PDA

View Full Version : What is Star Wars



Neuroleptic
10-07-2008, 11:19 PM
Oooooooh Kaaaaaaaay.

I have been given a wonderful asssighnment for my english 101 composition class. It is to write a deffinition paper on a subject I have been randombly given.

My subject?

The effect Star Wars has on the human Psyche.

I don't even know if I'm spelling it right. What this weeks paper is on, is I have to define STAR WARS.

And since my first two attempts at this have been dismal failures in the eyes of my teacher, I'd just like to get all of yall's opinion.

I'm thinking about running with a paper that covers a short note on when the films came out, a short synopsis of what the movies are about, and the rest will be filled with discussing how popular it is and the merchandising of it over the last 30 years that has helped to keep it going.

With emphasis on the fact that it is interesting that ANY movie is remembered as clearly as the first Star Wars movie for 30 years.

So that's going to be my final take on it. But out of curiosoty, what do yall think?

Mad Slanted Powers
10-08-2008, 12:28 AM
Write the whole thing in Yoda-speak. That will demonstrate the effect on the human psyche. Jar Jar-speak might be pushing it though.

Rocketboy
10-08-2008, 10:41 AM
I'd use theses aspects when describing hoa ANH connected with people:
The hero's journey
Good vs evil

If you're going with the OT/saga you could also use:
Father vs son
Fall & redemption

pbarnard
10-08-2008, 11:48 AM
Hell, just plagurize WotC Heroe's Guide and Galactic Campaign Guides. That's the whole first chapter, about 4-5 pages there. I love not having to teach anymore.

cookiemonster
10-08-2008, 02:21 PM
Also dont just focus on the good points, mention the screw ups as well, and how a lot of people are loosing their faith in the Star Wars franchise, in other words dont make it seem like Star Wars is the be all and end all of everything, you start showing two sides and the psyche part opens up a lot more.

Qui-Long Gone
10-08-2008, 03:49 PM
Avoid human psyche....you won't have the clinical research to back up anything you have to say. Unless you've spoken with psycologists, neuroscientists, therapists, etc., you'll have very little to say about SW and the human psyche that's of any value or validity.

HOWEVER you will have plenty to say about the cultural psyche!
*Star Wars and goverment = President Regan's Star Wars program
*Star Wars and religion = see articles about Lucas and TPM, he had a lot to say about evil, the nature of truth, etc.
*Star Wars and consumerism = 'ENOUGH SAID ABOUT THAT.
*Star Wars and education = there are colleges that teach courses about SW!
*Star Wars and myth making = the role of mythical heroes in popular/folk culture.
*Star Wars and movie making = See SW and consumerism.

Bel-Cam Jos
10-08-2008, 06:56 PM
I have been given a wonderful asssighnment for my english 101 composition class. It is to write a deffinition paper on a subject I have been randombly given.

My subject?

The effect Star Wars has on the human Psyche.

I don't even know if I'm spelling it right. What this weeks paper is on, is I have to define STAR WARS.

I'm thinking about running with a paper that covers a short note on when the films came out, a short synopsis of what the movies are about, and the rest will be filled with discussing how popular it is and the merchandising of it over the last 30 years that has helped to keep it going.

With emphasis on the fact that it is interesting that ANY movie is remembered as clearly as the first Star Wars movie for 30 years.First question I'd have would be, is this a college or secondary school paper? That's significant to me. I assume from the 101 designation, that it's college, right?

Defining Star Wars? Well, there is the FILM ITSELF aspect (here's where your idea for synopsis is relevant), the FILM INDUSTRY aspect (new technologies, directorial decisions, advertising, etc.), the CULTURAL aspect (insert marketing, allusions, quotes, parodies, family/fan events here), the MYTHOLOGICAL or FAIRY TALE aspect (you can't spell "Joseph Campbell" without "Bel Cam Jos" ... and leph :rolleyes: search for "comparative mythology," "character archetypes," or "eastern philosophy" too).

