Date of Award
Master of Arts
Committee Chair or Primary Advisor
Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor
Third Committee Member or Committee Reader
Lynette Sharp Penya
Mythic narratives exert a powerful influence over societies, and few mythic
narratives carry as much weight in modern culture as the Star Wars franchise. Disney’s 2012 purchase of Lucasfilm opened the door for new films in the franchise. 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the second of these films, takes place in the fictional hours and minutes leading up to the events portrayed in 1977’s Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. Changes to the fundamental myths underpinning the Star Wars narrative and the unique connection between these film have created important implications for the public memory of the original film. I examine these changes using Campbell’s hero’s journey and Lawrence and Jewett’s American monomyth. In this thesis I argue that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was likely conceived as a means of updating the public memory of the original 1977 film. Disney’s choice to maintain the original film as the canonical basis for their ongoing storytelling makes updating the public memory of the 1977 film essential given distinct differences between the rhetorical contexts of 1977 and 2016. Additionally, Disney’s decisions have significant ramifications for the passionate fans of the franchise.
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Katz, Taylor Hamilton Arthur, "Reconstructing the Death Star: Myth and Memory in the Star Wars Franchise" (2018). Digital Commons @ ACU, Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 91.