Star Wars Trilogy: Worth Studying?Is Star Wars just pop culture fun, or does it have a place in the classroom?

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engtchr5's profile pic

engtchr5 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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Here's my two cents: If you're engaging students in mythology by using the Star Wars trilogy, great. The tie-ins are undeniable, as stated previously. However, if they're simply being shown for, say, entertainment and ease of teaching, I'm not in favor. I know of teachers who make an entire semester nothing but movies and trite "quizzes" about their plots. Unless you're teaching film studies, that's not class. It's sloth.

Maybe that sounds a little harsh, but come on now -- when you have teachers that are planning lessons that actually involve real work and instruction, how valuable is it to a kid's learning if they're consistently watching things like "Ferris Bueller's Day Off?" OK, a little off topic, granted, but you can understand where I'm headed. When teachers teach, students learn.

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Susan Woodward | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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I teach The Hero's Journey outlined by Joseph Campbell, and I use Star Wars as an example of that pattern.  The Hero's Journey runs throughout myths and legends of all cultures, and students realte more readily to pop culture as an attention grabber.  Once they see the pattern for Luke Skywalker, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, and Will Turner, they are more apt to see it in "Gawain and the Green Knight", The Odyssey, and The Hobbit. There is a set of DVDs in which Bill Moyer interviews Joseph Campbell, and there are many references to and video clips from Star Wars as examples.

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linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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the last three are good ,b ut i have to disagree about the first three being dark.  the first two is but number three is awesome to the max.

Watch "Revenge of the Sith" back-to-back with "Return of the Jedi." "Jedi" is far superior. (Am I the only person who misses the original, older Annikin at the end? Maybe I'm too picky.) I think Lucas should have been more picky in his casting. In the first three films, the actors were a team. You could tell that they liked each other and that they enjoyed working together (or else they're better actors than I think they are). Ewan McGregor and the guy who plays Annikin (see--who can remember his name!?) don't even compare.

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linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Sure. Star Wars is the epic for our time. The only thing that separates it from the classical Greek myths is the technology. You even have "gods" in the form of Jedi knights and Sith warriors.

However, when it comes to the movies, I prefer the original three. Maybe it's my age and the fact that I grew up alternating having a crush on Han Solo and Luke Skywalker. The newer three just aren't as good--in plot and in acting. Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher had a certain chemistry that is lacking in the newer films. The newer ones are also very dark and somber. Even though the earlier ones dealt with some heavy subjects, they still found room for humor and fun.

 

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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I use clips of these movies when I teach chivalry and King Arthur's Knights.  George Lucas used Camelot and their rules of chivalry when he created his Jedi knights.  It makes for great comparison/contrast essays and fun conversations.  There are also lots of examples of archetypal characters in Star Wars--the villain, the hero, the damsel in distress.  The list goes on and on.  There is definitely a place for these classic books and films in the classroom!

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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Cool question!  I certainly think it has a place in the classroom.  Pop culture is an important part of our history and education, so I could see many ways that the trilogy could be incorporated into many different subject areas, including English, science, history, etc.  I love incorporating pop culture into my classroom.  The Star Wars original trilogy changed so much about movie making (special effects and such) and touch a strong chord with so many movie-goers.  I still love to watch the original trilogy!

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apbrown | High School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

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Star Wars Trilogy: Worth Studying?

Is Star Wars just pop culture fun, or does it have a place in the classroom?

I believe that Star Wars has a place in the classroom because you can use it to teach many aspects of life. For instance, I have used Star Wars to teach my students about the epic hero's journey. Luke is the idealistic hero. He is a young man who has a mysterous birth and parentage, but he also has a "power" that seems to radiate from his very being. Star Wars forces students to analyze the elements of good vs evil. Initially, Luke believes that he has a duty to destroy Darth Vader; this seems to be clear-cut. Luke faces conflict when he discovers that Darth Vader is his biological father. Star Wars forces students to question some of their beliefs and it also helps them to consider the views of others. This is evident when Han Solo rejects Luke's belief in the "force". I believe that Star Wars is a part of pop culture and in order for students to have a better understanding of our culture as a whole they have to view different things.

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billybobberkey | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

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I teach The Hero's Journey outlined by Joseph Campbell, and I use Star Wars as an example of that pattern.  The Hero's Journey runs throughout myths and legends of all cultures, and students realte more readily to pop culture as an attention grabber.  Once they see the pattern for Luke Skywalker, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, and Will Turner, they are more apt to see it in "Gawain and the Green Knight", The Odyssey, and The Hobbit. There is a set of DVDs in which Bill Moyer interviews Joseph Campbell, and there are many references to and video clips from Star Wars as examples.

Hmmm... I'll recommend that to my history teacher! Thanx amethystrose!!!

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billybobberkey | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

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the last three are good ,b ut i have to disagree about the first three being dark.  the first two is but number three is awesome to the max.

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billybobberkey | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

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Star Wars Trilogy: Worth Studying?

Is Star Wars just pop culture fun, or does it have a place in the classroom?

 

Don't you think kids  younger than like to watch older type movie? or is it that you aren't comfortable with that idea?

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