Star Wars Film Codes Essay, Research Paper
The film Star Wars by George Lucas presents the characters Luke Skywalker, Darth Vadar and Princess Leia in particular ways. This essay will give examples of the different film codes, such as audio, technical and symbolic that help the viewer to see the characters in each of these ways. The Alliance The character of Luke Skywalker becomes more real from the use of film codes. Technical codes such as close ups are used frequently on Luke to show his facial expressions. An example of this is at the beginning of the film when Luke is sitting on a hill watching the sunset. The use of a close up in this scene shows Luke s facial expressions clearly, and the viewer can see that Luke was very obviously bored and longing for adventure. Audio codes also make the character of Luke Skywalker seem more realistic. The use of differing volumes and different instruments gives the viewer an idea about the character s feelings and emotions, and from these the viewer can also guess what may be about to happen to them.An example of the use of audio codes is when Luke decided to become a Jedi knight, the music became louder and had a stronger beat in it. Before his decision the background music was light and peaceful. This change in audio gives more emphasis to the situation where Luke changes from being almost childlike and peaceful into a man of courage and adventure. The use of symbolic codes in the film also plays a big part in presenting to the viewer Luke Skywalker s character. An example is Luke s clothing, which is white, giving the viewer the impression that Luke s character is good. White is the colour for goodness and purity, whereas black is bad and evil.Another example of symbolic codes is Luke s light saver. The colour of his light saver is blue whilst Darth Vadar s is red. From this example the viewer may think that blue is good and red is bad because red is the colour of danger and of the devil and blue is the colour of peace and goodness. Luke Skywalker and his light saver. The character of Darth Vadar is very different to Princess Leia s and Luke Skywalker s, but similar Film codes are used to make his character seem more realistic to the viewer.Technical codes such as lighting and camera shots are used differently to that of Luke and Leia. Where the director chose lots of close up for Luke and Leia, for the character of Darth Vadar he chose to use more middle long shots and long shots. An example of this was when Darth Vadar was introduced to the film a long shot of him was filmed when he was walking though the space ship. In this shot you can see what is going on around him and the viewer could get the message that he is so powerful and evil that there are people dead at his feet. Also by the use of a long shot instead of a close up the viewer might think that he has something to hide and does not want to be seen up close. Another example of technical codes is when Darth Vadar and Obwan are fighting with their light Savers, in this scene Darth Vadar is in the shadow whilst Obwan has light behind him. From this example the viewer may think that Darth Vadar is in the shadow because he has something to hide.
Darth Vadar s Introduction to the Film Darth Vadar s character becomes a lot more realistic with the use of audio codes as well. From the background music or sounds the viewer can tell a lot about Darth Vadar, for example, when he was introduced to the film a sinister type of music was played in the background using a heavy beating drum. From this the viewer senses that he is an evil or powerful character because the drums are like an introduction for a king. Another example of audio codes is Darth Vadar s heavy breathing. From this example the viewer may think this breathing is like an animal and shows his evil animal tendencies. Like Luke Skywalker, the director of the film uses symbolic codes to make Darth Vadar s character more realistic, however some of Darth Vadar s symbols are the complete opposite of Luke Skywalkers s. An example of this is Darth Vadar s clothing. He wears a completely black suit whereas Luke Skywalker s suit is white. The viewer may then realise that the black and white are like opposites and are meaning bad and good. Another example of Symbolic codes is Darth Vadar s full faced mask. The viewer may receive the idea that Darth Vadar has something to hide from this symbol. Darth Vadar- Notice the full face mask. The character of Princess Leia is made more realistic in the same ways as the other characters discussed in this essay. Like Luke Skywalker, Leia has a lot of close ups of her face when technical codes are used. These close ups show the good and purity of her character. An example of this is when she is confronted by Darth Vadar she has close ups of her face and it shows her fear even though she is trying to act brave. In this example the viewer may think that she does not want to tell something to Darth Vadar so she tries to act brave so he will give in. Leia being confronted by Darth Vadar The audio codes used to display Princess Leia character are very important to show the viewer that she is on the good side. An example is when she is confronted by Darth Vadar the heavy drumming is in the background but when the camera shows her there is a peaceful music that becomes louder and stronger when the camera is only on her. This example may give the viewer the impression that she is good and pure even though she is with an evil presence. The symbolic codes used for princess Leia are the same as the ones for Luke Skywalker. She wears white clothes that give the viewer the same impression as that of Luke Skywalker, the impression that she is good and pure. It can be very clearly seen that the director of the film, Star Wars uses all types of film codes to give the viewer an immediate reaction about each character which aids the viewer so they can then decipher what part in the film the character will be portraying.