In 1977 a single film called
Star Wars exploded on the consciousness of the world. Since then the franchise, created by George Lucas, has become a global entertainment corporation. The merchandise of the original trilogy was largely confined to toys and games, but those games have since become computerized, the toys more sophisticated, and
Star Wars has moved into the multi-media environment of the twenty-first century in ways unimaginable in the long-ago world of 1977. Computer games and web sites, novels, animated television shows, as well as a new trilogy of films, have all placed
Star Wars at the center of world popular culture.
Finding the Force of the Star Wars Franchise brings together contributors who critically analyze the
Star Wars universe from many perspectives. Topics include war, foreign policy, gender roles, spirituality and religion, toy play and adult collecting, creative fandom, race, special effects, and mythology.
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2006. XVIII, 308 pp.
Contents: John Shelton Lawrence: Introduction: Spectacle, Merchandise, and Influence – John Shelton Lawrence: Joseph Campbell,
George Lucas, and the Monomyth – Stephen P. McVeigh: The Galactic Way of Warfare – Michelle J. Kinnucan: Pedagogy of (the)
Force: The Myth of Redemptive Violence – Jonathan L. Bowen/Rachel Wagner: «Hokey Religions and Ancient Weapons»: The Force
of Spirituality – Jennifer E. Porter: «I Am a Jedi»: Star Wars Fandom, Religious Belief, and the 2001 Census – Philip
L. Simpson: Thawing the Ice Princess – Roger Kaufman: How the Star Wars Saga Evokes the Creative Promise of Homosexual
Love: A Gay-Centered Psychological Perspective – Matthew Wilhelm Kapell: Eugenics, Racism, and the Jedi Gene Pool – Staphanie
J. Wilhelm: Imperial Plastic, Republican Fiber: Speculating on the Post-Colonial Other – Jess C. Horsley: Growing Up in a
Galaxy Far, Far Away – John Panton: Two Generations of Boys and Their Star Wars Toys – Lincoln Geraghty: Aging Toys
and Players: Fan Identity and Cultural Capital – Andrew Plemmons Pratt: Blowing Stardust in Our Eyes: Digital Film Theory
and Identification with Imaginary Cameras – Mark McDermott: The Menace of the Fans to the Franchise – Bruce Isaacs: A Survey
of Popular and Scholarly Receptions of the Star Wars Franchise – Matthew Wilhelm Kapell: Conclusion: Finding Myth in
the History of Your Own Time.