Heathcliff Becomes Darth Vader:

The Haunting of the Dark Father


By Kimberly Laux


“An artist is a creature driven by demons. He doesn’t know why they

choose him and he’s usually too busy to find out.” – William Faulkner


If not obvious at first glance, the six Star Wars films and the novel Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte have the same imbedded plot, if not overtly clear due to genre. Specifically:

  • A dark, foundling child is brought into a dysfunctional system – religious/familial. That child grows up amid a dramatic environment and falls madly in love with a beautiful woman forbidden to him. He turns to evil at the point of loss. The beloved dies in childbirth. The problematic, yet gifted child, now an evil, revenge-addled adult, creates a veritable hell for the children of the next generation: two male, and one spirited female. This demonic figure finally is redeemed by the love for a son, biological or through adoption. The physical point of contention and context; farm/family, battle station/empire, is destroyed and then redone and remade in gentler terms.


Star Wars may well be the best adaptation, albeit inadvertent, of Wuthering Heights. Wuthering Heights has been made into countless cinematic and televised versions, but all use the same device of focusing only on the first third of the book involving Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw and their unyielding passion for each other giving short shrift to later two thirds of the book. This particular truncation of Emily Bronte’s novel, taking what could be considered the most dramatic and poignant portion with Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff as focal point, creates a short, traditional tragedy: a cautionary tale of the dangers of erotic love with a long standing tradition in English folklore, i.e. the Arthurian legends. Emily Bronte’s novel, with many of it’s negative religious portrayals, including Heathcliff’s employee, farmhand Joseph, doesn’t have the same puritanical fable quality as the shortened, cinematic versions, and ultimately diverts from the conventions of tragedy. Emily Bronte finds virtue in the ghosts of her flawed lovers, much in line with the through-line of the first six Star Wars films, finding virtue in a character initially portrayed as a psychopathic killer. Since the six films where released out of narrative order, the introduction of the protagonist is at first one-dimensional villain. The plot from the novel rearranged in the cinematic versions to the tale of forbidden love, for brevity’s sake, leaves the other characters of the novel drastically altered to fit the norms of romantic love as disruptive force, not the rigidity of the environment as saboteur of human growth and potential present in the longer work. This often makes the cinematic Heathcliff and Cathy more sympathetic than they are in the novel, and the other characters far less injured by the lover’s disastrous and ruthlessly vengeful actions. This lessening of the genuinely flawed nature of the paramours in photographic form saps much of what the novel derives its power and uniqueness from – and keeps it relevant two hundred years after its writing. What romantic love is in Wuthering Heights is a reaction to the harsh environment, a drug, an addiction, a response to the behavior of a bad father and what that represents. Romantic love isn’t the problem in and of itself, but the swirling, dangerous thing that fills the windswept moors with haunted voices because of a lack of compassion for the fragility of life and the frailty of innocence. Love stories are often set amid “life-killing” situations of some kind: warring families, nations, classes, natural disasters, as romantic love is an intoxicant against hopelessness and a sense of futility of action.

First, in Wuthering Heights, there is the destructive action of Cathy’s father in favoring Heathcliff, an orphan picked up off the street in a distant town, over his own biological son. Heathcliff is referred to almost in passing as a “gypsy,” usually meaning someone of olive complexion in the context of the culture of the time: North African, Middle Eastern, or Mediterranean, making the slight to the biological son that much more crushing and seemingly cruel. A child of an “inferior” racial background is considered better than the biological offspring, and is the soul mate to the other rather dynamic and other beloved child in the house by the father, Cathy. In a particularly telling scene, the father holds Heathcliff and Cathy as he is dying, with his son at a distance. Second, Heathcliff then emulates his surrogate father, his dark exemplar, who has used Heathcliff in part to create the schism in the family, an expression of the father’s disappointment in his own fate and condition, darkening the lives of all the children in his care, a revenge against life itself. The first third of the book shows children having their lives guided towards destructive values and unattainable desires. The children by nature emulate the one parent figure they have.

