Preorder ‘Luke Skywalker Can’t Read’ by Ryan Britt

With Star Wars: The Force Awakens only a month away from hitting theaters and nerd anticipation at a fever pitch, now is the perfect time to let off some steam with some quality, comedic analysis of various bits of nerd culture. That’s exactly what Ryan Britt’s upcoming book, Luke Skywalker Can’t Read: And Other Geeky Truths, promises to deliver.

In this collection of essays, Britt contends that Barbarella is good for you, that monster movies are just romantic comedies with commitment issues, that Dracula and Sherlock Holmes are total hipsters, and as the book title suggests, that virtually everyone in the Star Wars universe is functionally illiterate.

I’m unable to copy an excerpt from the Luke Skywalker chapter directly from Amazon on my iPad, so I’ll quote an earlier version of the same essay:

It seems like all the characters in Star Wars learn how to do is punch certain buttons to make their machines do what they need to do, and everything else is left up to droids.

In our own culture, pictograms have rapidly replaced words on traffic signs, restrooms, etc. The buttons being pressed by the Death Star control room workers might not even be letters. They might be pictograms representing different functions; functions like “death ray blast” and “trash compact.” […]

It seems like this society has slipped into a kind of highly functional illiteracy. Surely, for these cultures to progress and become spacefaring entities, they needed written language at some point. But now, the necessity to actually learn reading and writing is fading away. Those who know how to build and repair droids and computers probably have better jobs than those who can’t. This is why there seems to be so much poverty in Star Wars: widespread ignorance.

The book releases on November 24th, 2015 in several formats: