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Star Wars and Philosophy Strikes Back: This Is the Way

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Should droids be free? Should clone troopers?

What political and ethical ideas ground resistance and rebellion?

What’s wrong with the way women are portrayed in Star Wars?

Does Han Solo have a philosophical worldview?

Was Galen Erso responsible for the destruction of Alderaan?

Should you eat Baby Yoda?

“This is the Way.” In Star Wars and Philosophy Strikes Back, the Way wends through entirely new adventures in the Star Wars galaxy far, far away: not only the films of the Skywalker saga, but also Rebels, The Bad Batch, Rogue One, Solo, and The Mandalorian. Like the creators of these films and television series, the authors in this book harness the magical mix of humor, action, empathy, characterization, adventure, and fan service that constitutes Star Wars.

In addition to thorny metaphysical questions about the nature of time and free will, this volume highlights the staggering cultural impact of George Lucas’s universe. The newest Star Wars narratives tackle ethnicity on alien worlds and how love and sex with a droid like L3-37 would work (“It works”). The connections between the Separatist Freedom Movement and the struggle for social justice in the USA in the 21st century are brought to light. And philosophical second looks at Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi prove there is much more to this controversial entry in the Skywalker saga.

Thirty-six philosophers, both sages and scoundrels among them, examine the full range of deep questions throughout the Star Wars chronology—from The Phantom Menace to The Rise of Skywalker and beyond. “They have spoken.”

The Bad Batch



Part I                    Episodes I–III

1. “Another Solution Will Present Itself”: The Phantom Menace, Daoism, and Doing without Trying

               Russell P. Johnson


2. Bioethics Wars: Fear and Fallacy in Revenge of the Sith

               Thomas D. Harter


3. “A Pathway to Many Abilities Some Consider to Be Unnatural”: The Natural Law Ethics of Star Wars

               Matthew Shea, Joel Archer, and Daniel Banning


4. Mothers, Daughters, Rebels: Women’s Bodies in Star Wars

               Aikaterini-Maria Lakka


Part II                   Clone Wars, Rebels, and The Bad Batch

5. Order 66: The Fragility of Moral Autonomy in The Clone Wars

               Timothy Challans


6. “Corporations Do Not Rule Us!”: The Separatist Freedom Movement and the Struggle for Justice

               Mohammed Shakibnia


7. “No One Rescues Droids”: Rebels on Race and Racism

               Steve Bein


8. Individuality and Identity: Are Clones Literally a “Band (or Batch) of Brothers”?

               Patricia Brace


9. The Failure of Jedi Ethics: The Jedi Betrayal of Ahsoka

               James Rocha and Mona Rocha


10. Of Graffiti and Kalikoris

               Daniel P. Malloy


11. A Long Time Ago? Time and Time Travel in Star Wars

               Philipp Berghofer


Part III                  Rogue One and Solo

12. Building the Death Star: Complicity in Moral Evil

               Jason T. Eberl


13. “Rebellions are Built on Hope”: The Creative Democratic Force of Rogue One

               Terrance MacMullan


14. Han Solo: The Corellian Evasion of Philosophy

               Kevin S. Decker


15. Friendship, Love, and Sex with Droids in Solo: “How Would that Work?” “It Works”

               Nick Munn and Dan Weijers


16. La L3-37 Continue: Droid Rights and the Problem of Legal Personhood

               Joshua Jowitt


Part IV                  Episodes IV–VI

17. The Non-dualistic, Redemptive Metaphysics of the Jedi

               Michael Baur


18. Just How Many “Lukes” Are There in A New Hope, Anyway?

               Roy T. Cook and Nathan Kellen


19. Force and Geist: Hegel Watches The Empire Strikes Back

               Umut Eldem


20. “I Know There Is Good in You”: Luke, Anakin, and Confucian Filial Piety

               Eric Yang


Part V                   The Mandalorian

21. Should You Eat Baby Yoda?

               A.G. Holdier


22. Grogu’s Little Way: The Binds of Power and the Bonds of Love in The Mandalorian

               Jeffrey P. Bishop and Isabel Bishop


23. Beneath the Helmet, Beyond the Way: The Mandalorian and Moral Decision-making

               Noam Ebner


24. Paradox of Faith: The Way of Din Djarin and Kierkegaard

               Patrick Tiernan


25. Reading the Mind of Din Djarin: The Music of The Mandalorian

               Lance Belluomini


Part VI                  Episodes VII–IX

26. Awakening Race, Culture and Ethnicity in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

               Edwardo Pérez


27. The Last Jedi's Despair: Did Episode VIII Ruin Luke Skywalker?

               David Kyle Johnson


28. Deleuze, the Force of Becoming, and The Last Jedi

               Corry Shores


29. Passionate Love, Platonic Love, and Force Love in Star Wars

James Lawler


30. The Rise of Rey Skywalker: The Importance of Community and Friends in Star Wars

               James M. Okapal




JASON T. EBERL is Professor of Health Care Ethics and Philosophy and Director of the Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics at Saint Louis University. He teaches and publishes on bioethics, medieval philosophy, and metaphysics. He is the editor of Battlestar Galactica and Philosophy, co-editor (w/ Kevin S. Decker) of The Ultimate Star Wars and Philosophy and The Ultimate Star Trek and Philosophy, as well as the original Star Wars and Philosophy and Star Trek and Philosophy, and co-editor (w/ George A. Dunn) of Sons of Anarchy and Philosophy and The Philosophy of Christopher Nolan.

KEVIN S. DECKER is Professor of Philosophy at Eastern Washington University near Spokane, Washington. There, he teaches ethics, Continental, and American philosophy. He is the co-editor (with Jason T. Eberl) of The Ultimate Star Wars and Philosophy and The Ultimate Star Trek and Philosophy and editor or co-editor of eight other anthologies of popular culture and philosophy. His book Who is Who? The Philosophy of Doctor Who was published by I.B. Tauris in 2013.

Product Details

ISBN: 9781119841432
Author: Irwin, William

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