Friday, May 11, 2018

A New Hope: The Closer

Kinda weird it's happening from right to left, right? But this is where things get interesting, because the shots are highly reminiscent of the film's opening, almost shot-for-shot. Don't believe me?

Yeah, they diverge after the opening, but it's still a nice call-back, and also offers a deepening of how Star Wars uses right-to-left and left-to-right. The opening fight failed, and this small, ridiculous, assault isn't supposed to work either. This is a suicide mission and Han is very right to call it so.

There's not a whole lot I want to comment on this fantastic turn of events. Luke assumes leadership in a ship he's never flown, working with everyone and everything that will come to him. It's interesting to see how the epic events of Episode I (no, I did not mistype) affect a 19 year old, as opposed to a 9 year old. Luke is old enough to understand exactly what's at stake. Unlike Anakin, who hasn't developed enough to actually appreciate the epic nature of what's at stake, Luke is incredibly aware of what's riding on this assault and is humble enough to be scared by it. And, unlike Anakin, Luke has a deep personal stake in this as well. Biggs has been friends with Luke since he was a kid, who immediately trusts Luke with leadership. So when he goes, Luke has yet another opportunity to turn to the Dark Side and he doesn't. He keeps his perspective, something Anakin was never good at. And yes, he keeps hearing Ben and wondering if he's crazy or not, which is a good sign. He's not confident in himself so much as he must be confident to save everyone, so he is by necessity. But Luke isn't going to make it. He was never going to, the cinematography has always told us that this attack is doomed to failure and it shouldn't be much of a surprise when-

Yeah, I know I control the pacing so saying "On cue" is kinda dumb.
This time is different. Luke can see who helped him and why the did. Unlike Anakin, who never realized that his ability to destroy the ship was contingent upon Padme's success (a success inspired by him), Luke knows why he was able to destroy the Death Star. His friend, Han, the guy who never seemed to give a crap about anyone, has come around, because of the power of friendship.

The episode ends the way it began: with a bunch of soldiers staring at their l
eader(s). Only this time it's the triumph of right and goodness and community over evil and despair and forced conformity. It's a beautiful moment, one full of so much promise, so much hope, so much utter naivete... cause what happens when the twins find out they've been lied to so much? While this is actually a pretty good stopping point for the series there's so much more to explore as Luke and Leia discover more of who they are and what their place in the world is.  At the end of this fourth episode there's a lot of possibilities for where Star Wars can go. But the darkness always has to catch up...

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