If you are allowed to insert personal narrative, it could get fanboy-esque or trivia nitpicker, but if you must keep formal detached third person narrative, that may give you an "outsider's" point of view with occasional experinces included.

My stylistic suggestions? Use the film devices (opening crawl, impact of the Star Destroyer fly over to begin, multiple locations all at once, battle scenes,
credits at end only, Williams' score, et al) to describe about whatever you you choose to write (hey, a preposition was not ended with! :p ).

Good luck (you're gonna need it... :D ), Neuroleptic!

Snowtrooper
10-08-2008, 07:27 PM
There was a show on the History Channel awhile back which drew alot of comparisons between classic mythology and Star Wars. It was pretty good and would seem like a good place to start. I don't know if there is some place online where you could view it or not. Its not slated to appear on the History Channel anytime soon that I know of. If you cant, then try to get a hold of the "extras" DVD that came with the OT release a few years back. They go into it a little bit there.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
10-08-2008, 07:56 PM
I wrote a paper a few years ago about how the original trilogy, prequel trilogy, Harry Potter series, and Lord of the Rings all more or less fit the same storyline, based somewhat off of Joseph Campbell's work. If you read some of it it's really interesting. (And there's much more to the PT than most people give it credit for.)

bobafrett
10-08-2008, 08:15 PM
Bobafrett likes the OT films, the PT films however, not so much.

JediTricks
10-09-2008, 04:36 AM
Do yourself a big solid and watch the OT DVDs with the commentary tracks on, specifically focus on what Lucas says in ANH where he really knocks stuff out of the park in terms of his thoughts on culture and its subconscious. Reading the first half of "The Making of Star Wars" will give you a little more of the technical stuff. Keep in mind to take it with a grain of salt, be skeptical, but if you analyze it right you'll have a ton of material to mine.

Bel-Cam Jos
10-09-2008, 06:57 PM
I hesitate to mention it, since it leads to death and destruction here on the boards, :dead: but the "controversy" of OT vs. PT can also be a topic; how do fans claim "ownership" of a series, or feel that "their" story has been affected by the writer's changes/plotlines?

And I was quite disappointed that the "Legacy of Star Wars" show was NOT on DVD (that was the History Channel's program) because I thought the extras on that one would be amazing. :mad:

stillakid
10-11-2008, 01:29 PM
Oooooooh Kaaaaaaaay.

My subject?

The effect Star Wars has on the human Psyche.




Interesting.

The primary effect is that Star Wars is a pop culture phenomenon first and foremost. It literally helped effect an entire generation in ways too innumerable to count.

Along with Saturday Night Fever, Star Wars was influential in bringing the fun back to the movie going audience after the albeit dismal post-Vietnam era. Lucas's foresight in merchandising (toys. etc) was unprecedented relative to marketing a product like a movie in different ways.

Prior to Star Wars, the mood of the US culture was relatively dismal. Vietnam, Watergate, gas prices.... our world wasn't a happy place. Escape and entertainment is why people go to the movies and Star Wars was one of the two films that truly had the most impact on our culture. Saturday Night Fever gave people an escape, but Star Wars placed this "Us vs Them" issue in a new disguised context that was fun and provided a lot of fun for kids. It worked on so many multiple levels that it eventually became part of our vernacular, like Xerox and Windows. The Reagan regime was able to label its new defense system after Star Wars without any elaborate explanation. Star Wars became part of the fabric that our lives play out on. Nary anyone alive now doesn't know who Darth Vader is, no matter how they feel about the films themselves.

Star Wars affected our culture on large scales and on individuals regardless of how good or bad the story actually is. It affected individual lives as well as the future of "copycat" movies that told stories of the past and future. It continues to influence new generations of filmmakers who attempt to emulate the pop and financial success of what the Original Trilogy accomplished.

