May the Force be with you in due course Jean-Michel

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 20 May, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 20 May, 2006, 12:00am
 

The Force definitely wasn't with a course offering a Freudian analysis of Star Wars this month.


'Everything You Wanted To Know About Star Wars But Were Afraid To Ask' had been set for lift-off at HKU Space but failed to attract enough students.


The course, the brain child of Jean-Michel Sourd, head of French at Diocesan Boys' School, was to have analysed hidden themes in the George Lucas blockbuster.


It has now been rescheduled to run next month if there is enough interest.


Mr Sourd first took a Freudian approach to the film's themes after the release of Return of the Jedi, publishing an article in the French fanzine Notebooks: New Horizons in 1983. 'At the end of the saga last year I thought I should reopen the file,' he said. 'I have always been fascinated by the film's huge success, which definitely wasn't just because of its special effects.'


Mr Sourd said there were many sequences in the film that benefited from a Freudian analysis, including one where Luke Skywalker is seen going into a cave where he fights someone wearing the mask of Darth Vader, who turns out to be his father in the story, but has his own face under the mask in this scene. He said this classic father-son conflict symbolised Lucas's problems with authority.


'The Jedi rebellion against the Empire also reflected his own rebellion against the Hollywood system,' he said.


Mr Sourd claims there is an incest theme running through the films. 'The main women in Lucas's life were Wendy, his sister, who was always helping him out when he was in trouble, and his first wife Marcia. Luke falls in love with Princess Leia, later discovering she is his sister, so the status of lover becomes the status of sister,' he said.


Mr Sourd, who has taught courses for Space before, said he was surprised so few had signed up. 'We live in a place that likes blockbusters and success. I'd have thought people would have wanted to know what made one film a success while another failed,' he said.


Arts courses didn't have the budget for heavy advertising, unlike MBAs, and relied mostly on word of mouth promotion.


Mr Sourd said the readvertised course would be in three parts; the first on themes and the key to the film, the second on symbolism and Lucas's galaxy and the final a more 'down to earth' one dealing with business and merchandising.


HKU Space secretary Gladis Lee said the postponed course was now due to run on Wednesday evenings starting on June 7. Call Ms Lee on 2975-5689 or contact Mr Sourd at jeanmichel.sourd@gmail.com


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