Star Wars keeps in line with the construct of Wuthering Heights. Anakin Skywalker lacks a biological father from the start of the story, one seems not to exist, and is taken from his caring mother to a cold, institutional environment that does not make his well being a priority, but puts him in service of the Jedi Council and Order before he can make an adult decision of dedication. The parentis in locus role is to serve the institution, not the student. As in Wuthering Heights, the strictures and design of religion are more important than any philosophical intent. The symbol of an abstract concept is worshiped instead of interpreted. In modern terms, the stories could be said to be about severe personality disorders developed due to narcissistic parenting by people and institutions. The absence of a caring fatherly presence in Anakin Skywalker’s life, Obi-Wan Kenobi is ultimately developed as a brotherly presence if not completely consistently, leaving open the possibilities of exploitation by the evil Emperor Palpatine. Heathcliff is an orphan in Wuthering Heights leaving him exposed to exploitation. The dark father figures in both works compartmentalize their actions, not seeing their own behavior in terms of consequence, only origin. Anakin does have one caring parent, but is removed, without malicious intent at any conscious level, but agendas outside the realm of the child’s wellbeing take precedence.

Wuthering Heights is a multi-generational novel and would be better served in form perhaps by a miniseries, such as The Thorn Birds, or as in the case of Star Wars, a series of six films – perhaps more films in the future although the plot of Wuthering Heights is covered by the six existing films. The cinematic quality of Wuthering Heights as a written work, over seventy years before the advent of motion picture film with the novel’s elegant use of visuals and the atmosphere of times of day and weather, suits the photographic/cinematic form in ways many modern screenplays do not. To couple the building of tension, place, and feeling with the intricate plot points requires a certain amount of time not usually allotted theatrical releases as individual films. The motion picture form and its conventions have proved to be somewhat less fluid in structure than the novel over the past century. Experimental films almost never become mainstream but aspects are incorporated into mainstream works. Experimental novels often become the subject of popular discourse in and of themselves and considered successful in their own right without repackaging. Wuthering Heights was experimental in its time and still relatively unique in the history of English literature. The fact that George Lucas grew up and was educated in a time when experimental filmmaking was at perhaps its epoch, at least before the introduction of digital photography and distribution, does show in much of his early work. The first half hour of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977/1998) is sparse in terms of dialogue and subverts conventions of establishment of place and time. We are literally “dropped” on a distant planet with two androids. Part of the phenomenal popularity of Star Wars was its quality of creating a sense of a photographically real alternate universe without use of stage conventions and the suspension of disbelief those required. Luke Skywalker walking out to observe the double sunset of Tatooine looked as real as John Wayne riding off into the sunset in Monument Valley, and more real than pictures from NASA of the moon landing. This level of production value was new and as such, particularly powerful at the time. The story may be apocryphal about people seeing a motion picture of a train coming into a station and jumping out its way as the first films were shown to audiences, but the audience for Star Wars in 1977 had a similar quality of having the “new experience.” Wuthering Heights and Stars Wars have in common along with plot the use of the sensual to bring the reader and viewer into a whole universe. Emily Bronte was working in the beginning times of the novel.

