Books

Star Wars and History

Star Wars and History

Not so long ago, in our very own galaxy, George Lucas created the most successful and acclaimed film series of all time. The Star Wars saga transports us to exotic new worlds and the farthest reaches of space, where humans and hundreds of alien species fight for their freedom against the immensely... more

Product Details

Overview

Not so long ago, in our very own galaxy, George Lucas created the most successful and acclaimed film series of all time. The Star Wars saga transports us to exotic new worlds and the farthest reaches of space, where humans and hundreds of alien species fight for their freedom against the immensely powerful and heartless Galactic Empire. Star Wars delivers all of the ingredients that delight moviegoers—but another, less obvious, ingredient makes the stories both extremely compelling and, at times, oddly familiar: history.

From Ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire to the French Revolution and the Vietnam War, Star Wars and History explores the major turning points, heroes, and villains in human history that inspired the stories, cultures, and characters of the Star Wars galaxy. Written in close collaboration with George Lucas, Star Wars and History is the first book devoted to analyzing the actual historical events in our past that influenced the creation of his space fantasy saga.

This fascinating book reveals how Princess Leia’s leadership in the Rebel Alliance parallels the daring work of intrepid women in the French Resistance during World War II and the Mexican Revolution, as well as the astounding exploits of Joan of Arc. It also points out historical connections between the Jedi Code and Bushido, along with distinct similarities between Jedi culture and those of the Knights Templar and other warrior monks.

Have you ever wondered whether the rebellion against the Empire bears any resemblance to the American Revolution or the Vietnam War? Has it occurred to you that such characters as Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Emperor Palpatine, and other Star Wars favorites might have been inspired by actual historical figures? Could the Death Star be the ultimate extension of nuclear weapons? 

You will also read about how our own civilization’s civil wars, slavery, corporate empire-building, and teenage queens were transformed into epic Star Wars history, and you’ll discover how Tatooine reflects the lawless seaports of the past and Coruscant embodies our more recent history of glittering, greedy capitalism.

Packed with stunning photos from the Lucasfilm Archives as well as historical illustrations and photos that demonstrate the parallels between film and historical reality, Star Wars and History is the perfect companion for Star Wars fans, history buffs, and anyone who wants to get the most out of every film in the Star Wars saga.

JANICE LIEDL is an Associate Professor of History at Laurentian University in Canada who specializes in English history since the time of Henry VIII. She has published on Battlestar Galactica,...more

NANCY R. REAGIN is the Chair of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at Pace University in New York City, where she is also a professor of history. She has published several books in modern...more