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Deadline Extended:

Issue 12

Deadline: February 1, 2017 

New Deadline: March 5, 2017

Special Issue: Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Narrative, Characters, Media, and Event

Guest Editors: Jason W. Ellis, Alan Lovegreen, and Sean Scanlan



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This thing [Star Wars] communicates. It is in a language that is talking to young people today, and that’s marvelous.

                                       —Joseph Campbell in conversation with Bill Moyers, The Power of Myth (1988)

 

There are certainly many more themes in The Force Awakens that speak to us, and help us to learn more about these characters and what makes them tick.

                                       —Dan Zehr, “Studying Skywalkers” column on starwars.com (May 18, 2016)

 

It is the aim of this special issue of NANO to address the significance of the latest installment of Star Wars by exploring its narrative, characters, media, and event. Across nearly four decades, audiences spanning generations have experienced Star Wars through films, television programs, books, video games, special events such as the annual “celebrations,” and other storytelling media, including action figures and LEGO. Following Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm, George Lucas’ production company, audiences experienced a new transmedia event and a continuation of the old stories with the release of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens in 2015. Joseph Campbell’s earlier observations about the first film raises new questions that deserve to be answered about the latest: How does this new film communicate? What language does it use? And, to whom is it speaking?

One way to approach these issues of communication and language is through the convergence of the film’s narrative and characters, especially how the transmission of this convergence gets revealed through a variety of media as an event. For example, how does the film’s narrative respond to, continue, and challenge those that it follows? And what about the cast of characters—some returning and some new? What do these characters and their performance of the narrative have to say about the here-and-now as well as the past? Of course, the narrative is told through media, which includes different film technologies, digital distribution, DVD and Blu-Ray discs, websites, video games, and apps. And stepping back for a larger perspective, the release of the film and its transmedia supporting elements inform The Force Awakens as an event, in part orchestrated by Disney/Lucasfilm, and in part connected to contemporary events, including #oscarssowhite, #womeninfilm, and #paygap. Furthermore, how does its event(s) relate to those of the past, including specifically those centered on the release of the earlier films and subsequent events awakening fans’ nostalgic enthusiasm. The Force Awakens’ considerable box office performance and tie-in successes signal how significant this film (and its progenitors) is, and it is the aim of this special issue to explore the promise and pitfalls of its cultural influence.

This issue welcomes multimodal essays up to 4,000 words (excluding works cited) exploring topics relating to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, including but not limited to the following: 

  • transmedia storytelling and The Force Awakens (including “Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens” publications, such as Chuck Wendig’s novel, Star Wars: Aftermath, and comic books Star Wars: Shattered Empire and Star Wars: Poe Dameron
  • media transformation and adaptation (e.g., comparing the film with Alan Dean Foster’s novelization)
  • materiality and The Force Awakens (e.g., LEGO, play, and collecting)
  • Star Wars fandom and cosplay
  • Star Wars reference materials and publications
  • starwars.com and the official Star Wars app
  • Star Wars videogames including LEGO Star Wars: The Force AwakensStar Wars Battlefront, and the now defunct Disney Infinity tie-ins
  • Jakku Spy VR experience
  • Star Wars Celebration and ComicCon special events
  • social and political movements’ coinciding/connecting with The Force Awakens
  • the hero’s journey and the heroes’ journeys
  • movement and storytelling
  • vehicles as characters
  • nostalgia and familiarity
  • inclusive casting/characters
  • droids and aliens
  • hidden bodies/cgi characters (e.g., Maz Kanata/ Lupita Nyong’o and Captain Phasma/Gwendoline Christie)
  • race and gender in The Force Awakens
  • terrorism, insurgency, war, and militarism
  • surveillance

Direct questions to the Special Issue co-editors: Jason W. Ellis [jellis@citytech.cuny.edu], Alan Lovegreen [alanlovegreen@yahoo.com], and Sean Scanlan [sscanlan@citytech.cuny.edu].

NANO is a multimodal journal. Therefore, we encourage submissions that include images, sound, or video in support of a written argument. These multimodal components may consist of objects and data sets that go beyond traditional media. The multimodal components of the essay must be owned or licensed by the author, come from the public domain, or fall within reasonable fair use (see Stanford University Libraries’ Copyright & Fair Use site, http://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/fair-use/ and the U.S. Copyright Office’s Fair Use site, http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html for more information. NANO’s Fair Use Statement is available on its submission page, http://www.nanocrit.com/submissions-information/).

For questions about video, audio, or image usage, please contact NANO: editornano@citytech.cuny.edu.

NANO uses modified MLA (Modern Language Association) formatting and style.

Submission style guidelines: http://www.nanocrit.com/submissions-information/style-guide-nano/

Submission form: http://www.nanocrit.com/submissions-information/submission-form-page-nano1

Keywords and abstract: Each author is asked to submit 5 keywords and a 150-word abstract to accompany their submission.

Schedule: Deadlines concerning the special issue to be published in NANO:

  • Submission deadline: February 1, 2017 New deadline: March 5, 2017
  • Complete comments and peer review June 2017
  • Pre-production begins August 2017

 

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

 

*Image by Jason W. Ellis 

 

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Submission Guidelines:

Notes:

NANO is currently accepting notes for our 2016 issues. Suggested maximum submission length: 4,000 words excluding works cited (sound/film projects should be shorter than 10 minutes in duration). Please include an abstract (150 words). Electronic submission is preferred and should be sent as an email attachment using MS Word (.doc) or Rich Text Format (.rtf). Do not include your name on the attached document, but do include your name and the title of your note in the body of your email. All manuscripts should follow MLA guidelines for format, in-text citations, and works cited. Images, films, artwork, illustrations, and tables will be accepted for the presentation of ideas, and they should be submitted as attachments separate from the text in high-resolution formats. Please send any questions that you have to editornano@citytech.cuny.edu.

Interviews and Reviews:

NANO is currently accepting brief interviews and reviews (book, film, installation, event) for upcoming issues. Suggested submission length: 600-2,000 words. Sound, video and image recordings are accepted (send in high-resolution formats). Send your ideas, questions, or completed interviews and reviews to editornano@citytech.cuny.edu.

Copyright and Permissions:

NANO expects that all submissions contain original work, not extracts or abridgements. Authors may use their NANO material in other publications provided that nano is acknowledged as the original publisher. Authors are responsible for obtaining permission for reproducing copyright text, art, video, or other media. As an academic, peer-reviewed journal, whose mission is education, Fair Use rules of copyright apply to NANO. Send questions to the editor.