The popular Star Wars films and the nineteenth century novel have at their core, a certain quintessence, the element of the “Dark Father.” This figure is woven through the action and metaphor of both works. The image of the dark father recurs from the earliest written stories in Western traditions. Examples include Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, King Lear and Hamlet by William Shakespeare, and the Old Testament amongst many other significant works. The dark father serves a range of narrative purposes. But first and foremost, he is an instrument of disruption, the unresolved past, un-repented sins visited upon future generations. In contrast, the “Bad Mother” archetype has its own traditions as in Medea by Euripides, multiple traditional fairy tales such as Cinderella, and modern incarnations implied in many films such as Psycho (1960) directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The bad mother was particularly present in the work of Charles Dickens. The bad mother tends to serve the role of a reactive, destructive, but ultimately victimized, or self-perceived victimized, individual. Her only means to redress social injustice – which has marginalized and isolated her – is to inflict damage on her children after an initial, exterior disruption. Motherhood is the one area she has true control and dominance. The dark father acts as metaphor for tyranny in its destruction of individual identity. The dark father can be an individual representative of narcissism as a character flaw, a metaphor for oppressive systems such as dictatorial governments and/or repressive, institutional religious dogmas, and/or the pressures of unresolved pasts. Hamlet’s father is literally a howling ghost in the first scene of William Shakespeare’s play demanding redress for injustice.

Why Wuthering Heights and Star Wars would be so similar may well go to repetitions of pattern in art at a universal level, but George Lucas and Emily Bronte do have multiple similarities in their backgrounds in spite of seemingly divergent universes. They both come from small, remote, rural areas, both having harsh environments, the moors of Northern England and Modesto, California on the edge of the Mohave Desert. Both were born to conservative families living in extremely conservative times during their formative years; Emily Bronte, Victorian England, George Lucas, mid-century United States, Cold War era. Most pointed, they both had/have remote and/or domineering fathers, documented to some extent. George Lucas has noted his father never approved of his career choice to be a visual artist and dictated a career in cinema over visual art because their was a corporate apparatus that could support filmmaking and be profitable business. This does not make the actual individual father an inherently bad person, or even the true model for the incarnation of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader, but representative of the times of the fictive creation. The Great Depression and World War II inspired a very cautious and conformist society with a completely reasonable basis. The absence of self-reflection is the deeper problem than the external issue in the stories.

Both Emily Bronte and George Lucas explore the dark father in different forms but with oddly parallel outcomes. The similarities in each work suggest an extension of traditional archetype and narrative system that is highly satisfying for readers and viewers and anchors audience attachments to the works long after the cultural era in which each was produced has passed. Neither the six Star Wars films nor Wuthering Heights fits the conventional definition of tragedy, which has tended to define the dark father archetype’s narrative: i.e. King Lear. There is redemption at the end of the Star Wars films and Wuthering Heights. The significance of this is of great importance to understand the emotional hold both works have over the audience and subsequent generations interested in them. More than catharsis and communication of social mores is at play. Emily Bronte and George Lucas push forward the traditional role of the dark father in storytelling tropes by extending out not just the consequences of tragedy as pedagogy for the audience, but offer up hope, redemption, and even love for the malignant, patriarchal figure. While Wuthering Heights has been called an anti-Christian novel, the underlying redemptive quality of love for the flawed, for humanness, has theological underpinnings not always expressed in formal Christian institutions and pedagogy, particularly in Emily Bronte’s time, but ironically supported by the stories and epistles of the New Testament.

Emily Bronte lived a short life, dying at thirty. Her family, in modern terms, would be called dysfunctional and universally called sad. Her mother died when she was three. Her two older sisters would die as teenagers after attending a rigid religious school. Her brother would die a year before her with multiple problems of his own. Their father was a rector. He was withdrawn, taking meals by himself, and leaving the children to their own devices even after the death of their mother. The three remaining sisters in the family: Charlotte, Emily, and Anne would compile a volume of poetry published under male pseudonyms in compromise with the patriarchal culture of the time. Emily is considered the best poet of the family and would influence later generations of poets, particularly Emily Dickenson. Emily Bronte’s poetry tended to elegantly explore death, grief, and sorrow. She described feelings of loss from an interior point of view. The lack of other themes in her work outside of grief, despite her technical prowess, may be part of why her poetic works are not more widely known and anthologized.

