Finding the Force in the Star Wars Franchise: Fans, Merchandise, and Critics / Edition 1by Matthew Kapell
Pub. Date: 07/28/2006
Publisher: Peter Lang Publishing Inc.
In 1977 a single film called Star Wars exploded on the consciousness of the world. Since then the franchise, created by George Lucas, has become a global entertainment corporation. The merchandise of the original trilogy was largely confined to toys and games, but those games have since become computerized, the toys more sophisticated, and Star Wars has moved into the multi-media environment of the twenty-first century in ways unimaginable in the long-ago world of 1977. Computer games and web sites, novels, animated television shows, as well as a new trilogy of films, have all placed Star Wars at the center of world popular culture.
Finding the Force of the Star Wars Franchise brings together contributors who critically analyze the Star Wars universe from many perspectives. Topics include war, foreign policy, gender roles, spirituality and religion, toy play and adult collecting, creative fandom, race, special effects, and mythology.
Table of ContentsContents: John Shelton Lawrence: Introduction: Spectacle, Merchandise, and Influence - John Shelton Lawrence: Joseph Campbell, George Lucas, and the Monomyth - Stephen P. McVeigh: The Galactic Way of Warfare - Michelle J. Kinnucan: Pedagogy of (the) Force: The Myth of Redemptive Violence - Jonathan L. Bowen/Rachel Wagner: «Hokey Religions and Ancient Weapons»: The Force of Spirituality - Jennifer E. Porter: «I Am a Jedi»: Star Wars Fandom, Religious Belief, and the 2001 Census - Philip L. Simpson: Thawing the Ice Princess - Roger Kaufman: How the Star Wars Saga Evokes the Creative Promise of Homosexual Love: A Gay-Centered Psychological Perspective - Matthew Wilhelm Kapell: Eugenics, Racism, and the Jedi Gene Pool - Staphanie J. Wilhelm: Imperial Plastic, Republican Fiber: Speculating on the Post-Colonial Other - Jess C. Horsley: Growing Up in a Galaxy Far, Far Away - John Panton: Two Generations of Boys and Their Star Wars Toys - Lincoln Geraghty: Aging Toys and Players: Fan Identity and Cultural Capital - Andrew Plemmons Pratt: Blowing Stardust in Our Eyes: Digital Film Theory and Identification with Imaginary Cameras - Mark McDermott: The Menace of the Fans to the Franchise - Bruce Isaacs: A Survey of Popular and Scholarly Receptions of the Star Wars Franchise - Matthew Wilhelm Kapell: Conclusion: Finding Myth in the History of Your Own Time.
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I have been a Star Wars fan from the beginning-action figures, movies, light sabers! After I learned that George Lucas was inspired by classical mythology, I began to watch Star Wars in a new way. When I came across this book, I was intrigued by the title-it promised to be something unique and different from the everyday book about Star Wars. I never imagined how many themes weaved their way through the Star Wars universe. This book is at the same time entertaining, intellectually challenging and provocvative. It takes Lucas' work to a different level, one that transcends simple story telling. It is an important reflection of diverse currents in our culture.....