Saga Symbolism in the Star Wars Saga

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by DarthWolvo23, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. DarthWolvo23 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2005
    star 4
    revisiting the now locked symbolism in ROTS thread the other day I stumbled over these brilliant observations:



    [image=http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/9762/dzfhxdfh0rj.gif]

    [image=http://img317.imageshack.us/img317/8620/untitled52aq.gif]

    [image=http://img317.imageshack.us/img317/8948/yfoijg5vz.gif]

    I love this kind of symbolism and it runs all the way through the Saga

    Can anyone spot anymore?
  2. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 5
    "Where do we begin?" -- The Joker, "The Dark Knight"

    Well, here's one that a lot of people don't catch:

    [image=http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y178/0Cryogenic0/amidala_grievous.jpg]
  3. DarthWolvo23 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2005
    star 4
    I always love your posts.

    What do u think this is telling us?
  4. fistofan1 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2009
    star 4
    General Grievous is a slave to fashion. ;)
  5. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 5
    Thanks, Wolvo. And touche!

    In answer to your question; a partial answer:

    The first thing that comes to mind is slavery/servitude, which is a major theme in the saga. Padme is effectively encased as Queen much like Grievous, and later, her husband, are literally encased in hard shells as cybernetic organisms. A striking contrast is that one's a "good guy" (or "good girl") and the other's, or other two, are villains. Padme is afflicted with sadness, even wearing painted-on scars of remembrance, while Grievous is purportedly the result of a horrible accident (rigged or not), suffering real physical trauma, and Anakin makes a rash decision of his own accord, the culmination of multiple rash decisions. In order to compensate for his fate, and maybe as a result of mind-altering or pain-alleviating drugs, Grievous has developed a foul sense of humour; Anakin, too, shows a rapier wit as Darth Vader. Their more organic or "inner" state, however, is perhaps more like Padme's: sullen, withdrawn, burdened with constant reminders of their ignominious situations. We never see Grievous long enough to see any indecision or brooding, but that doesn't mean it isn't there. And at least Grievous and Vader are comically macho and can laugh. Padme's melancholia ultimately results in her untimely -- and unique -- death. If there is a basic, take-home message here, it could simply be, "Don't be too serious", perhaps? [face_peace] I know, I know. All this sounds faintly ridiculous. But that doesn't mean it ain't true! Anyway, on that take-home-message note...

    Well, you got the slave thing right! As for the other bit: General Grievous has a cape. That's all he needs. That's all ANYONE needs. :cool:
  6. grungebunny Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 2
    I've heard people say its because they are both used by Palpatine. One of the Trade federation has a similar silhouette head dress as well. But wouldn't that be better in the senate than in the throne room?

    Padme's costumes are a language unto themselves. In the senate for episode 1 she dresses like Borte, wife of Gengis Khan who went nuts when she was taken by his enemies, becoming the Genghis Khan we know and abhor.

    In episode two her Tatooine dress is in the shape of a star.

    This takes on more meanings, the episode 3 novelisation runs on the idea of stars dying even though they seem eternal. It symbolises Anakin's light dying with her and ties to Luke's line in a New Hope about the bright side of the universe being furthest away from Tatooine. He doesn't realise that he is the light in the desert.

    There is the symbol of the alliance in her hair when Palpatine announces the empire. I wonder why they made it Marek's symbol after that. Wouldn't it be more resonant if the rebels fought under Amidala's symbol?

    Here is one that runs through all six. Padme and Leia as angels,
    [image=http://i52.tinypic.com/2e0pitk.jpg]
    I've used a Byzantine icon and Da Vinci's representation of halos for comparison
  7. DarthWolvo23 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2005
    star 4
    Love it.

