I have to say that watching the latest Star Wars was a painful experience but it did not lack for instruction. The franchise is now old and stale. If you have been going along since the first of these in 1977, the point of diminishing return has long ago set in, and the latest is almost a repeat of the very first, only nowhere near as well done. But in enduring this on this one last occasion I will see one of these films, I have finally understood its point.
It may seem perfectly normal in a galaxy far far away that an acceptable response to the police asking for identification is to shoot them dead, or that it makes perfect moral sense to attack the government’s major defence installation, but nothing is explained. There is no manifesto published by these rebels, there is no obvious list of grievances that need redressing. These are just rebels against authority, and that is apparently quite enough.
To find the film engaging, it seems you have to be the kind of person who finds Castro an heroic figure, the leader of a rebel army that was able to kill its way into power. It makes no difference what the principles were, it was only that they were rebels.
Rebellion may have a romantic association just like righting wrongs and helping the poor. The reality is that the American Revolution turned out to be the only one in history that left its population no worse off than it began. All other rebellions and revolutions have led to the introduction of tyrannical governments that were worse than the ones replaced, almost invariably much much worse.
But there is nevertheless an infantile mindset that glories in such revolutions, and likes to think of itself as oppressed and in need of liberation. This is the left in all its different forms. That there are tyrannies in the world, where government oppression exists, is hardly in doubt. That many of the fools who find themselves siding with the Rebel Alliance in Star Wars are among those being oppressed is very much in doubt. Watching the film made me more aware than usual of the mentality on the left who find catharsis in watching authority figures killed and “the establishment” torn down. It is the kind of mental sickness that has Obama supporting “the rebels” in Syria, or Castro in Cuba. It is a disease which warps individual judgement to such an extent that it must become the aim of everyone to prevent such people from achieving political power ever again.