Wuthering Heights is different from her poetry in tone and ultimate resonance. Still today, Wuthering Heights is considered to have a peculiar form of narrative structure: nested narrators. There are three first person voices. The first is a male narrator of no plot significance, almost a bird’s eye view of the story. The major voice is that of the nursemaid, Ellen Dean, supplying the scant warmth and humanity in the unsentimental novel, a very distant “good mother.” The narrators observe Cathy and Heathcliff. The only exposition of their interior life is through dialogue and action. They were made for the movies as much as for each other. This may be why Cathy and Heathcliff are so favored for the cinematic form, which is completely reliant on dialogue and action for characterization. Cathy and Heathcliff offer none of the complexities of a written interior life needing visual metaphor often difficult to interweave with plot and movement. Visual metaphor is supplied in the novel with the windswept moors making the screenwriter’s and cinematographer’s tasks easier. Usually though the inclement weather is mistaken for and characterized as Cathy and Heathcliff’s inescapable passions, but like Cathy’s ghost haunting the moors after her death, the weather is better interpreted as just the past, wandering spirits, altering the landscape and defining to some extent, the author’s dilemma and the demands of environment. Heathcliff is a discordant mystery the narrators do little to try and explain, only describe. Going beyond the descriptive nature of poetry, Emily Bronte moves beyond herself and grief to explore other people and try to understand, from her vantage, a particularly valiant endeavor given her circumstances and times. The Roman-a-clef was already established with the work of Jane Austen in the Bronte family’s time. The form suited the early nineteenth century without easy access to exterior cultural stimulus, particularly for women, especially in rural region where one’s own life and surroundings would have little distraction and means for any alternate metaphor beyond oral tradition and religion.

Who the dark father is and why is he so streams throughout Wuthering Heights without ever quite answering the questioning, only letting it be. In one particularly disturbing passage, Ellen Dean, the nursemaid returns to Wuthering Heights, the titular homestead, to see a child she cared for and who adored her suddenly throw rocks at her and swear. Heathcliff, now lord of the manor, has now cared for the child. Ellen Dean offers the boy an orange if he will answer her questions, as follows:

“Who has taught you those fine words, my barn,” I inquired. “The curate?”

“Damn the curate, and thee! Give me that,” he replied.

“Tell us where you got your lessons, and you shall have it,” said I.

“Who’s your master?”

“Devil daddy,” was his answer.

-Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights

Heathcliff has replaced his adoptive father and become “devil daddy.” Unlike the filmed versions of Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff is savagely sadistic as an adult and without a trace of human compassion in his adult years in the novel until the very end. Heathcliff has more in common with the brutality of Darth Vader than the softer version of the character created by Lawrence Olivier in the famous 1939 film version of Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff’s love for Catherine is thwarted, but beyond that, he is reacting to the miserable circumstances his surrogate father created leaving Heathcliff with little hope for the future – or human connection. Cathy is the symbol of all that has been denied him. Anakin Skywalker reacts similarly to the Jedi order in Revenge of the Sith (2005). The Jedi order cut him off from human connection, his good mother, while not fully embracing him, acting as dark fathers. Anakin/Vader becomes the dark father of the galaxy with the pretense of “restoring order.”

George Lucas’ early work did construct a kind of visual poetry, evoking emotion without traditional plot devices. Although well thought of in the community of independent filmmakers, his early, dystrophic work was not commercially successful. American Graffiti (1973) retained much of the visual stylization of George Lucas’ early work as well as the first half hour of Star Wars: A New Hope (1977). American Graffiti would go on to become a huge commercial success, particularly with its low production costs, evoking nostalgia for the fifties without and of the times dark undercurrents. An idealized state of youth would feed into Star Wars as well.

