A movie is a set of images that tells us a story. The reason for them being so popular is because they allow us to escape from our ordinary lives into a completely different setting. Filmmakers use a range of cinematic techniques to build tension and engage the audience. Using the opening scene of Star Wars, I am going to analyse how George Lucas has used camera angles and movement; costume; lighting and special effects; music and sound effects and shot length in order to do so.
To begin with, by starting off the movie with “A long time ago in a galaxy far far away…” immediately captivates the viewers’ attention. The phrase creates the atmosphere of a fairy tale because “far far away” is ...view middle of the document...
Having a battle scene at the start of the film was quite rare for the time in which the film was produced. This is different from nowadays where battle sequences are fairly common. During this part of the scene we are introduced to the two ‘droids’-C3PO and R2D2. They are the first characters the audience meets. Both C3PO and R2D2 come across as quite timid, neutral characters as their costumes are neither black nor white.
As the scene progresses we learn that C3PO has more of a worry-prone personality unlike R2D2 who seems quite relaxed. Through the way that C3PO is walking, we can sense that he is worried and panicked as he is constantly shaking and has his hands up in the air as if he is surrendering. He comes across as pessimistic as he thinks that they will “be destroyed for sure.”
During the scene the lighting is extremely bright to highlight the fact that the whole ship is white. This represents that the spaceship they are in is part of the good side. Throughout the scene there is battle music, which is more rushed and dramatic compared to the opening theme song. Furthermore, there are many crashing and explosive sound effects in the background to emphasise the fact that there is a fight taking place. Lastly, you can see how the frame shakes every time a crash or explosion occurs. George Lucas has done this to make the explosion look as realistic as possible. There are many special effects such as lasers, smoke, gunshots and explosions. Lastly, the screen quickly fades and changes to another part of the ship where C3PO and R2D2 are caught between a laser fight. Once again the frame is changed to a different part of the ship where Darth Vader makes his grand entrance.
The entrance of Darth Vader is the main part of the whole opening scene. His entrance is very dramatic due to the chaos created by the storm troopers invading the ship. This achieves a lot of drama and gives the audience a chance to see the contrast between the two parties of good and evil.
As Darth Vader enters it looks as though he is emerging from the shadows as he walks through the smoke. The battle music stops playing and the storm troopers move aside to let their leader through. This creates suspense as it shows that he has power over them and it also hints that he has great importance to the story. Furthermore, it creates a mysterious atmosphere. George Lucas uses a long shot to show the full height of Darth Vader, making the viewers feel inferior to him. Then, the shot changes to a close up, drawing the attention towards his mask. This makes the audience feel as if it could have some relevance further on in the film. The music then restarts; however it is a more negative sounding tune. This creates a sense of fear and weariness. Throughout the rest of the scene, you can hear Darth Vader’s raspy breathing whenever he is there. This makes the viewer feel uncomfortable.
Darth Vader’s costume contributes massively to his personality. His intimidating, armoured...