Wednesday, 4 May 2016

A Scene to Remember: The Cantina Scene from Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)

© Disney/Lucasfilm | Source:
On May 4 what could be a more appropriate introduction to our A Scene to Remember category than the infamous, original "Cantina Scene" from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope? As a source of many a pop-culture phenomenon and much controversy, because of changes in the Star Wars Special Edition, it is not too much to proclaim it one of the most iconic scenes in film history. Although many of you know this scene, let's take a look at it again, reminisce, and celebrate Star Wars Day:

If, by any chance, you should have lived in a hole until now and have never watched this scene before (shame on you, yes, but also) these 6 minutes really set the scene for the whole saga. You got a bunch of weird and interesting creatures that inhabit this galaxy (my personal favorite is balls chin guy). They have all somehow arranged themselves with living in the same space. Arranged, yes, but it is still a survival of the fittest situation and throw in some drinks at a bar and you got a hell of an explosive mix!

Here you also get a real sense of character constellations and what their roles will be throughout the saga. You got the timid sidekick droids R2D2 and C3PO, who are sidelined here, because the bar only allows actual living creatures to join in the action. There is Luke Skywalker, the young and somewhat naive boy from the countryside or rather desert, which has even less human interaction. He is threatened by some goons and has to be rescued by wise, old Obi Wan. He may look old and frail and talk with a posh British accent, but it becomes clear very quickly: Do not mess with Obi Wan Kenobi! He's a badass and not afraid to get a little violent (yet classy) to get his point across. Bad guys shut up, limbs go flying through the bar - happy days. The Cantina Scene is also where we first meet Chewbacca and Han Solo and they add a nice little angle to Luke and Obi Wan's rescue mission. This country boy and Jedi, the blatantly obvious good guys, have to visit this shady joint of a meeting place to pick up morally ambivalent, yet charming, smuggler Han Solo and his furry companion. Should make for one interesting quest!

A New Hope's genre is listed as "epic space opera" on Wikipedia and this scene embodies it perfectly. Great music - check! An epic story of good vs evil - check! Opulent costumes - check! Story taking place in a galaxy far far away with alien creatures speaking languages you don't understand - check! And finally someone, who knows how to exit the stage with a bang - check! More than anything the world remembers Han Solo's first appearance on our screens and his problem solving skills. No one could fry up a monster, not give a damn and simply exit with: "Sorry about the mess." The Cantina Scene truly is A Scene to Remember for making a character a pop-culture legend. After all, Han shot first."

Source: cordobaalternativa


P.S.: If you want to know more about the making of A New Hope, a closer look at the characters underneath the masks, and what Star Wars means to them, check out the documentary Elstree 1976, in U.S. cinemas starting Friday May 6, 2016.

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