ANH 6/??

Dec. 31st, 2010 01:13 am
anghraine: from the 2005 p&p: darcy standing at a piano while georgiana plays it (lightsiders (OT))
[personal profile] anghraine
There wasn't enough background stuff in this section for a list, so I mostly just went with meandering commentary.  There are, however, pictures.  And TV Tropes!

-- LUKE: It looks like Sand People did this, all right. Look, here are Gaffi sticks, bantha tracks. It’s just . . . I’ve never heard of them hitting anything so big before!

Hm. I wonder how they snatched Shmi? Or why? (I guess they’re Always Chaotic Evil? Maybe that’s why Padmé’s reaction to Anakin killing the Tusken children is ‘well, everyone has bad days once in a while.’)

Also, he still sounds vaguely petulant. I’m not sure if young!Mark Hamill was this one-note, or if it’s ... Luke being perpetually petulant at this point. We’ll see!

– OBI-WAN: Only Imperial stormtroopers are so precise.


– LUKE: ... but why would Imperial troops want to slaughter Jawas?

*he glances up sharply and C-3PO looks over at him*

Normally I don’t even notice the cinematography. But I really like this: the camera lingers just long enough on the droids for the audience to see what Luke sees, but not so long as to seem particularly melodramatic. I think it’s perhaps two or three seconds. In fact, one of the things that I really, really enjoy about ANH is how the camera-work serves to make the audience identify with the viewpoint characters. Particularly with Luke and the droids, we see what they see. But it’s not obtrusively clever or anything like that.

– LUKE: If they traced the robots here–

Robots? Ha, that is a word in the GFFA! Or it was, in my preferred iteration of it.

– LUKE: – they may have learned who they sold them to. And that would lead them back - home!

The intonation of ‘home’ is great. He sounds positively sick. There’s no hint of a whine, btw – I’m sorry I doubted him!

Also, I love that we actually hear the mental process he goes through here. He's making a reasonable (and unfortunately correct) deduction from the evidence before him, not just jumping to a conclusion that happens to be right.

I like this kind of wholesome, ingenuous, squeaky-clean hero, but they’re often painfully stupid. Luke, on the other hand, comes across as naive and rash, but never unintelligent2. I suspect this is a large part of the reason his character really works.

– Luke takes off at full speed.

OBI-WAN: Wait, Luke! It's too dangerous!

Luke ignores him and hurtles towards his landspeeder. In a scene deeply reminiscent of Anakin3 in Attack of the Clones (though of course it's really the other way around), he hurtles across the desert in the landspeeder, theme music going full-throttle – in fact, now that I think about it, he's even hurtling across the exact same strip of desert, just in the opposite direction.

This is deeply meaningful.

– Luke's expression is more full of dread than anything else.  I'm pretty sure he already knows what he's going to find.

– Randomly, I'm reminded of last Halloween, when my best friend and I went on a Star Wars marathon. I'd watched it a few months earlier, so I mentioned that it was kind of surreal, seeing the main trio look so different.

ME: I mean, when Harrison Ford came on, it was like – holy crap. He's always been, you know, HARRISON FORD, but he was even hotter then. I'd forgotten how early Han was in his career.

BF: Han was his career.

ME: Well, and Indiana Jones.

BF: Who is basically Han Solo NOT IN SPACE.

ME: That's true. Oh, and there's Carrie Fisher in the cinnamon buns things.


ME: Which are not flattering for anyone. Oh, and Mark Hamill looks . . . different. Strangely attractive.

BF: Oh right, he was in some kind of accident, wasn't he?

ME: Yeah, I think it shattered the bones in his face.

BF: … Ouch. So he's – hot or something?

ME: I'm not sure if that's the word I'd choose. More … pretty. Yeah, he was pretty. Sort of like a Ken doll.


a while later

BF: Hey, I think THE MAIN CHARACTER is about to show up.

ME: But it's only been twenty minutes! I am SHOCKED.

*Owen and Luke appear on the television*



BF: … This is so weird.


So then we get to the DEEPLY TRAGIC scene where Luke first discovers his home has been LIT ON FIRE.

BF: Is it just me, or does it seem like the Folgers jingle should start playing about now?

ME: The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup! … Especially if the other part of waking up is finding your family murdered.

– Luke gets out and looks around, screaming for his uncle and aunt.

You know, I hear people say that Star Wars was always meant for little kids. That's why there's annoying comic relief and massive plot holes. These movies are nice, fluffy fun for children; the adult fans are just a Periphery Demographic complaining about things that would be deeply disturbing to the innocent little kiddies.

I don't doubt that kids enjoyed these movies. But I consider it highly doubtful that this scene was aimed at small children:

Yes, kids! Those two smoking, charred fleshless corpses are the same Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru we just saw chatting in the kitchen. Your mummy may say that you're safe at home, but you never know when bad men in white will come and shoot her and burn down your house. But if you're a good little tot, you'll be off doing your chores at the time, and won't be mercilessly slaughtered with the rest of your family.

