, but it can be hard to explain the concept, and also to tease out its referents.

    Sentences, designs, etc, utilized in one film (or other art object) can point to other concepts in another. As Lucas said once, "they rhyme." What I find interesting about reference like this is the way it can pull along (or generate) expectations and inferences that aren't directly stated. The throne room scene at the end of ANH deliberately echoing Triumph of the Will is one example. There are many.

    (You might say that the commonality of many prequel speculations by OT and Intertrilogy-era fans could be another example. People picked up on the way things were stated, the language used, and drew the simplest plot assumptions from that - often, these are close to the actual intended directions of the story at that time (as far as we can tell).)

    I started this thread now because I'm reading Vonnegut's Slaughter-house Five, and I came across something Yoda would later say. "There is no why." I had also earlier noticed, while looking something unrelated up on Wikipedia, that the term "luminous beings" seems like it could very well be a reference to "luminous minds" in Buddhism. Both of these in their original usages appear in contexts seemingly congruent with how they're used in the film. I don't know if these are intentional references, but it sure seems like they could be. How many others of these are there? Have you noticed other references to other films, artworks, books, philosophical concepts? Do we think this says anything about the writers intentionally trying to create implicit messages to viewers who get the references?
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Nov 14, 2012
  2. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    Jul 2, 2004
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    That should be "there is no try".
  3. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    Should it?

    "But tell me why I can't -"
    "No no, there is no why. Nothing more will I teach you today."
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Nov 14, 2012
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  4. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Nothing particularly new, but the films of Akira Kurosawa have had a massive influence on SW. The original 13-page treatment of Star Wars was virtually an adaptation of The Hidden Fortress, its main legacy being that C-3PO & R2-D2 (originally a pair of Imperial bureaucrats) were directly based on the two farmers from whose point of view the story is told (although GL does mention it a lot, SW being told from the droids' POV doesn't make it past meeting Luke in SW/ANH).

    I don't know if it was conscious, but I've always found a strong visual parallel between Hidden Fortress' General Tadokoro and the unmasked Anakin Skywalker of ROTJ:

    [IMG] [IMG]

    [IMG] [IMG]

    The opening shots of both TPM trailers (Gungans emerging from the mist, Trade Federation tanks appearing over the top of a hill) look like Kurosawa references as well, & given that they're the first shots, I wouldn't be surprised if it's a deliberate nod to the old master:

    [IMG] [IMG]

    [IMG] (Can't find a still for the shot from The Seven Samurai that looks like this - it's basically the same angle, with bandits appearing over the top instead of tanks)
  5. -NaTaLie- Force Ghost

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    Nov 5, 2001
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    Haven't watched Hidden Fortress yet, but doesn't TPM resemble it even more than ANH?
  6. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    There are some elements which parallel TPM - the decoy princess; greed as a powerful ally; the princess traveling incognito in the guise of a commoner. But these seem to be outnumbered by ANH parallels ( the R2/3PO analogues, the princess' "get this walking carpet out of my way" demeanor, the General Makabe samurai character, the spear fight which resembles the Kenobi/Vader Death Star confrontation, the analogue of the Mos Eisley checkpoint, the "point of no return" burning of the fortress/homestead, et cetera ). You could say that the journey of the Akizuki in the film is like getting Amidala safely to Coruscant, but this also works as an ANH parallel, just with a different MacGuffin ( the gold = the DS plans ).
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Nov 16, 2012
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