MA Student Blue Profitt Participates in 3-Minute Thesis Competition

Recent graduate from the MA in Literary and Textual Studies program Blue Profitt participated in the 3-Minute Thesis Competition. You can watch the video of her entry below; a transcript follows.


Announcer: Competitor Number 30 is Blue Profitt from English, Literary and Textual Studies, “In Luke More Than Luke: Family Romance and Narcissism in the ‘Star Wars’ Saga.”

Blue: Good afternoon. I’m about to ruin Star Wars for you. So, it’s post-1977 in America here, and odds are you’ve heard a lot of incest or Oedipal jokes about Star Wars, am I right? Well my thesis seeks to tell you that sometimes the Oedipal complex is a choice and sometimes, a lightsaber is just a lightsaber. My thesis uses the Oedipal complex as a metaphor for narcissism, specifically in the male character in Star Wars.

Now, incestuous narcissism can apply to more texts than just the Star Wars trilogies, but I use Star Wars because of the way you feel when I say those two words. You have an emotional resonance, a cultural attachment, to them. I use that so that the theory resonates a little bit more with us as readers.

The thesis focuses mostly on Luke Skywalker and his relationships with his father, Darth Vader, and his twin sister, Princess Leia. The first part uses Jacques Lacan’s theory of the name of the father to say that Luke’s original obsession with knowing his father is somewhat Oedipal at the beginning, but toward the end of the trilogy, we realize that his desire is actually to turn his father into a version of himself and not the other way around. This is indicative of his narcissism, not his erotic desire to be one with his father.

The second part of the thesis focuses on Luke’s relationship with Princess Leia, which is the one you’ve probably heard more as being incestuous. This, I say, is also narcissistic because they are competing with one another. They are twins, they are mirrors for each other. But since they are male and female respectively, they are deceived by this idea of Oedipus, this idea of “You must be the substitute for my mother,” and sexual difference. This keeps them from realizing their narcissistic competition with each other.

Completing this thesis allows us to de-Oedipalize psychoanalysis, literature, and film theory. We rely too much on this idea when we are critiquing media and literature and fiction, and through this thesis I want to prove that there’s a way that we can avoid doing that. If we look at a way to de-Oedipalize psychoanalysis, to de-Oedipalize theory, that way we won’t have to rely on this cliché anymore. Star Wars is about more than just kisses between twins and penile lightsaber fights between fathers and sons. Thank you.

Updated: 08/23/2019 11:05AM