Tech in the News: The Force of 'Star Wars': The Staying Power of a Sci-Fi Icon Explained

Lisa Yaszek

Posted December 20, 2019

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Lisa Yaszek, professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication, was quoted in the article "The Force of 'Star Wars': The Staying Power of a Sci-Fi Icon Explained" in


The character of Luke Skywalker was supposed to undergo his own "hero's journey" in the original "Star Wars." Lucas drew on themes of good and evil drawn from ancient texts such as the Biblical Old and New Testaments, and Sophocles' "Oedipus Rex" play trilogy from ancient Greece, Lisa Yaszek, professor of science-fiction studies at Georgia Tech University, told Additionally, Lucas made sure to throw in themes that would resonate with 1970s and 1980s audiences, including strong characters who were female, or people of color.

Take, for example, the famous scene in the original film where Leia takes over during a bungled "rescue" by Han Solo and Luke Skywalker. "It was the first time a science fiction heroine picked up a gun and saved herself," Yaszek said. "She says, 'Oh dude, you're too short and completely inadequate. I'm going to take care of it.' And that's great."

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