When watching this film, I see a lot of isolation and estrangement in the characters. We will look at this theme with the main characters throughout the movie.
The first two characters we meet are C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) and R2-D2 (Kenny Baker). These two are isolated automatically in their makeup. They are droids in a predominately organic life-form world. Therefore, they are already separated from other characters. When the escape-pod lands, they are isolated in a desert, too. C-3PO and R2-D2 go their separate ways. They are literally alone for awhile.
Obi-Wan Kenobi, a.k.a. “old Ben” (Alec Guinness), is also isolated. Apparently the “Jedi are all but extinct”. He is one of the few still around. And no one in his area really has tried to get to know him. He is so estranged from society that Luke (Mark Hamill) doesn’t even know he is Obi-Wan. He thinks they are related.
Luke becomes estranged when the Storm Troopers kill his aunt and uncle. They were the last family he had that he knew about. Now all he has is Obi-Wan and the two droids. “There is nothing for [him there] now.” He is alone.
Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) also seem to be isolated. The name Solo literally refers to him being alone. They have each other, but no one else seems to associate with them when we first see them in the bar. They are smugglers. Not a profession that attracts a lot of people.
I would even argue that Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) is estranged. She is trapped on the Death Star with the Empire supporters. Therefore, she is isolated in that she is the lone supporter of the rebels.
All of this isolation produced a great atmosphere for these characters to become a team. And, as we see in the end, they do become a team, with the exception of Obi-Wan dying... But he's still kind of around... So yeah, solid team in the end!
Here is a New York Times review of the movie from the day after it was premiered in 1977. Pretty cool stuff.
Check out an analysis of the main characters. This includes information from Episodes IV, V, and VI. However, I think it is interesting.
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