Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones- A Film Classic


The Star Wars series is one of the largest and most successful franchises in film history with video games, books, cartoons, toys, amusement park attractions based on the series, and up until this spring, I had never watched the movies! I took this assignment as a prompt to continue my endeavor into the series with Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Attack of the Clones, along with the 5 other films and the upcoming episode, were written and directed by George Lucas. The movie, released on May 16, 2002, was an instant hit and has grossed $649,398,328 worldwide as of December 10, 2011 and was the #3 top domestic grossing film in 2002.

r2d2_c3po2                       original

The screenplay of Star Wars Episode II is naturally much cheesier than the previous films because a large portion of the plot is a forbidden love story. Many of the scenes between Anakin Skywalker and Padme are unbearably melodramatic. However, Lucas still manages to include humor and moralistic tones throughout the script. Additionally, there was an incredible amount of foreshadowing in the dialogue. Watching this film was frustrating because of my knowledge of Annekin’s destiny. Knowing that he would eventually become Darth Vader affected my opinion of many of the characters actions. For example, Obi-Wan Kenobi’s faith in Anakin and Padme’s decision to marry the future super-villian was upsetting.

Kaminoans next to Obi-Wan Kenobi 2011-3-blue-crush/

Being that the Star Wars movies take place on many different planets, costumes, makeup, and special effects are extremely important. The artists and designers who create these effects do so to transform an environment convincingly and create an entirely new realm for the setting. The characters in Attack of the Clones are either CGI or in costumes, based on their complexity. R2-D2 is a hollow costume with actor Kenny Baker situated inside whereas the Kaminoans are computer animations because of their unhumanlike proportions. Padme is a great example of hair designing used in the film because she has very complicated, iconic hair styles that demonstrate her unearthly regality, and there are many characters with impressive alien makeup used throughout the movie.

The use of special effects in the Star Wars movies is part of their popularity. Since many of the locations would be difficult to construct, CGI is used for many of the settings. Also special effects allowed for all of the light saber scenes and Yoda’s impressive fighting capabilities that would likely not be possible from an actor.

In Attack of the Clones, Senator Amidala’s hometown, Naboo, is shown. The planet is vastly different from the other desert-like planets, featuring mountains, grass, open water, and Tuscan style architecture. Initially, I thought Naboo was too much of a fairytale land, but I suppose that is the point. It is supposed to symbolize peace, tranquility and beauty, reminiscent of Padme Amidala.

Because the scenes often occur on multiple different planets, a lot of the scene transitions are cuts to a ship flying in space. Often the cuts lead to an overhead, tilting, extreme long camera shot of the setting to give context to the scene. The lighting in Star Wars II is mostly apparent when the scene includes or alludes to the dark side, or a Light saber scene occurs. The low-key lighting creates both intensity and contrast between the colors of the sabers against a black background, and is sometimes used to symbolize the evil of the dark side.

Sound is an extremely important component of the Star Wars films. All of the music was created originally by composer John Williams and the London Symphony Orchestra for the series and is very iconic. The “Main Theme” and “Imperial March” pieces are the most easily recognizable. Although sound is used dramatically in the films, foley artists also create the mundane sounds of walking and crawling animals, and even the voices of aliens speaking different languages!


There are many characters in Star Wars Episode II that are do not have main roles but are important in the film. Andy Secombe lends the voice of Watto, the Tattoine junk dealer who informs Anakin of his mother’s whereabouts. Although Secombe does not act in Attack of the Clones, the use of his voice to create a character is impressive.

All of these film effects combine to create an unforgettably influential and popular film.

“2002 DOMESTIC GROSSES.” 2002 Yearly Box Office Results. Web. 23 Apr. 2015. <>.

“Episode II: Foley.” Web. 23 Apr. 2015. <>.

