Saga Symbolism in the Star Wars Saga

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

  1. DarthWolvo23 Jedi Master

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    Jan 30, 2005
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    Not maintained as it once was but check out

    Gs.michaelhopcroft.com.
  2. HevyDevy Jedi Grand Master

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    Apr 13, 2011
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    When the Republic becomes the Empire, the Jedi are marked as traitors, symbolised by Obi-Wan taking Grievous' ship-
    [image=http://i1190.photobucket.com/albums/z441/hevydevy1/Obi-fighter.png]
    Anakin/Vader keeps his Jedi Fighter, symbolic that the Republic has been transformed into the Empire-
    [image=http://i1190.photobucket.com/albums/z441/hevydevy1/vader-fighter.png]


    Obi-Wan then receives a message from Bail Organa-
    [image=http://i1190.photobucket.com/albums/z441/hevydevy1/bail-holo.png]
    And years later receives one again from his adopted daughter Leia-
    [image=http://i1190.photobucket.com/albums/z441/hevydevy1/Leia-holo.png]
    "General Kenobi, years ago you served my father in the Clone Wars. Now he begs you to help him in his struggle against the Empire. I regret that I am unable to present my father's request to you in person, but my ship has fallen under attack and I'm afraid my mission to bring you to Alderaan has failed.


    Obi-Wan then enters the Tantive IV-
    [image=http://i1190.photobucket.com/albums/z441/hevydevy1/tantive4b.png]
    As the Tantive IV enters the Star Destroyer years later-
    [image=http://i1190.photobucket.com/albums/z441/hevydevy1/Tantive4a.png]
  3. HevyDevy Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2011
    star 4
    Jedi falling mark the biggest downturn in the saga-
    [image=http://i1190.photobucket.com/albums/z441/hevydevy1/Obi-fall.png]
    [image=http://i1190.photobucket.com/albums/z441/hevydevy1/Yoda-fall.png]
    [image=http://i1190.photobucket.com/albums/z441/hevydevy1/Mace-fall.png]
    Sidious falling marks the return of the Jedi-
    [image=http://i1190.photobucket.com/albums/z441/hevydevy1/Sidious-fall.png]


    The second major downturn in the saga is marked by Luke's descent-
    [image=http://i1190.photobucket.com/albums/z441/hevydevy1/Luke-fall.png]
  4. HevyDevy Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2011
    star 4
    Just watching ROTS and I thought I'd do Anakin defeating Dooku vs Luke defeating Vader.

    ROTS/ROTJ
    -The settings; Invisible Hand/Deathstar II
    -Obi-Wan: "Well have you noticed the shields are still up?"/The Deathstar shields are still up on arrival.
    -Both duels happen at the top of a spire, that elevators are taken to reach the tops of.
    -The last space battle of each trilogy rages outside our duel setting, visible through the window. Where the Seperatists are attempting to flee with Palpatine hostage, and are blocked by Star Destroyer equivalents, the Rebels are trapped by similar ships.
    -Sidious watches the duel from a chair in both scenes. He gloats as both Dooku and Vader are overpowered by the younger duelist.
    -Sidious removes Luke's cuffs using the force on Luke's arrival/Anakin does the same for Sidious after Dooku's death.
    -After coaxing from the current Sith apprentice, both Anakin and Luke tap into the darkside as they go all out on Dooku/Vader, the camera panning left to right as they attack. Luke requires far more antagonism before he snaps.
    -At Dooku's defeat, Anakin holds sabers at his throat/At Vader's defeat, Luke holds his saber at Vader's throat. Sidious encourages them to finish the Sith apprentices off.
    -Luke looks at his robot hand and sees similarity between himself and Vader/Anakin has nothing but hate for Dooku.
    -Anakin symbolically takes the blue saber in his robot hand, perhaps symbolising he is leaving his good side behind. He takes the red saber in his flesh hand, possibly an omen.
    -Where Luke lets go of his hate and defiantly throws away his saber, Anakin takes a Sith saber from Dooku and decapitates him with it. The contrast in colours should be noted; green for Luke, red and blue for Anakin.
    -Lastly, the scenes end with Anakin carrying an unconscious brother figure, and Luke carrying a dying father.

