A galaxy far, far away from Lucasfilm

Let’s talk about a fancy old French word that previously meant nothing to me. Ahhh academia.

Detournement; a way of subverting mass media’s hegemonic dominance over the meaning of cultural symbols by turning them against themselves for the purpose of discourse, dissent or criticism.

Or in human words; transforming and developing images, sounds and ideas observed in popular culture or public life. It’s the broadest sense of remixing – not just mash-ups in music, but of fictional characters, worlds and sounds evoked by certain sub-cultures or creations.

I just couldn’t help choosing this intergalactic wonderland as an example. It’s well recognised that Star Wars, in its original form, was a mash-up of tropes and themes from a variety of other film genres – sci-fi, westerns, war films and samurai films.

Sneaky Firefly reference anyone?

But outside the films themselves, the cultural journey of Star Wars has a range of hilarious and beautiful detours. The franchise creators have been criticised for stale reinventions, that do more copying than transforming of familiar material, but it seems the alternative avenues of remix have enlivened and redirected the galaxy far far away.

These creations show new ideas – musical satire mash-ups and the phenomenon of BLR –  being made more accessible through the use of familiar elements, and the existing idea of Star Wars being refreshed.

As Kirby Ferguson suggests, finding this balance between the novel and familiar is something that can and should be the goal for anyone manning the remix turntables.

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5 thoughts on “A galaxy far, far away from Lucasfilm

Add yours

  1. This was so well written! I actually love Star Wars and it was interesting to see your interpretation of remix culture in regard to a film, rather than music or memes. I actually learnt quite a lot from your post. You’ve integrated so many views and examples; this really strengthened your post. It would’ve been interesting to see another example (besides Star Wars), just to provide a different example of remixes in popular culture (perhaps musicals and their adaptations?). However, this has been one of my favorite posts!!

    Like

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