“HIGH KEY, LOW KEY, LIGHTING, CONTRAST Free Cinematography Tutorial VIDEO PRODUCTION Film School Online,, Online Film School, Lou LaVolpe, Louis La Volpe.” HIGH KEY, LOW KEY, LIGHTING, CONTRAST Free Cinematography Tutorial VIDEO PRODUCTION Film School Online,, Online Film School, Lou LaVolpe, Louis La Volpe. Film School Online. Web. 23 Apr. 2015. <>.

“Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones.” IMDb. Web. 23 Apr. 2015. <>.

Installation Art

Installation art made its debut in the late 1950’s (MOCA) but has become a prominent style of art in the post modern era. It is defined in many different ways, but my favorite is art “which incorporates a range of 2-D and 3-D materials to influence the way we experience or perceive a particular space” ( Often it cannot be bought or sold; it is meant rather for enjoyment in its own site and is meant to challenge its viewers concept of the world around them. Installation art follows no formula- there are many different forms, from street art to computer designs to formal gallery compositions and all are equally impactful.

Andy Goldsworthy

Autumn Cherry Leaves- Andy Goldsworthy, Scotland

Andy Goldsworthy is a British artist who uses nature as his medium. His works are created around the idea of temporary existence and the radiant beauty of nature. “Once a piece has been illuminated by the perfect light or been borne away by the serendipitous wave, he gratefully bids it a fond farewell” (Smithsonian). Goldsworthy transforms space by combining incongruent shapes and colors with natural elements. Both pieces shown below use materials found in the landscape to  form seemingly out of place installations. Goldsworthy’s works are beautiful and have a unique aspect of extreme precision and time commitment alongside transience.

Iris Leaves with Rowan Berries- Andy Goldsworthy, Scotland
River Rock Finished with Gold Leaf- Andy Goldsworthy, Scotland

Julian Beever

Chalk art no longer belongs only in the realm of child entertainment. Artists such as Julian Beever have reinvented street artistry with stellar 3D effects. Beever is an English artists who has created pavement art all over the world since the early 90’s. The city street specific artwork is special in that  it “‘appeals literally to the man (and woman) in the street and is not confined in galleries or limited by the gallery system'” (Beever). The 3D pieces allow for audience interaction and require a second look often, for they only appear correct from a certain position. The works of Julian Beever are incredibly fun and demonstrate that art is no longer what it used to be. Talented artists are not limited to canvases and critics!

White River Rafting- Julian Beever, Charleston, West Virginia 2007
Swimming Pool- Julian Beever, Glasglow, Scotland c 1990


Installation art can also be conveyed through video, unlike traditional art. The Chicago based band, OKGo constantly uses their music videos as a forum to project installations. In my opinion, since this type of art is often fleeting, video and photography is essential for a widespread effect. The below video, “The Writing’s on the Wall” has a similar style to Julian Beever’s creations in that the compositions are only logically correct from one viewpoint. The use of space in this music video is incredible. The whole production is a conglomeration of movement, performance and music that  combines to form a great example of installation art.

“35 Who Made a Difference: Andy Goldsworthy.” Smithsonian. Web. 13 Apr. 2015.

“Artist/Naturalist Andy Goldsworthy.” Artist/Naturalist Andy Goldsworthy. Web. 13 Apr. 2015.

“Info.” OK Go. Web. 13 Apr. 2015.

“Installation Art.” , History, Characteristics. Web. 13 Apr. 2015.                      

“Julian Beever | Official Website.” Julian Beever | Official Website. Web. 13 Apr. 2015.

“MOCA | The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.” MOCA | The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Web. 13 Apr. 2015.

“The 5 Most Talented 3D Sidewalk Artists.” Bored Panda RSS. Web. 13 Apr. 2015. .

DISCLAIMER: Upon further review, these works do not fall directly under installation art. Julian Beever’s work is specifically street art, Goldsworthy’s is environmental art, and OKGo’s is simply under music videos.

