Pre 1980’s Poster analysis

This is my first essay for my Graphic Design degree. It’s a 500 word analysis on a pre 1980’s poster.

For this image analysis I have chosen a film poster, the film I have chosen is Star Wars “A New Hope”. I have chosen this because the poster captivates the emotion of the film. After doing some research on the poster, I found out that the artist is Tom Jung, who was chosen to work on the films advertisement campaign. He created what can only be described as more of a classic theatrical piece of work. This was subsequently re-mastered by the Hildebrandt brothers. Despite their poster being the most iconic and or memorable, I have chosen the original because after comparing the two I preferred the stylised format, which encompasses the theme which is good triumphs over evil. The visual impact of the poster gives us the impression that the protagonists are going to win, this is because they are in a fighting stance, weapons at the ready and don’t seem at all frightened by the villain who is a magnified translucent masked figure, overshadowing them in the background. The poster looks like it was made out of hand painted illustrations and there are multiple iconic characters and themes being shown in the poster, this gives you an idea of what the film is about and who the main protagonists are.

There are also elements of a battle going on in the background between the two factions of good and evil. The logo and the cast information are conveniently based at the bottom of the poster which doesn’t detract from the visual communication of the image. The format of the poster shows us our protagonists in the foreground, showing us that they are the main rolls in this film; you then see the ghostly masked figure in the background which is showing us that he is the main villain. This is almost like a hierarchy of what the viewer should see first. I think that there is a message to this film through the poster, and that is power and the fight against evil. When I look at this poster I see what it is, I don’t think that there is another way to interpret it. It’s a battle of good verses evil. When I look at this poster I see that there is an aspect of gestalt theory in this poster, the continuation principle. This is seen from the protagonist’s lightsaber which has created three beams of light going off into three different directions, one directly up and the other two and either
side. These beams of light immediately caught my eyes which is what drew me to the image in the first place.

I don’t think that it is a coincidence that these beams of light are crossing over the villain’s portrait; it looks like a cross which is a symbol of power and the fight against Evil. The way it’s crossed over the portrait is quite confrontational, almost like it’s showing you that their lightsabers will one day cross. And good will triumph over evil.