Star Wars TV: The Televisual Worlds of a Transmedia Franchise

Stars Wars TV: The Televisual Worlds of a Transmedia Franchise
Sean Guynes and Derek R. Sweet, editors
Under contract with Palgrave Macmillan

Star Wars. The name evokes billion-dollar blockbusters, a film franchise that has lasted more than forty years. For most people, Star Wars is the Star Wars films—that one with the teddy bears, the ones with Darth Vader and the lasers swords, with Yoda. But Star Wars fans and Lucasfilm’s payroll know better, and for forty years have developed Star Wars as a media brand and transmedia franchise, branching the galaxy far, far away out across every media thinkable and expanding its storyworld to thousands of intellectual properties manifest in dozens of video and analog games, thousands of comics, hundreds of novels, uncountable toys, and, of course, television shows, specials, and commercials.

Star Wars TV collects essays that offer critical insight into the televisual worlds of the Star Wars transmedia franchise as it spread across TV beginning with the Star Wars Holiday Special in 1978 and continuing to the present array of shows in the Disney era. This collection takes as its basic premise that the televisual entrants into the Star Wars transmedia storyworld are both important texts in the history of American and global media culture and also key to understanding how the Star Wars media empire—and, thus, industry-wide transmedia storytelling strategies themselves—developed. Previous work on Star Wars has emphasized the films, fandom, Campbellian myth criticism, and occasional discussions of storyworld expansion in games, comics, and novels, while charting the politics of race, gender, sexuality, and imperialism in individual texts. Star Wars TV expands previous work on the transmedia franchise to consider television studies and sharp cultural criticism together in an effort to bring long-ignored texts, like the Holiday Special and the Genndy Tartakovsky Clone Wars (2003) cartoon, and long-running popular series, like The Clone Wars (2008-2014), to bear on the franchise’s complex history, storyworld, and politics.

Table of Contents


Sean Guynes and Derek Sweet

Part I: Advertising Transmedia

Jonathan Lundy, “From Kenner Star Wars Collection: Commercials Sold Separately”

Andrew Ferguson, “The Holiday Special and the Hole in the Archive”

Lincoln Geraghty, “Box of Delights: Star Wars TV Adverts and the Marketing of Transmedia Narratives”

Federica Gianelli, “Star Wars: Forces of Destiny and the Simulacrum of the Disney Princess”

Part II: Televising Franchise

Stefan Hall, “‘It’s a Trap’: Television Parodies of Star Wars”

Miguel Ángel Pérez-Gómez, “Transmedia Storytelling through Genndy Tartakovsky’s Clone Wars

Lena Richter, “Of War, Peace, and Art: Mandalorian Culture in Star Wars Television”

Dominic Nardi, “Canonical Legends: How Star Wars TV (Selectively) Resurrected the Expanded Universe”