Star Wars: The Last JediA2 Media Studies
Film Case Study
Star Wars The Last JediBackground and context.
The Star Wars franchise is arguably the first of the blockbuster franchises. Whilst the James Bond franchise predates it by 25 years, the Star Wars films were the ones that were massive hits, getting queues of fans around the block, getting multiple repeat views, selling masses of merchandise and spawning sequels, prequels novels, comics and life-long fans.
The original Star Wars film came out in 1977 and was later named Episode 4: A New Hope after the creator George Lucas decided he wanted to release the entire saga of 9 films. He later decided to make the first 3 prequels and sold the franchise to Disney in 2012 for $4 billion, letting them complete the saga and make spin-off movies.
STAR WARS - THE LAST JEDI : GENRE Star Wars is firmly rooted in the Science Fiction genre. It has all the tropes one
would expect of the Space Opera sub-genre.
Space Opera refers to works set in a spacefaring civilization, usually, though not always, set in the future, specifically the far future. Technology is ubiquitous and secondary to the story.
Space opera has an epic character to it: the universe is big, there are usually many sprawling civilizations and empires, there are political conflicts and intrigue. The action will range across a solar system or even a whole galaxy.
It has a romantic element which distinguishes it from most Hard Science Fiction: big love stories, epic space battles, oversized heroes and villains, awe-inspiring scenery, and insanely gorgeous men and women.
Space Opera covers the Action / Adventure elements quite comprehensively. IMDBs use of the genre Fantasy refers to the quasi-magic aspects of the Force.
IMDB Genres: Sci-Fi | Action | Adventure | Fantasy
STAR WARS - THE LAST JEDI : NARRATIVE Last Jedi is the 8th part in the Star Wars 9 film Saga and the middle film of a
trilogy. As such it helps to know some of the back story and narrative arcs established in previous films
The Star Wars universe contains thousands of populated planets. At the centre of the galaxy is the civilised core where the rule of law, set up by the democratic Republic is in place. The outer edges of the galaxy are a bit lawless. The Republic keeps the peace with its Jedi Knights who use the Force to help them do good.
A small group of evil Force users called the Dark lords of the Sith stir up unrest and start a civil war. (Films 1,2,3). The Republic creates an army which are turned against them, the Jedi are betrayed by Vader, a Jedi gone bad. The Sith win. Few Jedi live.
20 years later Luke, the lost son of the rogue Jedi rescues a princess who discovers a way to help defeat the Sith, who have turned the Republic into an evil Empire. A band of Rebels defeats the Empire and the Sith are defeated. (Films 4,5,6)
30 years after that the remnants of the Empire (now the First Order) return from the Outer Rim and attack the complacent Republic. The Republic look to Luke & the Jedi to help but they are all but dead. The grandson of Vader looks set to destroy the Republic, but a new force user Rey tries to stop him. (Films 7&8)
ALL TRAILERS STAR WARS 1 > 8
STAR WARS - THE LAST JEDI : NARRATIVE Exposition The First Order find the Resistance base, blow it up and chase the Resistance Fleet,
which is on its last legs.
Development Rey finds Jedi Master Luke Skywalker on backwater planet Ahch-To. Complication Poe Dameron and the Resistance destroy a Dreadnought and escape but lose half
their fighters doing it.
Complication The Resistance Fleet cant escape the First Order. They need a code-breaker to get on the enemy flagship, disable some tech and escape.
Complication -Luke, wracked with guilt about villain Kylo Ren refuse to join the Resistance but gives Rey some basic Jedi training. Rey encounters the Dark Side. She leaves.
Complication The First Order kill most of the Resistance Leaders and a new plan to run splits the Heroes. Ex Storm-trooper Finn and engineer Rose jump to corrupt party planet Canto Bight and meet DJ a code breaker who gets them on the First Order flagship and betrays them.
Complication Rey is captured by evil Kylo Ren who takes her to Supreme Leader Snoke. Rey and Ren kill Snoke just as the Resistance Admiral rams her ship into the enemy flagship causing chaos.
Climax The Resistance make a last stand on the planet Crait, ready to die when Luke Skywalker appears and stalls the enemy long enough for the last handful of Rebels to escape with Rey.
Resolution The First Order have killed all but a handful of Rebels who have escaped. The last shot of the film shows a small boy on Crait apparently using the Force suggesting hope.
STAR WARS - THE LAST JEDI : NARRATIVEBINARY OPPOSITONS
GOOD VERSUS EVIL
RESISTANCE / REPUBLIC VERSUS FIRST ORDER
REGULAR TROOPS VERSUS FACELESS STORMTROOPERS
MULTI-ETHNIC HEROES VERSUS WHITE ANTAGONISTS
LIGHT JEDI VERSUS DARK SIDE
OLD WAYS VERSUS NEW ORDER
HOPE VERSUS FEAR
LOVE VERSUS HATE
STAR WARS - THE LAST JEDI : REPRESENTATION
STAR WARS - THE LAST JEDI : REPRESENTATION
STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI - INSTITUTION
LUCAS ARTS DISNEY BUDGET $200 MILLION MARKETING CAPAIGN BOX OFFICE TAKINGS $1.2 BILLION
STAR WARS LAST JEDI - AUDIENCE
Massively divisive 7.5 IMDB 91% ROTTEN TOMATOES $1.26 BILLION DOLARS (& RISING)
TOP TEN HIGHEST GROSSING MOVES OF ALL TIME
IMDB TAKE OVER
Star Wars Last Jedi website