Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Week 3: HU121 Film In Society (Star Wars IV)

Star Wars (1977) IMDb / Wikipedia / NetFlix

Discussion Question:
  • How are Han Solo and Ethan Edwards alike? 
  • How are they different? 
  • When Star Wars was released in 1977, audiences cheered for Hans Solo. 
  • Do you think audiences rooted on Ethan Edwards when The Searchers was first released in 1956? 
  • Why or why not?

Discussion Answer:
Ethan Edwards and Han Solo are both men who play by their own rules, have tough exteriors and defend what they feel strongly about. They are both excellent characters to have on your side.

The ways they are different are the way the handle the situations they are in. Han uses comedy to cope, while Ethan is hard nosed and while take in out on someone else. Han shots first, Ethan will not shoot immediately.

I believe audiences did root for Ethan when The Searchers was first released because at the end he saved Debbie. I do also believe for most of the movie, most viewers, were against him because how anger, bitter and horrible he treated a majority of people.

Assignment Question:
  1. Star Wars is, in many ways, a western set in outer space. Explain this statement. Use examples from the film to support your discussion.
  2. Many of the actors in the film are British, especially those representing the Empire. Think about Britain's history. How are the former British Empire and the Empire in this film alike? (You may want to do some research on the British Navy.)
  3. Who is the protagonist of this film, Luke or Hans Solo? Explain your answer.
  4. Who is the antagonist in this film? Explain your answer.
Assignment Answer:
  1. Star Wars is indeed a western set in space. A few examples of this are gunfights, a showdown, and a beautiful girl in need of a rescue. Another similar detail is that the cantina in Star Wars is very much like a saloon.
  2. The similarities between the Empire and the former British Empire are the vastness of their territories, the large quantity of soldiers and ships at each of their disposals, as well as each of their thirst for domination.
  3. Luke is the protagonist in this film because the story follows his journey as essentially an orphaned farm boy to Jedi warrior against a major enemy. A protagonist is also described as a hero and Luke saves Leah who has information which is used against the Empire in order to defeat them.
  4. The antagonist, a person or a group of people who oppose the main character, or the main characters, in this film is the Empire. The Empire's Stormtroopers killed Luke's Aunt & Uncle, kidnapped Princess Leah, and destroyed her home planet. 

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