Published by Super Labo / 8.4 in. x 11 in. / 40 pages / 36 full color plates / Soft Cover with French fold / Printed in Japan in an edition of 800 / US allocation of 150 signed copies / Ships May 4, 2020
In the original 1977 film, Star Wars, Obi-Wan senses a disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices had been suddenly silenced. With the culminating destruction of the Death Star, a 25 billion dollar franchising empire fanned out across the universe and millions of t-shirts were suddenly licensed. Star Wars t-shirts are now everywhere. They transcend boundaries and ideologies. They are worn with as much devotion as wedding bands and rosaries. Offering a baroque cosmology of heroes, icons, and villains, Star Wars t-shirts are as endlessly variable as the individuals who wear them. What is the meaning of their persistence? Does the ubiquity of Star Wars t-shirts suggest a global impulse toward a common cultural language? Does it represent the Force choke of late-stage capitalism nearing the end of its long march to everlasting plutocracy? Perhaps it hints at a latent crypto-religious millenarian yearning? Or are we witnessing the rise of a sartorial rebel army fecklessly militating against the techno-surveillance vapors enshrouding the twenty-first century? In exploring these and other questions, Richard Renaldi’s attentive and spirited cataloguing of Star Wars t-shirts is our only hope.
© 2021 Charles Lane Press