How Star Wars Mined History

6 07 2011

As many cinemaphiles have doubtless noticed, the creators of Star Wars mined history to come up with plots. I’ve always wondered about whether these movies have a political subtext. They certainly reflect Americans’ sense of their own revolutionary history: the good guys in the first three films speak with American accents are part of a “federation” that is fighting an “Empire” whose officers speak with British accents.

Anyway, Janice Liedl, a former colleague in the history department at Laurentian University, has been working on a collection of essays that will examine how George Lucas’s interest in real history influenced the Star Wars films. The book, which will be published in 2013, was recently discussed in the New York Times.

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15 07 2011
jliedl

Thanks for the mention, Andrew! In case any of your readers are interested, one of the last chapters we’re hoping to assign is in the area of business history – to compare colonial trade corporations (such as the East India Company and Hudson’s Bay Company) with the Trade Federation and the like in the Star Wars universe: http://jliedl.ca/2011/07/15/oppression-of-the-trade-federation/

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