The first Star Wars film was intended to be and successful at being a high production level love letter to the serialized adventure series of the thirties and forties, particularly Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers. Akira Kurosawa’s Hidden Fortress (1958) would flow through Star Wars as well. Hidden Fortress has a fairy tale basis, not so much lending itself to the narrative issues of the dark father, but the conflict of the “bad mother” as with most loosely defined fairy tales which center on female characters. Star Wars became a cultural phenomenon in the summer of 1977. Part of the effectiveness of George Lucas’ visual stylization is the multiple levels of interpretation afforded the audience. While poetry often depends upon the multiple meaning of words, as Emily Bronte showed herself more than adept, Lucas was able to construct multiple meaning in images. One can see the influences of Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will, a Nazi propaganda film – chilling well-made and effective Nazi propaganda – in the medal ceremony at the end of the first released Star Wars film. Simultaneously, one could see a church/temple with a priestess/goddess, Princess Leia, indoctrinating a selfish man and a young boy into world that is larger than himself. The use of music suggestive of Edward Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance, ubiquitously used at graduation ceremonies for decades, moves towards the notion of maturation for the audience of the time although World War II would be in living memory. Iconography from World War II is a constant touch point throughout the film for evocative images and symbols that would be particularly relevant to children with knowledge of but no experience of the events. The interpretation of images is poetic and individual. Children would not historically relate to storm troopers or Samurai helmets or a giant explosion to end the war, adults would dismiss much of this with its fairy tales atmosphere as not being historically relevant if imbedded in the cultural lexicon. While Emily Bronte and George Lucas worked in profoundly different mediums, the use of semiotic systems to impart meaning divergent from the literal is similar. The mechanisms of subconscious communication are complimentary.

The first Star Wars film had no hints or even shadows of the dark father in it. Only seen as part of the series of films can one project the issue onto the 1977 movie. The first documentation of Darth Vader being Luke Skywalker’s father was in the second draft of The Empire Strikes Back (1980). Leigh Brackett was hired to write the script for The Empire Strikes Back per George Lucas’ notes. Leigh Brackett was a respected screenwriter going back to the forties with science-fiction experience. She turned in the first draft for The Empire Strikes Back then sadly, abruptly died of cancer. In her draft “Father Skywalker” and Darth Vader were two different characters. In the first draft Father Skywalker is shown as a ghost on Dagobah talking to Luke about Darth Vader. The ghost father with unfinished business does have loud, howling echoes of Hamlet. Ghosts are almost always used in modern storytelling as the unresolved past, the dead are not at peace, something must be done before passing into the light. It is unknown if George Lucas gave instructions for the “ghost father” or if Leigh Brackett invented it herself. George Lucas was not happy with the first draft. With the death of Leigh Brackett took on the screenplay himself and then later worked with Lawrence Kasdan on the final script. It is in the second draft that Darth Vader announces to Luke that he is in fact his father.

The plot device probably proved both efficient, with the redundancy of multiple father figures: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, Uncle Owen, even the Emperor, and finally Father Skywalker, condensed. It was also highly exciting and powerfully theatrical. The auteur filmmakers of the American New Wave had surrounded Lucas. He worked with Francis Ford Coppola just out of film school at USC and Marcia Lucas, editor of the first three films and ex-wife of George Lucas, edited for Martine Scorsese. Exploration of the darker side of the human condition was regarded highly at this time. The plot twist of Darth Vader being Luke Skywalker’s father would prove to be one of the most stunning and evocative in the history of cinema and make the series more than the comic book/fairy tale it was started as, albeit with evocative semiotics. The conceit fit well with much of the moral relativism of the time if not the source material George Lucas had started out to use. This conflict appears to have been a profound struggle for George Lucas in relation to the later films and the public at large. Delving in to the dark does not seem to have been a comfortable area for his as a filmmaker, but it also may have added significantly to the brand’s commercial as well as artistic success. This may have put pressures on the production of the Star Wars films that does show up in sometimes disconcerting changes in tone such as the confrontation of Luke with Darth Vader and the Emperor, something touching on Greek tragedy, and the intercutting of puppet, bearlike creatures comically helping the rebellion overcome the Empire in Return of the Jedi (1984).

