Fans of all degree must go to Edward Copeland's anniversary Star Wars Blog-a-Thon. It is an impressive, interesting collection of essays from that galaxy.
I have a tiny contribution to the collective knowledge. I was just watching BBC International, and the newsreader was reporting on the anniversary festivities in Los Angeles. He then blithely said: On a survey last year in Great Britain, 400,000 people answered the question of "religion" with: Jedi.
Oh those wacky Brits. But may I also suggest that this factoid--at the beginning of this Memorial Day weekend, which has such painfully deep resonance this year--shows that American popular culture is not forced down the throats of the world in the name of capitalism (although people certainly make money by it). But first off, it is enjoyed by people around the globe because at its best, in hands as skilled as George Lucas, it taps into human universals and longings.