Thursday, September 27, 2012

Do or Do Not...There is No Try

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back was the last film in orginal triliogy by George Lucas. The film was directed by Irvin Kershner with George Lucas serving as executive producer. . Although this entire film is stunningly amazing, I was assigned to choose only a five minute scene of this master piece. The scene I have chosen is one of the sagas most famous and magical moments which fits the criteria of my assignment.
This particular scene depicts a wide variety of mise-en-scene and aspects that make the set come to life. Everything from a misty fog to real live reptiles roaming the set, the scene feels like something out of a discovery channel documentary. The over growth of trees that were built on to the set engulf the scene, enriching the area full of nature. This feeling can also be felt by also looking at the particular characters and how dirty they have become. In the scene, Luke Skywalker can be noted with a mucky sweaty look to relate to the climate and environment he has landed in. Another character would be R2-D2, who has accumulated a lot of the swampy mud all over its shiny hull. The lighting in the clip can be seen shining down from above as if the sun is fighting its way through lush swamp trees. The characters are the only ones that are illuminated while the trees cast shadows through out the rest of the jungle behind them. The diegetic and none-diegetic sounds play a very large role in this particular scene to simulate the emotion that is occurring each shot.

The sets for Dagobah were built five feet above the stage floor, allowing puppeteers to crawl underneath and hold up the Yoda puppet. The setup presented Frank Oz, who portrayed Yoda, with communication problems as he was underneath the stage and unable to hear the crew and Mark Hamill above. Later, Mark Hamill would describe how felt about being the only human truly on set. The rest were just a handfull of puppetiers, robots, and various reptiles.
The following is my shot list of what I see in each shot.
  • In the first shot, we are greeted with Yoda and Luke already in a training session. The shot opens wide, largely due to be able to capture both characters in the scene. The view of the two characters is viewed between two trees, this gives the sense of being in the swamp.
  • The second shot, we see R2-D2 and the crashed X-Wing in the background. This shot was a precursor note to the later scene of the X-Wing sinking further into the swamp.
  • In the third shot, we see Yoda and Luke still in the training session, only this time Luke is using the force to levitate a rock.
  • The following shot is a close up on the stone being levitated and stack onto another stone. The camera tracks the movement of the stone at an angle that appears to be the point of view of Luke.
  • This shot is immediately interrupted by a close up of R2-D2 shouting warning noises. As the droid alerts Luke, he starts to turn towards off screen, which is assumed to be the ship, according to the next shot.
  • The next shot reveals that X-Wing has almost completely submerged underneath the swamp water. The shot is wide and only captures the wing of the ship as it bubbles down into the water.
  • The next shot is a close up shot of Luke who has lost his concentration and begins to lose his balance of Yoda and the force.
  • To follow Luke's actions, a close up on Yoda is shown and displays him losing his footing and falling out of view.
  • The pursuing scene shows a medium shot Luke completely falling on the ground with the diegetic sound of Yoda hitting the ground around him. The diegetic noise was made because the audience does not physically see Yoda hit the ground. A Frustrated Luke starts to get up, and is assumed to be looking at where his trainer has landed.
  • After we see Yoda struggling to get up from the ground to relate to the fact that he just had taken a pretty far fall. After he has fully stood up, he looks in the opposite direction of the screen which gives the idea that he is looking back at Luke.
  • The scene returns back to Luke who has just made his eye contact with Yoda and now focuses on the direction the sunken ship. He gets up and walks off screen in the presumed direction of the ship.
  • In this scene, the camera is opened wide enough to capture Luke, who enters in from the right, the ship in the background, and R2-D2 who is in the foreground of the shot. To give the audience a better idea of where Luke is going to come from, R2-D2 is tracking Luke as he comes into view. In this scene, Luke can actually be seen stepping into the water of the swamp which add to the realistic feel the set gives.
  • Here we are looking back at Yoda as he remarks to Luke's stubborn attitude. It is a wide shot which leaves plenty of head room above Yoda. This is done to give the audience the idea of height differences between Luke and Yoda. The angle that given would seem to come from a point of view of Luke or an average height person.
  • The shot returns back to Luke and R2-D2 to show the communication and reaction of Luke to Yoda's remark.
  • In this shot, we are given a medium shot of Yoda who is continuing his lecture to Luke. This was probably done to show the importance of his message.
  • This shot is to continue the action of the conversation Luke is having with Yoda. Luke is talking to Yoda who is off screen but with the directions each one is facing, we are lead to believe they are right there talking.
  • The medium shot returns, again to show the importance of the message Yoda is trying to convey.
  • In this shot, we have a close up on Luke's face as he appears confused and turns back to the direction of the ship which is out of view.
  • After Luke responds with his unmotivated line, A quick medium shot of Yoda is given to show the sharpness of his retort.
  • Yoda's message is laid over this next close up shot of Luke returning quickly back to Yoda. This simply to keep the flow of the conversation and to make sense to the audience.
  • One of the most famous lines in the entire saga is given in this medium shot of Yoda who is continuing his message.
  • The shot returns back to Luke who is again appearing to be aggravated at the lessons he is being given.
  • In this clip we see a different angle and medium shot of Luke who is still looking back to show the audience that he was moving his line of sight of Yoda to the ship. Luke gives off a sigh and extends his hand to the ship which off screen.
  • A medium shot of the ships wing sticking out from the swamp is seen and appears to be rising out from the water. Bubbling of the water also adds to the action of the ship moving due to the force.
  • A close up shot of Yoda's face is seen in this clip that shows Yoda's astonishment of Luke's potential ability to life the ship with the force.
  • A close up of Luke still extending his hand towards the off screen ship is seen in this shot. As the shots rolls, the audience can Luke start to struggle by the way his facial expressions are being given.
  • A close up shot of R2-D2 adds to the excitement of the clip to give the audience a sense of hope.
  • A wide behind shot of Luke, the ship, and R2-D2 is seen to show the action that is occuring. R2-D2's whistles really set up the feeling the audience gets as the ship rises and falls back down to swamp.
  • A close up shot of Yoda who was once giving a face of astonishment falls to a face of disappointment. This was all to show that Luke had failed at understanding Yoda's teachings.
  • A medium shot of the ship returns and shows the ship completely sink underneath the water. The diegetic noise of R2-D2 again displays the emotion of the scene.
  • A close up shot of Luke also returns to show his feeling of failure as he watches the off screen ship sink.
  • A medium shot of Yoda at an angle of his height is follows. As it rolls, Luke enters from the right towards Yoda who is slightly off center. As Luke walks in, we can only see his legs, until he drops down to Yoda's level.
  • As Yoda starts to lecture Luke, a close up is seen of Luke's face that shows his feelings and his response to Yoda's question by shaking his head.
  • A close up shot of Yoda is now seen to continue the importance of his message. As Yoda continues on, he reaches over to the right to Luke, who is off screen
  • The close up of Luke returns but Yoda's arm can be seen reach in to relate to his message.
  • The following shots are of Yoda describing the force in particular elements of the nature around them. In the close up shots of Luke, the audience can see him looking at the objects Yoda is describing.
  • In the last close up shot of Luke, we see his disbelief in his own abilities the look on his face, and he starts to get up from the ground.
  • The next shot returns of the medium shot of both Luke and Yoda on the ground, as Luke starts to rise up. In Luke's full stance, his head and shoulders are cut off screen. Now as Luke rose up off screen, we can see Yoda's head follow where Luke's head is going to be off screen. This helps the audience understand when Luke starts talking to Yoda off screen. Once Luke delivers his retort, he walks towards the woods behind them and disappears off screen.
  • In the next shot, the camera appears to be panning downward as Luke enters the screen from the right, still walking back into the woods. The camera does not follow Luke, but we can still see him walk to an area and sit down. This is to probably give the audience that feeling of wanting to be alone after failing something you have worked hard for.
  • This medium shot of Yoda we can him raise his hand towards the direction of the ship which is off screen. We can also hear the music change from a sad melody, to a magical mysterious melody.
  • The medium shot of the foggy swamp is seen with water bubbling all around the area of where the ship is assumed to have sunk.
  • A close up of R2-D2 is shown with it giving of excitement whistles as we assume he notice the action that is taking place.
  • R2-D2's whistles continue in this scene, which seems to have gotten Luke's attention from his sulking spot. Luke leans back and looks towards the camera which is assumed to be the direction of the swamp and starts to walk in that direction. Once he gets to a clearing from the trees, he suddenly stops as if he shocked to see the action taking place.
  • A close upshot of Yoda follows with his hand still out reached and seems to lifting the ship with ease.
  • A wide shot is now shown with Luke in the Background and R2-D2 in the middle. They appear to be looking at the area of where the ship is in the swamp.
  • Finally a close up shot of the underbelly of the ship is shown rising from from the swamp. Once the ship has fully risen, Luke and R2-D2 are seen in the background looking in the direction of the ship.

