AP World History students take on filmmaking to learn about European imperialism

AP World History students are tasked with creating a Star Wars™️ themed movie to further learn about European imperialism.

Michael Martin

AP World History students are tasked with creating a Star Wars™️ themed movie to further learn about European imperialism.

Aarya Oswal, Staff Reporter

Sometimes, the best way to learn about an experience is to put your feet in the shoes of another person. That is precisely what students in AP World History class must accomplish for the lesson over European imperialism by making a Star Wars™️ themed movie.

To allow students to understand what actually happened during the time of imperialism, teacher Jocelyn Harty takes a step back from the textbooks and allows students to express their creativity through the makings of a movie, telling her students to film what they interpreted imperialism looked like during the Modern Era and as accurate as they could make it.

“What happened in history, it’s really devastating, and I just can’t imagine what they people being oppressed must’ve felt like,” sophomore Kritika Ramesh said. “We are currently learning about how the Europeans basically took over most of the world for their own gain. The project’s goal was to basically create a movie where you could show what had happened during this time – but Star Wars themed. I did enjoy this project, but it has opened my eyes to the harsh realities of what this world was and still is.”

Imperialists from Europe controlled parts of the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Oceania, mostly for religious and economic purposes. Sadhana Dharmmireddy, a sophomore, did not feel it appropriate, however, to create a fictional-based film over something that is very deep.

“So I didn’t really act in my movie, but rather, I made it a documentary style film,” Dharmmireddy said. “I did not feel it appropriate to make a film based off of a fictional series, because the effects of Imperialism were definitely real. I still stuck with the theme of Star Wars, as it was part of the project, but personally, I feel like I’d be disrespecting all those who died because of the European imperialists. I think the project was a great way, however, for me to understand more about what happened.”

For sophomore Ria Sharma, the APWH project brings back some nostalgic memories she did not expect.

“History is kind of my favorite subject, and I really used to be a Star Wars fan when I was a kid, so this project brings back memories,” Sharma said. “[The similarities between Star Wars and imperialism] is crazy. I honestly think that Star Wars was based off of these events. I honestly think this was a great project for us to do, because not only was it fun to do, but I got to learn so much more than I would have learned by reading from a textbook.”