Book Review: 'Luke Skywalker Can't Read: And Other Geeky Truths' By Ryan Britt


Between the pages of Luke Skywalker Can't Read, you'll find a defense of Barbarella as a watershed of sexual awakening and feminist touchstone, a breakdown of how the Back to the Future franchise cashes in on fans with fake nostalgia and a titular treatise on the original Star Wars films are an allegory for the ways in which cultural, political and actual illiteracy can bring an empire to its knees.

Author Ryan Britt's essay collection is as much a coming of age story set against a backdrop of decades of sci-fi films as it is a collection of alternately funny, insightful and touching pop culture essays. The effects turn Britt into a narrator with whom both hardcore and casual science-fiction fans will be able to relate.

After all, who hasn't gone through a period of crippling self-doubt or depression and has wanted to regenerate into someone new, like the Doctor? Who hasn't shrouded themselves in subculture to prove that they really fit in? Most importantly, who hasn't made out with a Jar-Jar Binks lollipop? (okay, maybe that last bit isn't exactly universal).

Luke Skywalker Can't Read is a testament to how what we love (pop cultural or otherwise) can give us a new sense of meaning of purpose for the rest of our lives — and how we are so much better for it.

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