A star war universe is an imaginative setting for the six films best known as the Star wars. The fantasy created by the term star wars and the sky and space action contained in the films create a shared fantasy that probably there is an intelligent galaxies containing world beyond the space of time into the nether. Feelings elicited by the star war films maintain a certain level of group fantasies that create symbols that people across many cultures identify with as if the movie represents a common conscious images and plot. Ernest Bormann’s symbolic convergence theory asserts that shared group fantasies that elicit similar desires create a symbolic convergence. The essay delves into identifying different ways in which Star Wars create fantasy chain reactions that in turn help people to identify with the fantasy themes presented in the movies as a form of independent culture in relation to Bormann’s symbolic convergence theory.
Symbolic convergence theory by Ernest Bormann suggests that when a group shares fantasies, they create a symbolic convergence. Bormann and his group observed that a group of people dramatized the events that they experienced together. The process of dramatization of events by members of a group experience together creates an identity. The group members can identify with this identity. The symbolic convergence theory contains elements like fantasy, fantasy chain, fantasy chain reaction, fantasy theme, symbolic cue, fantasy type, rhetorical vision, and a rhetorical community. The Star Wars film ideas and imaginations create convergence in the world today. The symbolic convergence theory by Bormann can explain well the convergence that the films create in the world today. In a personal view, the films have influenced the way my friends and I relate to each other. Most of the people that watch the film seem to have a certain way of thinking. According to Bormann, the films create an identity to the people who watch the films. The aim of this paper is to analyze the application of Bormann’s theory of symbolic convergence in the Star Wall films.
The events of the films take place in a fictional galaxy. Opposing forces control and try to fight each other for the control of the galaxy. In the world today, many people seem to embrace the idea that different forces control the earth. Human beings are relating day-to-day happenings of the earth to different forces of the earth. People assume that hidden evil forces fight for the control of nature. Just as the evil forces in the films are responsible for the destruction of property, evil forces are responsible for the destructive things happening in the world today. The message that the films suggest is what Bormann calls a fantasy. Many people seem to embrace the message. People seem to agree to the idea that there are some evil forces responsible for the bad things happening in the world today (Jackson 194).
Mutual relationship that exist in the Star wars depict a kind of excellent society that is concern about equitable individual understanding of the shared universe resources and time. Presence of the youth-adult relationship depicted as a friendship between a younger man and an older man who acts as the guide. In turn, the older man benefits from the youth by gaining information or opposition according to the socio-political situations that turn the wheel of peace and war in the star war galaxy. The double archetype of the youth-adult relationship creates a fantasy that every young boy or older man might want to experience in life. Every youth admires a coach or mentor towards a preferred profession to as a wise guide when developing a career in life. Similarly, the adult is inspired by the new acquired strength of the younger person who actual help the elder to experience a self-actualization. Deep affection between Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn and a younger apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi creates a twin-like relationship that most families or people miss in real life (Kaufman 4). The relationship reveals how the fantasy theme of shared psyche identity builds over time as the master-apprentice interact. Though the two individual share agreements, they also share disagreements that mirror normal life. The mutual relationship creates a fantasy lifestyle that the audience of the film Star Wars: Episode I-The Phantom Menace identifies with collectively each wishing to be either the youth or the adult according to age demographics. The most spectacular fantasy chain theme would be when the audience watch how the synchronized partners work together successful and how each reciprocates steadily to enhance their mutual relationship. Man aspires to create a mutual symbolic convergence by resolve their differences to maintain their mutual intimacy and respect. The symbolic cue of men responding positively to successful mutual relationship between youth-adult create a kind of impulse that is interpreted as a value to be propagated in real life relationships away from the ordinary intolerant relationship.
