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Theory Wars

Theory Wars:

Looking at Star Wars through Critical Lenses

In your groups, discuss the following questions. You will be asked to share the fruits of your discussion with the whole class in your symposium.

  1. Try to recall the first time you saw this film. In what ways was this viewing different from your first viewing. What were some things you noticed that you didn't notice before? What seemed to be important this time that didn't come through in a previous viewing?
  2. Star Wars could be viewed in archetypal terms. For example, is this a classic story of good versus evil, is Princess Leah the typical heroine?
  3. Read through the handout on literary theory. Select the two theories that you think might be most helpful in illuminating the film. Write down the theories below.

    1. _________________________ 2. ____________________________

  4. Now come up with some statements about the film for each of the theories you named in question three. For example, if you select feminist criticism you might discuss the lack of female characters and evaluate the role of Princess Leah from a feminist perspective. If you choose reader-response theory you might describe how the film reminded each of you of a personal experience in your struggle with good and evil. (Use loose-leaf paper—journal potential).
  5. After you discuss these interpretations, decide how to present them to the whole class. Your presentation should be no more than about ten minutes of your symposium.