Early in his career as a filmmaker, George Lucas realized that “since the demise of the Western, there hasn’t been much in the mythological fantasy genre available to the film audience.” This awareness prompted the creation of the Star Wars saga, which to Lucas reconstructed this lost genre and brought to it “a new dimension so that the elements of space, fantasy, adventure, suspense and fun all work and feed off of each other.” This course will explore the mythical dimensions of the Star Wars films, and will compare what happened “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” to stories arising from cultures found in our own corner of the cosmos. We will also explore and discuss why the Star Wars saga resonates with so many and why its appeal has endured for nearly half of a century. Note that a significant part of this course will involve watching the Star Wars films (no prior knowledge is expected). Students should also expect daily reading assignments and group projects.