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Star Wars T-Shirts.

Photographs by Richard Renaldi.
Super Labo, 2020. 40 pp., 36 color illustrations, 8½x11".



Publisher's Description

In the original 1977 film, Star Wars, Obi-Wan senses a disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices had been suddenly silenced. With the culminating destruction of the Death Star, a 25 billion dollar franchising empire fanned out across the universe and millions of t-shirts were suddenly licensed. Star Wars t-shirts are now everywhere.

They transcend boundaries and ideologies. They are worn with as much devotion as wedding bands and rosaries. Offering a baroque cosmology of heroes, icons, and villains, Star Wars t-shirts are as endlessly variable as the individuals who wear them. What is the meaning of their persistence? Does the ubiquity of Star Wars t-shirts suggest a global impulse toward a common cultural language? Does it represent the Force choke of late-stage capitalism nearing the end of its long march to everlasting plutocracy? Perhaps it hints at a latent crypto-religious millenarian yearning? Or are we witnessing the rise of a sartorial rebel army fecklessly militating against the techno- surveillance vapors enshrouding the twenty-first century? In exploring these and other questions, Richard Renaldi’s attentive and spirited cataloguing of Star Wars t-shirts is our only hope.


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