Thursday, we’re geeking out about the new Star Wars movie. BYU professor Darl Larsen will be our guest. He actually wrote a graduate thesis about George Lucas, and he says the original 1977 Star Wars film was and remains massively popular because it presents the classic hero’s quest in a pastiche of genre styles meant to appeal to a broad audience. Of course, not all the films in Lucas’ saga fared as well. Larsen will help us puzzle out where the series is headed without the influence of its creator.
Darl Larsen is a professor of Theatre & Media Arts and the Center for Animation at BYU, with emphases in film genres and history, animation, and screenwriting. His 1993 PhD thesis was titled “Raider of the Lost Art: George Lucas and Auteurism in THX 1138, American Graffiti, and Star Wars.” His most recent book is about the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It’s called A Book About the Film Monty Python and the Holy Grail: All the References, from African Swallows to Zoot [Amazon|Indiebound].