African Influence on Music in the Early Modern Era

As a result of the end of the slave trade at the end of the Civil War and the extension of the Naturalization Act in the 1870’s, a large African population existed in America. Consequently, music made a drastic change from the classic European style to jazz, scat, and swing.  “Jazz was different because it broke the rules — musical and social. It featured improvisation over traditional structure, performer over composer, and black American experience over conventional white sensibilities” (PBS). Although there was absolutely opposition to jazz (it was seen as the Devil’s music by many), the Early Modern era brought about some of the most influential and famous American musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Ella Fitzgerald. Jazz music evolved throughout time and eventually became the basis for much of today’s pop music.

“Maple Leaf Rag” (1899)- Scott Joplin -Sedalia, Missouri

The beginning of jazz’s popularity can be marked by Scott Joplin’s “The Maple Leaf Rag” which introduced the jazz piano formula of a beat combined with a syncopated melody. This particular composition is significant because according to, “The Maple Leaf Rag” is the “biggest-selling ragtime song in history” meaning that it had a widespread effect on music if the early 1900’s. Joplin’s composition is remarkable because it embodies the marriage of European instruments and training with African style. Compared to music of previous eras, this song carries a much more informal and playful tone.

“Pennies From Heaven” (1956)- Louis Prima- Las Vegas, Nevada

The reach of jazz music extended beyond African American performers and audiences as white singers began to sing covers of jazz songs and create their own pieces as well. In 1936, Bing Crosby introduced “Pennies from Heaven”, a song featuring the timbre of African music with the sharp, gravely sound of the trumpet along with syncopated beats and a call and response structure. It also features some improvisation techniques in the singing. Since the initial release, the song has been remade by Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Louis Prima, and many others. The incredibly fun nature of the song captures the spirit of the new trend sweeping the nation in the Early Modern era.

“I’ll Be Seeing You” (1944)- Billie Holiday

Not all jazz music however needed to be upbeat and energetic. Billie Holiday’s passionate rendition of “I’ll Be Seeing You”, originally written in 1938, demonstrates the influence of African music styles with the soulful quality in a slow and emotional manner. This song made an appearance during World War II, and as such was a sort of anthem for loved ones of military men. Again, this jazz tune was remade by countless artists since the original, and remains a well-known American hit today.

“History of Jazz | Black History in America |” History of Jazz | Black History in America | Web. 2 Apr. 2015.

“The African-American Migration Story.” PBS. PBS. Web. 2 Apr. 2015.

“Scott Joplin Biography.” A&E Networks Television. Web. 2 Apr. 2015.

“The Devil’s Music: 1920’s Jazz.” PBS. PBS. Web. 2 Apr. 2015.

“The Influence of African Rhythms.” The Influence of African Rhythms. Kenyon University. Web. 3 Apr. 2015.


Bridge over a Pond of Water Lillies, Claude Monet, Paris 1899, Oil

The Impressionism art movement not only defined a new style of art, but also symbolized progressive thinking and divergence from the classical, formal definition of good art. Today, impressionists such as Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir are some of the most famous and respected painters; however, in the mid 1800’s, Impressionism was extremely unpopular and largely rejected by formal institutions. By 1890 it became an accepted form of art and flourished.

The Dance Class, Edgar Degas, Paris 1874, Oil
Entombment, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, Vatican City 1600-04, Oil

Most paintings prior to the late 1800’s hold strong influences of mythology, history, religion, and realism, whereas Impressionism displays a subtle abstract nature with its loose brushstrokes, play with vibrant color, and mundane subject matter. The extreme difference between Impressionism and art of the Baroque era can be observed by comparing Caravaggio’s Entombment and Edgar Degas’ The Dance Class. Entombment depicts an intense, biblical scene with dark, rich colors to emphasize the significance of religion while The Dance Class really has no deeper historical meaning and uses light, airy colors and strokes. Caravaggio’s piece utilizes realism to illustrate Christ and his family, and in contrast Degas’s painting allows some artistic freedom of form. As Khan Academy states, The Dance Class breaks all of the rules regarding composition and narrative by having a somewhat convoluted scene. The same cannot be said for Entombment as it displays careful placement of subjects and a clear depiction of story.

