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Star Wars on Trial: Science Fiction And Fantasy Writers Debate the Most Popular Science Fiction Films of All Time (Smart Pop series) Paperback – May 11, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
"'Star Wars' Despots vs. 'Star Trek' Populists" generated a tremendous amount of interest and feedback from Star Wars and science fiction fans and over the years on his own website Brin came back to the topic now and then, (often, he laments as an aside in "Star Wars on Trial," taking time away from his other writing projects). With the release last year of the final chapter in the Star Wars film series, Brin is back to update his arguments and lead the prosecution in "Star Wars on Trial," a book-length collection of critical essays on the six-film cycle and its relationship to film-making and science-fiction. The book is organized conceptually around a trial, with a prosecutor leveling charges and a defense counsel attempting to poke holes in the state's case.
The six charges brought to court are, in order: 1) The Politics of Star Wars Are Anti-Democratic and Elitist; 2) While Claiming Mythic Significance, Star Wars Portrays No Admirable Religious or Ethical Beliefs; 3) Star Wars Novels Are Poor Substitutes for Real Science Fiction and Are Driving Real SF off the Shelves; 4) Science Fiction Filmmaking Has Been Reduced by Star Wars to Poorly Written Special Effects Extravaganzas.Read more ›
Hidden benefit - introduction through these essays to the writing of around 20 authors!
I'm one of those people who both love Star Wars and hate it too. Okay, I don't hate Star Wars itself, but there are some things about it that just drive me batty. It's reassuring to know I'm not the only one.
This book is not a weighty philosophical treatise on the merits of Star Wars as art form, cultural phenomenon, etc. Instead it is a light but thoughtful exploration into some of the ideas floating through the SW fan community. I enjoyed it, but I think that, like the movies, if you take it too seriously, you are going to miss out.
This book is in the form of essays written on behalf of the prosecution and the defense, with some "cross-examinations" of witnesses in the "courtroom" conducted by Brin and Stover. Some of the essays are rather serious, and some entertaining. There is at least one that is just wacky. I read the table of contents at the bookstore, and had to buy it, and am glad I did.
Charge #1: The politics of Star Wars are anti-democratic and elitist.
Charge #2: While claiming mythic significance, Star Wars portrays no admirable religious or ethical beliefs.
Charge #3: Star Wars novels are poor substitutes for real science fiction and are driving real SF off the shelves.
Charge #4: Science fiction filmmaking has been reduced by Star Wars to poorly written special effects extravaganzas.
Charge #5: Star Wars has dumbed down the perception of science fiction in the popular imagination.
Charge #6: Star Wars pretends to be science fiction, but is really fantasy.Read more ›
The book is written with humor and enthusiasm, all contributors from both sides are obviously having fun and it should be noted that everybody acknowledges the fun and entertainment value of Star Wars and its ability to make us dream. Including David Brin who gives praise and respect to George Lucas in his opening statement (p.47).
I think the book will appeal not only to Star Wars critics, but to its fans as well. An extremely entertaining read.
I found some of the "charges" rather silly as stated. For example, that Star Wars pretends to be science-fiction but is really fantasy hardly seems worth arguing. I can't imagine that anyone with much of an understanding of SF would mistake Star Wars for SF, nor do I think that was Lucas' intention. Rather, he seems to have set out to create a modern myth, a fairy tale, that just happens to be set in a galactic milieu, with spaceships instead of horses and lightsabers instead of swords. Similarly to blame the films for their numerous and decidedly less competent imitations strikes me as trumped up, indeed. But these accusations provide the various authors with the opportunity to examine the saga's place in, and impact on, modern pop culture, and that's worth reading about.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
You have to be very interested in Star Wars to appreciate this book. Essentially, Star Wars On Trial is a bunch of hardcore Star Wars fans discussing (not really discussing, more... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Danielle Price
Two supposed experts—never heard of them—argue as to why Star Wars is so great and why it isn’t. There’s a droid judge. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Paul
BenBella Books and NetGalley provided me with an electronic copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Lupine Smile
The book is a discussion between various authors on the merits or otherwise of having Star Wars as an example of Science Fiction in the world. Read morePublished on November 21, 2013 by Stephen Mann
Not sure how the amazing authors involved are getting compensated for this, but I have to admit that I went in to this read upset that I've rewarded George Lucas with the money for... Read morePublished on September 29, 2013 by Uarther
This book is hard to describe, but worth reading. Handled like a court trial, various authors debate various aspects of the Star Wars Saga, especially if it should be considered... Read morePublished on July 24, 2013 by T. Asbury
I'm writing this review quite a few years after I read the book, but I remember it was extremely well-received by my sci-fi book club, giving us many topics to talk about. Read morePublished on July 20, 2013 by Julie W. Capell
Loved that it was amusing and incorporated much SF history. David Brin is great. The best part is the feminist argument about Princess Leia and Queen Amidala.Published on July 5, 2013 by Karen Silver