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Publisher's Summary

"Star Wars is the ultimate mythological tale of our age, a hero's journey that is a tribute to the beauty of human freedom as well as an exploration of its dark complexities. In this gem of a book, the brilliant Cass Sunstein uses the series to explore profound questions about being a parent, a child, and a human. It will change the way you think about your own journey, and it might even make you pick up the phone and call your dad." (Walter Isaacson)

A deeply original celebration of George Lucas' masterpiece as it relates to history, presidential politics, law, economics, fatherhood, and culture by a Harvard legal scholar and former White House advisor.

There's Santa Claus, Shakespeare, Mickey Mouse, and the Bible, and then there's Star Wars. Nothing quite compares to sitting down with a young child and hearing the sound of John Williams' score as those beloved golden letters fill the screen. In this fun, erudite, and often moving book, Cass R. Sunstein explores the lessons of Star Wars as they relate to childhood, fathers, the Dark Side, rebellion, and redemption. As it turns out, Star Wars also has a lot to teach us about constitutional law, economics, and political uprisings.

In rich detail, Sunstein tells the story of the films' wildly unanticipated success and what it has to say about why some things succeed while others fail. Ultimately, Sunstein argues, Star Wars is about the freedom of choice and our never-ending ability to make the right decision when the chips are down. Written with buoyant prose and considerable heart, The World According to Star Wars shines new light on the most beloved story of our time.

©2016 Cass R. Sunstein (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Steve
  • West Chester, PA, United States
  • 06-16-16

The title says it all

A terrific short listen -- even for those of us who merely "like" the Star Wars movies. It is indeed a wide-ranging look at the world through a Star Wars lens, and I can imagine those who love the series will enjoy the book even more than I did.

At times it's fun and light (Sunstein has a surprisingly good sense of humor for a regulatory czar!), and at times it's quite serious and thought-provoking. The chapter on fatherhood was particularly insightful.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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I learned so much about Star Wars

I loved this book. It taught me a lot of interesting things about Star Wars!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Outstanding Read

I highly recommend this book to all fans of the famed Star Wars saga. It gives excellent insight into the creative minds of those who contributed to its making. Whether you’re a fan of the original trilogy, the prequels or the new sequels, you will enjoy this book and the correlations made between the fantasy world of Star Wars and the the world we occupy. The narrator is also brilliant and engaging. He really captures the author’s intentions and keeps you wanting more. As always, may the Force be with you.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

No synergy

I absolutely love SW & Sunstein, but unfortunately this combination does not work at all.

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Highly recommended

Interesting analysis of the world from a different approach, especially for those Star Wars fans.
The reading is crystal clear although a little bit embarrasing when dialogue is played. Anyway, it's one of the best play I've heard

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • sir
  • Maryland
  • 07-20-17

it's ok...

...but to the long time Star Wars fans, it will not bring much new to the table.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Some Lawyer Talks About Star Wars

That's what this book strikes me as. The author wanted an excuse to talk about Star Wars for several hours. That said, as a life long Star Wars dork myself, that's not necessarily a bad thing, and I enjoyed some of it. He makes some intriguing points on philosophy as it relates to Star Wars, and is fairly knowledgeable and articulate. However, I felt little sense of a cohesive message or theme to the work as a whole, and nothing he said was Earth shattering. There are a lot of tangents, sometimes interesting, and sometimes barely relevant, such as when he talks extensively about law - the author's main field of study.

This book struck me as the work of a guy who wants the whole world to know his various opinions on Star Wars, and how much it means to him, as opposed to a serious, well-crafted analyis (insofar as one actually can seriously analyze a space opera made for children). I must admit, I chuckled at his repeated, thinly veiled allusions to naive Rey parentage theories, which I suspect will render this book somewhat dated this time in six months.

If the above interests you, then this work is highly recommend. If not, I recommend How Star Wars Conquered the Universe for a more well-rounded discussion of what Star Wars means to fans, its themes, and its impact on the world.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not really with the Force

As a fan of Star Wars, I found too many moments where it was wrong in relation to quotes or descriptions. This tead like his world with Star Wars references.

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I immediately sent this title to all my social work friends!

I've said to many people over the years that it was Star Wars that made me want to be a social worker... nobody ever understood. But this book explains it perfectly. All people have light in them, human behavior can always be understood, and we have have the right to self- determination. Loved every minute!

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    4 out of 5 stars

Almost anything can be related to Star Wars

The author links every day events and issues to Star Wars. Some tenuous, some enlightening.