Convergence, Jackson Pollock, America 1952, Oil

The comparison between Impressionism and mid-modern art such as Jackson Pollock’s Convergence is interesting because both styles are somewhat radical with respect to their eras. Jackson Pollock “threw mud in the face of convention and rebelled against the constraints of societies oppressions” ( just as Impressionists formed their own gallery of art to reject The Salon. Additionally, both use the aspects of motion, but modern art greatly amplifies the abstract nature of impressionism. At first glance, neither Convergence nor The Dance Class contain any messages or morals, but Pollock’s work can be viewed as an expression of freedom and rebellion against all forms of oppression.

Personally, I find Impressionist art to be some of the most interesting and visually pleasing pieces up to the Romantic era because of the intriguing and non-conventional methods of painting. It is the first artistic movement that features non-smooth brush strokes which creates an entirely different atmosphere and paves the way for new, innovative, and exciting techniques. I enjoy that the subject matter does not need to be historically, biblically, or mythologically significant because it allows artists to illustrate some of the most beautiful scenes of nature and human activity. The Impressionist movement also represents individual power to create change; the idea that nothing must be static.

“Convergence, 1952 by Jackson Pollock.” Jackson Pollock. Web. 24 Mar. 2015.

“Degas, The Dance Class.” Khan Academy. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.

“Edgar Degas | The Dance Class.” Edgar Degas. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.

“Welcome to” Impressionist Art & Paintings, What Is Impressionist Art?Introduction to Impressionism. Web. 24 Mar. 2015.

“Giverny Private Guided Tour : Monet and Impressionism History.” France History. 10 Jan. 2012. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.

The Rise of the Middle Class


During the Classical Era, as a result of the Enlightenment and the French and American Revolutions, people began to question the authority of aristocratic leaders and begin to place value on individual merit and ability. Thinkers of the Enlightenment believed that, as John Locke stated, “knowledge was gained through accumulated experience rather than by accessing some sort of outside truth” (History). Consequently, the power of the Middle Class increased dramatically, and it became “the principal market for art” (Perry). As more Middle Class customers arose, the values depicted in art changed accordingly. Artists began to paint common people and items, sculpt fathers of the enlightenment, and satirize political figures who embodied aristocratic ideals.

The Marriage Arrangement (1743) Oil, London, William Hogart

The English painter, William Hogarth, was a popular artist during the Classical Period and was well known for his satirical paintings. His most famous series was titled Marriage a la Mode and mocked arranged marriages in high society. These paintings were enjoyed by the Middle Class because they could relate to disliking the frivolity of such lifestyles. The above painting, The Marriage Arrangement, includes many details, such as the money being passed across the table, the unfinished, lavish house in the window, and the gout bandaged leg of the man at the table to ridicule the wealthy class’ habits. Before the rise in power of the Merchant Class, paintings like these would have never been allowed, being that aristocrats were the main purchasers and supporters of art, but with the shift in audience new styles of art emerged.

Statue of George Washington, (1785-1788)    Rotunda, Virginia                                        Jean-Antoine Houdon, Marble

Jean-Antoine Houdon “capture[d] the character of the men and women who defined the Enlightenment”(Poulet) such as Benjamin Franklin, Voltaire, and most famously, George Washington. Again, the new audience fostered the creation of these works. Prior to the Classical Era, sculptures mostly depicted biblical or mythological scenes or figures, while in the 1700’s more topics appealing to the Middle Class emerged.

Music also changed drastically in the Classical Period as a result of power shifts from the Upper Class to the Middle Class. More public concerts occurred and composers received more pressure from public audiences to create more recognizable and melodic pieces because “those belonging to the middle class became patrons of music as well” (Estrella). From this influence arose the sonata and the symphony. Some of the most famous composers of the time were Beethoven, Mozart and Hadyn. The tunes created during the Classical era still exist as some of the most recognizable musical pieces today. For example, Beethoven’s 5th symphony, attached above, will always remind listeners of coming danger!

