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'Star Wars' Lesson Plan

Supporting Notes

Suggested Materials:

1. Poster (available from SCND)
2. 'Missile Defence' leaflet (available from SCND)
3. Website
4. 'Seven Deadly Myths' leaflet (available from SCND)
5. ‘Britain's weapon of Mass Destruction’ leaflet (available from SCND)
6. 2 sets of discussion worksheets (below)

Background: Teacher's Notes

SCND opposes the Stars Wars programme because it is a cover for possible use of nuclear weapons.

Star Wars is a system for intercepting and destroying missiles before they strike the USA. Star Wars is promoted as a development of the USA defence programme. SCND argues that it is an aggressive act of dominance because it allows the USA to attack with no fear of effective retaliation. It will also encourage other powers to develop increasing sophisticated weapons to overcome the Star Wars system.

Please refer to the leaflet ‘Missile Defence’ and our website,’ for further information.

The poster and leaflet can be used in two ways:
1. To consider the Star Wars system
2. An example of the work of SCND as a pressure group


1. To consider the Star Wars system

Below are some of the arguments for and against Star Wars. The leaflets ‘Star Wars’, ‘Seven Deadly Myths’ and ‘Britain’s Weapon of Mass Destruction’ give useful information.


  • Every country is entitled to defend itself
  • USA is a world leader and should be seen as having a unique position
  • USA is a target for those opposed to advanced democratic states
  • There are countries developing missiles which could reach the USA


  • No one country should have military dominance over the world. Other countries will feel bullied.
  • Waste of resources and brainpower - materials could be used for other things; people could be developing socially useful equipment.
  • Sets up an ‘elitist club’ - those countries favourable to USA and those not - bringing with it economic as well as military implications
  • Bases supporting the system in Britain will be targets
  • Proliferation of nuclear weapons - USA plans to develop new more precise nuclear weapons
  • Proliferation of nuclear weapons - other countries will develop nuclear weapons to counteract the Star Wars threat to them

Discussion Worksheet 1 - The Rights and Wrongs of Star Wars

In groups consider the following statements:

For Star Wars:
‘The USA is the leading democratic state in the world. The people of USA look to their government to protect them and take an active part in maintaining world peace.”

Do you agree?

Make a list of all the reasons for the Star Wars system.

Against Star Wars
“Any country that is in a position where it can attack, at will, any other country without fear of retaliation, is a bully. Countries who feel bullied will develop weapons to strengthen themselves.”

Do you agree?

Make a list of all the reasons against the Star Wars system.

Should Britain support the USA development of Star Wars?

- discuss the economic and military implications as well as the moral issues.

2. Example of the work of an SCND as a pressure group

Why has SCND produced this poster?

It is designed to be eye catching by using a well-known series of films and playing on the name ‘Star Wars’. The poster was based on a real poster for the film ‘Star Wars, Attack of the Clones’

It could be argued that the USA government is happy that their system has been nicknamed Star Wars as this has connotations in the public mind - fighting for good, exciting and the goodies win. The poster sets about to challenge our view of this image.


Use of imagery:

 - The ‘goodies’

  • Luke Skywalker = President Bush - the leader and ultimate goodie

  • Princess Leia (Bleia) = Prime Minister Tony Blair

  • Hans Solo = Dick Cheney (Vice President of the USA) - important supporter

 - exploding nuclear weapon

 - mixture of real and fantasy space craft

Use of language:

 - the title ‘A George W Bush Fantasy’

 - Boeing - the largest and leading Star Wars contractor

 - "and multi billion dollar special effects from"
Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and TRW - large Star Wars contractors

 - Attack of the Clowns - Attack of the Clones

Discussion questions:

1. Do you think this poster is funny? Why?
2. Do you think this poster is effective - will it be a useful resource to raise awareness of Star Wars

Discussion Worksheet 2 - Is this an Effective Poster?

In groups, discuss the following points:

1. Is this poster funny?
2. What are the most striking images? Why?
3. What is the most striking text? Why?
4. What message is Scottish CND trying to convey?
5. Is it effective?


Pages last updated 3 December 2004

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