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There’s no doubt that George Lucas’ epic Star Wars series deserves a place on any list of the most influential pop-culture properties in history. Over the course of thirty-eight years, his story of droids and Death Stars has spawned innumerable spin-offs, homages, toys, games, and late-night discussions — and yet, we rarely look through the phenomenon to the story itself. This fall, we’re going to look at each of the six core movies in release order, and analyse what works and why. We’re going to talk about heroic motivations, serial structure, the power of the five-man band, the interaction of intent and execution, mythic archetypes, the urge to explain, and stories which grow in the telling — and perhaps, we’ll understand a little better why the prequel trilogy was, and remains, so controversial.

So, this is our schedule for the seminar series. Every Friday, I’m going to release a lecture for each movie in turn; the following Tuesday, we’re going to live-tweet the movie on Twitter — using the hashtag #starwonks — and in the StoryWonk forum chat-room. We’ll also have live discussions after the original and prequel trilogies are complete.

Please note: I’m going to be working from the 2011 Blu-Ray versions of all six movies, which are structurally the same as the 2004 DVD versions and the recently-released Digital Edition versions.

  • September 18th, 12PM: Introduction
  • September 25th, 12PM: Star Wars Lecture
  • September 29th, 9PM: Star Wars Live-Tweet
  • October 2nd, 12PM: The Empire Strikes Back Lecture
  • October 6th, 9PM: The Empire Strikes Back Live-Tweet
  • October 9th, 12PM: Return Of The Jedi Lecture
  • October 13th, 9PM: Return Of The Jedi Live-Tweet
  • October 20th, 9PM: Original Trilogy live discussion
  • October 30th, 12PM: The Phantom Menace Lecture
  • November 3rd, 9PM: The Phantom Menace Live-Tweet
  • November 6th, 12PM: Attack Of The Clones Lecture
  • November 10th, 9PM: Attack Of The Clones Live-Tweet
  • November 13th, 12PM: Revenge Of The Sith Lecture
  • November 17th, 9PM: Revenge Of The Sith Live-Tweet
  • November 24th, 9PM: Prequel Trilogy live discussion

The lectures and discussion will be available via StoryWonk.com, an upcoming podcast feed through iTunes and Stitcher, and on our YouTube channel.

I hope you’ll be able to join us!