《星球大戰》與亞里士多德

《星球大戰》是佐治盧卡斯(George Lucas)創作的科幻故事,也是他用電影藝術演繹出來的神話哲學。《星球大戰:新希望》在1977年推出以來,一直歷久不衰,後來在迪士尼的投資推廣下,把故事延伸到另一個世代,也把觀眾層面擴展至更闊的領域。

我是在《星戰》文化長大的孩子,曾經對電影裡的每一件道具十分著迷,因此選擇修讀產品設計,藉此瞭解設計背後的理念;後來研究盧卡斯的故事創作理念,才發現他是運用影像科技來包裝神話文化。

古希臘哲學家亞里士多德(Aristotle)認為戲劇有六個元素:情節、人物、思想、語言、音樂、場景;《星球大戰》的戲劇理念正包含了這六個元素。《星球大戰》有史詩式的劇情,故事橫跨幾個世代,讓不同年齡的觀眾都可以找到自己投放時空的角色;特別是男性的觀眾,更有認同感。

人物設定是根據英國古典英雄故事的創作公式,你可以在電影中找到身世耐人尋味的英雄(Luke Skywalker)、隱姓埋名的智者(Yoda)、誤入民間的公主(Princess Leia)、兩肋插刀的戰友(Han Solo)、讓人捧腹的丑角(C-3PO),當然還有心狠手辣的歹角(Darth Vader)。這些人物豐富了劇情,鮮明的角色設計讓故事擁有了生命。

《星戰》電影系列明顯有正邪對立的思想,然而電影不斷闡述平衡宇宙的「原力」(The Force),代表著神秘的力場和人類的某種信念。有智慧的觀眾都明白「原力」只是故事其中一個賣點,實在無需把這種意念變成真實信仰,正如作者在片頭的字幕敘述:這個故事發生在很久遠的宇宙裡…(A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….)

語言是導演與觀眾溝通的媒介,《星戰》電影充分運用這種媒介,在電影裡不單有人類的語言,也雇用語文專家創造一套完備的異星人語言系統,賦予外星人角色有仿真的方言。另人驚訝的是,電影裡還有獨特的機械人語言,機械人R2-D2的語音聲效,竟然演繹出不同的情緒來,把戲劇的語言功能發揮至另一個層次。

無可致疑,《星戰》的音效不單是獨當一面,電影音樂更成了交響樂的經典。《星球大戰》的主題音樂由John William作曲,倫敦交響樂團演奏(註);音樂協助劇情的進展,把壯觀的星戰場面賦予震撼心弦的感受。《星戰》電影的浩瀚宇宙背景讓觀眾歎為觀止;然而場景的作用並非單純的營造背景而已,不同的場景暗藏著不同的信息,角色在其中產生了相對的感情變化。

倘若根據亞里士多德提出的戲劇元素去欣賞《星球大戰》,那麼我們應該反覆觀賞六次,領略當中未曾發現的戲劇智慧。然而現代的電影藝術,不只用這六個角度來觀賞,還包含其他豐富的欣賞元素。觀眾更應留心幕後工作人員付出的努力,這些出色的製作人各司其職、盡顯才能,在每個崗位互相配搭,才能創造這個令人著迷的星戰神話;原來同心合一才是《星球大戰》踏上成功的真正「原力」(The Force)!

註:London Symphony Orchestra for all six feature films, from 1977 to 2005。

後記:
用戲劇元素去觀賞《星球大戰》,確實另有一番滋味;但是我們若細心思想故事裡的角色設計,原來隱藏了豐富的信息。讓我在未來的26天,為你分享一些有趣的發現:《星球大戰》的隱藏信息 (Hidden message from “Star Wars”)。

Star Wars & Aristotle

Star Wars is a classic science fiction created by George Lucas, who is a myth-maker. “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” was first released in 1977. Since then, the Star Wars Saga has continued and stays strong. Since the Disney Group has invested in the project, the Star Wars Saga has been picked up by a new generation and popularized by a younger audience.

I grew up as a fan of Star Wars. I was fascinated by all aspects of the Star Wars films. This fascination is what inspired me to study industrial design; I wanted to understand the logic and basics behind the films. After I studied the creative ideas in Lucas” films, I started to realize that he has used scientific techniques to doll up an ancient philosophy.

Aristotle, the great Greek philosopher and scientist, defined six elements that make a good drama: Plot (mythos); Character (ethos); Thought (dianoia); Diction (lexis); Melody (melos) and Spectacle (opsis). One can find these six elements in the story of Star Wars. The films are like Aristotle”s “Poetics”: a dramatic plot that is relevant to several generations allowing audiences of different ages to relate to their characters. It is especially true of a male audience who can relate to one of the characters.

The creation of the Star Wars characters follows the “English Classic Character” formula. There is a hero who is seeking for his identity (Luke Skywalker), a mystic Jedi Master (Yoda), a princess who lives with the commoners (Princess Leia), a fighter who is always loyal (Han Solo), a clown-like klutz (C-3PO) and a hero who is evil to the core (Darth Vader). These strong personalities fill the story with life and drama.

The “Good and Evil” are two extreme forces that stands against each other in the Star Wars Saga. However, there is the existence of “The Force”: a force which presents a mystical ancient power or a special human belief. A wise audience probably understands this “Force” is just one of the selling points in the films. It is, therefore, un-necessary to take it as true belief. After all, it is mentioned at the beginning of the story – it happens “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…”.

Language (diction, lexis) is the Story-teller”s mean of communication. Star Wars used “Language” to let the characters express their ideas. Not just the human language, but linguistic experts have created complete alien languages for each of the alien in the galaxy, allowing all characters to have their own expressive diction. Even the robots in Star Wars have their own “voice”. The sound effect of R2-D2 surprisingly expresses great emotions. This pushes the element of “Language” to a higher level.

Needless to say, the special sound effects for Star Wars are superb. The musical compositions of Star Wars are excellent and have become musical classics. All music scores were written by composer, John Williams and performed by the London Symphony Orchestra*. As expected, the element of “Melody” (music, melos) assisted “Spectacle” (scene) to achieve better results – the Star Wars musical symphonies aroused and intensified great emotions of the audiences when they looked at the vast, unsearchable, fathomless galaxy on the screen.

According to the six dramatic elements of Aristotle, the scenes (Spectacle, opsis) not only show as backgrounds for the actions, they also provide hidden hints and messages according to the actions and interactions between the characters (ethos). Taking the six elements in mind, we should watch the films six times, focusing on each element at a time to fully discover the wisdom of the drama. Modern film creations definitely consist of more than just Aristotle”s six elements, we must use different perspectives to enjoy the hard work and creation of every contributor to Star Wars… story-teller, actors, director and all background crew. They all worked relentlessly with one goal and they all used their own talents to collaborate with each other. The end result was the creation of an amazing and incredible Star Wars Saga.

The true “Force” of Star Wars is… “To Work Together with One Heart”!

* For all six feature films, from 1977 to 2005。

Translated by Anita Chiu

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