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Sex, Politics, and Religion in Star Wars

An Anthology

Edited by Douglas Brode and Leah Deyneka

In 1977, Star Wars blazed across the screen to become one of the highest grossing and most beloved movies of all time, spawning an unprecedented merchandising phenomenon. It was followed by two sequels and three prequels, all of which became blockbusters. Comic books, novels, graphic novels, and magazines devoted to the films added to the mythology of George Lucas’s creation. Despite the impact of the franchise on popular culture, however, discussion of the films from a scholarly perspective has not kept pace with the films.

Sex, Politics, and Religion in Star Wars: An Anthology, Douglas Brode and Leah Deyneka have assembled a provocative collection of essays exploring some of the more intriguing aspects of the Star Wars phenomenon. Contributors to the volume tackle such hot topics as race and racism in the Star Wars galaxy, Judeo-Christian and Eastern religious themes, homosexual romance, and philosophical and political implications—both earthbound and otherworldly.

These essays interpret the
Star Wars universe from a variety of perspectives—including feminist and Freudian—offering insights from writers who bring a new passion to the subject. A companion volume to Myth, Media, and Culture in Star Wars, Sex, Politics, and Religion in Star Wars is an authoritative anthology incorporating scholarly analysis with engaging insights. It will engross readers, both fans and scholars alike.
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Scarecrow Press
Pages: 192Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
978-0-8108-8514-1 • Hardback • July 2012 • $65.00 • (£44.95)
978-0-8108-8515-8 • eBook • July 2012 • $61.00 • (£42.95)
Douglas Brode teaches popular culture at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications, the University of Texas at San Antonio, and Our Lady of the Lake University (also in San Antonio). He has published more than 35 books, including Rod Sterling and The Twilight Zone (2009).

Leah Deyneka holds a master’s degree in 19th-century literature from King’s College, London, and has written extensively on literature, film, media, and popular culture.
Introduction, Douglas Brode
Chapter 1: A Rocky Road to Star Wars: The Early Life and Career of George Lucas
Douglas Brode
Chapter 2: Star Wars in Black & White: Race and Racism in a Galaxy Not So Far Away
Andrew Howe
Chapter 3: Beyond Judeo-Christianity: Star Wars and the Great Eastern Religions
Julien Fielding
Chapter 4: May the Force Be with JEW: The Jedi-Hebraic Connection
Andrew Bank
Chapter 5: Star Wars: An Exhibition in Cold War Politics
Nick Desloge
Chapter 6: Fighting the Evil Empire: Star Wars, the Strategic Defense Initiative and the Politics of Science-Fiction
Peter Krämer
Chapter 7: Light Sabers, Political Arenas, and Marriages for Princess Leia and Queen Amidala
Ray Merlock and Kathy Merlock Jackson
Chapter 8: “The Over-Soul of the Force: Emersonian Transcendentalism in the Star Wars Saga”
Anne M. Boyd
Chapter 9: George Lucas and Freud’s Anal Stage Manifestations of Excretory and Vaginal Fear in THX 1138 and Star Wars
Lucy Place
Chapter 10: Homosexual Romance & Self-Realization in Star Wars
Roger Kaufman
Chapter 11: The War for Star Wars
Matt Singer
Chapter 12: Defining the Jedi Order: Star Wars’ Narrative and the Real World
Nick Jamilla
Chapter 13: The Empire Strikes Back: Deeper and Darker
Andrew Gordon
About the Contributors
About the Editors
These titles will be of interest to Star Wars fans and popular culture scholars alike. They provide and interesting and scholarly view of the series and insight into our culture's feelings on politics, religion, media, and gender issues.
American Reference Books Annual

[T]his volume with 13 essays offers fresh and mostly entertaining content. . . [The] text on the strong rootedness of Jedi wisdom in eastern religions [was enjoyable]. . . Furthermore, the essay on transcendentalism and The Force is very enlightening, too.

[T]his is a very entertaining study of the films.