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    Barren planets and the ovum-like Death Star: family, fertility and assisted reproduction in Star Wars (1977-2019)

    Halden, Grace Barren planets and the ovum-like Death Star: family, fertility and assisted reproduction in Star Wars (1977-2019). In: Science Fiction Research Association, 18-21 Jun 2021, Toronto, Canada. (Unpublished)


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    Having established the importance of diverse family formations in the saga, I will delve deeper to think about the related themes of fertility, life, and birth. It is essential here to consider Lucas’ personal history with assisted reproductive technologies (ART) and how the franchise crosses five decades of intensive ART industry growth and regulation shifts. I will identify how cultural attitudes towards ART can be read through metaphors in the Star Wars films by tracing reproductive history from the 1970s. To do this, I will look at three main areas. First, I will look at planetary landscapes like the desert land of Tatooine, the swamps of Dagobah, and the tropical paradise of Scarif and consider how they have symbolic relevance when thinking about fertility. Second, I will examine the significance of orphans, clones, and donor-children who are birthed in ‘barren’ and ‘sterile’ environments. Finally, by examining the symbolic impact of the ovum-like Death Star, I will provide an analysis of how the Empire/First Order may represent tyrannical reproductive regulation against the reproductive freedom seemingly offered by the Republic/Resistance.


    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Fertility, reproduction, metaphor, Star Wars, Bioethics
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Depositing User: Grace Halden
    Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2023 16:11
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:54


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