By: Bryan Ricardo Marini Quintana
Anthropology Reinforcing Mythology
To craft the setting and story of Star Wars, George Lucas became a pupil of anthropology and mythology. Through Anthropology, The Filmmaker built the background elements of his story with fictional societies and cultures. This led to the creation of various alien species and planets. From the desert planet of Tatooine, the snow planet of Hoth and the forest moon of Endor, with harsh living conditions, to technological marvels such as the hovering settlement of Cloud City in Bespin or the technological terror such as the hovering battle station of the Death Star, for various species to inhabit. Alongside, there’s the planetwide metropolis of Coruscant, the wild jungles of Kashyyyk, the boundless oceans of Kamino, the towering spires of Geonosis and the verdurous valleys of Naboo, presenting a variety of environments that differing species roam around. At the center of the story, there are the Jedi and Sith who have clashed through a millennium with their religious creeds. Fighting for these ideals are the factions of The Rebel Alliance, which stands for freedom over tyranny, or The Separatist Alliance, which stands for control over the economy. These are contrasted by The Galactic Republic, which defends democracy and the ideals of the noble Jedi Knights, twisted into The Galactic Empire which imposes totalitarian rule and the ideals of the sinister Sith Lords.
Going back to his years as a student of Social Sciences, George Lucas learned about the science of human beings, Anthropology. In this field, the main objective relies on studying the ancestors of a civilization in a specific time and space, exploring primarily their society and culture. Within Anthropology, there are the branches of Social Anthropology, which seeks to comprehend patterns of behaviors in societies, and Cultural Anthropology, which strives to understand the meanings, norms and values of cultures. In each branch, George Lucas found answers on how individuals in societies thrived and how achievements in cultures gave life meaning. From here arose prerogatives such as: How were societies organized? What was the relationship between behaviors and values? Why did people act in a specific manner? These key questions sparked the imagination of The Filmmaker, who sought to become a participant observant of his creation. A Long Time Ago In A Galaxy Far, Far away … George Lucas created varied alien species who inhabited a multitude of planets and took sides with differing factions that encompassed the societies and cultures of Star Wars, crafting the setting of the story. Such a feat of imagination was achieved through the use of an Anthropological Setting comprised of religious, magical and artistic expressions within cultures that became the background elements of the Mythological Story.