Medievalism in The Force Awakens

Brandon W. Hawk

This week, one of the most highly anticipated pop culture events hit theaters everywhere: Star Wars, Episode VII: The Force Awakens. I saw the film as early as I could, and have a lot to say about it. Most specifically, as a medievalist, I was struck by a certain amount of medievalism built into this movie.

Medieval Twi-lek Is this a medieval Twi’lek? Panotti depicted in the Wonders of the East, from the eleventh-century London, British Library, Cotton Tiberius B.v, folio 83v (image courtesy the British Library).

I’m not the first to consider Star Wars and the Middle Ages together. Peter Konieczny has previously discussed a number of parallel ideas on Medievalists.net. Bryan C. Keene used Star Wars as a lens to think about the “close link between the celestial and the spiritual” in medieval manuscripts at the Getty’s online magazine The Iris. A while back, there was quite a bit of interest

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