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At last?an analysis of the historical patterns that influenced the creation and storyline of the Star Wars saga
Star Wars took place long ago in a galaxy far, far away, but its epic stories are based on our own history. From Ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire to the French Revolution and the Vietnam War, Star Wars and History explores the major historical turning points, heroes, and villains in human history and their impact on the creation of the Star Wars saga. Star Wars and ...
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At last—an analysis of the historical patterns that influenced the creation and storyline of the Star Wars saga
Star Wars took place long ago in a galaxy far, far away, but its epic stories are based on our own history. From Ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire to the French Revolution and the Vietnam War, Star Wars and History explores the major historical turning points, heroes, and villains in human history and their impact on the creation of the Star Wars saga. Star Wars and History shows how the atomic and hydrogen bombs led to the Death Star; how Princess Leia's leadership in the Rebel Alliance resembled the daring work of intrepid women in the French Resistance during World War II and the Mexican Revolution; historical parallels between the Jedi Code and Bushido as well as those linking the Jedi culture with that of the Templar Knights and other warrior monks; and all of the history that underlies the Star Wars galaxy. Read how our own civilization's civil wars, slavery, international corporation states, and teenage queens were transformed into the epic Star Wars history and discover how Tatooine reflects the lawless frontiers of the past and Coruscant our own history of glittering and greedy capitals.
Filled with fascinating historical comparisons and background that will take your experience of the Star Wars saga to a new level, Star Wars and History is an essential companion for every Star Wars fan.
Introduction: The Forces of History and Histories of the Force 1
Part I “Only Imperial Stormtroopers Are So Precise” The Wars in Star Wars 7
1 Why Rebels Triumph 9
How “Insignificant” Rebellions Can Change History
William J. Astore
2 “Part of the Rebel Alliance and a Traitor” 41
Women in War and Resistance
Janice Liedl and Nancy R. Reagin
3 Elegant Weapons for Civilized Ages 67
The Jedi and Warrior-Monks throughout History
4 “A House Divided” 99
The Causes and Costs of Civil War
Paul Horvath and Mark Higbee
Part II “Join Me, and Together We Can Rule the Galaxy as Father and Son” Political Histories in Star Wars 123
5 I, Sidious 125
Historical Dictators and Senator Palpatine’s Rise to Power
6 Teen Queen 151
Padmé Amidala and the Power of Royal Women
7 “There’s Always a Bigger Fish” 177
Power, Politics, and the Rule of the Ruthless
Kevin S. Decker
8 “Fear Is the Path to the Dark Side” 203
Nuclear Weapons and the Death Star
Part III “Excuse Me, Sir, but That Artoo Unit Is in Prime Condition, a Real Bargain” Economy and Society in a Galaxy Long, Long Ago 227
9 From Slavery to Freedom in a Galaxy Far, Far Away 229
10 “Greed Can Be a Powerful Ally” 255
The Trade Federation, the East India Companies, and Chaotic Worlds of Trade
11 Coruscant, the Great Cities of Earth, and Beyond 283
The Jedi Council 305
Acknowledgments: Making History That Spans Galaxies 308
Illustration Credits 324
Posted April 30, 2013
Posted December 16, 2012
Written by history professors, the work is very analytical and I hoghly recommen it for every history buff and Star Wars buff as well. Pardon my grammar, writing frommm my nook device.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 11, 2012
Star Wars and History is an interesting departure from the typical literary works in the Star Wars franchise. Rather than being another guide book, or a piece of fiction, this work is a collection of essays illustrating the parallels between history and Star Wars. The book covers a large chunk of history, as wells as a large chunk of the Star Wars franchise. But the real question is whether it’s worth buying?
The 332 page hardcover book includes eleven essays written primarily by professors and teachers. Those essays cover a diversity of topics including comparisons between the Jedi and samurai, female French resistance operatives and Padmé Amidala, and dictators in the real world and in Star Wars. There are essays that explore how resistance groups and rebellions have worked historically, and how Star Wars has mirrored those aspects. The book also includes a few direct examples that were used by George Lucas. For instance, they reveal that George had the Viet Cong in mind when developing the Ewoks.
In the end, the book fails to appeal to the Star Wars fan in me, and it also fails to appeal to my history buff side. It points out a lot of interesting parallels between Star Wars and history, but it does not reveal much in the way of direct insights. Nor does it explain how those historical elements influenced George Lucas and the films. The essay format lightly treads upon a lot of historical ground, but never obtains any depth. Fun topics and characters are brought up, but none are explored thoroughly. Instead the book tries to explore both history and Star Wars in a limited fashion and satisfies neither the history lover or the Star Wars fan.
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