Star Wars and History

Star Wars and History

3.6 3
by Lucasfilm
     
 

Not so long ago, in our very own galaxy, George Lucas created the most successful and acclaimed film series of all time. The Star Wars saga transports us to exotic new worlds and the farthest reaches of space, where humans and hundreds of alien species fight for their freedom against the immensely powerful and heartless Galactic Empire. Star

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Overview

Not so long ago, in our very own galaxy, George Lucas created the most successful and acclaimed film series of all time. The Star Wars saga transports us to exotic new worlds and the farthest reaches of space, where humans and hundreds of alien species fight for their freedom against the immensely powerful and heartless Galactic Empire. Star Wars delivers all of the ingredients that delight moviegoers—but another, less obvious, ingredient makes the stories both extremely compelling and, at times, oddly familiar: history.

From Ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire to the French Revolution and the Vietnam War, Star Wars and History explores the major turning points, heroes, and villains in human history that inspired the stories, cultures, and characters of the Star Wars galaxy. Written in close collaboration with George Lucas, Star Wars and History is the first book devoted to analyzing the actual historical events in our past that influenced the creation of his space fantasy saga.

This fascinating book reveals how Princess Leia's leadership in the Rebel Alliance parallels the daring work of intrepid women in the French Resistance during World War II and the Mexican Revolution, as well as the astounding exploits of Joan of Arc. It also points out historical connections between the Jedi Code and Bushido, along with distinct similarities between Jedi culture and those of the Knights Templar and other warrior monks.

Have you ever wondered whether the rebellion against the Empire bears any resemblance to the American Revolution or the Vietnam War? Has it occurred to you that such characters as Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Emperor Palpatine, and other Star Wars favorites might have been inspired by actual historical figures? Could the Death Star be the ultimate extension of nuclear weapons?

You will also read about how our own civilization's civil wars, slavery, corporate empire-building, and teenage queens were transformed into epic Star Wars history, and you'll discover how Tatooine reflects the lawless seaports of the past and Coruscant embodies our more recent history of glittering, greedy capitalism.

Packed with stunning photos from the Lucasfilm Archives as well as historical illustrations and photos that demonstrate the parallels between film and historical reality, Star Wars and History is the perfect companion for Star Wars fans, history buffs, and anyone who wants to get the most out of every film in the Star Wars saga.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Neither in-depth enough to be truly useful nor light enough to entertain the casual reader, this collection of essays by scholars who are also fans examines the historical and social inspirations behind the Star Wars saga are at great length. No aspect of the franchise is left untouched, as historians Reagin (editor, Harry Potter and History) and Leidl (editor of the forthcoming The Hobbit and History) and their colleagues cover everything from war to politics, economics, and society. In this fashion, Padmé is compared to Cleopatra, the Death Star to the atom bomb, the Jedi to Shaolin monks and samurai. While the essays are well written and thorough in their attempt to find a historical parallel to every facet of the Star Wars universe, the tone is dry and academic, beating the topics into the ground, such as the "Women in War and Resistance" chapter (written by the editors), which invokes lesser-known characters from the Clone Wars cartoon to help make a point. It's no secret that George Lucas, who cooperated with the editors, drew from many sources to create his films, but the drive to relate everything to a historical precedent strips away the magic. 192 b&w and 64 color photos. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Historical events and themes were critical to George Lucas's formation of the characters and plots in his Star Wars movies. Reagin (history & women's & gender studies, Pace Univ.; editor, Twilight and History) and Liedl (history, Laurentian Univ.; editor, The Hobbit and History), in cooperation with Lucasfilm and its archive, here explore those connections. Divided into three parts relating to wars, political history, and economics and sociology, the essays address topics from the ways dictators come to power to the horrible realities of slavery. Princess Leia is compared to underestimated female spies from the Confederacy and World War II, and the Trade Federation of Star Wars is likened to the Dutch East India Company. As the book makes clear, Though the writing is somewhat uneven and not aimed at a scholarly audience, the essays (all new), authored by scholars in a variety of fields, draw out historical nuances in the Star Wars world and allow readers to make previously unseen connections. VERDICT This approach is a compelling and productive way to interest students—and Star Wars fans—in history. Recommended for buffs of the film or of history, and to high school history students.—Elizabeth Winter, Georgia Inst. of Technology Lib., Atlanta

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780470602003
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
11/20/2012
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
344
Product dimensions:
7.60(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

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