Fictional World Building – Case Study on The World Of Star Wars. Create a write-up on the culture of Star Wars. Look into the details of the different factions present in the world and try to break down each of them in the given word limit.
Fictional World Building – Case Study on The World Of Star Wars
Create a write-up on the culture of Star Wars. Look into the details of the different factions present in the world and try to break down each of them in the given word limit.
For geeks, 40 years after Star Wars, it is no longer enough to make a world of fantasy; one must make a world. World-building has become the essential foundation of geek artworks, so much so that in 2013, the science fiction author Charlie Jane Anders called it “an essential part of any work of fiction”(!), and “the lifeblood of [science fiction and fantasy] storytelling.”
In order to appeal to geeks, fantasy artists today are obliged to create not just movies, novels, or comics, but entire fictional cultures, languages, species, landscapes, histories, mythologies—sprawling alternative earths, strange other places that can be described so confidently and so thoroughly that their flora and fauna and machinery seem as solid and convincing as our own.
But world-building is hardly a new concept. Long before Harry Potter, long before Star Wars, philosophers and scientists had already created the intellectual practice of world-building, a kind of thought experiment in which one invents a fictional world in order to test abstract concepts.
For instance, Immanuel Kant used world-building in the late 1700s to make ethical arguments. In a famous example, he proposed that one has a moral obligation to repay loans, because if everyone chose not to repay, then the result would be a world where no one ever lent anyone money. Scientists since then have used world-building to see how natural laws might work, whether real or imaginary—for instance, what other planets might be like.
By the late 1850s, a fictionalized version of this practice had split off from philosophy and the sciences, becoming science fantasy, then modern science fiction literature, resulting in works like Edwin Abbott Abbott’s Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions. That novel, first published in 1884, is many things, including a satire of Victorian social customs.
But it also imagines different dimensions in order to demonstrate concepts of space and time, telling the story of a square that inhabits a two-dimensional world (Flatland), but winds up visiting a one-dimensional world (Lineland), then meets a sphere from a three-dimensional world (Spaceland).
The physicists on Big Bang Theory are passionate fans of sci-fi, and in that sense, little has changed since the Victorian Era. There has always been a great deal of crosspollination between science and science fiction. In his 1920 volume Space, Time and Gravitation, Sir A.S. Eddington, Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy at Cambridge, tries to explain how moving in spherical space might cause distant places to appear frozen in time.
To help the reader envision this, he appeals to the “fantastic world-building” in a 1901 story by H.G. Wells, “The New Accelerator,” in which a fantastical drug allows a person to live and move so quickly that the rest of creation seems to crawl to a halt. Indeed, for many geeks, the whole purpose of science fiction is the illustration and explanation of scientific concepts.
Prior to Lucas, the most famous world-builder was probably J.R.R. Tolkien, who celebrated the practice in his 1939 lecture “On Fairy-Stories.” There he defined and defended fantasy literature as being stories about other realms—“faerie,” or “Secondary Worlds”—via which authors and readers engage in imaginative and linguistic play.
Just as in the case of science fiction, these stories create realities other than our own, enchanted realms where the sun might be green instead of yellow.
Tolkien defended this practice on practical grounds, claiming that it allowed us to refresh our perception of reality. Essentially, reading fantasy lit allows us a break from the everyday, the chance to go on a mental vacation, after which we return to the real world and see it anew.
Tolkien further argued that in order for this experience to succeed, in order for faerie to be able to work its magic, the secondary worlds must be credible enough that we fall completely under their spell, to which end authors must give them “the inner consistency of reality.”