This issue commemorates the birthday of one of my culture heroes: John Lennon, who would have been 81 years old today. I'm pretty sure that John wasn't a big fan of the first two Star Wars movies—or at least what he took to be the reason that audiences liked them. Here's what he said in the last interview that he ever gave—on December 8, about 12 hours before he was shot to death:
I think these people that project these space fantasies are projecting war in space continually, with women in mini-skirts, available sexual objects, men with super-macho John Wayne guns on their hips. I'm sayin' it's time for the people to get hip to that, man. Because they're projecting our future.
Do we want to go… our children to be out in space, or our grandchildren fighting – maybe not Russians – but Venusians in space? You see? If it works for a football player and a tennis player it can work for all of us. We have to project a positive future.
You can listen to the entire interview here on YouTube:
The quote comes at 1:22:30. His reference to mini-skirts sounds a little more like Barbarellathan Star Wars—at least, pre-Jabba's Palace Star Wars—and I'd like to think that the analysis I provide in Lucasfilm: Filmmaking, Philosophy, and the Star Wars Universe might have made him regard the saga in a different light. (Call that my space fantasy).
Speaking of which … I'm glad to report that the book is now generally available at online retailers like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Blackwell's, and Foyles, though at the moment it's still a little hard to find at brick-and-mortar stores.
If you do pick up a copy and read it and find something of value in it, I'd be grateful if you would leave a comment at your favorite online store or at a site like Goodreads. As it turns out, I really like the book and am trying to do all I can to bring it to the attention of potentially interested readers. (Yes, hence this newsletter.)
THE WAY PODCAST
Recently, I had the opportunity to speak for over an hour about the book with Bill Troveski, who hosts The Way Podcast/Radio Show. The interview is now available online. Here's a trailer for the episode:
I also spoke recently with neuroscientist Galina Limorenko, who hosts a podcast on the New Books Network. The interview should be posted before the end of the month. Details to follow in the next newsletter.
Next Issue: Halloween!
Homework: Star Wars Terrifying Tales
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'd love to hear your ideas and questions about Star Wars, as well as film, philosophy, literature, and cultural studies!