Estrella, Espie. “The Role of Composers – Baroque and Classical Periods.” Web. 5 Mar. 2015. <>.

“Statue of George Washington, Virginia State Capitol by Houdon.” Statue of George Washington, Virginia State Capitol by Houdon. Web. 5 Mar. 2015. <>.

Perry, Marvin. “Perry, Humanities in the Western Tradition – – Chapter Summary.” Perry, Humanities in the Western Tradition – – Chapter Summary. Cengage Learning. Web. 5 Mar. 2015. <>.

“Enlightenment.” A&E Television Networks. Web. 5 Mar. 2015. <>.

Poulet, Anne L. “Jean-Antoine Houdon (Getty Exhibitions).” Jean-Antoine Houdon (Getty Exhibitions). Web. 5 Mar. 2015. <>.

The Council of Trent and Caravaggio

Judith Beheading Holofernes, Michelangelo Caravaggio, Rome c. 1598-1599

The rise of the Protestant Reformation brought about the so-called “Counter-Reformation” of the Catholic church, The Council of Trent. The Council of Trent was a series of meetings aimed at clarifying the position and practices of the church as well as defining Protestant infidelity strictly. One of the resultant decrees of the Council influenced art by requiring that it move away from mannerism, depict stories to counter Protestantism, and use clarity, realism, and emotion to empower the Catholic biblical stories. The church’s decision resulted in a flood of intense, realistic illustrations of biblical tales, some of which from the Italian painter, Michelangelo Merisi da Carravaggio.

Carravaggio’s oil painting, Judith beheading Holofernes portrays the decapitation of the Assyrian general who was plaguing the town of Bethulia. The influence of  the Catholic counter-reformation is strong in Carravagio’s depiction of the beheading as the subject matter is realistic and even gory. The characters demonstrate a great deal of emotion rather than carrying blank looks as they might have during or prior to the Renaissance era. The message of the importance of God is apparent in this piece because Judith is glorified in murder (even though it is a sin) for saving her town from destruction (and potentially loss of Catholicism). Carravaggio’s painting successfully achieves the goal of the Catholic church by creating a sense of “immediacy and shocking realism” (Camara) which draws the audience into the scene and evokes curiosity about the story of Judith and Holofernes.

Judith and Holofernes, bronze Donatello, Florence c. 1460

Carravaggio was not the first artist to illustrate the beheading of Holofernes, in fact many others had, but the style of portrayal prior to the Baroque era was extremely different. Donatello’s bronze sculpture Judith and Holfernes, shown above, does not nearly compare to the emotion and intensity present in the Baroque representations of Judith’s story, very likely due to the Catholic’s church position at the time. Donatello’s version uses less motion and tension in the subjects bodies and little intensity. Holofernes looks nearly asleep, whereas Carravaggio shows the general in a genuine state of pain and shock as the sword slices his neck.

Personally, the painting catches my eye because of Judith’s reluctant power and odd position in the situation. As a beautiful, clean, high-standing citizen, she is committing a dirty task to protect her town and its people. She definitely demonstrates drive with her firm grasp on Holofernes hair and the look of disgust on her face, but her body language communicates the opposite feeling. She is leaned backward, rather than using her body to put forth force, and her eyes look innocent and frightened. I also love how Carravaggio juxtaposes the dark, rich color of the surroundings and the blood of Holorfernes with the pale skin and white dress of Judith. It symbolizes the darkness of Holofernes besiegement of the town and the unfavorable task of murder alongside Judith’s Godliness and heroism.

Camara, Dr. Esperanca. “Gentileschi, Judith Slaying Holofernes.” Khan Academy. Web. 23 Feb. 2015. <>.

“Judith Beheading Holofernes by Caravaggio – Facts about the Painting.” Totally History: Judith Beheading Holofernes Comments. Totally History. Web. 23 Feb. 2015. <>.

