Star Wars is a series of films that depicts an epic galactic battle between good and evil. The interplay of love and hate is also central to the psychoanalytic theories of Melanie Klein. This article suggests that the presentation of the plot in the films follows a pattern from Klein’s paranoid-schizoid position, in which love and hate are kept separate, to the depressive position, in which they are integrated. Initially, the Jedi and Sith, corresponding to the light and dark side of the force, are depicted as purely good and purely evil, in line with the paranoid-schizoid position. Gradually, the films progress to the depressive position, in which Luke and Anakin Skywalker engage in an internal struggle of good and evil. The authors also discuss the specific contribution of film to the presentation of these themes that could not be accomplished by other media.
Jason Dean and Geoffrey Raynor
Pamela Bettis and Brandon Sternod
Scholars claim that the six films comprising the Star Wars epic are the United States’ most important modern myth. The films have meaning for contemporary lives and serve as reflections of the fears, anxieties, and hopes surrounding what many perceive to be a crisis of masculinity manifested in the current boy crisis. This article describes how the films explore possibilities for a different kind of boyhood and how they contribute to understanding competing explanations for the boy crisis.