Book Review - Star Wars Propaganda: A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy


Book cover for Star Wars Propaganda.This is a weird book. The politics of the Star Wars universe are rarely deeply examined. The various tax-related shenanigans of The Phantom Menace were derided by geeks but here become a potent source for art as a dozen artists reimagine classic propaganda posters from Earth and remix them with pop-culture.

There are some stunning pieces of art - with a real feel of history. Here's a typical sample:

Group of posters with fine artwork.

Others just look like they were stitched together from clipart.

Crappy looking clipart poster featuring cut outs of various Star Wars aliens.

The images are a decently sized - but could have been a bit higher resolution for viewing on a tablet.

The textual content is mostly unserious filler. It is a weird pastiche of history books, going through the purported story of the artists and circumstances behind the propaganda. It is further padded with low-resolution screenshots from the movies.

It might have been better if this were a proper art book - showing the human-world's propaganda and how a series of artists adopted and synthesised it for Star Wars. If you aren't familiar with 20th Century poster art, some of the significance will be lost on you. One nice touch is that the book prominently lists the human artists behind each work.

You'll flick through the book in about 20 minutes. It's the sort of thing which could have been a BuzzFeed listicle. It's further cheapened by the adverts for OpenRoad Media's book giveaways. Beware, if you sign up for them, you'll find it difficult to remove yourself from their endless mailing lists.

Verdict
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