Project Description

The History and Politics of Star Wars: Death Stars and Democracy

This book provides the first detailed and comprehensive examination of all the materials making up the Star Wars franchise relating to the portrayal and representation of real-world history and politics.

Drawing on a variety of sources including films, published interviews with directors and actors, novels, comics, and computer games, this volume explores the ways in which historical and contemporary events have been repurposed within Star Wars. It focuses on key themes such as fascism and the Galactic Empire, the failures of democracy, the portrayal of warfare, the morality of the Jedi, and the representation of sex, gender, and race. Through these themes, this study highlights the real-world impacts of the fall of the Soviet Union, the War on Terror, and the failures of the United Nations upon the ‘Galaxy Far, Far Away’. By analysing and understanding these events and their portrayal within Star Wars, it shows how the most popular media franchise in existence aims to speak about wider real-world events and issues.

The History and Politics of Star Wars is useful for upper-level undergraduates, postgraduates, and scholars of a variety of disciplines such as transmedia studies, science fiction, cultural studies, and world history and politics in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

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Reviews for The History and Politics of Star Wars: Death Stars and Democracy:

Dork Side of the Force:

“Kempshall’s book is… possibly the most comprehensive account of the specific connections between fact and fiction when it comes to Star Wars, and belongs on every bookshelf.”

Star Wars 7×7:

‘”The History and Politics of Star Wars” is an utterly comprehensive and thoroughly enjoyable work of scholarship, accessible to any Star Wars fan with even a passing interest in the franchise’s social, cultural, and moral underpinnings.’

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