Not that there are all that many recognizably Joycean elements in Star Wars, but there does remain the general theme of common people contending against oppression while on a mythic journey of self discovery. What is it that the Finnegans are supposed to do once they awaken? Why they begin to rebel against the empire of course! In Finnegans Wake nothing ever means only one thing, but a particularly interesting interpretation, offered by Joyce himself, suggests the title is a warning to the ruling classes that the oppressed rise, eventually, in every historical cycle. That is, the Jedi always return.
The 7th installment of the Star Wars saga includes 2 potential high-profile references to the monomythic source material. The episode title The Force Awakens is a pretty simple jump from Finnegans Wake, and it’s an even smaller leap of logic to Finn, the stormtrooper turned rebel hero. Of course, these may be merely coincidental creative decisions, or worse yet, perhaps memetic synchronicity is an emergent, and especially nerdy, property of complex narrative systems :)))
The Rorschach test like aesthetic of Finnegans Wake’s holographic prose pretty much guarantees that you can find any number of Proto-Star-Warsian elements buried within, depending on how hard you are willing to look for them. For example: “right glad we never shall forget, thoh the dayses gone still they loves young dreams and old Luke with his kingly leer, so wellworth watching” (JJ, FW, Pg 398).
Also, This telephone game of inspiration reminds me of my other fav second gen iteration: Robert Anton Wilson & Robert Shea’sIlluminatus! trilogy influenced Grant Morrison’sInvisibles which influenced The Wachowski’sMatrix trilogy. Though then of course Finnegans Wake was a huge influence on the Illuminatus! trilogy to begin with, and so it goes for what Terence McKenna called the quintessential artwork of the 20th century.
If you’re interested in diving into Finnegans Wake, without the commitment of contending with that impossible sea of textual mish-moshing, I heartily recommend WAYWORDS AND MEANSIGNS
A free unabridged musical version of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake created by a collaborative collective of intrepid Joyceans. Surf’s up!