I remember going to the first screening of Star Wars on the first day of its run in Boston. As a science fiction fan I was blown away. No film, with the exception of 2001, was so successful in creating a space opera environment that thoroughly enveloped the viewer.
Nobody could have predicted the level of success the film has had and that its cultural effect would spread far beyond the film world. Richard Renaldi’s new book, Star Wars T-Shirts shows that the film still reaches an incredibly broad an audience 43 after its release.
From the Charles Lane Press book release.
In the original 1977 film, Star Wars, Obi-Wan senses a disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices had been suddenly silenced. With the culminating destruction of the Death Star, a 25 billion dollar franchising empire fanned out across the universe and millions of t-shirts were suddenly licensed. Star Wars t-shirts are now everywhere. They transcend boundaries and ideologies. They are worn with as much devotion as wedding bands and rosaries. Offering a baroque cosmology of heroes, icons, and villains, Star Wars t-shirts are as endlessly variable as the individuals who wear them. What is the meaning of their persistence? Does the ubiquity of Star Wars t-shirts suggest a global impulse toward a common cultural language? Does it represent the Force choke of late-stage capitalism nearing the end of its long march to everlasting plutocracy? Perhaps it hints at a latent crypto-religious millenarian yearning? Or are we witnessing the rise of a sartorial rebel army fecklessly militating against the techno-surveillance vapors enshrouding the twenty-first century? In exploring these and other questions, Richard Renaldi’s attentive and spirited cataloguing of Star Wars t-shirts is our only hope.
More info on the book and where to purchase it is below.