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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]

By David Brin (Editor) & Matthew Woodring Stover (Editor)
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Item description for Star Wars on Trial: Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Debate the Most Popular Science Fiction Films of All Time (Smart Pop series) by David Brin & Matthew Woodring Stover...

Debates on the authenticity of the Star Wars franchise and the hero-or-villain status of George Lucas are at the heart of these essays by bestselling science-fiction authors. The incredible popularity of the movies has led to the formation of strong emotions within the science fiction community on the strengths and flaws of the films, exemplified here by David Brin's attacks and Matthew Woodring Stover's defense of the movies. This intense examination of the epic works addresses a broad range of issues—from politics, religion, and the saga's overall logic to the impact of the series on bookshelf space as well as science-fiction film. The question Is George Lucas a hero for bringing science fiction to a mass audience or a villain who doesn't understand the genre he's working for? is discussed before a final "Judge's Verdict" on the greatness—or weakness—of the franchise is reached.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   386
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.25" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.75"
Weight:   1.15 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 28, 2006
Publisher   Benbella Books
ISBN  193210089X  
ISBN13  9781932100891  

Availability  0 units.

More About David Brin & Matthew Woodring Stover

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! DAVID BRIN is a scientist, speaker, technical consultant and world-known author. His novels have been New York Times bestsellers, winning multiple Hugo, Nebula, and other awards. Brin lives near San Diego, California, with his wife and their three children.

David Brin currently resides in Los Angeles, in the state of California. David Brin was born in 1950.

David Brin has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Bantam Classics
  2. Kiln Books
  3. Perennial Classics

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Movies > General
2Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Movies > History & Criticism
3Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > History & Criticism
4Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Series > Media Series > Star Wars

Reviews - What do customers think about Star Wars on Trial: Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Debate the Most Popular Science Fiction Films of All Time (Smart Pop series)?

Suitable for both critics and fans, full of humor and enthusiasm  Apr 15, 2008
Intellectually, the Prosecution wins the case with flying colors. Emotionally though, the Defense makes some very good points.

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.
Wicked piece of work  Jul 3, 2007
If you like the SW universe and think it's fine as-is, don't get this. If you dislike the SW universe and share the opinions Dr. Brin expressed in his article - take a pass here.

If you like the SW universe, but ever found yourself feeling a little disturbed by the implications of certain scenes or events in the movies, GET THIS. Brin gets WAY too caught up in delivering his panegyric about American society and humanist values, but that doesn't mean the man can't make a few valid shots.

The grousing about whether SW belongs on the fantasy or SF shelf is ridiculous. It's like trying to argue if Firefly belongs on the SF or Western shelf. Ditto with the usual "death of the midlist" argument and "dumbing down SF" arguments that also undercut their argument they're populists who trust the common man (after all, the common man isn't paying attention to the REAL story. Furthermore, they read THOSE books, and not the ones who will Uplift - pun intentional - them). The upside is that Karen Traviss's essay is one of several hilarious rebuttals.

Many of these arguments are like really good fanfic - they stretch the limits of that universe and make may out of the holes and bugs they find there. Some get really creative in explaining certain things - I'm thinking Brin's take on Yoda and Metzger's idea of the Jedi as more or less like Neo from the Matrix - exploiters of the universe's programming bugs.

These guys don't go far into the Expanded U, so don't expect any debate on the Vong or the Ruusan events. If you wanted to pass this along to your fellow SW fans, though, I'm sure they'd love to expand it to those.
A total delight!  Jun 15, 2007
Before you read the review, I do give some things away, so be warned!
Star Wars On Trial was fun to read and even made a few points that I had not thought of before. Oh, they had the normal stuff - weak or bad science, plot holes, stupid characters. Some of it was new - never thought of the Jedi as being just as bad as the Sith. Not Evil, as much as overbearing, too powerful, too smug. The idea that bringing balance back to the Force meant destroying both the Jedi and the Sith was a new idea that hit me like a train from behind.
Also, on a more serious note, the chapters dealing with sexism really did seem to make me think about many of the scenes in which the female characters seem to do nothing to help the plot, their fellow comrades or the Republic - Old or New. And they could have done so much.
A must for any fan of the movies but be prepared to laugh, cry and, yes, sometimes wonder if the people in the book are sometimes taking the whole thing too seriously.
Roger Corman's REVENGE OF THE FANBOY  Dec 30, 2006
Author/critic Hallie Ephron (Nora's sister) once said that a bad review is more about the reviewer than the work reviewed, and this essay collection reinforces it, albeit with humor. Admittedly both sides come from a position of bias--the prosecution is a retinue of wish-I'd-thought-of-it-first angry fanboys led by the guy who created the source material for the box office bomb known as THE POSTMAN; the defense a group of potential shills led by a Lucasfilm employee--the defense actually manages to prove its case better by being more grown-up about it all, while the prosecution tends to get more emotional and nitpicky. One example is the charge of media tie-ins choking original sci-fi out of the market, where defense "witness" Kristine Rusch actually produces sales figures showing a consistent downward trend in sci-fi sales over the years due to snobbery within the sci-fi community; on the charge that Star Wars is elitist, Brin doesn't even produce an expert witness at all. It ultimately boils down to a festival of how much people either love or hate the most successful independent filmmaker of all time, but it's entertaining.
Great Fun, Strong Contributors  Nov 22, 2006
There are some strong, thought-provoking "takes" on Star Wars' impact on pop culture and science fiction. The contributors do a great job of arguing their points.

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