Norwich Museum Presents “The Art of Empire: World War 2 Influences in Star Wars,” on Star Wars Day, May the Fourth


May 1, 2017

Norwich University’s Sullivan Museum and History Center presents “The Art of Empire: World War 2 Influences in Star Wars,” a lunch and learn presentation on Star Wars Day, May the Fourth, with writer and editor Andrew Liptak.

This lunch and learn event, held on Thursday, May 4, at noon, is free and open to the public and includes a complimentary light lunch.

Since its release in 1977, George Lucas’s science fiction film Star Wars has become a world-wide popular culture phenomenon. Underlying its story of good-versus-evil is the influence of the Second World War, which informs the design and the structure of the franchise’s story. This presentation will look at how Lucas used imagery and icons from the World War II era to inform his Galaxy Far, Far Away, and why it holds up four decades later.

Presenter Andrew Liptak graduated from Norwich University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in History and in 2009 with a Master of Arts in Military History. He is currently the Weekend Editor for Vox Media’s technology and culture website The Verge, and has written for such outlets as Armchair General Magazine, Barnes and Noble, Clarkesworld Magazine, Gawker, Gizmodo, io9, Kirkus Reviews, Lightspeed Magazine,, VentureBeat, and others. He is a member of the 501st Legion, a group of Star Wars costumers who engage in charitable events (pictured above in a Stormtroopers costume).

Liptak is also a published author, with his first short story, ‘Fragmented’, appearing in Galaxy’s Edge Magazine in 2014 (reprinted at The Art of Future War Project in 2015). In 2014, he published his first anthology (co-edited with Jaym Gates), “War Stories: New Military Science Fiction,” sold by Apex Publications and Amazon.

This presentation is held as part of the Sullivan Museum and History Center’s current exhibit, “World War: America and the Creation of a Superpower,” which examines the way World Wars I and II defined the United States’ place in the world. Featured objects include propaganda posters from both wars, rare uniforms, trench art, medals and objects from the field. Many new propaganda posters were added to the exhibit in mid-January to further showcase the Museum’s large collection.  The exhibit is open through the end of June 2017.

The museum is open to the public from 8 – 4 Monday through Friday, and on Saturdays from 11 – 4 during the academic year. Admission is free. For more information about the programs or exhibit, please call 802-485-2183 or visit

Editor’s note: The above photo was taken by Matthew Thorsen for Seven Days.

About Norwich University

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) 

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