The mutual fantasy lasted shortly before Darth Maul impaired Qui-Gon (Kaufman 4). Obi-Wan, the apprentice youth agonized the loss of his mentor, a situation that created a fantasy of crying for the departed mentor even in the audience relevant. The emotional energy attached to the mutual relationship between the youth and the mentor remains a celebrated event among the audience as a form of rhetorical vision portraying a perfect youth-adult relationship that even a father and his son could emulate as a mutual symbolic cue. Obi-Wan develop the symbolic cue when related with his young apprentice Anakin during the Star Wars Episode II-Attack of the Clones. Even women can identify with the warm relationship and emulate the same when interacting with their daughters as helpful mentors of the youth. The ideas that the films depict seem to make people have a common response to some of the things that happen in life. The aspect where a certain group of people reacts in the same way to a message is the fantasy chain according to the symbolic convergence theory. Most of the people who have watched the films will react to betrayal due to love in the same way. The people will expect that betrayal due to love is an expectation even from the person most faithful. In the films, Anakin falls to the dark side because of the love. Anakin falls to the dark side as he tries to save his wife from dying to the dark side. The falling of Anakin to the dark side because of love is not a big issue. Likewise, in the World today, people expect that lovers will go to the extreme ends to save their love. Many people in the world today beliefs of people in regards to this matter are consistent and reflect on what the people believe about the issue. The beliefs are what the theory of symbolic convergence describes as a fantasy theme(Bormann 395). Double imagery is a film tactic of generating a mirror supportive virtual being as a clone to act with similar power. For instance, the Star Wars Episode II-Attack of the Clones presents Jango Fett who raises an indistinguishable genetic copy of himself as his son Bobba in order to retain the same resilience in the child clone (Kaufman 4). Therefore, the biological transfer of genes through the reproduction system is systematical challenged by the development of the clone and how easy it is to decide which character attributes, personality type and resilience power could be decided for someone before birth . The act of predestinating how a child is supposed to look, act and behave is a social shared fantasy by parents, a rhetoric vision that is realized in the film and leaves the audience wondering how to adopt the same technology.
The planet of Tatooine which is the first home of Anakin is featured to comprise of twin suns, a situation that arouses the human mind to wonder how the earthly life would have been if we also had two suns (Kaufman 5). The twin hypothesis extends into sexuality whereby in the Tatooine dramatic pod race, the Troig Fode and Beed is a two united male personality who is two headed, four-armed and bi-lingual (Kaufman 5). The repetitive appearance of twins creates harmony that the human mind perceives but never realizes in real life.
Metaphysical relationships blossom in the Star Wars episodes. Religious men maintain that there exists natural extrinsic manner in which information and training is passed from invincible entities to mortals. Star Wars: Episode V-The Empire Strikes back details an event in which Obi-Wan’s spirit or ghost mentors Luke. The communion of departed spirits is a fantasy in religious books that is satisfied in the movie when spirits of Yoda and Vader Anakin come back to help Luke succeed his heroic mission together with the spirit of Obi-Wan. Language is the main obstacle hindering spirits and mortal men from communicating. However, a young male Jedi is depicted to have the ability to commune with his ancestor ghosts of his father and male mentors. The movie depicts a strong spiritual fantasy theme that creates a rhetoric vision of every individual attain capacity to communicate with ancestors. The idea that someone can communicate with the dead is quite absurd but voices a general accepted fantasy chain reaction in which everyone wish to attain the Jedi ability of speaking beyond the physical plane of life. Thus, there exists a symbolic convergence instance whenever an action elicits a fantasy that the audience could like to experiment. If the fantasy theme that man would talk to his ancestors come true one day, every fan of Star Wars films would identify the source of the rhetorical vision in the film. Symbolic convergence gives details about how causal processes transform into results. Since Bormann asserts that common or collective rhetoric vision is the best way to relieve tension, it is true that people would indulge in talking to their family and mentor ghost partly to relieve pain or tension within the group and find relief to pressing questions and challenges. Rhetoric vision like speaking to ghosts or receiving mentorship program from ghosts contains motives that prompt any person to believe and act on the fantasy.
Character archetypes equal create fantasy chain that cause audience to identify with specific heroic actions and force the audience to virtually possess the vigor and heroic qualities displayed by the best heroes. Luke Skywalker is the main hero who fights to restore order when Planet Aldernan is blown up by the empire represented by Darth Vader. The audience of the Star Wars films associates by default Luke with the savior with the symbol of light while Vader embody darkness. Luke’s mission is to rescue princess Leia and her planet from the empire that represent the dark forces. The antagonistic war between light and darkness is mirrors the struggle on man between good and evil. Darth Vader is possessed by the natural greed of an intolerable entity whose desire is to conquer and rule regardless of the ill effects of his methods of war.
