The Star Wars Heresies

Interpreting the Themes, Symbols and Philosophies of Episodes I, II and III


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About the Book

Despite the insatiable public appetite for all things Star Wars, the more analytical side of the saga is all too often ignored. This book offers a new way of seeing George Lucas’ space opera—particularly the prequel trilogy, a series never given a fair chance because of constant comparisons to the iconic originals. In the classic style of Joseph Campbell, the trilogy is viewed through the lens of myth and metaphor, revealing a body of work not only worthy of scholarly study but perhaps destined to find therein its home. A wide variety of philosophical and mythological themes are presented and expounded upon, drawing from a rich source of scholars, thinkers, writers, and poets from East and West alike. Heretical or not, the Star Wars prequels are a surprisingly rich source of insight into the saga—as well as the human drama—as a whole.

Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here

About the Author(s)

Paul F. McDonald has had articles and essays published by, The Forcecast,, SciFi Dimensions, and has his own popular blog, The Star Wars Heresies. He lives in Snellville, Georgia.

Bibliographic Details

Paul F. McDonald

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 224
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7181-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0345-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  vi
Preface: The Heresy  1
Introduction: The Living Force  7

Part One : The Phantom Menace
1. The Symbiosis  11
2. The Master  18
3. The Queen  26
4. The Slave  33
5. The Padawan  39
6. The Council  44
7. The Politician  49
8. The Mother  55
9. The Fool  60

Part Two : Attack of the Clones
10. The Love  67
11. The Teacher  75
12. The Learner  83
13. The Senator  91
14. The Hunter  99
15. The Count  105
16. The Separatists  112
17. The Chancellor  118
18. The Sages  125

Part Three : Revenge of the Sith
19. The Fall  131
20. The Hero  137
21. The Negotiator  145
22. The Goddess  153
23. The Elders  160
24. The Clones  167
25. The General  172
26. The Emperor  178
27. The Villain  185

Afterword: The Maker  192
Chapter Notes  195
Bibliography  209
Index  211

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Extremely interesting, informative, and satisfying…you are going to love this book. I could not recommend it more to you”—Bookgasm

• “An interesting trip into modern myth-making, both entertaining and intriguing”—ProtoView