The History and Politics of Star Wars

Exeter Phoenix

£6.00 Advanced

Death Stars and Democracy

The hugely popular Star Wars films famously came about from George Lucas’s desire to tell a ‘Vietnam War in space’. Since then, the Star Wars films have always focused on repurposing contemporary events in a science fiction setting.

In this podcast we discover the fascinating ways in which Star Wars is inspired by real-world events and history. This event will explore the films and their responses to real world moments. We look at the books and computer games in the franchise, to see how they responded to the fall of the Soviet Union, genocides and ethnic cleansings in the 1990s, and both 9/11 and the Global War on Terror.


Chris Kempshall

Postdoctoral Research Fellow
University of Exeter

The public historian Dr Chris Kempshall specialises in transnational experiences of allied warfare and modern media representations of history.

He is the author of numerous academic works including; The First World War in Computer Games (Palgrave 2015) and British, French, and American Relations on the Western Front 1914-1918 (Palgrave 2018).His book; The History and Politics of Star Wars: Death Stars and Democracy was published by Routledge in August 2022. He also co-authored the officially licensed book Star Wars Battles that Changed the Galaxy (2021) published by DK.

He is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Exeter and a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Army Leadership, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.