The fantasy of the action itself creates a symbolic cue that works to arouse every individual to attain certain psychic capacities exhibited by the actors. The power to release energy in form of electric power from the hand and fingers is so realistic in the movie that in turn the audience questions if the ability was ever interfere with by unknown mutation. Human forms are working in harmony with other humanoid entities that resemble human without any forms of discrimination that exists in the present world. The idea that men and space entities could work together against a similar enemy creates a fantasy type using symbolic imagery that triggers group of cinema audience to interpret the situation as if it were really happening and would happen in future. The fantasy theme that men would work with space entities and beings is enhanced by the current space explorations that have yielded supporting data that life-supporting universes must occur out there just as the earth exists. A new concept of charging the weapons using body energy is still under research and moving of huge components of heavy objects like spacecraft using only thought energy is another fantasy type that creates a symbolic cue that many people respond to without slightest hint that it is only a fantasy. Young fans sometimes try out to use their hands to move objects in vain but the symbolic cue yet to be satisfied and thus remains fantasy.
Another idea that the films depict is that the people who betray the others do not win but lose. Many people are incorporating the idea in their daily works. The idea is now a common knowledge probably among all the people that have seen the film. People try to be faithful and avoid betraying their groups and communities in order to succeed in whatever they are doing. The people derive the idea from the film in the episode that Obi-Wan defeats Anakin. Although Anakin is strong and has more powers than Obi-Wan, Obi-Wan defeat him because he betrays his own group and falls into the dark side of life. The common thinking that people apply here is in line with the symbolic convergence theory. Here, the dramatizing message is that people who betray their groups will fail. Symbolic convergence occurs as everyone in the group starts to think towards the same direction. A group conscious thus develops from individuals watching the films. All the people having the same conscious about betrayal form the rhetorical community (Jackson 196).
The rhetorical community that the film creates is easily identifiable. People tend to use common language that relate to the films. For example, people will use examples from the films as they communicate with each other. A person who tries to betray a group will get a warning not to do so and the people will give him an example of what happened to Anakin after he betrayed his community. People tend to argue in line with the thinking that the film depicts (Cragan 84). The common way of thinking of the rhetorical community creates the symbolic convergence that Bormann describes in his theory.
The films present an idea that in every crisis, there is a person who is there just to save the situation. Although the person might take long, or may seem far away, the person will one day come and save the situation. The person might fail to save the situation by himself but he will provide a means to solve the problem at hand. In the case of the films, the savior of the community was Anakin. Anakin was a slave in the desert before Jinn found him. Jinn immediately knew that Anakin was the one who was to bring balance of the forces. Although Anakin went through many challenges, he at last got training and was able to bring balance to the forces(Bormann 400).
The films depicts that sacrifice is important for success. The film creates a rhetorical vision that people will only succeed after a sacrifice. In the film, Obi-Wan allow the evil forces to kill him as a sacrifice for the others to survive and eventually defeat the evil forces. The sacrifice is instrumental in the success of the community and it gives all the others the strength to keep on fighting until they succeed. The ideology has changed the modern world in that more people belonging to this rhetorical community are ready to make sacrifices in their lives in order to achieve success. A symbolic convergence forms once a large number of people start thinking in the same way (Bormann 398). In conclusion,the films The Star Wars are an application of the symbolic convergence theory by Ernest Bormann. The films ideas and imaginations form the dramatic messages that Bormann discusses. The messages form fantasy, which develops into a chain then a chain reaction in which people from different cultures identify with fantasy themes expressed in the films. Once a rhetoric theme consolidates a meaning, a rhetoric community emerges forming the symbolic convergence. The films change a way of thinking of people, their language and form an identity. The people relate to the identity through imagination and reality. The people tend to form a group conscious and think alike resulting in a symbolic convergence.
The Star wars films provide the timeline expansion of technology in nature and machinery. The peak of machinery power versus the power of nature is tested by the wars and the confrontations that face the Republic and the Empire. In the Star Wars: The Old Republic, When the republic is attacked and defended by the entities, the spacecraft used fly at awesome speeds that create a motion fantasy that fans of films identity with as a truer way channel of connecting space environment. Every star wars film fan identifies with the spacecraft that disperse at the speed of light. The urge to own, operate and run a machine of equal strength and functionality as the spacecraft witnessed in the films creates a collective fantasy. The film successful reveals a computer generated universe that is quite realistic in visual, motion and action as if the experience is first-hand to the fans.
The films contain various rhetorical visions throughout the dramatized episodes that make the fans of the films believe in a common symbolic identity and attachment to the environment and space within which the films take place. The emergent rhetoric community share similar symbolic imagery contained in the visions from images and symbols portrayed in the movies. The manner in which every character behaves and acts affects the perception of the audience in different ways; nevertheless, the fans of the film are more disposed to like the agents of light and hope against the agents of darkness and doom.