    Thoughts?

  5. EHT New Films Manager

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  6. MissPadme Jedi Master

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    Jul 9, 1998
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    I never even considered that before! Wow!

    --MissPadme
  7. StampidHD280pro Force Ghost

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    :eek:
    =D=This is the stuff that counts.
  8. HevyDevy Jedi Grand Master

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    Apr 13, 2011
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    Thanks guys. These movies really do complement each other more than some people give them credit for.
  9. DarthWolvo23 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2005
    star 4
    Stellar work again HD

    I was going to expand on this more but have little time to...

    I was thinking a while ago about how the Skywalkers potentially each represent one of the four elements:

    Padme = water

    This is the most straightforward, think Naboo lakes, calm, feminine, when she is in her funeral poissession they said they wanted her to look like she was drowning etc

    Anakin = fire

    Padme's opposite. Think fiery temper culminating in the immolation on the fire planet of Mutsafar and even the funeral pyre Jedi funeral at the end of ROTJ. Also the baking suns of Tatooine etc

    Luke = Earth/Air
    Leia = Air/Earth

    Now this interests me...let me explain

    I believe Luke starts as earth (Tatooine, grounded, starnded, dependable, even tempered) but gradually becomes air (walking the skies, flying x-wing, becoming a Jedi - a more spritual realm than being a farmboy)

    Conversly Leia starts as air (from what we see of Alderaan it is all ice cool snowcapped peaks), fake regal tones while in the senate and in parts of ANH. We start to see the beginning of her destiny on Bespin (a city in the clouds) immediately after the mention of "there is another" when she saves Luke but in ROTJ she graduates to earth mother on Endor when she befriends the Ewoks and takes on significantly more earthly looking clothes

    I believe this rasmbling may show how the Skywalker children are more rounded than their parents who rather then complimenting and learning from each other merely 'cancel each other out'

    Make senses?

    Any thoughts?

    Any pics to illustrate would be appreciated

  10. HevyDevy Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2011
    star 4
    Interesting thoughts Wolvo. Also, Naboo has a water-based core.

    I'm half way through watching TPM at the moment, and have a quite incoherent bunch of dialogue and symbolic observations.
    Some of these are based around the opposites in The Phantom Menace and Revenge of the Sith.

    The Phantom Menace

    -TPM's opening is during a time of relative peace/ ROTS's, a period of war.
    -Two Jedi are secretly sent by the Supreme Chancellor to negotiate/Two Jedi area on a desperate mission to save the current Chancellor.
    -The Seperatists capture Amidala and lose her to the Jedi/The Seperatists capture Palpatine and lose him to the Jedi.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TPM
    OBI-WAN: Master, we're short on time. (about leaving Jar Jar)
    ROTS
    PALPATINE: Leave him, or we'll never make it. (Role reversal? And both Qui-Gon and Anakin disagree.)
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TPM
    PANAKA: There are too many of them.
    QUI-GON: That won't be a problem
    ROTJ
    LUKE: I've taken care of everything.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -Will of the force, or destiny, lead the characters to Tatooine, where they discover Anakin.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "Now there are two of them!"
    YODA: Always two there are, no more, no less.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    QUI-GON: Perhaps I killed a Jedi and took it from him?
    ANAKIN: I don't think so. No one can kill a Jedi.

    Several ironies;
    -Qui-Gon is killed later in the movie.
    -More to the point, he returns from the netherworld of the force, so Anakin was right.
    -And of course, Anakin slaughters many Jedi himself, partially because Qui-Gon died.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Padme's connection to Anakin grows over te course of the prequels. In TPM;
    "Trusting our fate to a boy we hardly know? The queen will not approve."
    By ROTS however;
    "Not Anakin! He couldn't."
    Obi-Wan also changes his stance;
    "Why do I sense that we have picked up another pathetic lifeform?"
    By ROTS;
    "You are strong and wise, Anakin, and I am very proud of you. I have trained you since you were a small boy. I have taught you everything I know. And you have become a far greater Jedi than I can ever hope to be."
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TPM
    Anakin points at Qui-Gon as he talks.
    ROTS
    Anakin points at Padme.
    ANH
    Vader points as he threatens Leia.

