On Monday, June 25, 2018, I had a great time in San Francisco at the Commonwealth Club of California with my friend & co-editor Max Brooks talking about our book Strategy Strikes Back: How Star Wars Explains Modern Military Conflict.
Previously taped and then aired on June 19, 2018, I had a heckuva time talking with Dr. Andrew Hill of the Army War College’s War Room – this wide-ranging and fun conversation can be found here.
On June 14, 2018, I had a fine time chatting about Strategy Strikes Back with Australian military officer Mick Cook and my three co-editors from the book – Max Brooks, John Amble, and Jaym Gates. You can find it here, Episode #64.
(Please don’t ask me to describe the above image, which is the logo or calling card for the Midrats podcast!)
On June 3, 2018, I talked myths and legends and Star Wars and the American military with the guys at the Midrats podcast. You can find it here, Episode #439.
*Note: This essay was originally published on the Modern War Institute’s Commentary & Analysis site.
Over the weekend, millions of Americans partook in a powerful strategic myth by heading to see the next offering from the Star Wars franchise: Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Considering its generational range and cultural reach, Star Wars may be the most important story about war since Thucydides wrote The Peloponnesian War. And it’s influence on the military has been profound: from forward-stationed soldiers calling their counter-mortar protection “R2-D2” to former four-star generals letting phrases like “disturbance in the Force” slip into their interviews; a recent, $10 billion Pentagon contract had been nicknamed “JEDI,” while, most notably, the Strategic Defense Initiative, a Reagan-era space-based missile defense program, quickly earned a catchier nickname: “Star Wars.”
While some will inevitably dismiss the films as fairy tales or space operas, their immense grip on the American imagination means that understanding them, and other myths, is important to unlocking American attitudes toward war and strategy. Continue reading “Star Wars and American Strategic Myths”
*Note: This essay was published in the Colorado Springs Gazette print edition on May 27, 2018. It can also be found online here.
Han Solo is an American hero. Across Colorado, the country and the world, millions will flock this Memorial Day weekend to see “Solo: A Star Wars Story” and the young Alden Ehrenreich take on the character Harrison Ford made into a legend over the past four decades. Each ticket sold cements the reckless-rogue-turned-reluctant-rebel’s status as the quintessential (accidental) American hero. Continue reading “What Han Solo tells us about American heroes”
On May 24, 2018, I talked about writing and Star Wars with Jonathan Small on his podcast, Write About Now–you can find it here.