Written by Aubre Garand

As SCAD prepares for Thursday’s “Liberal Arts at Light Speed,” Communications Professor and member of the 501 Legion organization Allison Steinwig expressed how Star Wars continues to transform itself from American pop culture icon to a global phenomenon.

“Star Wars isn’t just Americana anymore,” Steinwig said. “It’s become a global phenomenon that can be shared between generations of people.” 

Steinweg believes that the Star Wars franchise is only going to get better with the inclusion of J. J. Abrams and Ryan Johnson’s new episodes to the series. Steinweg considers that Johnson may be bold enough to include Star War’s first gay couple in the following episodes.

These progressive changes are going to be the focus of “Liberal Arts at Light Speed,” which will include discussions on gender identity, rebels and terrorism and leadership. The event will include a tribute to the late Carrie Fisher, to acknowledge how her role as Princess Leia became such a global feminist icon.

Steinwig recounted George Lucas’ beginnings in the Star Wars universe, before Johnson and Abrams.

“People give Lucas a lot of flack for the prequels, but he went out there and followed his dreams [at his own cost],” Steinwig said. “I think that’s someone we should all aspire to be like.”

Students are encouraged to celebrate their own passion for Star Wars at tonight’s event, dressing up as their favorite characters and taking photos with the life-size replicas of Chewbacca and R2-D2, designed by second-year industrial design student Alex Coajou, that will be on display.

The panel discussions begin at 5 p.m. in the Arnold Hall Auditorium, today, May the 4.