    Also,
    TPM
    Anakin crosses his arms in response to Watto. Vader does this at the end of ROTS and in the OT.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TPM
    SHMI: He knows nothing of greed.
    ROTS
    YODA: Attachment leads to jealousy. The shadow of greed that is.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TPM
    SHMI: He deserves better than a slave's life.
    ROTS
    PALPATINE: Ever since I've met you have been searching for a life of significance. Of conscience.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TPM
    QUI-GON: You'll have your winnings, and we'll be far away from here.
    ANH
    LUKE: Well, if there's a bright centre to the universe you are on the planet that it's farthest from.
    Interestingly, Coruscant, the "centre" of the Republic, is Qui-Gon's destination after Tatooine. Both characters are IMO talking the same distance.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  11. DarthWolvo23 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2005
    star 4
  12. HevyDevy Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2011
    star 4
    Just watched TPM again, so to continue from my last post...

    The Phantom Menace

    TPM-
    QUI-GON: Greed can be a powerful ally.
    ***
    PALPATINE: The Senate is full of greedy squabling delegates...

    Qui-Gon and Sidious both agree that greed can be a powerful ally, something Sidious uses to his full advantage.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TPM-
    SHMI: I love you. (As Anakin leaves his mother)
    AOTC-
    I love you... (Shmi's last words)

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TPM-
    ANAKIN: I can't do it mom, I just can't do it.
    AOTC-
    ANAKIN: I can't leave her!
    ROTS-
    ANAKIN: I can't live without her.
    ROTJ-
    LUKE: I can't do it R2, I can't go on alone.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TPM-
    The scene where Anakin leaves Shmi segues into a shot of Maul. Foreshadowing Anakin's turn will be related to his attachment to his mother.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    TPM-
    ANAKIN: Only I...
    PADME: Miss your mother.

    Padme's ability to read Anakin/ an indication of her more human stance than the Jedi on attachment/ a foreshadowing of Anakin's tragic flaw.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TPM-
    PALPATINE: There is no civility, only politics.
    ANH-
    OBI-WAN: An elegant weapon for a more civilised age.

    Perhaps Palpatine's comment is a sign that the Republic is coming to an end.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TPM-
    PALPTINE: Our only other choice would be to submit a plea to the courts.
    PADME: The courts take even longer to decide things than the Senate.
    ROTS-
    MACE: He has control of the Senate and the Courts, he's too dangerous to be left alive!

    Just thought that was neat :)

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TPM-
    PALPATINE: ...Which began right here with the taxation of trade routes, and has now engulfed our entire planet in the opression of the Trade Federation.
    ROTS-
    MACE: The opression of the Sith will never return!

    Quite ironic that Palpatine uses the opression of one planet to ultimately opress an entire galaxy.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Padme is used by Palpatine much like Anakin in ROTS, albeit on a smaller scale.

    TPM-
    PALPATINE (whispered in Padme's ear): This is where Chancellor Valorum's strength will disappear.
    Just one example from ROTS-
    PALPTINE: I would wonder about the collective wisdom of the Council if it didn't select you for this assignment.

    Also...
    TPM-
    PALPATINE (to PADME): Together, we will bring peace and prosperity to the Republic.
    ROTS-
    PALPATINE (to ANAKIN): If we work together I know we can discover the secret.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TPM-
    PALPATINE: A surprise, to be sure, but a welcome one.

    One of many things in the saga that doesn't surprise Palpatine.
    Examples-
    -Palpatine tells Gunray "This is an unexpected move for her" when he had already been aware.
    -IMO Palpatine is fully expecting the Jedi posse when he says to Mace "You're here sooner than expected". He had just given himself up to Anakin afterall.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TPM-
    PALPATINE: Please, your majesty, stay here, where it's safe.

    I find it ironic he calls Coruscant safe. It's where the Sidious, the Sith Lord, resides. It's where Anakin turns. It's where countless Jedi are murdered, etc.