By simultaneously tapping into the fun of movie making as well as the socio-political issues of the time (late 1970s), Star Wars has had long lasting effects that can't be ignored.

plasticfetish
10-14-2008, 02:05 AM
The primary effect is that Star Wars is a pop culture phenomenon first and foremost.What he said. (Oh my god... I agreed with your entire post! ;))

Qui-Long Gone
10-14-2008, 03:48 PM
No doubt SW has to be understood in context, the 1970s and how it's story influenced film and culture after the fact....At the same time, SW borrowed from other great film motiffs and genres, so to think of SW as the model by which all other films have been copied would be somewhat missing the point. A strong case could be made for the influences that created SW....particularly the films of Kurosawa and 1950s seriels.

stillakid
10-15-2008, 09:23 PM
No doubt SW has to be understood in context, the 1970s and how it's story influenced film and culture after the fact....At the same time, SW borrowed from other great film motiffs and genres, so to think of SW as the model by which all other films have been copied would be somewhat missing the point. A strong case could be made for the influences that created SW....particularly the films of Kurosawa and 1950s seriels.


There isn't any intention of denying that Star Wars contains influences from many other sources. What Star Wars did, though, was to combine the "best" elements from history, mythology, and previous pop-culture into a singular package that was both entertaining while providing an underlying message that spoke to the post-Watergate/Vietnam society.

Where many copycats since have failed is that they concentrated on one element or another that Star Wars contained, such as the hero's journey or the special effects. Star Wars (the Original Trilogy) was a carefully constructed amalgam of all of those elements instead of just relying on one thing or another. One of the reasons that the Star Wars Prequels ultimately are failures is that there was too much reliance and focus on the visual effects, both in story and in the filmmaking process itself. Where the Original Trilogy was very character centric, the Prequels was weighted too heavily on the eye-candy, which, in a lot of cases was impressive, but it takes more than bright shiny objects to tell a quality story.

Devo
10-16-2008, 08:16 PM
the Prequels was weighted too heavily on the eye-candy, which, in a lot of cases was impressive


And in a lot of cases not. For me they didn't even succeed on their primary selling point. With matte lines taken away the special effects of the original trilogy are much more convincing as real. The sheer amount of CGI in virtually every other shot in the prequels created a massive visual inconsistency with the OT. For me it just makes it extra hard to reconcile the 2 trilogies and accept them as part of the same series - to say nothing of the crappiness of so many other aspects of the PT. Sorry I'm preaching to the converted here I know.

DarkArtist
10-17-2008, 11:27 AM
check out the book "The Dharma of Star Wars." really good book and actually brings a sorta of spiritual look at the effect of Star Wars. I found it to be an interesting read...really worth the price. I think it was abouot $14.99

Mad Slanted Powers
10-17-2008, 07:47 PM
check out the book "The Dharma of Star Wars." really good book and actually brings a sorta of spiritual look at the effect of Star Wars. I found it to be an interesting read...really worth the price. I think it was abouot $14.99

I have that book. I agree it is pretty good. It uses Star Wars as an introduction to Buddhism.

Bel-Cam Jos
10-18-2008, 10:43 AM
I found a very used copy of The Force of SW from probably the late 70s. Tries the same as Dharma, but with a different "philosophy." Not as well researched or written.

Also, try SW on Trial. It has some decent back-and-forth or point-counterpoint arguments about various aspects of SW's influence or weaknesses.

JediTricks
10-18-2008, 04:41 PM
Lucas didn't have any forethought into the power of merchandising, at the time it was mainly in T-shirts and bumper stickers and frisbees, he just didn't want to let the studio put the movie's images and title on undeserving junk in a haphazard manner, he wanted to ensure the quality of the goods that got to use the look. "Only quality iron-ons for Star Wars!" Toy lines were already popular with these sorts of movies, but never went beyond 1 or 2 waves, they were all somewhat "flash in the pan" lines. Lucas basically just hated and distrusted the studio enough to ensure they had to come to him to license the film, he never expected anything of it.

Jargo
11-12-2008, 07:27 PM
it lead to a lot of people thinking plastic junk toys are worth a lot of money and despite the fact the brand has become dilluted to the point of being achingly embarrasing people still cling on to the plastic crud like it's diamonds from the finest mines.