Star Wars in the Public Square

The Clone Wars as Political Dialogue

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About the Book

Speculative science fiction, with its underlying socio-political dialogue, represents an important intersection of popular culture and public discourse. As a pop culture text, the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars offers critical commentary on contemporary issues, marking a moment of interplay whereby author and audience come together in what Russian philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin called collaborative meaning making. This book critically examines the series as a voice in the political dialogues concerning human cloning, torture, just war theory, peace and drone warfare.

About the Author(s)

Derek R. Sweet is an associate professor of communication studies at Luther College and writes, primarily, about the intersection of rhetoric, popular culture, and politics. He lives in Decorah, Iowa.

Bibliographic Details

Derek R. Sweet. Series Editors Donald E. Palumbo and C.W. Sullivan III
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 224
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7764-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2347-4
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments x

Preface 1

Introduction: Star Wars and Politics 4

One—Science Fiction, Rhetoric and Dialogue in the Public Square 19

Two—Congress and the Clone Troopers 41

Three—Torture and the Path to the Dark Side 67

Four—Obama, ­Obi-Wan and the Contradiction of Fighting a Just War 96

Five—Guardians of Peace 121

Six—Attack of the Drones! 150

Seven—The Clone Wars, Dialogue and the Public Square 179

Chapter Notes 189

Works Cited 202

Index 211


Book Reviews & Awards

“Sweet’s book is a significant development in communication and media studies…it tells the story of humanity in an appealing way to mass audiences”—H-Net Reviews.