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Covering the period from Disney’s purchase through the release of The Force Awakens, the book reveals how fans anticipated, interpreted, and responded to the steady stream of production stories, gossip, marketing materials, merchandise, and other sources in the build-up to the movie’s release. From fears that Princess Leia would be turned into a “Disney princess” to collaborative brand management, the authors explore the shifting relationship between fans, texts, and media industries in the context of a crucial rebranding campaign. The result is a fascinating examination of a critical moment in the iconic series’ history.
“Star Wars isn’t what it used to be. This fascinating collection of essays captures a key moment in its ever-expanding universe, acknowledging the contradictions of its history, the fluidity of its continuity, and the diversity of its texts—from toys to theme parks, from the Holiday Special to The Force Awakens. Engaging and entertaining.”—Will Brooker, author, Using the Force: Creativity, Community, and Star Wars Fans
“No other volume engages this topic so thoroughly or in-depth. Thanks to four new Star Wars films since Disney’s acquisition of the property, the subject is both hot and relevant, and the contributors provide insights and contextualization for the larger Star Wars universe and the academy. Plus, it’s fun to read!”—Kevin Wetmore, Loyola Marymount University
“An international mix of authors—many of whom grew up as part of the Star Wars generation—turn their collective intelligence onto Disney’s expansion of George Lucas’s epic adventure saga, considering how Star Wars has engaged audiences across multiple media platforms and inspired a range of fan responses. Each essay makes a unique contribution to our understanding of one of today’s most important media franchises.”—Henry Jenkins, coauthor, Participatory Culture in a Networked Era