Patterns in Star Wars

Maybe because I'm a little too right-brained, I find myself looking for patterns in movies.  Here are a few that I have found in the Star Wars saga and took the time to comment on.  Also, see a little observation about the Batman series at the bottom of this piece.

Star Wars traditions

You can expect the appearance of certain tried and true events in any Star Wars film, so much so that they feature into drinking games based on the series.  Here are a few of the more obvious ones:


Heroes (but never villains) use their lightsabers for something other than battling the Sith.
In each film, at least one character loses/damages a limb.
Midgets get a payday!
Jedi Ghosts
Only bad guys get subtitles
R2-D2 gets trashed...
Bountiful bounty hunters
Relationships revealed
Plot devices

Every movie climaxes with a light saber battle
The big battle(s)
Each film begins with a the same opening: "Once upon a time..." followed by the logo, followed by the scroll-up, followed by a shot of a star field, and here a ship enters the frame kicking off the story...
All the films end with a scene in which no dialogue is spoken; only John Williams' score is played.
Someone teeters on the brink of a chasm
Subterfuge, Disguises, and Lies
One or more characters are eaten (or almost eaten) by a creature
We meet again...
Someone is mind-controlled using the Force
Scripted bits (dialogue)

Much fault-finding
Someone has a "bad feeling about this."
It's their "only hope..."
Design work

Minimum of three worlds per film, with each described as having one climate.
  • Episode I
    • Naboo
    • Tatooine
    • Coruscant
  • Episode II
    • Coruscant
    • Tatooine
    • Naboo
    • Kamino
    • Geonosis
  • Episode III
    • Coruscant
    • Utapau
    • Kashyyyk
    • Mustafar
    • Pollis Massa
    • Naboo
    • Alderan
    • Tatooine
    • (Shown briefly: Mygeeto, Felucia, Cato Xeimoidia, and Saleucami)
  • Episode IV
    • Tatooine
    • Death Star
    • Yavin
  • Episode V
    • Hoth
    • Dagobah
    • Bespin
  • Episode VI
    • Tatooine
    • Death Star II
    • Endor
    • (Shown briefly: Coruscant, Naboo, and Bespin)

Lightsaber Gimmicks
Grappling hooks and tow cables
TIE collection
The Star Wars saga and multiple climaxes

For what might arguably be the ultimate guy's movie series (James Bond 007 notwithstanding), the Star Wars saga has steadily established a pattern of increasing the number of climaxes through each successive movie.

Star Wars = 1
1) Luke and the Rebels attack the Death Star.

Empire Strikes Back = 2
1) Luke battles Vader.
2) Leia, Chewie, Lando, and the droids try to save Han, then escape from Cloud City.

Return of the Jedi = 3
1) Luke battles Vader (again).
2) Rebel fleet attacks the second Death Star.
3) Han, Leia, Chewie, and the droids (and, yes, the Ewoks) try to sabotage the shield generator.

Phantom Menace = 4
1) Qui Gon and Obi-wan battle Darth Maul.
2) Anakin and the Naboo fighters attack the Trade Federation battleships.
3) Gungans and battle droids re-enact Braveheart (or, more accurately, Spartacus).
4) The Queen and her guards infiltrate the palace.

Attack of the Clones = 5
Jedi commanding Clones to attack Battle Droids built by Geonosian bugs lead by Separatists controlled by the apprentice of the future Emperor.  Seriously, did anyone follow all this?

Revenge of the Sith = 4 (these are more wrap-ups than climaxes)
Star Destroyer: Vader and Palpatine survey the Death Star's construction
Naboo: Padme's funeral
Alderan: Leia is delivered by Bail Organa
Tatooine: Luke is delivered by Obi-wan

Bonus Round: Same Bat-time, Different Bat-number

You know why the Batman series worked as long as it did?  They had a formula to maintain the novelty:
N = M + 1, where N is the number of characters and M is the movie in the series.

Batman = 1st movie = 2 characters:
1) Batman
2) The Joker

Batman Returns  = 2nd movie = 3 characters:

1) Bats
2) Cats
3) The Penguin

Batman Forever  = 3rd movie = 4 characters:

1) Bats
2) Robin
3) The Riddler
4) Two-Face

Batman and Robin  = 4th movie = 5 characters

1) Bats
2) Robin
3) Batgirl
4) Mr. Freeze
5) Poison Ivy
At this rate, the next movie (if there ever is one!) should be the freaking Justice League.  And why not?!

All contents copyright 2003-2007 "In a gAle[x]y far, far away..."
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