Star Wars: teaching important life lessons to your children, one burning body at a time.

Luke stares at the corpses in horror, looking like he might start crying at any moment (and it would undoubtedly have been the sexy cry, fuelling even more hundreds of h/c fantasies than he already does):

But does he shed one lone, solitary tear? Does it trail tragically down his wan cheek? No, it does not! Our boy is made of sterner stuff than that. He glances down for a moment, and when he looks up, his expression has shifted from sorrow to . . .

… homicidal rage?

Perfectly justified, of course, but still, vaguely creepy4. That's not a face I'd want to meet in a dark alley, and it's Luke frigging Skywalker.

I might have started whistling under my breath at this point. ON ACCIDENT.

BF: ...?

ME: Oops, sorry.

BF: Was that 'I Feel Pretty'?

ME: I'm sorry! I don't know why I do these things!

BF: *looks back at the screen*

... damn it.

-- The Death Star is slowly revolving, like a planet. Is it . . . actually, I have no idea why. Some kind of gravitational thingy? I guess it might have enough mass for it.

-- Vader! *happy dance*

So, Vader -- uh, breathes -- and follows a couple of black-clad (!) officers through some kind of hallway, and one of them does something to some kind of keypad and the door opens to Leia's cell. I'm rather curious why he needs them to do this. It could just be protocol, but my impression is that they're escorting him around because he's not that familiar with the Death Star and needs them to do whatever to the whatever.

But I've mentioned before that he seems to exist largely outside of the rigid military hierarchy -- the admirals treat him more like a consultant or a minister: someone powerful enough that you wouldn't want to cross him, regardless of the Force, but without direct authority over them. Sort of like Secretary of State or something.

-- Leia's expression goes from bored to vaguely apprehensive to frightened but defiant.

-- VADER: And now, your Highness, we will discuss the location of your hidden Rebel base.

*random weird squealy music*

*enter the interrogation droid*

The camera wisely focuses on the most terrifying part of it -- the syringe and needle on one side of it. Leia somehow manages to look (1) terrified out of her wits, and (2) resolute, all at the same time, because she is just that hardcore.

... I randomly love the way Vader talks -- all formal and melodramatic and each. word. properly. ENUNCIATED. Also, there's an odd rhythm to it, because he overemphasizes every third word or so. It's not random, though -- he chooses the words that would naturally be stressed, but speaks them as if they were in bold (like a comic book!) or all caps: And NOW, your Highness, we will DISCUSS the LOCATION of your HIDDEN REBEL BASE.

My pet theory, back in the day, was that Vader's Basic is acquired, not native. He didn't just 'pick it up,' either -- it's something that he was formally taught, during his Jedi training or simply in a school. Hence the overemphasis and occasionally odd word choices. Of course the PT Jossed that, but I cling to it nevertheless. My headcanon made me happier!  (And otherwise I have no idea why his basic speech patterns would change so drastically.)

-- Luke flies back in the landspeeder. C-3PO is carrying one of dead Jawas in his arms. It's ... strangely touching, actually. Also, they appear to be burning the other bodies. Is it a custom in the area? Obviously it would be for Obi-Wan, who presumably ordered them to do it.

Obi-Wan isn't doing anything in particular, as far as I can tell. It seems that he's just been waiting for Luke to come back, so ... I guess he wasn't that worried about the danger?

-- Luke, looking determined, marches straight up to Obi-Wan (ignoring the droids and the Jawa corpses), and Obi-Wan tries to comfort him ... in his way: well, if you'd been here, you'd have been killed AND the Empire would have got the droids, so it's better this way.

Luke pays no attention to any of this and just looks resolute.

-- LUKE: I want to go with you to Alderaan. There's nothing for me here now. I want to learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi like my father.

I can only imagine how many heart attacks Obi-Wan got from that last bit. (Though perhaps not -- obviously that's why he brought Anakin up in the first place. Still, I suspect the possibility of it weighed on his mind -- his only response is to pat Luke's shoulder with a look somewhere between weariness and dread -- just not enough that he didn't consider the risk worthwhile. Yoda, on the other hand...)

Interestingly, Luke's declaration links his decision to two things: (1) his personal rootlessness, and (2) his desire to emulate his beloved father. Presumably the restless idealism that he shares with him, and which tempted him to take Obi-Wan up on the original offer, also has something to do with it. And it's made at the height of his grief/anger (angrief!) over the death of his uncle and aunt, when he's just discovered their bodies. Yet he never turns back: even when he has new (and, if anything, stronger) personal ties to hold him in place, when he has other options, when he has less than no desire to become his father, and when he's considerably more lucid, he only becomes more dedicated to the vocation.

Luke Skywalker:  more Jedi than you.

-- Lando Calrissian and Mace Windu were the only POC I could remember in either trilogy, but Mos Eisley seems to be thoroughly multiracial. Everybody pretty much dresses the same, though.

