Welcome Incomparable Listeners

The Force of Star Wars Banner

Taught by Dr. Amy H. Sturgis

As anyone who has ever staged a mock lightsaber duel or made an imaginary jump to lightspeed knows, Star Wars is a shared language that unites multiple generations across the planet. What traditions and ideas inspired that galaxy a long time ago and far, far away? How has the Star Wars universe expanded and evolved since its debut in 1977? What can we expect from its future incarnations? Join award-winning scholar Dr. Amy H. Sturgis as she examines the fabric of the Star Wars story and its participatory fan culture to discover the lasting meaning behind the epic and appreciate its unprecedented impact on film, fiction, and popular culture. Whether you’re a lifelong fan or a Star Wars newbie, you are welcome here. Don’t move along. This is the class you’re looking for.

 

Special Note

As part of this course, a live guest appearance and Q&A is scheduled with Star Wars veteran John Jackson Miller, the author of the very first novel in the new Star Wars canon, Star Wars: A New Dawn (2014), as well as the New York Times bestseller Star Wars: Kenobi (2013) and the popular Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (2006-2010, 2012) and Star Wars: Knight Errant (2010-2012) comic series, among other Star Wars and science fiction titles.

 

Course Schedule

The Force of Star Wars will meet Tuesday and Friday (primary lecture and closing session) from 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm (UTC-5)

Week 1 (August 24 – 28):
The Saga Begins
Reading: How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise by Chris Taylor (2014), Introduction-Chapter 5

Week 2 (August 31 – September 4):
Enroll Now ButtonInspirations and Influences
Viewing: Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940)
Reading: How Star Wars Conquered the Universe (2014), Chapters 6-8

Week 3 (September 7 – 11):
A New Hope
Viewing: Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)
Reading: How Star Wars Conquered the Universe (2014), Chapters 9-14

Week 4 (September 14 – 18):
The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars Conquers Radio
Viewing: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Listening: Star Wars: The Original Radio Drama (1981)
Reading: How Star Wars Conquered the Universe (2014), Chapter 15

Week 5 (September 21 – 25):
Return of the Jedi
Viewing: Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983)
Reading: How Star Wars Conquered the Universe (2014), Chapters 16-18

Week 6 (September 28 – October 2):
The Extended Universe and Fandom
Reading: Star Wars: Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn (1991)
Reading: How Star Wars Conquered the Universe (2014), Chapter 19
Viewing: Troops (1997, online)

Week 7 (October 5 – 9):
The Phantom Menace
Viewing: Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (1999)
Reading: How Star Wars Conquered the Universe (2014), Chapters 20-22

Week 8 (October 12 – 16):
Attack of the Clones
Viewing: Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (2002)
Reading: How Star Wars Conquered the Universe (2014), Chapter 23

Week 9 (October 19 – 23):
Revenge of the Sith
Viewing: Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Reading: How Star Wars Conquered the Universe (2014), Chapters 24-25

Week 10 (October 26 – 30):
Clone Wars, Rebels, and the New Canon
Reading: Star Wars: A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller (2014)
Reading: How Star Wars Conquered the Universe (2014), Chapters 26-Conclusion

Week 11 (November 2 – 6):
Why Star Wars?
Reading: Aftermath: Star Wars, The Journey to The Force Awakens by Chuck Wendig (2015), 1st half

Week 12 (November 9 – 13):
Looking Ahead to The Force Awakens
Reading: Aftermath (2015), 2nd half

 

Required Texts

How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise by Chris Taylor
Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe film
Star Wars: The Complete Saga films
Star Wars: The Original Radio Drama
Star Wars: Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn
Star Wars: A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller
Aftermath: Star Wars, The Journey to The Force Awakens by Chuck Wendig

 

Suggested Texts

Star Wars on Trial: Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors Debate the Most Popular Science Fiction Films of All Time edited by David Brin and Matthew Woodring Stover
Star Wars: Kenobi by John Jackson Miller

additional required reading/viewing will be available online, and suggested further reading/viewing will be listed on the class Moodle page