No one can deny the power of the Force as it permeates all aspects of American society (and other societies), including education and especially pop culture. It’s amazing how a silly little science fiction movie from the 1970s became a global phenomenon, spawning bunches of movies, television shows, books, and toys for billions of dollars. I remember sitting in a college mythology class reading Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces, and the professor said, “Luke Skywalker follows the cycle of the hero,” and I perked up. He really does. I, in turn, taught mythology to high school students and used Luke Skywalker (and Neo from Matrix). I’ve also discussed it right here on Geeks of Doom, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
And that is just a drop of what Cass R. Sunstein discusses in his soon-to-be-required-for-college text, The World According To Star Wars.
For the 3 people that have never seen Star Wars and are not interested, this book is not for you. Chances are, even if you know nothing, you still know what a Wookie sounds like and can recognize Darth Vader in a lineup. But you do not hunger for inside Star Wars info, and do not care that in an earlier draft R2-D2 spoke words, or that Vader did not start out as a major character. And that’s okay…
So what kinds of things does Sunstein talk about?
– Lando Calrissian’s “just in case” purpose.
– The three hypotheses about the success of A New Hope.
– Parent and children relationships
– The best order to watch all of the films if it is the first time.
The book absolutely flies. It is only about 180 pages and feels like less than half of that, so engrossed you will be with all of this information. It is well-written and will be read more than once. You feel Sunstein’s passion for the films and this world – it jumps out at you from every page. A must-read for any fan.
There’s Santa Claus, Shakespeare, Mickey Mouse, the Bible, and then there’s Star Wars. Nothing quite compares to sitting down with a young child and hearing the sound of John Williams’s score as those beloved golden letters fill the screen. In this fun, erudite, and often moving book, Cass R. Sunstein explores the lessons of Star Wars as they relate to childhood, fathers, the Dark Side, rebellion, and redemption. As it turns out, Star Wars also has a lot to teach us about constitutional law, economics, and political uprisings.
In rich detail, Sunstein tells the story of the films’ wildly unanticipated success and explores why some things succeed while others fail. Ultimately, Sunstein argues, Star Wars is about freedom of choice and our never-ending ability to make the right decision when the chips are down. Written with buoyant prose and considerable heart, The World According to Star Wars shines a bright new light on the most beloved story of our time.
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