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The World According to Star Wars

3.21  ·  Rating details ·  1,684 ratings  ·  260 reviews
There’s Santa Claus, Shakespeare, Mickey Mouse, the Bible, and then there’s Star Wars. Nothing quite compares to sitting down with a young child and hearing the sound of John Williams’s score as those beloved golden letters fill the screen. In this fun, erudite, and often moving book, Cass R. Sunstein explores the lessons of Star Wars as they relate to childhood, fathers, ...more
Hardcover, 223 pages
Published May 31st 2016 by Dey Street Books (first published March 25th 2014)
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Hannah If you're looking for some great nonfiction, real world Star Wars application, the best book I've read so far is Mark Brake's "The Science of Star…moreIf you're looking for some great nonfiction, real world Star Wars application, the best book I've read so far is Mark Brake's "The Science of Star Wars." It's definitely more information-heavy than is this one, but it's nonetheless digestible, well-organized, and engaging enough that readers will want to finish it in one sitting.(less)

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3.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,684 ratings  ·  260 reviews

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Amy Sturgis
May 31, 2016 rated it did not like it
There's a word for this kind of book: opportunistic. There's another one, too: disappointing.

"Shameless" also comes to mind.

This work has two main ingredients. The first includes sections of brief, shallow, and uninspired analysis of Star Wars; listen to a random episode from any of a dozen Star Wars fan-produced podcasts, and you'll received better informed and more thoughtful discussion of the complexity of and big ideas behind that galaxy far, far away. For that matter, all of the subjects in
Apr 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
What a great little unexpected book. I was expecting just a history/lore of the franchise, and it is that, but there is also a lot here that reminded me more of But What If We're Wrong? Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past, than of George Lucas: A Life. There are some pretty interesting chapters discussing why it became a phenomenon that are more analyzing human behavior than the movies, some philosophy of free will, as well as the politics of strict constitutionalism and Scalia. It ...more
Chris Leroux
Oct 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
Imagine your most annoying fanboy friend trying to convince you that Star Wars is awesome. That’s this book. Sunstein touches on a number of random topics in an effort to prove his points; the most bizarre section involves his other apparent passion: constitutional law. There's also a Skrillex quote thrown in for good measure, in the book's oddest aside. There’s nothing concrete here that fanboys don’t already know, and there’s no content compelling enough to convince non-fans to give the franch ...more
I'm so mad about this book. I listened to the audiobook and I don't usually take notes, but I just had to this time. Let's just do bullet points, because it's easier and I'm mad.

This guy messed up SO MANY names and places. It would be super easy to get them right, simply watch the movies or google how to say it. It was honestly inexcusable. A partial list of mispronounced words:
Qui-Gon, Padawan, Calrisian, Padme, Tatooine, and, UNBELIEVABLY, C3PO.
•The author had this smug attit
Valentín Muro
I deeply enjoyed revisiting the Star Wars Universe with such a refreshing view. What made the book a bit like Return of the Jedi is that for moments it feels as if it has too much filler, and the pacing can feel a bit slow —even more so if we compare it with the exhilarating pace of the movies!

In any case, it makes for a great read —and a great gift— in spite of these things.
Anna Smithberger
Jun 19, 2016 rated it liked it
A really solid look at Star Wars in our world and at our world through the lens of Star Wars. Enjoyable, and pretty quick. I only have one small bone to pick with Mr. Sunstein and that is: ATTACK OF THE CLONES IS BY FAR THE WORST OF THE STAR WARS MOVIES PHANTOM MENACE ISNT GOOD BUT IT ISNT THE TRAVESTY OF EPISODE II. ATTACK OF THE CLONES IS PAINFUL TO WATCH AND HAS BY FAR THE MOST AWKWARD DIALOGUE.

Jeronimo Oliva Velez
From a galaxy far far away, a good book about the conections beetween the World and Fantasy but not brilliant and Star Wars always demands perfection.
Viktória Larišová
Jan 12, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: star-wars
This was everything, all the time, and all over the place. Opportunistic at best, plain and pure author self-praise at worst. Jesus why.
Neil R. Coulter
Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: any Star Wars fan (even a mild fan)
I really enjoyed this book. Cass Sunstein is the rare academic who can communicate with any reader. His writing style is conversational and easygoing, without falling into, on the one hand, trendy blog-speak or, on the other hand, academic jargon. His writing is clear and truly a pleasure to read.

