Click here to Hear the Theme Song
Media Study - Star Wars

         Click some of the pictures to hear dialogue from the movie



This guide has been written to help you study a feature film. 

In doing so you  will look at the following aspects: 

            - The content of the film - what it is about, and itís social and media significance.

             - Style, structure,
language and  it's appeal to the audience

             - Also presentational devices and visual images - how these create emotive and persuasive effects, and relate to other media.

The following site might help you with some of your answers:  
Draw or paste appropriate pictures into your book as you complete this media study.

Starting your work

            Leave a page in your book or folder  for a title page. Design this page around the title 'Science fiction' or 'Star Wars'. Complete this over the next week. 

         1. On the next page, under the heading 'Star Wars', write a brief outline or summary of the film - the plot of the story. Do not go into detail here (less than a page will do). Mention also  the various sequels to the film - The Empire Strikes Back , Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace. How do these connect to the original Star Wars

2. In one paragraph, describe  the setting of the movie. Explain where the events in the story take place.

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Themes found in the film

  • 3. What are some of the themes found in the film? You might consider ideas of authority and political oppression, and independence or personal freedom. Also good against evil and friendship and loyalty. Explain how the film explores these ideas. (Three or four paragraphs)
  • 4. Explain the idea of the Force - what is meant by "May the Force be with you"? (One paragraph)
  • 5. Compare this film to other sci-fi films (e.g. Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T., Alien, Blade Runner, The Fifth Element, Independence Day, The Matrix) (One paragraph)


  • 6. Comment on any interesting passages of dialogue - especially those which establish the characters of Luke (Mark Hamill), Obi Wan-Kenobi (Alec Guinness), Darth Vader (Dave Prowse), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) and Grand Moff Tarkin (Peter Cushing). 
    (Two or three paragraphs)

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Presentational devices

       7. Comment on the following:

  • a) Structure (sequence) of narrative. Are there any 'flash-backs', or does the narrative unfold in the right order of events as they happen?
  • b) Music and sound
  • c) Stunts and special effects (SFX) - look at: the various vehicles and spacecraft in the film, weapons, such as light sabres, use of holograms (very novel in 1977), stunts and action sequences
  • d) Make-up/costume - comment on the way John Mollo (costume director) depicts strange creatures (Jawas, Tusken Raiders, Jabba the Hut, Chewbacca and so on)
  • e) Acting - comment on the performances of Mark Hamill, Alec Guinness, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Peter Cushing, Dave 
    f) Comment on the performance of those (human actors) playing non-human parts: Chewbacca, Jabba the Hut, C-3PO and R2-D2. How do they add to the movie.
  • g) Direction - comment on the direction: is it hard to follow the narrative, is the pace too slow or fast, how do the directors help the audience follow the plot? - Why is there an opening scroll or 'crawl text' at the beginning of the film?

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Visual images 

        8.a) View and make brief notes from this slide show
           b) Comment on the cinematography used in Star Wars:

  •  i.e. the visual qualities and effects achieved through such things as how shots are composed-distance, angle, movement ;And the use of colour, lighting, sound and so on. Also such things as:

  • - the action sequences
  • - the way the film presents scenes set in space
  • - the presentation of strange locations - Tatooine, the cantina, the Death Star and so on
      (About one page - three or four paragraphs)  (for more help)

                 (The film was awarded the 1977 Oscar for Best Visual Effects. )

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Significant achievement in cinema

         9. Why is this (or is it not) a good film? To answer this, look at audience - who the film was made for and how the audiences responded to the film. Also look in more detail at the important scenes, including any scenes which make the narrative (story-line) clear, and the climax or resolution of the narrative. (Two or three paragraphs)


          10. Finish your response with a personal evaluation - what you liked about the film, and why. Also briefly recap your findings on the aspects of the film study, mentioned in the introduction at the top of the page.

(In writing about Star Wars you may use reviews from magazines or Web sites. You are allowed to quote from these, but should show quotation with inverted commas. You may express agreement or disagreement with what you find in these reviews. )

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   Star Wars 

                           A.  Starting your work
                           B.  Themes found in the film

                           C.  Language
                           D.  Presentational devices

                           E.  Visual images
                           F.  Significant achievement
                           G.  Conclusion


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© Andrew Moore, 2000;