Star Wars: Essays Exploring a Galaxy Far, Far Away

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Product Details
Vernon Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.63 inches | 1.09 pounds

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About the Author
Emily Strand teaches comparative religion and cultural competence courses at Mt. Carmel College in Columbus, Ohio. She co-hosts the podcasts Potterversity and Meet Father Rivers.
Amy H. Sturgis earned her Ph.D. in history at Vanderbilt University, specializes in the intellectual history of speculative fiction, and teaches at Lenoir-Rhyne University and Signum University. She has taught either undergraduate or graduate classes on 'Star Wars' every year since 2015. The author of four books and the editor/co-editor of ten others, Sturgis has published essays on 'Star Trek' in academic anthologies such as 'Star Trek and History' and 'Common Sense: Intelligence as Presented on Popular Television', and she contributed the Foreword to the 2020 scholarly anthology 'The Transmedia Franchise of Star Wars TV'. Sturgis has been interviewed as a genre expert in a variety of programs and publications such as NPR's "Talk of the Nation," 'The Huffington Post', and 'LIFE Magazine'. Sturgis also contributes the "Looking Back on Genre History" segment to the Hugo Award-winning podcast 'StarShipSofa'.

In "Star Wars: Essays Exploring a Galaxy Far, Far Away," Emily Strand and Amy H. Sturgis offer a compelling new take on the familiar and not-so-familiar corners of the Star Wars universe and media megatext. Organized in three parts-Exploring the Series and Films, Exploring the Ideas, and Exploring the Multimedia Storytelling-the collection interrogates some of the franchise's more eccentric, quirky, and even disturbing dimensions. Part One offers insightful critiques of such wide-ranging topics as the representation of Twi'leks as enslaved people, crafters/makers as a source of resistance, and the disturbing disposability of mothers. Part Two shifts the focus away from critiques of the transmedial text proper and turns to the cinematic influences that shape the franchise, the parallels between Star Wars and the Harry Potter franchises, and the immersive performance of cultural memory through Sabacc. Part Three, on the other hand, embraces the transformative shift from cinematic storytelling to a sprawling transmedia narrative encompassing comic books, novels, video games, and serialized television. Without exception, the essays in all three sections stand as superior examples of the thoughtful, carefully crafted work produced by acafans, or academics who are also fans of the texts they explore. A particular strength of this collection is the book's engagement with almost every dimension of the Star Wars franchise. The Original/Prequel/Sequel trilogies, the "Knights of the Old Republic" games, the various animated series, the episodic live-action Disney+ fare, and the Expanded Universe novelizations all receive the attention they deserve. To my knowledge, this is the first text to look at aspects of The Book of Boba Fett and Andor. Although written as an academic text, I have no doubt that casual fans of the Star Wars franchise will also find the book an enjoyable read. If I had one critique it would be this: give me more! I could see an entire Star Wars series of books focused on each of the three parts developed by Strand and Sturgis.

Derek R. Sweet, Ph.D. Professor of Communication Studies, Luther College

Author of 'Star Wars in the Public Square: The Clone Wars as Political Dialogue'