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Use the CGA, Luke: oral and visual elements of narrative in Star Wars film trailers

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posted on 2021-05-23, 13:43 authored by Marc Muschler
CONCLUSION: This MRP explores the relationship between narrative structure and oral and visual narration strategies as illustrated in three Star Wars theatrical trailers. The theatrical trailers for Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope (1977), Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999), and Star Wars, Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015) provide an overview of the development of narrative structure strategies utilized throughout the franchise’s forty-year history. By applying William Labov’s theory of narrative analysis (1972) and Bordwell and Thompson’s film style analysis (2012) to the three trailers, this MRP demonstrates that marketers are increasingly attempting to elicit an emotional reaction and connection from audience members through the use of visually compelling narratives that rely on suspense and an awareness of the Star Wars brand in popular culture. This study additionally illustrates that Labov’s model of narrative analysis is useful in the interpretation of film trailers because it can be used to identify patterns of narrative structure which can help illuminate the narrative intent behind marketing strategy. In a broader context, this study is useful in understanding how narrative structures function in film trailers, a relatively understudied marketing paratext that is increasingly important in film marketing and promotional strategies.





Master of Professional Communication


Professional Communication

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type