    Any more for any more?
  8. MatthewZ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2003
    star 4
    Michealangelo's Pieta


    [image=http://img508.imageshack.us/img508/1172/shmi.jpg]


    [image=http://img192.imageshack.us/img192/9486/pietak.jpg]
  9. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 5
    Excellent post and great graphic. You've gone off into fertile Padme territory there (pardon the pun) and I love it!!! As you say, her costumes are "a language unto themselves". I'm going to bang my head on the desk now because something is gnawing away in my brain. I think I just read it a few days ago in an essay linked to on the "Star Wars Prequel Appreciation Society" blog, but now I can't find the damn link. Anyway, it was this: the author noted that Padme tends to wear simpler garments outside of the Republic, visually fulfilling Shmi's (Mother Padme's) line, "The Republic doesn't exist out here". Padme's fate is thus intimately bound up with the Republic even on this level.

    * * *

    Now, begging your pardon, but I also want to add something to my earlier post: I just realized that Grievous' outer skin/casing actually has a MARBLED look. This is quite different to the other droids of the saga, which tend to have metallic or plastic appearances. Take a close look at the texturing in that picture. It may be harder to notice in ROTS itself, but I think that's basically an "official" shot, so it's canonical. And my mind reels at this discovery. Where else in the saga do we see marble? Tick tock, tick tock. You got an answer yet? Well, here it is: Naboo. Specifically, Theed Palace. I have no idea what this means. I am completely fascinated by it, though. The Padme-Grievous link is that much stronger -- and stranger -- now. I'll leave this to simmer.
  10. DarthWolvo23 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2005
    star 4
    This famous work of art depicts the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion

    The Madonna is represented as being very young, and about this peculiarity there are different interpretations. One is that her youth symbolizes her incorruptible purity, as Michelangelo himself said to his biographer and fellow sculptor Ascanio Condivi:

    Do you not know that chaste women stay fresh much more than those who are not chaste? How much more in the case of the Virgin, who had never experienced the least lascivious desire that might change her body?

    Another explanation suggests that Michelangelo's treatment of the subject was influenced by his passion for Dante's Divina Commedia: so well-acquainted was he with the work that when he went to Bologna he paid for hospitality by reciting verses from it. In Paradiso (cantica 33 of the poem) Saint Bernard, in a prayer for the Virgin Mary, says "Vergine madre, figlia del tuo figlio" (Virgin mother, daughter of your son). This is said because, being that Christ is one of the three figures of Trinity, Mary would be his daughter, but it is also she who bore him.

    A third interpretation is that suggested by Condivi shortly after the passage quoted above: simply that "such freshness and flower of youth, besides being maintained in by natural means, were assisted by act of God".

    Yet another exposition posits that the viewer is actually looking at an image of Mary holding the baby Jesus. Mary's youthful appearance and apparently serene facial expression, coupled with the position of the arms could suggest that she is seeing her child, while the viewer is seeing an image of the future.


    Interesting

    The statue shows a virgin mother holding her son where as the film depicts a son holding his virgin mother

  11. DarthWolvo23 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2005
    star 4
    I was considering starting another thread but think this counts as symbolism.

    I believe the progression of the Saga represents the cyclical nature of the seasons:

    TPM: Summer - as light as we see the Saga really, but it is late summer. The darkness is starting to appear. Represented in the lush world of Naboo and the hot and dry Tatooine.

    AOTC: Autumn/Fall - Summer has come to an end. I think this is especially apparent in the oranges of Geonosis.

    ROTS: Autumn/Fall - was ever Fall a more appropriate word? Dark red of Mustafar is the last colour we see in the Saga for a while.

    ANH: Winter - colour palette mainly black and white. No colour to be seen. Not much natural life on show. Represented by the Death Star.

    TESB: Deep Winter - dark times. Hoth. Need I say more...there is however a glimmer of light as Vader starts to feel some compassion for his son...

