In the original [Star Wars] trilogy, though, and in Casablanca, all the mixed-up old elements are turned inward. Grand Moff Tarkin may be a cheekbone-for-cheekbone copy of Major Strasser, but he doesn’t know it. If you’ll forgive the expression, Star Wars and Casablanca are postmodern without being self-aware. They’re coherent, self-contained worlds that, because they’re made out of stories that have been fulfilling wishes forever, happen to conform in a particularly accessible way to both the weirdness and the innocence of our desires. They’re fully operational miniatures of the kind of world to which we want to escape when we’re at our most simple and open and thoughtless.

Disney and Star Wars – Grantland. Another terrific essay by Brian Phillips.