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Teaching Psychopathology in a Galaxy Far, Far Away: The Light Side of the Force


Star Wars films are among the top box office hits of all time. The films have been popular internationally for almost 40 years. As such, both trainees and attending psychiatrists are likely to be aware of them. This article highlights a vast array of psychopathology in Star Wars films which can be useful in teaching, even when the characters are considered the “good guys”. Included are as follows: histrionic, obsessive-compulsive, and dependent personality traits, perinatal psychiatric disorders, prodromal schizophrenia, pseudo-dementia, frontal lobe lesions, pathological gambling, and even malingering. As such, Star Wars has tremendous potential to teach psychiatric trainees about mental health issues.

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The authors 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.

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Correspondence to Susan Hatters Friedman.

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Friedman, S.H., Hall, R.C.W. Teaching Psychopathology in a Galaxy Far, Far Away: The Light Side of the Force. Acad Psychiatry 39, 719–725 (2015).

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  • Media (TV films)
  • Teaching methods