Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Opening Scene of The Force Awakens

In 1977, Star Wars: A New Hope opened with the above scene, and what a terrific scene. This opening has been analyzed a lot over the years as a great example of filmmaking. This scene shows the viewer everything they need to know about the Empire and the Rebels without using any words. You understand that the Rebels are being hard pressed. They are underfunded and on the run. Then you see the star destroyer slowly move into frame and you understand that the Empire is extremely powerful and rich. That they have this long arm that reaches across the galaxy to stop their enemies. This brilliant bit of filmmaking is such a perfect opening to this series. It lend gravity to the film and helps the audience to understand the serious nature of these movies.

George Lucas moved away from these types of openings in his prequel series, and now we come to Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

After the opening crawl, which sent shivers up my back when I first saw it, by the way, we slowly pan down and focus on the planet of Jakku. Then slowly, one of the First Order's star destroyers passes in front of the bright planet and very soon overshadows the entire planet, blocking out all light. Symbolically this shows the power of the First Order and how they are just terribly evil. So evil that they block out all light.

When I saw this scene it immediately put my mind at ease. I silently applauded J. J. Abrams because he did the right thing. He knew that this nod to the first scene in A New Hope would catch the attentions of Star Wars fans. I immediately saw what he was doing and then sat back to enjoy a movie that I knew would be good. I really wish that I could find a clip of this scene so I could share it on my blog, but once again you can't find clips from this movie because it is still so new.

At this point I feel like I have analyzed The Force Awakens enough. My blog has been Star Wars posts for about a month and I am ready to get back to discussing other things. But, then again, who knows. Star Wars: The Force Awakens was such a great movie. I have actually been hankering to go see it again in theaters recently.


Dominic Dougherty said...

I do enjoy how J.J. Abrams nods to the originals, but it felt like a lot of this movie was either fan service to those who hate the prequels or Abrams couldn't think of many original ideas. Multiple scenes nearly parallel the original trilogy: the destruction of the republic's planets, the attack on Starkiller base, and even subtle ones like when Rey pulls the lightsaber out of the snow like Luke did in ep. 5. I just wish Abrams would have introduced some new symbols like balance rather than light versus dark and other cliches from the original trilogy.

Mr. Allen said...

Thanks for your comment. I have discussed The Force Awakens in detail on my blog, and expressed my views about why The Force Awakens was exactly how it should be. Why it works as a story, even though there are a lot of similarities between it and A New Hope. You should check them out.