Star Wars is well known, timeless, universal, and incorporated into shared culture. Trainees have grown up with the movies, and based on their enduring popularity, attending psychiatrists are likely to have seen them too. This article highlights psychopathology from the Dark Side of Star Wars films which can be used in teaching. These include as follows: borderline and narcissistic personality traits, psychopathy, PTSD, partner violence risk, developmental stages, and of course Oedipal conflicts.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Bui E, Rodgers R, Chabrol H, Birmes P, Schmitt L. Is Anakin Skywalker suffering from borderline personality disorder? Psychiatry Res. 2011;185:299.
Guerrero AP, Jamora MJ. The fall and redemption of people and systems: potential lessons from the Star Wars saga. Acad Psychiatry. 2007;31:485–90.
Villela-Minnerly L, Markin R. Star Wars as myth: a fourth hope? Psychoanal Rev. 1987;74:387–99.
McDermott Jr JF, Lum KY. Star Wars: the modern developmental fairy tale. Bull Menninger Clin. 1980;44:381–90.
Lawrence-Smith G. Embracing autistic traits: Spock’s Vulcan heritage in Star Trek—psychiatry in the movies. BJP. 2013;204:251.
Forrest DV. Consulting to Star Trek: to boldly go into dynamic neuropsychiatry. J Am Acad Psychoanal Dyn Psychiatry. 2005;33:71–82. My vote to remove but up to you.
Zerby SA. Using the science fiction film Invaders from Mars in a child psychiatry seminar. Acad Psychiatry. 2005;29:316–21.
Friedman SH, Stankowski J, Loue S. Intimate partner violence and the clinician. In: Textbook of violence assessment and management. Washington: American Psychiatric Publishing Inc. 2008.
Stanford MS, Houston RJ, Baldridge RM. Comparison of impulsive and premeditated perpetrators of intimate partner violence. Behav Sci Law. 2008;26:709–22.
Springer TA. Von Willebrand factor, Jedi knight of the bloodstream. Blood. 2014;124:1412–25.
Laskin DL. Macrophages and inflammatory mediators in chemical toxicity: a battle of forces. Chem Res Toxicol. 2009;22:1376–85.
Internet movie data base: All time box office: USA. Available at: http://www.imdb.com/boxoffice/alltimegross last accessed 5 Oct 2014.
Telegraph: Luke I am your bizhee. Available at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/10023090/Luke-I-am-your-bizhee-Star-Wars-to-be-dubbed-in-Navajo-language.html last accessed Oct 5 2014.
Star Wars origins: Joseph Campbell. Available at http://www.moongadget.com/origins/myth.html last accessed Oct 5 2014.
da Rocha FF, Malloy-Diniz L, Correa H. Revisiting the Anakin Skywalker diagnostic: transcending the diagnostic criteria. Psychiatry Res. 2012;198:179. author reply 180.
Cleckley H. The mask of sanity; an attempt to reinterpret the so-called psychopathic personality. Oxford: Mosby; 1941.
Hare R. Without conscience: the disturbing world of psychopaths among us. New York: Guilford Press; 1993.
Board BJ, Fritzon K. Disordered personalities at work. Psychol Crime Law. 2005;11:17–32.
Miller M. The appeal of Star Wars: an archetypal psychoanalytic view. Am Imago. 1981;38:203–20.
Coleman W. Tyrannical omnipotence in the archetypal father. J Anal Psychol. 2000;45:521–39.
Jones E. The Oedipus-complex as an explanation of Hamlet’s mystery: a study in motive. Am J Psychol. 1910;21:72–113.
The authors greatly appreciate the contributions of Troy Friedman, Tom Bishop, Assad Khaishgi, and Chris Kenedi.
On behalf of both authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
About this article
Cite this article
Hall, R.C.W., Friedman, S.H. Psychopathology in a Galaxy Far, Far Away: the Use of Star Wars’ Dark Side in Teaching. Acad Psychiatry 39, 726–732 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40596-015-0337-6
- Media (TV films)
- Teaching methods