Star Wars

Star Wars Symbols, Allegory and Motifs

The Desert of Tatooine (Symbol)

The place Luke calls home is bleak in every imaginable way: topographically, economically and spiritually. It serves as a kind of symbolic landscape for the ways that Luke feels under-stimulated and is dreaming of bigger and brighter horizons. Tatooine is as dangerous as it is desolate, and Luke dreams of far grander intergalactic adventures as a pilot.

The Death Star (Symbol)

The Death Star represents imperial dominance and violent fascistic control. It is not only a space station controlled by the Imperial forces, but a powerful weapon that the Imperial forces use to intimidate and destroy weaker entities. Thus, the space station represents the evil forces that dictate the actions of the Imperial forces. Additionally, its vulnerable area, which the Rebels are able to infiltrate in order to destroy the entire space station, is representative of the fact that even though the Empire may seem powerful, it is actually quite vulnerable.

John Williams' Music (Motif)

John Williams, who composed the now-iconic score, incorporated leitmotifs into his score to signify certain thematic elements and characters. The main title's motif is also aligned with the character of Luke Skywalker. Specific musical moments also correlate with the Imperial March, the Force, and Princes Leia.

The Millennium Falcon (symbol)

The Millennium Falcon is Han Solo's beat-up ship, which he insists is very reliable and powerful, in spite of looking like a big piece of junk. The ship itself becomes symbolic of Solo's contribution to the Resistance. Even though Han Solo is a little reluctant and rough around the edges, and does not always fit the image of a committed Rebel, he is helpful and competent at key moments, and comes through when he is most needed with bravery and grit.

The Force (Allegory)

The Force, within the logic of the movie, is a metaphysical energy field that protects Jedis and can be harnessed for powerful means. Symbolically, it serves as a kind of allegory for spiritual belief, and human investment and faith in the unseeable forces that dictate reality. George Lucas is known to have taken his inspiration for the Force from various spiritual and religious belief systems, such as the belief in qi, magic, Zoroastrianism, Taoism, prana, and quantum physics.