Director Irvin Kershner, one of Lucas’ instructors at USC when he was a student, shot a much darker film than Lucas had envisioned for The Empire Strikes Back (1980). Lucas would re-edit the completed Empire Strikes Back to try and make it lighter, but it simply didn’t work as it wasn’t shot as a bright, adventure story, and was returned to Kershner’s darker version, now considered a classic and the best film in the series if more for content than structure. The lack of a contract with Harrison Ford, Han Solo, for a third film made the third act of The Empire Strikes Back unresolved.

Lucas had authored the dark father in the Star Wars films, but it wouldn’t be until Revenge of the Sith (2005) that he seemed somewhat comfortable with it thematically and visually. The movement away from the story of Luke Skywalker to an epic surrounding an anti-hero would be a slow process and an uneasy one. Once Darth Vader is identified as “father” all the movement is towards humanizing him, as in the prequels, and redeeming him, as in Return of the Jedi (1983). Emily Bronte’s work seems less afraid of staring into the void and perhaps is more adept with acceptance. Unfortunately, this great accomplishment gets short shrift in cinematic interpretations of Wuthering Heights.

Along with the real fathers of Emily Bronte and George Lucas, whom would no doubt infinitely pale in comparison to their children’s creations, there are also aspects in both George Lucas’ and Emily Bronte’s lives suggestive of oppressive systems of which there was/perhaps is resentment and a push back in their work. In Wuthering Heights religion is presented as oppressive, cold, and without redemptive power if the source of unnecessary and injurious austerity. Redemption in Wuthering Heights comes from acceptance – not purity. When Heathcliff and Cathy are left as ghosts to wander the moors together, not to a pure heaven Cathy opening rejects and would choose to be thrown from, balance is restored to the moors and children. Emily Bronte had much to grieve in her short life and religion proved no comfort. Acceptance of life as it is allows it to move forward in the end.

George Lucas tried to break ties with the entertainment industry power base as quickly as he could when achieving financial success. Figures of authority are not seemingly well regarded by the author or the filmmaker. Emily Bronte was left to her own imagination by her father and strict religious practices that provoked guilt not hope. George Lucas struggled to bridge between entrepreneurship, at which he excelled, and was a contributor to the digital revolution while struggling against his work being claimed by the public as art, and trying to keep it at its core, a commercial enterprise, which may be be his view of highest independence.

The collective unconscious archetype of the dark father may have grown and extended with Star Wars and Wuthering Heights and can account for much of their popularity. The reader and the audience aren’t so much being taught an “important lesson” but instead being embraced. One is not alone dealing with destructive people who should care but don’t. Heathcliff and Darth Vader are vilified and plunged into a fiery pit, literally in the case of Star Wars, sexual passion in the case of Wuthering Heights, but they are ultimately pulled out of that hell and redeemed ultimately by a belief of reality beyond self and the greater good. They are redeemed by unconditional love given and inspired by the frailty of children. While archetypes do transcend time and culture as theorized by Carl Jung and popularized with Joseph Campbell, in the process of retelling stories, recasting and re-synthesizing experiences, they can grow and take on new and deeper meanings in response to the current times, but also, in terms of the maturation of societies. Evolution may not be confined to the strictly individual and physical and adaptation can take many routes.

As Robin Wood put so well in his article on horror films, Return of the Repressed, in Film Comment, not dissimilar in title to Return of the Jedi:

  • For the filmmakers as well as for the audience, full awareness stops at the level of plot, action and character, in which the most dangerous subversive implications can disguise themselves and escape detection. (Sic)


Popular films are both the personal dreams of their makers and the collective dreams of their audience. And horror films are our collective nightmares.


Robin Wood, 1978

The dark father is an old collective nightmare, the ghost of the unresolved past. The artist is often drawing out images and patterns within him or herself not fully understood but consistent with compelling feelings. The Force in Star Wars is repeated as a trust of feelings, trust of life forces, and the connections they create.