    --------------------
  13. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    Just gonna take this thread in a slightly different direction.

    Proof that Star Wars is everywhere, man...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fasces

    Hint: Look at the pillar Dooku brings down on Anakin and Obi-Wan to distract Yoda in AOTC.
  14. StampidHD280pro Force Ghost

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  15. HevyDevy Jedi Grand Master

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    Apr 13, 2011
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    Care to elaborate Cryo?
  16. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    George Lucas... he da man! [face_dancing]

    No. There is no why. [face_shame_on_you]

    *sigh*

    Hev, don't do this to me!! :p

    Seriously, though... I was letting it speak for itself. I didn't want to muddy the waters by offering my own opinions beyond suggesting the association itself.

    And, truth be told, I'm not sure where I stand on that particular link. One thing I'll say (I assume you're au fait with the basic connection): the Star Wars variant auspiciously lacks the axe. When Dooku topples the pillar, it falls in an axe-like motion, and Yoda suspends it in mid-air, then flings it aside, sparing Anakin and Obi-Wan from death/execution (which is what the axe symbolizes: the judicial power of dealing out death). Dooku seems to know Yoda will intervene and save the Jedi, which combined with the lack of an axe, seems to imply -- from Dooku's POV -- a sort of benign fascism. Dooku doesn't want to get his hands dirty and operates from a strange moral code. To him, it's a "clean" war. No real harm will come to people... if only they'll co-operate! (again, Dooku's POV). He doesn't even seem to expect his death at Anakin's hands in the next movie.

    Beyond that -- and there are, of course, various ways one could read the scene -- I just like the fact that Lucas apparently worked a visual like this in. I think, in many senses, AOTC is the most "political" of all the prequel movies, and the prequel movies are more "political" than the originals, so it's kind of satisfying to see something like this in a film where one of the characters this pillar is falling on earlier advocated dictatorship (if only casually) and the ruler of the main political body -- in cahoots with the opposition, of whom Dooku, former Jedi, is the figurehead -- gets "emergency powers". It's a rich tapestry. Previously, MisterVader also indicated to me that there is a pronounced emphasis on sticks, spikes, spears, posts and chains in AOTC. Make of that what you will.
  17. HevyDevy Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2011
    star 4
    I see. Yeah I was kind of confused about how the axe applied. Good stuff.


    One small one I thought might be discussable was the "man-made meteor" motif. In Revenge of the Sith, Anakin lands literally half a ship belonging to Grievous. The ship surrounded by fire as it plummets towards earth reminds me quite obviously of a meteor. Seems symbolic to me, especially with the significance of the people onboard. The chosen one, of course, and Sidious, Obi-Wan and R2. Anakin controlling the enemy's ship, and quite literally falling from the sky.
    In Empire Strikes Back the Imperial probe droids arrive like meteorites, again a man made "bad-guy" created object shooting from the heavens.
    Thoughts?
  18. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    Thanks. :)


    Interesting. I dunno what to make of this. One thing I'll say: both movies, ROTS and TESB, are somewhat about Anakin/Vader's obsession with a person he "loves". Indeed, in TESB, the probe droids are sent out all over the galaxy to find the Rebels (political reason) and Luke (personal reason). In the case of ROTS, Anakin is piloting the "meteor" in-person, and it's breaking up. Perhaps symbolic of his quest to "save" Padme going awry and his focus switching to other matters?

    * * *

    Here's a good one:

    In TPM, Lucas appears to be linking the Trade Fed ships that "float" over Naboo with the Senate pods that "float" around the Senate building -- and, of course, the two are politically linked, since the Trade Federation is blockading Naboo in protest of taxes levied by the Republic, which sets into motion a chain of events that leads Padme to make an appeal in the Senate itself.

