Log in

No account? Create an account
Previous Entry Share Next Entry
How to phrase this....
So I was reading Todd Alcott today in a discussion of the "Acts" in a movie (Act I, Act II, etc). He used as examples Star Wars: A New Hope and Jaws, with Star Wars being 3 acts of 40 minutes each, each ending with Luke not being able to go back from there (Act I ended with the Death of Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen, thus ending his ability to stay on the farm, Act II ended with the escape from the Death Star, with Obi Wan dead and him committed to the Rebel Alliance, and act III ending with credits).

One of the commenters said that Luke's initial impulse was to rescue Leia, and then once she's on Yavin IV he flies off and leaves her there to be blown up. In explaining why I thought this analysis is wrong, I realized that there was something I didn't know how to phrase...

Todd Alcott commonly uses as a starting point of analysis the question "What does the protagonist want?" An initial glance at the commenter's analysis would answer the question "To Rescue the Princess". I don't agree with than answer. But I can't say "No, he doesn't want 'To Rescue the Princess'" because obviously he does.

So how would you say it? How would you say that the answer to the question "What does Luke Skywalker in Star Wars IV want?" is not "To Rescue the Princess"?

ETA: Apparently I wasn't clear. My answer to the question "What does Luke want?" is "To be a hero, like his father" (which leads to complications in Episode V).

How do I say "Luke doesn't want 'To Rescue the Princess'" or "Rescuing the Princess isn't what Luke wants." while acknowledging that Luke does, in fact voluntarily and eagerly rescues the princess?

  • 1
how about to woo & bed the prioncess?

Yeah, my thinking was similar. He sees this holo-recording of a beautiful girl (not like the girls on his planet). He wants to see her, meet her, spend time with her, all that stuff. And like anyone bubbling with hormones, he's motivated. He'll attempt whatever is required to get close to her and impress her. This ends up covering both "rescue the princess" and "be a hero". And, like in real life, goals and motivations change. As he receives the Jedi training and some maturity, he realizes that the galaxy is bigger than he thought, and there are important things going on, and his actions can influence them. Also, C3PO is giving him hypnotic commands while he sleeps.

I think I missed the hypnotic suggestions in the movie ;)

"EWWWW! Luke kissed his sister!" - Wolf, EVERY time Luke kisses Leia.

*lol* it's a bit creepy yeah ;)

(userpic is no reflection on your post!)

He wants To Be The Hero. To join up with the Rebel Alliance and fight the Empire. Even when he's whining about not being able to leave Tattooine, it's still there.

It's easy to confuse this with To Rescue The Princess, because for the first two acts they're the same thing.

"To be a Jedi, like my father before me." Luke's character arc (in all 3 movies) is actually relatively simple, compared to the others. "Rescuing the Princess", flirting with the princess, being a Rebel hero, etc., are all subsections of "being a Jedi".


"Rescuing the Princess is not Luke's primary motivation."

"Rescuing the Princess is not what Luke originally sets out to do."

"Luke embodies the Hero arctype, which does involve rescuing someone important to them, but it is not the only motivation. It may be the starting point, but it is not the sole reason."

"Rescuing the princess is not Luke's *primary* desire, but a subsidiary one."




  • 1