Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

An Analysis of Military Strategy in Star Wars

Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

An Analysis of Military Strategy in Star Wars

Article excerpt

An Analysis of Military Strategy in Star Wars Max Brooks, John Amble, ML Cavanaugh, and Jaym Gates, eds. Strategy Strikes Back: How Star Wars Explains Modern Military Conflict. New York: Potomac Books, May 1, 2018. $29.95. ISBN: 978-1-64012033-4. 272pp.

This is a collection of essays from members of the military as well as historians, fiction writers, and other researchers, who all attempt to explain the elements of military strategy in the Star Wars series. I have never been able to finish one of the Star Wars films, but I am always interested in reading pop-culture criticism as I have published books in this field as well. Here is how the cover summarizes the contents of this book: "A chapter on the case for planet building on the forest moon of Endor by World War Z author Max Brooks offers a unique way to understand our own sustained engagement in war-ravaged societies such as Afghanistan. Another chapter on the counterinsurgency waged by Darth Vader against the Rebellion sheds light on the logic behind past military incursions in Iraq." All of these topics are as relevant to today's real warfare as they could get. Fiction has always been used to comment on history. In this case, the Star Wars screenplays were written long before the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began so the author could not have foreseen a parallel; instead, these critics are drawing this parallel from this fiction written in the past and modern conflicts. In a way, this book is showing how modern conflicts were inspired by and followed the lessons Star Wars instructed. Is Trump deliberately acting like Darth Vader? This book should help readers answer this and many other mysteries. The book is divided into four parts: "Society and War," "Preparation for War", "Waging a War" and "Assessment of War." While it's a pretty absurd exercise to find significance in formulaic combat in a pop science fiction series, there is a lot of interesting conclusions that these authors reach as they go much further into their analysis than perhaps anybody has before with any science fiction novel. …

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