Summer SAVY 2019: Session 1, Day 3 – Theory, Criticism, and The Force (Rising 5th/6th)
Students of Theory, Criticism, and The Force:
“Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is.”
Master Yoda could have been speaking about you. He’d be impressed with the amount of content you assimilated during our session. Parents, if you’re reading this, brace yourselves: Your children absorbed a Holocron’s worth of information today!
We began, as we do, with games. Our spectacular TA, Ms. Katie, lead you thru some brain teasers, before we played an expanded version of Pew, Pew, Pew. Today we added some new moves: the “Punch it, Chewie!” and the “Lando Steal.” Of course, I’ll also have a few new surprises for you tomorrow…
We continued our summation of the narrative events of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. After charting the film thru the Midpoint, we “broke” the narrative using Blake Snyder’s template of the Hero’s Journey. I enjoyed our debate as to who the protagonist of the film might be; though I had my thumb on the scale during that conversation, I do suggest we all reserve judgment until we’ve reached the final credits.
We discussed Semiotics and Post-Structuralism. You can tell your families that you’ve begun study of signs, symbols, and mean-making. We turned to a lightsaber battle from Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones and the famous carbon-freezing sequence from Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back to practice creating chains of signification. As I said, Semiotics will prove to be the key to unlock every other theory we’ll cover this week.
We spent a little time in the computer lab, researching historical events around and about the making and release of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. This allowed for our investigation of Historicism, and what it means to either historicize or re-historicize content. We watched a segment from the documentary Empire of Dreams, which contextualized global events circa 1977. It’s so true that meaning is of the liminal space; that time so often drives out lens.
Oh, yeah: We watched more of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. I gotta say, I love that some of you were surprised by the return of Poe; that he wasn’t killed in that crash landing on Jakku. And I’m glad that we’ve reached the point of the film when General Organa enters the action — and I’m glad that we were able to rehistoricize scenes featuring Peter Mayhew and Carrie Fisher to honor those wonderful actors.
There’s much more to come. I hope that you enjoy your evening, and that when I see you in the morning you’re eager to tackle new theories. We’ve only just begun!
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