    ROTJ: Spring - represented by the fertile planet of Endor - reprsents rebirth...the start of a new era...
  12. StampidHD280pro Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2005
    star 4
    I was thinking this almost exactly just recently. Except I think TPM is late spring, and AOTC is summer. As for ANH and ESB being winter, as Padme says "Space is cold." and those two films spend more time in space than the others, or at least they seem to.
  13. DarthWolvo23 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2005
    star 4
  14. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 5
    Okay, here's something:

    It seems the ritualized duel that climaxes TPM is recapitulated at the climax of ROTS with *its* duels. After all, these are the show-downs fans waited for: Anakin versus Obi-Wan and Yoda versus the Emperor. So that in itself has a ritualistic quality. Then look at how Lucas splits the iconic RGB lightsaber combination of TPM into two duels: red and green in the Yoda-Sidious duel and blue-on-blue in the Anakin-Obi-Wan duel. Also, the Death Star-like machine-grey walls with white rectangular lights that also characterized the Theed Generator Complex are back in the Yoda-Sids duel, first in the Inca-like, thick doorway that Yoda enters, then more subtly with the pods themselves (grey pods with little white headlights). At the same time, you have Anakin and Obi-Wan dueling on Mustafar, with big columns of lava and the platform they fight on replacing the big columns of energy and long bridge-like structures in the power room in TPM. Those great tendrils of energy also chime with the Emperor unleashing his lighting attacks on Yoda: first, a brief but powerful blast on the floor in his office area, then a much more powerful, prolonged burst as they wrestle for control of the Republic/Empire on a lonely pod in the cavernous Senate chamber itself: one amongst many, briefly host to the vituperative conflict between mottled, craggy grand masters of millennia-old sects. In this passage of the film, we also have the musical return of "Duel of the Fates". Return in Revenge. All these things having even more scope because they have been foreshadowed -- or, as the Emperor would have it, foreseen -- in TPM. Additionally, we also see Maul motifs in the Anakin-Obi-Wan fight. First, Anakin prowls as Maul did (along with de-robing), then Obi-Wan fights by drawing Anakin forward for his own purposes, doing what Maul did to him all those years ago at Theed. And most people notice the irony of Obi-Wan cutting Anakin down after he executes a move similar to one Obi-Wan executed on Maul, which saved Obi-Wan but condemns Anakin. On another level, the lava flows of Mustafar are a hellish form of the irrigation channels and waterfalls on Naboo. Tellingly, green -- sense, intuition, wisdom -- is missing from the Anakin-Obi-Wan duel. And blue-on-blue is most peculiar. This is madness, Star Wars-style.
  15. EHT New Films Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2007
    star 6
    I never saw that other thread, but both of these shown here jump out at me when I watch ROTS... been meaning to bring them up here, in fact. Great stuff.
  16. DarthWolvo23 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2005
    star 4
    Are there anymore of these things hidden away in the visuals of the Saga?
  17. Arawn_Fenn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    I don't think she was a virgin by that point. She was married, after all.
  18. DarthWolvo23 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2005
    star 4
    Ha good point but we are led to believe she was a virgin mother to Anakin I guess
  19. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 5
    Not all that profound (well... ;) ), but I'm in TPM mode again and I like how Jar Jar and Palpatine are stood next to each other at Qui-Gon's cremation. If I have this right, Ahmed Best actually wasn't in this scene as it was initially shot. So they may be in proximity, but Palpatine is literally ignoring Jar Jar since the actor had nothing to react to originally. And, of course, we have opposing intellects here: one crafty and cunning to the max, the other happy-go-lucky and always willing to see the best in people. It's very affecting that Jar Jar is also the only one in attendance who dips his head and keeps it dipped. At first, it looks like he's trying to prop it up to fit in with everyone else, but then he cracks and can't come out of his stupor. Poor Jar Jar. He did, after all, pledge his life service to Qui-Gon, and then Qui-Gon was killed. You have to think that Jar Jar feels the burden of Qui-Gon's passing more than anyone. On the other hand, the visual calls to mind the notion that it's actually Palpatine who owes Qui-Gon a life debt, for discovering the "Chosen One" and then tidily getting himself killed, opening up the stage for Obi-Wan and the botched training of Anakin Skywalker to begin. Another thing I think you'll find here is that Qui-Gon is laid inside of a hexagon. This pattern can be seen a lot in SW, especially on the Death Star -- yes, DEATH Star -- in ANH. Oh, George!
  20. drg4 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    I'm impressed by Lucas's last-minute ROTS conceit of offering Palpatine two distinct faces. AOTC led us to believe that the Emperor would naturally segue into his ROTJ visage with time, yet for the series capper, Lucas had another one of his inspired ideas?-continuity be damned?-and revealed that Palpatine's death's head is in fact his true form. In doing so, George Lucas succeeded in fashioning one of the great representations of the Despot: charismatic and affable when on a struggling ascension; infantile and sadistic when given the luxury of being firmly entrenched.