Once demons are set free, if only to wander the moors, they become something else entirely, whispering on the wind or materializing in various forms in the DVD versions. The notion of understanding being a source of freedom is not new. Confrontation of what is feared alters not just the threatened, but what is feared itself.


Works Cited

Austen, Jane. The Complete Novels of Jane Austen. London: Penguin, 1986. Print.

Bevington, David, ed. Shakespeare: Four Tragedies. Bantam, 1988. Print.

Bordwell, David. “Narrative as Formal System.” New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 2000. Print.

Brontë, Emily, Anne Brontë, and Charlotte Brontë. Best Poems of the Brontë Sisters. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1997. Print.

Brontë, Emily. Wuthering Heights. New York: Penguin, 2009. Print.

Campbell, Joseph. The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1972. Print.

Collins, Jim, Hilary Radner, and Ava Collins. Film Theory Goes to the Movies. New York: Routledge, 1993. Print. Thomas Shatz, The New Hollywood

Fleischman, Paul, and Julie Paschkis. Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: a Worldwide Cinderella. New York: Henry Holt and, 2007. Print.

Foster, Alan Dean. Splinter of the Mind’s Eye: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker. New York: Ballantine, 1978. Print.

Good News Bible: the Bible in Today’s English Version. New York: American Bible Society, 1976. Print.

Hutcheon, Linda. A Theory of Adaptation. New York: Routledge, 2006. Print.

Ingham, Patricia. The Brontës. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2008. Print.

Jung, C. G., and Anthony Storr. The Essential Jung. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1997. Print.

Kaminski, Michael. The Secret History of Star Wars: the Art of Storytelling and the Making of a Modern Epic. Kingston, Ont.: Legacy, 2008. Print.

Miller, Lucasta. The Brontë Myth. New York: Anchor, 2005. Print.

Rinzler, J. W., and Charles Lippincott. The Making of Star Wars: the Definitive Story behind the Original Film : Based on the Lost Interviews from the Official Lucasfilm Archives. New York: Ballantine, 2007. Print.

Smith, Helaine L. Masterpieces of Classic Greek Drama. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2006. Print.

Wood, Robin. “Return of the Repressed.” Film Comment 14 (1978). Print.



American Graffiti. Dir. George Lucas. Perf. Ron Howard. A Lucasfilm Ltd/Coppola Co. Production, 1973. DVD.

Attack of the Clones. Dir. George Lucas. Perf. Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman. 20th Century Fox. Film.

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: an Interplanetary Battle with the Tiger Men of Mars. Dir. Harlan Tarbell. John F. Dille Co., 1935. DVD.

The Empire Strikes Back. Dir. Irvin Kershner. By Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan. Perf. Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Billy Dee Williams. Twentieth Century-

Flash Gordon. Universal, 1936. DVD.

Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth. Perf. Joseph Campbell, Bill Moyers. PBS, 1988. DVD.

Kakushi Toride No San Akunin The Hidden Fortress. Prod. Akira Kurosawa. By Akira Kurosawa. Dir. Akira Kurosawa. Perf. Toshirō Mifune. Toho Co., 1958. DVD.

The Phantom Menace. Dir. George Lucas. By George Lucas. Prod. George Lucas. Perf. Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd, and Samuel L. Jackson. 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, 1999.

Return of the Jedi. Dir. Richard Marquand. By Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas. Perf. Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Billy Dee Williams. Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp., 1983.

Star Wars. By George Lucas and George Lucas. Dir. George Lucas. Perf. Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher. 1977. Film.

Star Wars, Episode III, Revenge of the Sith. By George Lucas. Dir. George Lucas. Prod. George Lucas and Rick McCallum. Perf. Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, and Hayden Christensen. 20th Century Fox, 2005.

Triumph of the Will. Dir. Leni Riefenstahl. 1934. Film.

star wars poster

Princess Leia on the windswept poster



Catherine Earnshaw






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