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Allen and Van Dusky-Allen analyze the revolutions depicted in Barbie and Andor series in The Conversation

Political science faculty members Michael Allen and Julie Van Dusky-Allen published “The ‘Barbie’ and ‘Star Wars’ universes are entertaining, but they also unexpectedly can help people understand why revolutions happen” in The Conversation on Sept. 29, 2023.

An excerpt from the article reads: “Barbie dolls and “Star Wars” movies and toys have entertained generations of American children – in many cases, well into adulthood. But these brands’ influence stretches beyond a penchant for hot pink and lightsaber battles.

In particular, both the “Barbie” movie, released in July 2023, and a “Star Wars” franchise television series called “Andor” offer important lessons about revolutions. Hollywood has long been obsessed with revolutions. There are uprisings in other popular movie franchises like “The Hunger Games,” “Harry Potter” and “Avatar.”

In each fictional universe, an oppressed group stages a revolution that fights for political and economic freedom. As experts in violence and democratization, we have written about how popular culture allows people to better understand real-life political movements and crises.”