I also loved the content. Sunstein's musings on the meanings of Star Wars make a perfect companion volume to Chris Taylor's excellent How Star Wars Conquered the Universe. Taylor's book is more detailed
~Disclaimer: I got this book for free in a giveaway~

Kinda conflicted. I went back and forth from 2 stars to 3 stars. And ultimately decided on 3 stars FOR ME. AKA someone who has not read extensively about the Star Wars universe, but is a fan of the films.

If you are well read skip this book. It will offer you nothing.

Moving on......

This book really isn't as focused on Star Wars as it wants you to believe. It is clearly a cash grab. But it starts off good. The first bit I actually enjoyed as it
Aug 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
When I took my son to see Star Wars, many years ago, I did not see anything but a captivating story with fantastic technical breakthroughs and great sound. This book taught me much. The reviews written by others tell the story better than I can.
Jun 01, 2016 rated it liked it
It reads a little like a textbook for a fun college course you wish had existed, and that is not meant as a complaint or insult. Interesting and occasionally thought-provoking.
Stefan Fergus
Pretty good. I think Sunstein could have done much more with this.
Sarah Kline
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book is great for someone with a short attention span, topics are discussed only for a short amount of time so its impossible for them to become boring. Every chapter was interesting and detailed enough to be the start of it's own book, but the ideas were contradictory and confusing. It was nearly impossible to "get into" the book because of the regularly changing topic. It felt like someone took a bunch of online Star Wars fan theories, a sprinkle of fun facts and just a pinch of misleadin ...more
Aug 21, 2018 rated it liked it
A World According to Star Wars was a very well written book. Cass. R Sunstein, the author, did a great job of connecting the Star Wars films to real life. I enjoyed the book and found it fascinating that some aspects of Star Wars are very closely related to pop culture and the modern world. Despite these facts, I thought that the book had too much information crammed into such a small book. Because the book was not very long, it felt as though the amount of information was inappropriate for it's ...more
Aug 23, 2018 added it
The World According to Star Wars.
I selected this book because it was written recently. Often summer reading lists included only books written a long time ago. I am familiar with the Star Wars films. I liked the book because it covered topics like politics, parent-child relationships and Star Wars symbolism. Sometimes it was a humorous book which lightened the mood when discussing things like father-son relationships. Sometimes parents and kids don’t talk for a long time. The author says not to
Eddie Simon
Aug 22, 2018 rated it liked it
I feel like this book was meant for the older audience. What I mean by this is that there were a lot of times in the book where there were jokes that I did not get. Also, the word choice in the book was astonishing. I had to look up the meaning of so many words it was ridiculous. In the book I also liked how the author made connections with Star Wars and real life. I've never read a book that connected a movie to real life, it was very cool. After reading this book my perspective about Star Wars ...more
Jacob Bassin
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Jacob Bassin
Ms. Lotz
Section Yellow
23 August 2018
When I picked this book I thought that it was going to be about how George Lucas came up with Star wars and how it related to the real world. After reading it, it was just okay. It didn't do a good job of keeping me focused and engaged in the book. It was very off track and very repetitive.

It did not have a good central idea. You’d think that this book would purely be about Star Wars, but it felt like most of the book was about politics. Around 30-
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was so good I feel that it should get a medal. The book was interesting throughout. If you have never seen star wars then you would not be so interested. But if you love star wars then you will love this book. The facts were funny and interesting. Like some of the quotes were from the original script where r2d2 actually talked. Some of the quotes were from George Lucas himself.