  • A medium shot of Yoda is shown with his hand mimicking the movement of the ship from out of the swamp to the direction of land.
  • The wide shot of the camera under ship returns, only this time the ship is at a higher height, and all three characters are able to be seen. This shot was to show the audience of where everyones locations during this action.
  • Another close up of Yoda is seen, with him still following the movement of the ship with his hand.
  • A close up on R2-D2 is shot, with it giving off another progressive whistle. This is also done to show the mood of the clip.
  • An over the head medium shot can be seen of Luke looking at the ship off screen. As he backs up, the shot turns to wide to allow the landing gear and part of the ship to be seen landing in front of him.
  • A close up shot of Yoda with him finishing his action of moving the ship can be seen in this clip.
  • The wide shot of Luke and the front of the ship follows with Luke in disbelief as he peers around the ship.
  • The close up of Yoda returns with him giving off a sigh, probably to seeing Luke's reaction of what just happened.
  • A tracking shot of Luke behind the back of the ship follows. R2-D2 is seen, slightly cut off screen, sporting positive whistles towards Luke who still is in disbelief.
  • A wide shot of the ship, Yoda, Luke and R2-D2 precedes to show Luke walk from his position to where Yoda is positioned at.
  • In a over the shoulder of Luke, we see Yoda give his line and reveals to Luke as to why he fails.

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