Star Wars: Drawing Our Attention to the Dangers of Big Government
[Spoiler: if you haven’t seen the movie, maybe wait to read until you have ;)]
Nearly throughout all the Star Wars saga, although especially prevalent in the latest piece of the puzzle (Rogue One), we watch time and again the struggles of a small group fighting against what seem to be unbeatable odds coming from the unbridled resources of the Dark Side: the enormous cold metal ships and stations, the strict order kept throughout all imperial lands, and the endless waves of mindless droids who would sooner die than let anyone try to challenge the Empire.
While the screenwriter of Rogue One, Chris Weitz, stated, "Please note that the Empire is a white supremacist organization, opposed by a multicultural group led by brave women," he failed to mention and/or observe in his own movie that the ideas put forth by the Empire were far more communist than perhaps he intended. (note: maybe he forgot that he was the screenwriter of not the 1st, 2nd, or even 6th but instead the 8th Star Wars movie, so he doesn’t get to typecast the Empire. Their atrocious nature is already quite established, since they are the single evil that every protagonist fights in all Star Wars movies to date.) When one focuses on the diversity of ideas in the movie rather than the diversity of color or gender, it is very clear where the parallel should be drawn. When we remove the focus of white men in the Death Star vs. women in the Rebellion, we see that the values the Rebellion espouses are those of freedom. And in contrast, the goal of the Empire is complete control, guised with the idea of peace.
The chief military commander of the Empire, when confronted with the idea that he was using terror to provide “peace” responded with the comment: “Well, you have to start somewhere.” The idea that those who think differently than the people who hold the power must be squashed is something we have seen time and again through Communistic reign. This movie is a battle of ideas: the Rebellion fighting for their freedom to live their own lives vs. the power-hungry Empire fighting for control of everyone. One could even say that Captain Cassian Andor and Jyn Erso standing against the army of droids is something akin to Tank Man standing alone in Tiananmen Square, a famous image indicative of a lone soul standing against an unbeatable army.
Jyn, as a de facto leader in the Rebellion, rallies those around her by reminding them of what they would be giving up if they threw in the towel of the rebellion. "You give in to an empire this evil, and you condemn the entire galaxy to an eternity of darkness.” This principle rings throughout not only quotes about America from founding fathers, but also Ronald Reagan: that America is a city on a hill. That sentiment is not without its responsibility; we must continue to fight for our freedom, for it can be quickly lost in favor of comfort provided by a increasingly growing government.
It is easy to sit behind a computer screen and make posts about making a difference. We cannot count ourselves nearly as brave as those who risk their lives and their well-being to take action unless we are willing to take the same action. Freedom. Reconciliation. Is there a cause you value more than your life?
If history has taught us nothing, then maybe these movies can. Without our freedom, we have nothing. We are condemned to an eternity of darkness. It was Ben Franklin who said: “we must all hang together or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.” But we should have hope. If nothing else, these movies encourage us to believe that the little guy can win. That against all odds, people are willing to die for their freedom and thus will continue the cause. We can win if we not only have hope, but are willing to act on it (a very necessary component).
Rebellions are built on hope.
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