    [image=http://image30.webshots.com/31/0/0/10/254700010VynnNN_ph.jpg]

    [image=http://ravereader.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/senate.jpg]

    "There is no proof!"
  19. CoolyFett Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2003
    star 4
    Has anyone ever seen the Legacy Revealed Doc from the History Channel??
    obi-rob-kenobi4 likes this.
  20. DarthWolvo23 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2005
    star 4
    Yep - it will be sorely missed from the Blu Ray set
  21. worthmancd Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2009
    I posted this in the blu-ray forum, but this seems like a more appropriate place. I am writing a twelve part analysis of the Star Wars Saga starting with symbolism. If anyone is interested, you can read the first two parts here

    http://clintons42blog.blogspot.com/2011/08/larger-world.html

    and here

    http://clintons42blog.blogspot.com/2011/09/larger-world-visual-symbolism-episode-i.html

    Thanks to all who check it out, I'll be more likely to finish it knowing somebody's actually reading it!
  22. Gobi-1 Manager Emeritus

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    Dec 22, 2002
    star 5
    I'm reading it. I always enjoy articles that take a deeper look into the films and uncover things I might not have noticed or thought about.
  23. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    You're off to a great start. Those final paragraphs on the Jedi, in particular, are real gems. I can't wait to read more from you.

    * * *

    Now, to fuse two of my earlier posts together, somewhat, I realized that Amidala's initial headdress -- y'know, the iconic one, that really announces the PT as its own beast -- combined with the wearer's head actually resembles, well, take a look...

    [image=http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y178/0Cryogenic0/OPPRESSION.jpg]

    Makes sense, too. According to the seminal MSTRMND analysis of the original Star Wars movie, Star Wars is a "progression of forms"; and likewise, no sooner has Lucas offered us our first look at the Trade Federation ships blockading Naboo, at the opening of the movie, then we suddenly get our first glimpse of Amidala: first, through a viewscreen, on one of the blockading ships, no less, and then, shortly thereafter, "in person", so to speak, amongst her advisors. Later, Amidala goes to, and, eventually, reaches, Coruscant, where Palpatine pontificates about "the oppression of the Trade Federation" in the Galactic Senate, right in the pod he shares with Amidala. The REAL oppression, from a certain point of view, is of Amidala herself, BY herself, via her perceived obligations to her "people" and her "way of life". So, it is with only the slightest deliberation that I settled on a caption for this one -- and "OPPRESSION" it is.

    Interestingly, Padme/Amidala has begun permanent habitation on Coruscant by the time of ROTS, and sure enough, the film opens with a series of these same Trade Federation ships, spread out digitally in a thin layer of atmosphere. This form hangs ominously over the neat lines and circles of Coruscant, while the human wearer of this form awaits anxiously below: waiting for Anakin, waiting to die. Note how the PT roughly begins and ends a few minutes before our first and last views of Padme, living and dead. In a way, the whole trilogy is about her, not Anakin. In both TPM and AOTC, Anakin enters the narrative after she does; and in both cases, it's because she has chosen to come to Coruscant, advancing the plot in a way that necessitates the latter's presence; ephemerally in the first, more obviously (pragmatically) in the second; and finally, in the third, Anakin and Obi-Wan lead us into the film (quite literally); with Padme/Amidala buried deep into the narrative: a fifth wheel in the power tussle between Mace and Yoda, Obi-Wan, Anakin and the Emperor.

    "It's too bad she won't live. But then again, who does?"
  24. CoolyFett Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2003
    star 4
    [image=http://www.smalltraps.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/small_traps.jpg]

    [image=http://homesecurity.net/security-alarms/booby-traps/sharptrap.jpg]

    [image=http://socialismsurvival.com/alexblog/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/trap1.jpg]

    [image=http://www.ackbar.org/images/ackbar.jpg]
  25. fistofan1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2009
    star 4
    Awsome find! If I may add my two cents:

    From the very start Amidala was not completely in control. The EU indicates that she became Queen of Naboo without knowledge that Palpatine had manipulated events to make it happen. When you add that to the fact that he later used her as his gateway to the position of Chancellor you get the realization that Padme's story is just as tragic, is not more so, than Anakin's. For most of her career she had been minipulated, "opressed", by the forces of evil without even knowing it. Because of this the headdress' resemblance to the TF cruiser, whether intentional or not, is perfect because even though she freed her people from the grip of Palpatine, she would live under his shadow for the rest of her life.