-- In the famous 'these aren't the droids you're looking for' scene, Obi-Wan uses the mind-trick ... four or five times? But he only waves his hand once, and it's a fairly small, subtle motion. I'm not sure it's even necessary.

-- The other astrodroids all look pretty much like R2.

-- LUKE: I thought we were dead!

OBI-WAN: The Force ... can have a strong effect on the weak-minded.

Aaaaand Lesson 1 begins! Luke nods and looks intimidated.

-- OBI-WAN: This place can be a little rough.

LUKE: I'm ready for anything.

<3 <3 <3

To quote everyone at Mark Reads: YOU ARE NOT PREPARED.

-- that first glance at the Mos Eisley cantina is sheer awesome. Also, Luke's face is hilarious as he tries to stride in heroically and just stops dead. Aliens! Different aliens! I kind of love that SW has both Rubber Forehead Aliens and Starfish Aliens. It's just ... this is a great scene. This is a great movie. This is a great franchise and I love you all!

-- ... the aliens made me say that.

-- Random pilot dude points to Chewbacca. Obi-Wan starts talking to him ... does he understand Wookiee?

-- BARTENDER: Hey! We don't serve their kind here.

Well, this doesn't remind me of ANYTHING AT ALL.

LUKE: What?

Yes. This is so far from Luke's conception of things that he doesn't actually comprehend it. <3

-- A bunch of people at the bar (both humans and aliens) give Luke and/or the droids deeply unfriendly looks.

BARTENDER: Your droids. They'll have to wait outside. We don't want them here.

... Whoa. I'm kind of curious how the prejudice actually functions in the daily world, since we don't see much of it elsewhere (but then, we don't say much of daily life after this, either).

-- Luke slips to the bar with an automatically apologetic expression and continues to look overwhelmed. Obi-Wan continues to talk to Chewbacca. But now! there is an alien who looks like ... okay, I can't really describe it.

Yeah, that. Anyway, he shoves Luke's shoulder and snarls something. Luke goes back to his drink. A human(ish) patron who presumably speaks the language taps him on the shoulder.

PATRON: He doesn't like you.

LUKE: I'm sorry.


The patron grabs his shoulder.

PATRON: I don't like you either!


That is about the only explanation I can think of, given how incredibly inoffensive Luke is. (Okay, more seriously, it's something more like OOH, A VICTIM. HEY GUYS, OVER HERE!)

PATRON: Just watch yourself. We're wanted men! I have the death sentence in twelve systems.

Luke looks rather like he just got caught at a party with an old lady who insists on showing him pictures of all her grandchildren.

LUKE, politely: I'll be careful then.

PATRON: You'll be DEAD!!

Yes, he says it with two exclamation points.

OBI-WAN, gently: This little one's not worth the effort. Come, let me get you something.

The guy isn't that much taller than Luke. I don't know, maybe he's talking to the buttface dude, but everyone seems to refer to him with these odd infantilizing names. It's like he was designed to hit as many fetishes as possible.

-- Anyway, a fight is on the point of breaking out. Luke gets thrown into a table; Obi-Wan, looking coldly pissed, whips out his lightsaber, deflects blaster bolts, possibly kills someone (it all happens very quickly) and definitely slices the alien's arm off. It bleeds a little (the arm, I mean, not the alien).


PATRON: *whimper*

Luke is shocked and impressed, like 'hey, in all that stuff about guarding peace and justice you never mentioned slicing people's arms off!' I've heard that this was inspired by silent movies and I can see why -- half the story seems to happen in the music or the actors' expressions alone.

-- After all these years, I still love that everybody just goes back to their drinks and the music starts up again.


1 By which I mean, later developments turn Obi-Wan into a compulsive liar YET AGAIN.

2 While he’s not presented as brainy, per se – at first I couldn’t even remember if he were particularly intelligent or not -- on re-watching it’s fairly obvious that his mind is racing at about a hundred miles an hour all the time. [Yoda says something about this, doesn’t he?] I think that’s why life on the farm frustrates him so much– it provides neither an outlet (as flying does) nor a focus (as Jedi training will), just ... stultifying boredom.
I also suspect this constitutes a significant part of his resemblance to his clever, erratic father.  Poor Owen and Beru must have had their hands full – even if, in the OT ANH continuity, they’d been through it all before.

3 I have my issues with Owen and Obi-Wan and how they approach Luke, but let's be fair. Anyone who dealt with Anakin and then Luke deserves serious kudos. And to beat that decaying equine corpse, everything we've heard strongly implies that Owen dealt plenty with Anakin.

4 In fact, isn't that pretty much the expression Anakin has going for half of ROTS? And PT!Anakin takes the gold in creepy expressions. Poor dead Aunt Beru wasn't joking about that whole 'too much of his father in him' thing.


anghraine: from the 2005 p&p: darcy standing at a piano while georgiana plays it (Default)

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