Thank you, Betsy, for your home-page piece today and for your valiant efforts to save the Star Wars franchise by, well, starring in the new films.
But Star Wars died long ago, sadly. It died in the Phantom Menace — no, not at the hands of Jar-Jar Binks (after all the franchise survived the Ewoks) — but at the hands of George Lucas’s utopian visions. You said in your piece that Star Wars was “a story that’s profoundly anti-centralization, anti-bureaucracy, anti-depersonalization.” Well, that was Star Wars. In Phantom Menace you learn that the much-beloved Jedi order is merely a bunch of glorified, emotionless U.N. Peacekeepers, lopping off heads with rainbow-colored lightsabers to defeat any system’s self-determination and maintain a galactic bureaucracy that makes the Obama administration seem minarchist by comparison.
I’ll take the Sith. I’ll take the cool red lightsaber.
The low point of course comes in Episode III, when the Jedi take it upon themselves to not just arrest, but summarily execute the chancellor, leading to this moment, when I actually rooted for Anakin to dispatch Mace Windu:
And dispatch him he did.
Of course, the Sith followed up with, umm, “excesses” of their own (sorry Alderaan!), but for me the rebel alliance was forever ruined. In the battle between galactic bureaucratic order and self-determination, I’ll take self-determination every time.