Star Wars, Intellectual Property, and Cultural Expropriation
by Peter Gelderloos
To say I am a Star Wars fan would be an understatement. In high school, I could win the Star Wars Trivial Pursuit board game in one turn: I didn't get any answers wrong and kept going around the board until I had collected all the tokens (yeah, not many friends). Of course, as I got older, I realized that the Jungian archetypes, Daoist philosophy, and tale of rebellion against authority that had so enchanted me were mixed in with a democratic storyline of restoring a “rightful” government, along with plenty of racial stereotypes and settler tropes. Nonetheless, it is hard to disavow the fantasy worlds one grows up with. The total conversion of Star Wars into a “franchise” is occasion enough to comment on how we might respond when capitalism eviscerates an imaginary world we love. The kind of cultural resistance I want to explore also offers some tactics for dealing with problematic aspects of the original movies.