Star Wars
One
of the most memorable moments for many students will occur when they see
"Star Wars: The Phantom Menace," the first part of a prequel trilogy
to the beloved Star Wars trilogy. The original three films Star Wars: A New

Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi have embedded themselves
in our current culture. The Force, composer John William\'s famous soundtrack,
and lines such as "Luke, I am your father"(which is never said in any
of the movies) have become common in present day culture. But, the Star Wars
trilogy also contains a deeper theme that is not unique to the current time
period. In George Lucas\'s Star Wars Trilogy as well in Joseph Conrad\'s Heart of

Darkness, the contrast between good and evil is conveyed through the optical,
symbolic differences of black and white. The planet Hoth from The Empire Strikes

Back and the Congo in Heart of Darkness are very symbolically similar. The Rebel

Alliance has a base on the ice planet of Hoth. The Rebel Alliance stands for
good as do the snow and ice that cover Hoth; hence, a society of good stationed
on a good planet. But, the Galactic Empire, or pure evil, soon attacks and
overtakes Hoth. This situation on Hoth is similar to the white assimilationist
techniques used in the dark, African Congo. The white man, "evil",
attempts to assimilate the Congo, or goodness. Thus, both Hoth and the Congo and
their assimilations, however successful, typify the conquests of evil over good.

The clothing of Luke Skywalker across the whole Star Wars Trilogy and of Marlow
across his trek into the jungle symbolize man\'s journey of self-realization. In
the very beginning of Star Wars, Luke wears a robe of white. For practical
purposes the robe should be white because then it will reflect the most sunlight
away on the planet of Tatooine; but the white color of the robe also stands for

Luke\'s pure goodness at that point in time. But as time progresses, namely in
the latter portion of The Empire Strikes Back and The Return of the Jedi, Luke
begins to wear the garb of a Jedi-a black tunic and matching pants. These dark
outfits symbolize the fact that Luke contains an element of evil within him that
he can never destroy, namely that he is the son of Anakin Skywalker-the man who
would become Darth Vader. In Heart of Darkness, once Marlow realizes that he was
produced by an evil white society he throws away his dark, blood stained shoe.

Casting off this dark article of clothing symbolizes Marlow\'s rejection of evil
society. A change in the personalities of these two characters can be seen
through the change in their clothing The characters of Darth Vader and Kurtz
both symbolically represent the hidden good or evil in a person that is
primarily evil or good. Darth Vader is evil. No doubt can be had that this is
true; not only does he wear an black, mechanical suit which looks menacing, but
he also has no qualms about killing other people, even his own family. However,
a shred of decency does remain within Darth Vader as is seen in The Return of
the Jedi. As Emperor Palpatine is destroying Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader attacks
the emperor in order to save his son. Once the emperor, Darth Vader tells Luke
to take off his black mask to reveal a pure, white face although this means his
certain death. At this point, Darth Vader has reverted back into Anakin

Skywalker and has revealed to his son that he really had good inside of him
before he died. In Heart of Darkness, Kurtz is similar to Darth Vader. Kurtz\'s
life has turned to evil. He exploits a group of people, similar to what the

Empire does to its inhabitants. Not until the very end, when Marlow and the
audience meet Kurtz and his ghostly white face doe Kurtz repent crying out,
"The horror! The horror!"(p.123) These two men who had lived similar
lives of naiveté, correspondingly end their lives with attempts to redeem
themselves by realizing the folly of their former ways and make final, feeble
tries at repenting. The people around them also realize that both have purity,
however minute, within their souls. Two works of art separated not only by the
passage of time, but also by the changing of society, use the contrast of black,
no color, and white, all colors. These colors which can symbolize good and evil
within the same work of art represent the struggle between the good and evil
parts of man\'s soul.