I also really liked the style of writing he used. He usually only used facts and it was like a persuasive essa
Logan Ferrero
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Overall, this book was just fine. Although, it had a lot of information packed into a book
and I think some of it wasn’t necessary. I didn’t like how the author had too many complex
words that were hard to understand and boring. For example, words like “ostracized” or
“marginalized.” If I rated this book out of 100, I would rate this book a 77 out of 100.
One literary style I noticed from the author was how he separated different topics with a
mini title. I think this is a good strategy and for
Lars Pedersen
Jul 21, 2018 rated it liked it
A fun short read. Don't expect new revelations or lore about the Star Wars universe. Rather it is a mixture of curious facts about the movies and description of how they relate to the world around them, supplemented by the authors own interesting reflections on them.
Recommended if you like Star Wars or the works of Cass Sunstein.
Jackson Matthews
Nov 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Medium! a true aficionado would understand it better -- Constance?
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
My first introduction to the name Cass Sunstein, was listening to the Glenn Beck program. Mr. Sunstein is a behavioral economist specializing in choice architecture who was serving in the Obama administration. Glenn Beck was on a rant, and seemed to believe that Mr. Sunstein through the use of his “choice architecture” to “nudge” us in certain directions was the devil incarnate, and bent on taking away our freedom to choose.

When I later ran across the book “Nudge” by Mr. Sunstein, I recognized h
Vincent Darlage
Oh my. What a wonderful little book. So much packed into it that I loved. Just wow.
Ernest Solar
Dec 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: star-wars
When I first started reading The World According to Star Wars, I didn’t like it. I didn’t like Sunstein’s writing style. It annoyed me that he was trying to be funny, or witty, or whatever he was trying to be. Plus, he liked Force Awakens! As a lifelong Star Wars devotee, how can someone, anyone, support Force Awakens? I wanted to stop reading Sunstein’s book at that moment. However, I got to the “episode” (i.e., chapter – which would have been witty if he stuck to seven episodes, but he went to ...more
Feb 20, 2017 rated it liked it
This books was a quick and easy read and I expect it will stay relevant for a long while to come. Oddly enough Star Wars is a great way to explain a whole host of philosophical issues and other things relating to our grand human drama. Go figure. The topics this book took on were all over the map but the ending was able to wrap everything up nicely.
Luke Johnson
Jul 30, 2018 rated it did not like it
I was kinda surprised that "The World According to Star Wars" actually has very little to do with the world according to Star Wars. Instead, it's a lot to do with Sunstein expressing his own opinions about why Star Wars is so popular and what he feels is the over-arching themes of the films. Sometimes I agree with him, the vast majority of the time I don't. I consider myself a pretty die hard SW fan though I don't follow it as religiously as I did twenty years ago when I was a teen and had money ...more
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
I expected this book to be something different. It was far more serious than I had anticipated from the front cover. Sunstein goes WAY deep into the Star Wars over-analyzation territory that my friends and I explored on long car rides or late summer nights when we had run out of conversation points. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I like Star Wars as much as the next guy, but when you are comparing the responsibility of a supreme court justice to that of a director of the next Star Wars film, it’s p ...more
Dec 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A Review of the Audiobook

Published in May of 2016 by HarperAudio.
Read by Kaleo Griffith
Duration: 5 hours, 44 minutes

Besides being a Law Professor at Harvard and a former member of the Obama Administration, Cass R. Sunstein is a massive fan of all things Star Wars.

In a wide-ranging and mostly interesting discussion, Sunstein uses Star Wars as a way to explain aspects of the American and world political scene, economics and family dynamics.

He starts with a little history of how Star Wa
Sunstein relates and then tries to quantify how popular Star Wars is. He then pulls his favorite topics and tries to relate them to Star Wars... some are better than others. Like the creative process and knowing the ending of the story that you are making up as you go along; father son relationships, but the constitutional law not so much.

Why I started this book: I wanted something fun to talk to my brother in law about.

Why I finished it: This book was all over the place. It felt like man-splain
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Cass R. Sunstein is an American legal scholar, particularly in the fields of constitutional law, administrative law, environmental law, and law and behavioral economics, who currently is the Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Obama administration. For 27 years, Sunstein taught at the University of Chicago Law School, where he continues to teach as ...more
“Star Wars and Star Trek are good in different ways, and in fairness, you can’t really rank them. But Star Wars is better. “YOUR” 3 likes
“How about 4, 5, 1, 2, 3, 6, 7? Think about it for a minute. That approach has the advantage of giving you “I am your father,” and of starting with the mysteries of the two best, while treating the prequels as kind of a flashback (as you’re also focused on the cliffhanger ending of 5). Then you get to wrap everything up with the real finale, and the best, before the third trilogy starts. Not a bad idea at all. A” 2 likes
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