The World According to Star Wars (英語) ハードカバー – ラフカット, 2016/5/31
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
#1 Washington Post Bestseller
There’s Santa Claus, Shakespeare, Mickey Mouse, the Bible, and then there’s Star Wars. Nothing quite compares to sitting down with a young child and hearing the sound of John Williams’s score as those beloved golden letters fill the screen. In this fun, erudite, and often moving book, Cass R. Sunstein explores the lessons of Star Wars as they relate to childhood, fathers, the Dark Side, rebellion, and redemption. As it turns out, Star Wars also has a lot to teach us about constitutional law, economics, and political uprisings.
In rich detail, Sunstein tells the story of the films’ wildly unanticipated success and explores why some things succeed while others fail. Ultimately, Sunstein argues, Star Wars is about freedom of choice and our never-ending ability to make the right decision when the chips are down. Written with buoyant prose and considerable heart, The World According to Star Wars shines a bright new light on the most beloved story of our time.
“[Sunstein’s] enthusiasm is endearing...[the] Harvard Law professor uses George Lucas’s cinematic phenomenon to tackle such disparate topics as the creative process, the writing of constitutional law, and why people commit terrorist acts.” (New Yorker)
“Enlightening...perceptive...Mr. Sunstein comes across as an energetic, friendly dinner-party tablemate.” (New York Times)
“Entertaining…the ultimate primer for guiding a Star Wars padawan to the level of Jedi Knight.” (TIME)
“Delightful… informative without being boring, funny without being silly.. a marvelous swift read. The force is strong with this one.” (The Economist)
“If you love Star Wars or are a nerd and want an engaging introduction to concepts in legal theory or behavioural economics, Sunstein does the trick with levity and clarity’.” (The Times)
“An enlightening and surprisingly personal tour of a galaxy...Sunstein offers plenty of fun details and opinions.” (Washington Post)
“Sunstein makes a strong case that [Star Wars] contains real insights into the way we think about religion, work, and family...the book’s takeaways are universal.” (Fortune)
“In this gem of a book, Cass Sunstein uses the Star Wars series to explore profound questions about being a parent, a child, and a human. It will change the way you think about your own journey, might even make you pick up the phone and call your dad.” (Walter Isaacson)
“Irresistibly charming, acclaimed legal scholar Sunstein writes partly as a rigorous academic and partly as a helpless fanboy as he explores our fascination with Star Wars and what the series can teach us about the law, behavioral economics, history, even fatherhood. This book is fun, brilliant, and deeply original.” (Lee Child)
“In this remarkable, book Sunstein manages to connect invisible gorillas, hit songs, conspiracy theories, and constitutional law. For anyone who loves the movies, or loves to think about how the world works, or simply loves their father The World According to Star Wars will provoke and inspire.” (Duncan Watts, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and author of Everything is Obvious (Once You Know the Answer))
Cass Sunstein, a Harvard Law professor, brings the analytical mind of his profession to bear in discussing various elements of Star Wars the franchise. Across ten chapters, referred to as ‘Episodes,’ Sunstein grapples with Star Wars in two different ways. First, Sunstein explores why exactly Star Wars is popular in the first place, beginning with the original film in 1977. The exploration of its popularity leads to discussion of the themes of the film and following trilogies, such as the Christian theological components, the family elements, and the political statements that constitute the fabric upon which our intergalactic Bayeux Tapestry is stitched upon. Second, the author deliberates on how Star Wars can be applicable to real life, providing examples within the Star Wars universe to demonstrate aspects of the real world. This extends to everything from real world perception of athletes to a lengthy side trip into how Constitutional law has evolved over the course of the United States’ history.
The result is almost always entertaining, though be warned, in the course of explaining how for example popularity of a topic can grow, Sunstein unflinchingly dedicates a number of pages to academic approaches and studies. Undoubtedly, he has reduced them to their barest parts for ease of understanding, but at times, the weeds still grow a little high and the reader’s attention threatens to wander away with hopes of getting back to the true topic at hand, Star Wars. There are a couple of instances of this occurring, but they are generally brief and do provide a new perspective to frame the how and why of Star Wars’ popularity or the manner in which the Emperor Palpatine may not have expected the rebellion to be as successful as it was.
The roughest chapter, surprisingly, is the second to last, dedicated to Constitutional law. Literally Sunstein’s bread and butter, and perhaps because he is a passionate teacher of the subject, it’s a section that overstays its welcome. Granted, as survivors of a Constitutional Law class ourselves, our own knowledge may have made the topic a bit more ho hum than it truly is, but nevertheless, the chapter felt a few pages too long. Length is an issue for The World According to Star Wars, as it’s a fairly short book, only 180 pages, discounting notes, index and acknowledgments. It’s also published in a physically smaller format, which stretches out the page count with pages that have full sized text but are not printed on your typical full sized page.
None of these complaints represent a reason not to sit down and read The World According to Star Wars, as it is a thoroughly enjoyable work. It does offer bits of information about the origin of Star Wars, which makes one want to immediately run out and purchase J.W. Rinzler’s heralded history of the making of the film. Likewise, from a fan perspective, it’s fun to engage in a conversation with the text over the Star Wars related topics Sunstein raises, such as the proper viewing order of the current films or the even more controversial issue of ranking the films by quality (perhaps the most contentious moment in the book). Sunstein also offers one of the best distilled explanations of Joseph Campbell’s monomyth, providing a framework which allows for easy application to not just Star Wars, but every tale or story that has embedded itself into our cultural consciousness.
If you are a fan of Star Wars, you will enjoy Cass Sunstein’s The World According to Star Wars. If you enjoy analytical evaluations of different subjects or genres, you may also enjoy this work. The World According to Star Wars, at its current Amazon price of $12/13 is affordable gift to any Star Wars fan, including one’s self, which guarantees a light and enjoyable discourse on one of our favorite topics.