A Galaxy Here and Now

Historical and Cultural Readings of Star Wars

$29.95

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About the Book

Star Wars begins with its famous title sequence, setting the story in the ancient past of a remote galaxy. Yet the phenomenal success of the film, the franchise, and its “expanded universe” is based upon its reflection of historical and cultural milieus here on modern-day Earth. This collection of new essays examine various ways in which George Lucas’s saga touches upon contemporary social and political issues. Topics include the impact of the film’s score on musical genres, feminism and NASA, the epic mimicry of Western-African and Bedouin cultural motifs, gender identity construction, Cold War narratives in radio and national mythology, and fan interpretations of authorship and authenticity.

About the Author(s)

Peter W. Lee has written many articles on film and comic books. He lives in Simi Valley, California.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Peter W. Lee
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 256
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6220-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2408-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Preface: Galactic Graffiti 1

Hearing the Force: Manifestations and Transformations of Music from Far, Far Away (Tom Zlabinger) 7

The Space Community and the Princess: Reworking the American Space Program’s Public Image from “Miss NASA” to Princess Leia (Karin Hilck) 33

Feminist Icons Wanted: Damsels in Distress Need Not Apply (Mara Wood) 62

Jedi Knights, Dark Lords and Space Cowboys: George Lucas’s Re-Imagined and Redefined Masculine Identities (Erin C. Callahan) 84

Jedi Knights and Epic Performance: Is the Force a Form of Western-African Epic Mimicry? (Gregory E. Rutledge) 106

Deconstructing the Desert: The Bedouin Ideal and the True Children of Tatooine (Paul Charbel) 138

Periodizing a Civil War: Reaffirming an American Empire of Dreams (Peter W. Lee) 162

An Elegant Weapon for a More Civilized Age: Star Wars, Public Radio and Middlebrow Cold War Culture (Jessica K. Brandt) 189

Part of Our Cultural History: ­Fan-Creator Relationships, Restoration and Appropriation (Michael Fuchs and Michael Phillips) 208

About the Contributors 239

Index 241

Book Reviews & Awards

“Recommended”—The Journal of American Culture.