Is Star Wars science fiction? If so, why? If not, then what is it? Why should we think about it this way?

For this 5-7 page paper, answer one of the following two questions:

Q1:Is Star Wars science fiction?  If so, why?  If not, then what is it?  Why should we think about it this way?

Q2:Does the Star Warsphenomenon function as a form of rebellion against empire? Why or why not?

If answering Q1 or Q2, keep in mind that the term you use to characterize Star Warsor “the Star Warsphenomenon” will say a lot about the argument you’re going to make.  Keep in mind that this phenomenon now encompasses a dynamic 44-year history.  You should stick to concepts from the course to make your argument. These include theories of the science fiction genre, the franchise, cinema 3.0, Afrofuturism, participatory culture, society of the spectacle, consumer society, fields of practice, cultural imperialism, global science fiction, the oppositional gaze, and others you may discern from or the additional scholarly articles on Star Warsin ().  Please use the materials from this google drive folder, not new things you find via Google searches.

To answer either question, you must reference at least 5 readings and 3 films (canonical movies, fan films, documentaries, or episodic series are fine), and over the course of your writing, you must consider at least three of the following terms in relation to our shared subject:

· Science fiction

· Myth

· Fandom/participatory culture

· Cultural imperialism

· Global science fiction and/or Afrofuturism

Three films must choose from the following film list: 

  • Star Wars IV: A New Hope (Lucas, 1977, 1997)

· RocketJump Film School, 2017, “How Star Wars was saved in the edit,”

  • Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace (1999, Lucas)
  • The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015)

· Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens

  • Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi (1983, Lucas)
  • Star Wars IV: A New Hope (revisit if need be)
  • Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back (Lucas, 1980)
  • Star Wars Uncut (2009) 
  • Looking for Leia preview reel (11 min.), 
  • Bould, Mark. 2012. “Science Fiction and New Hollywood.” On the context of New Hollywood and the counterculture, see 6:45-23:10. On 2001, Star Wars, and Close Encounters, see 30:20-42:30, 
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968)
  • Hardware Wars (1977, Ernie Fosselius, 13 min.),
  • Troops (Rubio, 1997, 10 min.),
  • George Lucas in Love (1999, Nussbaum, 10 min.), 
  • Star Wars: Dresca (2018, Jessica Champneys, 7 min.)
  • Another Star Wars Story (2019, The Critics Company, 3 min.),
  • The PhanDom Menace (2000, Tonkin and Holt, 62 min.),

Science fiction films:

  • Flash Gordon 1: The Planet of Peril (1936, 19 min.),
  • Buck Rogers Chapter 12 of 12: War of the Planets (1939, 20 min., [on TV as feature, 1954, 1966]),
  • Forbidden Planet trailer, 1956, 2 min.,
  • Star Trek: The Naked Time (S1: E5, 1966, 50 min., Netflix)

Interpret scholarly writing on these terms as evidence for or unconvincing rebuttals to your own argument.

You may copy and paste and refine key sentences from your annotated bibliographies and your own discussion posts into your paper, but keep in mind that you are making an argument.  Your use of this writing should be thoughtful and strategic.  Try to focus on one key concept.  You may, for example, focus narrowly on the evolution of a single character and fans’ relations to a single character (such as Darth Vader), or instead focus on a key trope that you see to be consistent across multiple films. 

Whatever direction you pursue, I would recommend organizing your paper as follows:

· Introductory paragraph that raises the question, describes Star Warsfor a reader who has never heard of it, and poses an argument that includes the key term you will use.

· 1-2 paragraphs on how others have written about Star Wars,or blockbuster Hollywood/science fiction films more broadly. Say how your characterization both draws from and diverges from these

· 3ish pages where you provide evidence for your argument from readings, primary sources about the films, and/or textual analysis.

· 1ish page where you consider counterarguments to your own and say why you don’t agree with them.

· 1-2 paragraph conclusion

· 1 page bibliography

As before, you may want to refer to the criteria for evaluation of papers in the syllabus to help center your thinking.  Please cite your sources using the Notes and Bibliography format described in the 

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