When viewing Star Wars: A New Hope, I noticed that watching the movie through the gender lens provides the most depth and insight into the movie. I believe the gender lens is important because it displays how the paradigm of masculinity constricts men to behave adversely from their true inclinations. Throughout the film, we see countless examples of this sort of behaviour occurring either internally or externally. For example, we see how Luke only shows a split-second of remorse for his lost relatives before immediately steeling his resolve and following his sort of vow to bring R2-D2 to Princess Leia. Although he may be having an internal struggle full of remorse and grief for his lost family, it is suppressed by the idea of male strength which revolves around being strong and emotionless. This represents how men in the film are supposed to be strong, brutish, and have less of an emotional side compared to women. Another overlooked idea is how Han Solo is constantly condescending and snarky towards Princess Leia, yet when Luke and Han Solo are alone, Han Solo asks Luke if someone like him could ever get with her. This expresses how Han Solo is forced into maintaining the male stereotype façade around Princess Leia due to his fragile ego and state of mind. This also reveals that even though Han Solo doesn’t necessarily want to treat Princess Leia as cruelly as he did, he lacks much of a choice due to the pressure of the model of masculinity. This lens also helped me notice a subtle detail about how Darth Vader immediately attacked Obi-Wan when he discovered him instead of peacefully communicating at all. This shows that Darth Vader is strong, decisive, and radical which is a form of the perfect male stereotype. We also see how Darth Vader immediately tries to choke one of the Imperial Senate members after he teases and makes fun of him. This discovery further reinforces the masculine idea of decisiveness and strength. From this, we can see that male characters are forced into this sort of mold that they should follow in this film. The male characters are depicted as decisive, strong, and powerful with their only weakness being the strength of other men. My conclusion is that all the male characters in the film were created with this masculine mold in mind.


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