Star Wars and Anthropology

Anthropology Now

Happy Halloween!  I’ll be wearing a simple Darth Vader t-shirt for a costume.  Did you know that Star Wars was inspired by anthropology?

As you’ve probably heard, Lucasfilm, production company of the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies, was purchased yesterday by Disney.  They have plans to release multiple new Star Wars films, beginning with Episode VII (set after Return of the Jedi) in 2015.  Nothing could have surprised me more, since George Lucas has always suggested that Episodes VII, VIII, and IX would never be made.  I’ve written before about the relationship between Indiana Jones and real-life archaeology, but Star Wars was also shaped by anthropology, though I certainly didn’t realize this as a child.

Like many kids who grew up in the 1980’s, it’s hard to overstate the influence of Star Wars on my childhood.  I played with Star Wars toys, slept on Star…

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