Special Topics: Star Wars HUM 2390 Summer 2020
First Exam Due during class
Directions: Answer one or two (See below) of the essay questions fully and completely using the works specifically cited by the questions. Any other works, both used in the course and those outsides, are fair game for the student to use. Quotes should be used as direct support with a citation as to their origin if unclear. Unless other stated, the student should conform to MLA format. A good answer (if you answer only one question) is 4-5 pages. If you answer two questions, then 3-4 pages. Remember this test tests your knowledge of the movies Star Wars Episodes 1 & 2.
DO NOT WRITE A PLOT SUMMARY! Assume I know the movie by heart and only use what you absolutely must to set the scene and NO MORE!
A) Analyze the universal plot for one of the Star Wars movies, then pick the another movie and analyze its Plot development relative to the first movie. Compare and contrast how the movie’s plots are both different and similar and show the plot’s relationship to the series, even though we are not done with it yet (i.e. how does this movie enhance/detract for the overall plot of the series).
B) Chose one of the three movies and analyze one of the following concepts (you may use more than one): (note this is not a free-for-all to trash the movies if you are so inclined)
Plot Development: (how well the plot of the movies enhance each other),
Characterization: (Compare one character [not the main character] from the movie. Show how is he or she important to the overall plot.
Setting and Scene: (Analyze a scene(s) from the movie. Show how that scene’s setting is important to the overall success of the movie and how the scene is indicative of the movie.
C) Analyze a character as he or she grows and develops throughout the movies. This development can also be about our understanding of him or her (i.e. this is not limited to just good heroes, but also villains). You should also use important relationships and how they effect the chosen characters development. Specific quotations should be used here to demonstrate the growth.
D) Analyze our understanding of the movies placement: Naboo, Tatooine, Coruscant, Earth, or the Universe. Answer the following questions. How is Naboo, Tatooine, Coruscant, or the Universe itself a character? What does that placement “mean” to movie or main characters (i.e. Naboo to Queen Amidala, Coruscant to almost anyone)? What does that placement “mean” to the larger world in general?
E) Choose a non-reoccurring or minor character and analyze his or her relationship to the plot of the movie and to the development of the main characters. This analysis should encompass specific relationships between characters and the importance of this non-reoccurring character.
F) Analyze the concepts of good and evil in a movie or movie series. How does our understanding of the “good” or “evil” in the movie’s world change or evolve (or does it)? This analysis must involve complex plot development as well as characterization and analysis.
G) Analyze the use of stereotypes in the movies. Relate specific instances where the movie world mirrors the “real world” or doesn’t. i.e. Queen Amidala plays a mothering role (still, or a wifely/mothering roll) to Anakin and to Naboo and fights to defend her “child” or she plays a kingly role and defends her country/territory, or something else. Also discuss the reason why the director’s chose to use stereotypes and what effect that use has on the movies, both through characterization, plot, and setting.
H) Analyze the use of names. Are names significant or meaningful to the movie character development or the development of the movie in general? Why or Why not? Use specific examples that support your analysis.
I) The movies are saturated with religious imagery. Analyze the use of religious imagery in a movie or movie series and explain what meanings this understanding brings to the work(s).
J) One argument posed by “experts” is that the Star Wars movies are a replacement for our (the real worlds) disillusionment with the failures of Christianity (or any religion in general) to solve the world’s problems or make the world a “better place.” Argue either for or against this opinion using the movies as support.
K) Analyze either Anakin, Obi-wan, Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn or some other character in the first two movies in their Heroes Journey. You should use the Hero with a Thousand Faces videos and handouts as references. Show how the character you analyze fit/does not fit the paradigm.
L) Pick a character and analyze that character psychologically. What motivates that character to make the choices he or she makes? You must define that character using psychological constructs and demonstrate how your psychological analysis enhances the understanding movies. (This will require outside sources, documented in MLA format)
M) Compare two or more characters psychologically, either heroes or villains and from similar or different movies, explaining the interactions between these characters and how their individual psychology defines their interaction. (This will require outside sources, documented in MLA format)
N) Pick a theme we have discussed in class and show its development throughout the movies. Explain how the theme is fundamental or important to the overall plot of the movie. Use specific references from the movies.
Possible themes include, but are not limited to, the following:
Fame (and loosing it)
Family (and the lack thereof)
Power (and it various forms)
Classical Literary references
Relationship to normal life
The hero’s journey
Right and wrong
What is means to be a hero
What makes one character a hero
What makes heroes different
O) Analyze a hero’s relationship with their mentor figure (i.e. Obi-wan, Qui-Gon Jinn to Obi-wan, Obi-wan to Anakin, Darth Sidious to Anakin, etc.) and those authority figures he respects. How is Obi-wan (Anakin) (or the character) guided (well or poorly) by them and what is their effect on his development?
P) Analyze the Master/Padawan relationship and trace the lineage between Yoda to Anakin. What revelations do you discover?
Q) Analyze the meaning of the Jedi order’s destruction. Was it necessary for the balance of the force or was it a tragic occurrence that cost the galaxy untold wisdom and knowledge? What revelations do you discover?
R) If you do not like any of these questions, write one down you would like to answer and submit it to me. If I approve it, I will analyze and rewrite it and you may use that question.
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