Interpreting Star Wars: Reading a Modern Film Franchise

Upon its initial release in 1977, many critics regarded Star Wars as a childish retort to the mature American cinema of the seventies. Though full of sound and fury, some felt that it signified nothing. Four decades later, the significations are multiple as interpretations of the film’s strange imagery and metaphoric potential continue to pile up.

Interpreting Star Wars analyses and contextualises the dominant trends in Star Wars interpretation from the earliest reviews, through Lucasfilm’s attempts to use its position as copyright holder to promote a single meaning, to the 21st century where the internet has rendered such authorial control impossible and new entries to the canon present new twists on old hopes.

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