Medici Influence on Art of the Italian Renaissance

School of Athens (1510), Raphael, The Vatican

The Medici Family of Florence was an incredibly influential group in the Renaissance. Though their empire eventually spread to many European countries, it all began in Florence with GIovanni di Bicci de’Medici and Cosimo the elder. Following his deceased father’s wise advice, Cosimo eventually rose to power as the head of the Medici dynasty and transformed a withering city into “the cradle of the Renaissance, a cultural flowering rivaled only by that of ancient Greece” (History). Perhaps one of the most important feats of the early Medici power was the support of Filippo Brunelleschi, an unpopular architect and engineer who designed and completed the most daunting challenge, the Dome of the Cathedral of Florence. Having conquered the Duomo, the Medici family continued to pay patronage to Brunelleschi, which likely lead to the widespread knowledge of linear perspective. Brunelleschi’s invention of perspective revolutionized art of the Renaissance by allowing artists to create more realistic scenes. Although there is no significant proof that Brunelleschi invented perspective, history suggests that “it was first analyzed by the architect Filippo Brunelleschi [and he] galvanized the widespread use of convergent perspective of the Renaissance proper” (Tyler et al).

Raphael’s exquisite painting, School of Athens, established in 1510, demonstrates how linear perspective revolutionized art of the Renaissance by producing depth, expansive space, and realistic dimensions. School of Athens comprises one fourth of a series of frescoes in the papal apartments of The Vatican, each representing a part of human knowledge. The massive painting’s use of perspective results in a centralized, powerful focus on Plato and Aristotle, who personified the philosophical theme of the painting. The linear nature of Raphael’s painting also creates organization in this case. The vanishing point lies in the middle of the scene, allowing it to be split in half easily. Here, Raphael separates the philosophers down the middle based on which school of thought they follow; Platonic, or the tangible focus of Aristotle’s.

The Medici family ‘s patronage of Brunelleschi had a great effect on Renaissance art by making art into an important component of life. By supporting artists in a way unlike before in Florence, they transformed the city into a cultural center of Europe and provided many artists with the opportunity to practice, display, learn, and teach their ways to others, one of which being the concept of linear perspective.

“Raphael, School of Athens.” Khan Academy. Web. 11 Feb. 2015. <>.

“The Birth of a Dynasty.” PBS. PBS. Web. 11 Feb. 2015. <>.

“The Medici Family.” A&E Television Networks. Web. 11 Feb. 2015. <>.

Tyler, Christopher, and Michael Kubovy. “Perspective: The Rise of Renaissance Perspective.” Perspective: The Rise of Renaissance Perspective. Web Exhibits. Web. 11 Feb. 2015. <>.


Hello, my name is Leah Droege. I am currently studying Petroleum Engineering at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. I have lived in Anchorage my entire life and have been very fortunate to explore this beautiful state! Growing up, I was always outdoors and that absolutely translated into my adult life. I love taking advantage of all of the adventures available in the mountains and waters of Alaska by hiking, camping, skiing, and fishing. Aside from those activities, I enjoy creating things, whether they be baked goods, art projects, or small constructions. Eventually I hope to secure a career with an oil and gas company in Alaska, with intent to travel!

My relationship with art since high school has been pretty strong. I have explored a wide range of mediums such as pastels, paints, graphite, sculpture, and even carving. Although I enjoyed working with different materials, my favorite form of artistry is graphite drawing. Usually I choose to draw portraits, which requires a great deal of patience and precision. I think I enjoy this form most because it allows me to express both my creative and analytical traits. Additionally, I often work with cake as a form of art. I handle decorative touches for cakes and cupcakes for my mom’s baking business, Blooming Designs. I have also had the pleasure of experiencing dance by watching my sister’s modern performances through the years with different companies. Since arriving at college, my artistic outlets have definitely declined, but I hope to rejuvenate my passion for art with this class!

“Andy Goldsworthy: Rivers and Tides.” Bugbot. WordPress, 21 May 2008. Web. 22 Jan. 2015.

Check out this link for inspiring paper sculptures:

“A4 Papercuts.” Peter Callesen. Indexhibit. Web. 22 Jan. 2015.