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Star Wars

BFI Film Classics

Will Brooker (Kingston University, UK)



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26 November 2020
Series: Star Wars
The release of Star Wars in 1977 marked the start of what would become a colossal global franchise. Star Wars remains the second highest-grossing film in the United States, and George Lucas's six-part narrative has grown into something more: a culture that goes far beyond the films themselves, with tie-in toys, novels, comics, games and DVDs as well as an enthusiastic fan community which creates its own Star Wars fictions. Critical studies of Star Wars have treated it as a cultural phenomenon, or in terms of its special effects, fans and merchandising, or as a film that marked the end of New Hollywood's innovation and the birth of the blockbuster.

Will Brooker's illuminating study of the film takes issue with many of these commonly-held ideas about Star Wars. He provides a close analysis of Star Wars as a film, carefully examining its shots, editing, sound design, cinematography and performances. Placing the film in the context of George Lucas's previous work, from his student shorts to his 1970s features, and the diverse influences that shaped his approach, from John Ford to Jean-Luc Godard, Brooker argues that Star Wars is not, as Lucas himself has claimed, a departure from his earlier cinema, but a continuation of his experiments with sound and image. He reveals Lucas's contradictory desires for total order and control, embodied by the Empire, and for the raw energy and creative improvisation of the Rebels. What seemed a simple fairy-tale becomes far more complex when we realise that the director is rooting for both sides; and this tension unsettles the saga as a whole, blurring the boundaries between Empire and Republic, dark side and light side, father and son. In his foreword to this new edition, Will Brooker discusses is how subsequent films in the series, specifically Rogue One (2016) and The Last Jedi (2017), foregrounded and developed the themes of opposition that are at the heart of Star Wars. He shows how Derridean theories of opposites which become undermined and subverted, and which change places are made more clear with hindsight and provide us with a useful lens for looking back at the 1977 Star Wars.
By:   Will Brooker (Kingston University UK)
Imprint:   Amulet
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Edition:   2nd edition
Dimensions:   Height: 190mm,  Width: 135mm, 
Weight:   164g
ISBN:   9781839021633
ISBN 10:   1839021632
Series:   Star Wars
Pages:   100
Publication Date:   26 November 2020
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Foreword to the 2020 Edition Acknowledgments Introduction.- 1. Before Star Wars 2. Dirt 3. Order 4. Border Crossing 5. Notes 6. Bibliography 7. Credits

WILL BROOKER is Director of Studies of Film and Television at Kingston University, UK. He is the author or editor of many books and articles on popular culture, including Forever Stardust : David Bowie across the Universe (I.B. Tauris 2017); Batman Unmasked: Analysing a Cutural Icon (2000), Using the Force: Creativity, Community and 'Star Wars' Fans (2002) and The Blade Runner Experience: The Legacy of a Science Fiction Classic (2006).

Reviews for Star Wars (BFI Film Classics)

The tone of this book is playful and thoughtful... A great stocking filler for the Star Wars geek in your life. * Irish Tech News *

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