"Star Wars and the History of Transmedia Storytelling is an important addition to an established and growing discourse ... all of the chapters begin new conversations or carry on some already established in the field. In addition to these chapters as contributions to the discourse, their brevity make them incredibly useful in a variety of classes, such as digital storytelling, film studies, or a special topics class on fandom." - Jason W. Ellis, Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, November 2019
"The essays included here are thought-provoking and crucial. They cover a great deal of the Star Wars media universe, from its video games to its toys, from its fan experiences to its novelistic adaptations. Beyond the inherent interest these topics should have for fans and scholars, the overall volume does a very nice job of shifting the discussion of the Star Wars franchise away from an engagement with the films“one that tends to ignore how the vast bulk of STAR WARS-related texts do not come from the big screen“to an engagement with the multiple media platforms that Lucasfilm and Disney use in constructing the storyworld and a deployment of diverse methodologies required of such a shift in object." - Benjamin J. Robertson, University of Colorado, Boulder, Science Fiction Studies, Volume 45 (2018)
"This wide-ranging collection, an instalment in the Transmedia: Participatory Culture and Media Convergence series, contains several fascinating analyses of the extensive Star Wars franchise. Alongside discussions of the films, novelizations, video games, radio adaptations, and comics are chapterson less well-represented areas in studies of transmedia storytelling, such as fan gatherings, toys, and memorabilia exhibitions. This variety is one of the volume’s strengths, keeping the subject matter fresh, and offering the opportunity to rigorously challenge the elasticity of transmedia’s theoretical principles." - Robert Yeates, Extrapolation (2019)
Star Wars has reached more than three generations of casual and hardcore fans alike, and as a result many of the producers of franchised Star Wars texts (films, television, comics, novels, games, and more) over the past four decades have been fans-turned-creators. Yet despite its dominant cultural and industrial positions, Star Wars has rarely been the topic of sustained critical work. Star Wars and the History of Transmedia Storytelling offers a corrective to this oversight by curating essays from a wide range of interdisciplinary scholars in order to bring Star Wars and its transmedia narratives more fully into the fold of media and cultural studies.
The collection places Star Wars at the center of those studies’ projects by examining video games, novels and novelizations, comics, advertising practices, television shows, franchising models, aesthetic and economic decisions, fandom and cultural responses, and other aspects of Star Wars and its world-building in their multiple contexts of production, distribution, and reception. In emphasizing that Star Wars is both a media franchise and a transmedia storyworld, Star Wars and the History of Transmedia Storytelling demonstrates the ways in which transmedia storytelling and the industrial logic of media franchising have developed in concert over the past four decades, as multinational corporations have become the central means for subsidizing, profiting from, and selling modes of immersive storyworlds to global audiences. By taking this dual approach, the book focuses on the interconnected nature of corporate production, fan consumption, and transmedia world-building. As such, this collection grapples with the historical, cultural, aesthetic, and political-economic implications of the relationship between media franchising and transmedia storytelling as they are seen at work in the world’s most profitable transmedia franchise.
Dan Hassler-Forest is the author and editor of several books, including The Rise and Reason of Comics and Graphic Literature, Capitalist Superheroes, The Politics of Adaptation, Transmedia, and Science Fiction, Fantasy and Politics. As an assistant professor at the University of Amsterdam, he became involved in the student protests and was among the founding members of staff platform ReThink UvA.