Awesome Essays From The University of Wyoming’s ‘Star Wars’ Class
While Star Wars fans across the world anxiously wait for "The Last Jedi", some students at the University of Wyoming are busy studying for finals in their 'Star Wars and Medieval Literature' class.
In his English 4640 course, Professor Ryan Croft encourages students to compare classic literature to the themes presented in Star Wars, including gender roles, religion and warfare.
One of the projects submitted last year was Brianna O’Shea’s essay “Orientalism and Ottoman Empire in Star Wars“, which analyzed the depiction of Jabba The Hutt and his palace in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.
"Jabba himself is a thinly veiled stereotype of a Middle Eastern sultan, from his hookah pipe to his harem of slave girls. In particular, Jabba and his palace denizens most closely resemble the powerful Ottoman Empire that threatened Europe over many years," she wrote.
Another essay, The Darker Side: Torture and Gender in Star Wars“, compared the torture of Princess Leia to historic literary themes.
"In medieval culture, torture often expressed male dominance over women. For example, a man might force a medieval heroine to watch her male lover undergoing torture. We see this exact thing in The Empire Strikes Back when Darth Vader forces Leia to watch Han Solo get frozen in carbonite," wrote Leah Byrnes and Alex Rickert.
Joshua Mann’s essay “The Clothing Makes the (Wo)Man” examined the ways that gender roles are represented in classic literature and Star Wars films.
"The lustful behavior Jabba shows towards Leia reflects the tone in which Joan of Arc's enemies sometimes addressed and demeaned her. Like Leia, Joan also cross-dressed in male armor to gain access to spaces where she might not else be able to go."
We can't wait to see how many awesome essays the latest Star Wars movie will inspire.