Analysis Of Star Wars – A New Hope
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This film is a typical example of sci-fi, we can tell this by the use of visual codes and convention. The film is set in space and Spaceships are in conflict with each other, there are lazers being fired, robots are running around and there is a clear divide between good and evil. At the beginning of the sequence there are words scrolling back into the distance telling a story. This sets the scene and lets the audience know what is happening. When the last of the words have faded the camera tilts down to reveal the surface of a planet. A small ship flys by, then a much larger ship follows.
This second ship almost fills the whole screen, which gives a sense of fear and feels slightly intimidating to the audience. Whilst the two ships are battling, the Rebels ship has its main reactor shut down; the Rebels ship is the smaller of the two, and is now unable to move anywhere; we know this because of the first two characters we meet, C3PO and R2D2, these are the two main robots in the film. C3PO is a narrator figure, he tells the audience what is going on and what could happen; He is also the one in panic whereas R2D2 is very calm and laid back.
There are many close ups of each robot so the audience feels connected to them, especially C3PO because he seems human. But even though R2D2 is not human people can still connect with him because he is slightly comic in the way he makes noises and the way he talks to himself. Also each robot has its own colour to show its good. For example C3PO is a gold colour, most people relate gold to being good, ‘good as gold’. R2D2 is coloured very differently, he is not a metallic colour but pure colours, mainly white with parts of blue. The other characters we can connect to are the rebels.
This is because the audience can feel their sense of fear, as they have to fight against the Storm Troopers. The rebels have no armour; the only things they have to protect them are their weapons. When the rebels know the Storm Troopers are going to forcefully enter the ship they line up along the walls that are facing the entrances. There is a long shot of a man crouching in an alcove of a corridor. He has his gun aimed at the door and is ready to fight, and in the foreground there is the back of another Rebel’s head. He also has his gun aimed at the door ready to fire.
When all the Rebels are in their places, there is a noise that sounds like a clamp being attached to the ships hull. There is a far shot of all the rebels looking up and listening, wondering what will happen next. As they all recompose themselves the audience makes eye contacted with a man. His facial expressions show he is slightly confused and scared. The camera now focuses on the door, a sound comes from the other side of it and each rebel raises his gun ready to fire. As the door is broken down a large cloud of smoke forms, Storm Troopers appear out of the cloud, and start shooting almost instantly.
The Rebel the audience made eye contact with is shot, with a quick close up on his face you see him open his mouth as if to yell out in pain. When many of the Rebels are dead and the rest have run away down the corridor the Storm Troopers just walk over them as if they don’t care. Showing that these people are evil and have no feelings for others. Further down the corridor the Storm Troopers catch up with the run away Rebels, once again there is more shooting. C3PO and R2D2 are at the side of the screen with the rebels at one end of the hallway and the Storm Troopers at the other end firing at each other.
C3PO and R2D2 walk hurriedly across the hallway without being hit. The camera follows the robots half way across then stops and looks down the corridor at the Storm Troopers. The side of the corridor has been hit; a large cloud of smoke fills the passageway. As the smoke clears a little, a tall, dark figure emerges, Darth Vader, when he arrives on the scene the Troopers stand to attention. He is dressed top to toe in black, wearing a helmet/face mask and a long cape. The audience feel awfully small when Vader comes nearer to the camera.
The camera is on a fixed point and is placed at Vader’s waist height, As Vader walks towards the camera the audience feel even smaller and intimidated as he fills the screen. Away from the panic and rushing around of the battle is the cargo bay where there is a close up of a hand placing a disk into R2D2. The hand belongs to Princess Leia. It’s the first time the audience meet her. She doesn’t look directly into the camera at anytime so there is no eye contact with her. Although she doesn’t seem very friendly we know she is one of the rebels as she wears soft, flowing white fabric clothing.
C3PO has now entered and looks down a narrow passageway. The camera is from his perspective so the audience can see whatever C3PO can see. R2D2 begins to move towards C3PO. The camera cuts to a back view of both robots from one of the main corridors, R2D2 starts to move forwards and away from the camera C3PO then decides to follow. On the bridge of the ship a man (maybe the captain) is being held by the neck by Darth Vader, the camera cuts to focus on the captain’s feet, they must be at least one foot off the ground. A close up of the captain’s face shows that he cannot breath and is extremely scared.
Vader is demanding to know everything but does not believe what the captain says. Slowly, Vader breaks the captains neck and throws him across the room. This shows that Vader is the powerful one in the film; he is extremely strong and sinister. Back in the cargo bay Troopers are looking for hidden rebels, close up on Princess Leia shows she’s determined not to get caught, she comes out from her hiding place and shoots a Trooper. At the Escape Pods R2D2 is walking down a small passageway followed close behind by C3PO. R2D2 is now in the Pod and is waiting for C3PO to enter, but he refuses, although when he is shot at, he changes his mind.
There is then a medium shot of him hurrying into the Escape Pod. As the Pod is jettisoned it starts spiralling down to a planet. The spiralling shows confusion between the robots and the Rebels and maybe shows a sense of panic. There is a distant shot of the ship through the Pod window; it looks as if that is spiralling too. The camera cuts to outside the Pod; from here it is very clear that the Pod is spiralling down almost out of control. It fades into the distance until it can’t be seen. Cutting between characters is sometimes quite rapid in a time of panic of confusion.
It’s used to show different emotions in the same situation. The camera angles in the film are varied to show different feelings and emotions. For example, when Darth Vader is introduced the camera is tilted up to show he is tall and powerful. Colouring is also very clear, right from the time the audience board a ship it is clear which ship they are on, this is because of the robots colouring and the humans’ clothes. The robots are decorated with friendly colours, white, blue and gold, and the humans’ clothes are plain with no armour.