    People have often complained about how Palpatine devolves into a caricature in the second half of ROTS, failing to understand that that's precisely the point. That's all he ever was: a cackling, nearly incoherent child, playing toy soldiers with the universe.
  21. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 5
    Palpatine's cartoony transformation into the Emperor also helps anticipates Anakin's into Vader. In both cases, we're going from a human character, or visage, to the look, sound and countenance of a super-villain. But whereas Palpatine willingly allows himself to be scarred/deformed to hook Anakin, so Anakin unwittingly comes to a (Kentucky) fried (Chicken) end. Moreover, the dramatic denuding of Palpatine limns a key component of the political structure of the prequel films: the double-entendre-generating disparity between diplomacy and aggression, ingratiation and vituperation. It's a brilliant political cartoon because we see it all the time in the real-world. Not to turn this too real-world, but I just downloaded a picture of our UK's Nick Clegg the other day, where he's pulling an expression that seems more than a little Emperor-like, to me. And I often think about all the ways in which people contrive to be nice and affable but secretly may want to spit venom and rip each others' guts out. This is basically what happens if you compare and contrast Mace and Palpatine's first meeting in ROTS with their second (and last one). In the former, they're being just-barely cordial to one another; only just able to mask their deep distrust and contempt. In the latter, they're going at it hammer-and-tong -- and still in their sacred bureaucratic-cum-spiritualist robes, no less -- right in the place they exchanged dry pleasantries in the last movie. And it culminates in one person being blasted out of a window while the other person turns into a demented sorcerer and practically has an orgasm over the depths of his own sadism. This is the kind of confrontation that many people are having in their heads about other people all the time. Or something that might as well be this exotic. I think Lucas really excels in this area (and so many others). If you go back to TPM, it starts there with the cold civility between Nute and Amidala via that Flash Gordon screen. Yes, a Flash Gordon screen marks the first time two Star Wars characters confront each other politically and one or both of them dance around their mutual enmity with a certain abstraction: the kind of wicked-sick tea-time banter that typifies a line like "And now, Your Highness, we will discuss the location of your hidden rebel base" from the original Star Wars movie; only now shifted and multiplied in a world of Viceroys and Queens, Chancellors and Jedi Knights. You gotta love it.
  22. Eternity85 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2008
    star 3
    A simple one; Chewbacca growling when Yoda say goodbye to him in ROTS. Same as he does when Han Solo say goodbye to him in TESB, before the carbon freezzz.. Its like he knows something is going wrong, like an instinct.. Han was frozzen, and Yoda was defeated by Sidious..
  23. DarthWolvo23 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2005
    star 4
    [image=http://images.wikia.com/starwars/images/5/56/SquidLake-ROTS.jpg]

    Symobolic of the moment of fertilisation, indicating the conception of Anakin by the unnatural means employed by the Sith

  24. Caedus_Bane Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 2010
  25. DarthWolvo23 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2005
    star 4
    Dont know if someone could provide a screencap but this one is great to...yin yang in the clouds at the start of the scene

    Was posted in my imbalance / yin yang thread on this forum