Disclaimer: Turns out, I don't own Star Wars. Or even any images of Eva Green, Hayden Christensen, or Mark Hamill. Darn.
LEGENDS OF A FALL
Preface to the 2nd Edition
It is perhaps in the nature of an interdisciplinary project such as this that it will fail to achieve the unqualified approval of scholars steeped in the methods and aims of their own home disciplines. In the case of this particular work –– which in the end has proven to be at least as much about the difficulties of its own creation as about the events and stories it purposes to relate –– I have been informed by historians that it is far too literary in its content and terminology, and that I had much better confine myself to the verifiable facts, rather than indulging in wild flights of fancy and what can only be called "character development"; by literary scholars, that I worry too much about the relationship between story and history and that my frequent digressions on this score (and others) detract notably from the work's thematic unity; and by at least one folklorist that I have failed to explicate the most important feature of the whole business, which is how (what has become known as) the Skywalker Saga has been transmitted –– and transmuted –– through the generations over a span of years during which intense periods of intermittent warfare, civil and otherwise, have seriously threatened the processes of knowledge gathering and sharing, and which have also seen several more directed attempts to erase and rewrite not only official history, but the public memory and popular legend.
The first two of these positions are clearly incompatible with each other, and to my colleagues in these disciplines I can say only that it is not my aim either to provide an entirely factitious narrative of events (which at this point I should regard as something of an impossible undertaking in any case), nor to draft a magnum opus of literary genius (which I do not, and never claimed to, possess). The folklorist is, I think, both nearer the mark and more misguided, at least as regards my purpose here: that is, zie did not object to my materials or their presentation, but demanded a rather different use of them. I beg leave to differ with my learned colleague on one crucial point: I do not think that the most interesting question of the Skywalker Saga lies in its processes of transmission –– certainly not when, as far as I know, no attempt has yet been made to gather together the various strains of tradition in one place, much less to make any coherent sense of them. This work, for better or worse, is nothing more nor less than the first such endeavor. It is on these merits, for good or ill, that it must be judged.
~ E. L. Ardel
Portrait of Luke Skywalker: Early New Republic Era.
Courtesy Skywalker Museum
Portrait of Anakin Skywalker: Clone Wars Era.
Courtesy Organa Special Collections,
New Alderaan University
Portrait of Areth'Ryn Orun: Early Imperial Era.
Courtesy Orun Annex