Cody Mejeur deposited Chasing Wild Space: Narrative Outsides and World-Building Frontiers in Knights of the Old Republic and The Old Republic in the group Game Studies on Humanities Commons 1 year, 8 months ago
As introduced in the iconic line that precedes the first film’s opening crawl, Star Wars’s galaxy far, far away is the foundation for the franchise’s worldbuilding efforts. It is the backdrop and context for the story told by any Star Wars film, novel, game, or other text,1 and as such it functions as a narrative world or storyworld. David Herman describes a storyworld as the “mental model” of the larger world of a text, one that audiences construct from “textual cues and the inferences that they make possible.”2 In other words, the Star Wars galaxy is only partially represented by any particular text, and audiences use that partial representation to imagine how the rest of the galaxy works. However, it seems strange to call the Star Wars galaxy, itself an agglomeration of inconsistent and contested narratives, characters, and worlds, a singular storyworld. Marie-Laure Ryan’s recent conception of the narrative universe as an accumulation of storyworlds seems more apt. This chapter therefore explores the space of the Star Wars galaxy as a narrative universe, arguing that it renews itself and its transmedial franchise through the mystery of outside spaces. The use of these outside spaces in Star Wars suggests a new modification or addition to existing theories of narrative world-building, and draws critical attention to the ethical and political dimensions of world-building processes.