It’s hard to watch the climactic scene in ‘Star Wars: Episode IV’ without breaking a sweat. Why is that? Is it the stakes involved in the story at this point, in which Luke’s quest to destroy the Death Star would read to anyone who had been paying attention as the one thing that could save all human and non-human life? Is it the pacing of the scene? The jump cuts? The constantly changing perspective? Or George Lucas’s shrewd assimilation of myriad influences into one burst of cinematic energy? Julian Palmer has chosen this scene as the final episode in his ‘Discarded Image’ series with 1848 Media, and fittingly: by the end of the scene, one really does feel stunned, wiped out, and, optimistically, gratified, to a degree with which few films of its era could compare. Palmer does an excellent job of exploring the scene, getting under its hood and finding out how it works, and, by extension, telling us quite a bit about Lucas himself, as well as the film’s historical context, in this piece: I look forward to seeing what Palmer will do next.
Watch: The ‘Star Wars’ Climax and the Movies Behind It