Review: Luke Skywalker Can’t Read: And Other Geeky Truths by Ryan Britt

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Essayist Ryan Britt got a sex education from dirty pictures of dinosaurs, made out with Jar-Jar Binks at midnight, and figured out how to kick depression with a Doctor Who Netflix-binge. Alternating between personal anecdote, hilarious insight, and smart analysis, Luke Skywalker Can’t Read contends that Barbarella is good for you, that monster movies are just romantic comedies with commitment issues, that Dracula and Sherlock Holmes are total hipsters, and, most shockingly, shows how virtually everyone in the Star Wars universe is functionally illiterate.
Proud fandom aficionado Ryan Britt makes a case for sci-fi and fantasy fandoms as he takes a humorous, but well thought out look at everything from Marty McFly to Star Wars. Britt is affectionate in his love for all things geeky, but he’s also willing to point out flaws and absurdities that sometimes plague much beloved standards of the fandom realms. From the argument that the Star Wars galaxy is doomed to tyranny, rinse, repeat because of their lack of journalism and the written word, to his insight about the nature of regeneration in the fans of Doctor Who, to his valid observation that George Lucas just sort of makes up mythology as he goes, Britt takes his subjects seriously. Why is everyone okay with five thousand remakes of Hamlet, but gets up in arms about remakes of superhero movies? (Britt argues the creation of modern mythology may one day have our superheroes evolve to the level of seriousness people imbue in  Shakespeare). What was the problem with J.J. Abrams version of Star Trek? (The lack of ties to literature is a plausible argument). For anyone who ever wondered why fandom favorites are the way they are and what impact they may have, these essays shed light on the deeper truth of some of the most famous sci-fi and fantasy.

4 out of 5

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