Make The Galaxy Great Again!
The Barest of things...
In last week’s column I presented my thoughts on the status of Jerusalem and, to my complete shock and surprise, I received a bit of backlash and a touch of petty eye rolling in response to my opinion. Shaken to my very core, I was forced to question my stance on nearly every conflict in history. Should we have avoided conflict and ceded the Pacific to the Japanese in World War II? Should the American colonies have revolted against the British in the first place? Were Mark Antony and Gaius Octavius wrong to avenge Julius Caesar’s death? I just had no idea about anything anymore.
My self-reflection came to a head when I made plans to see the new Star Wars release and the proverbial light bulb went off. Thanks to my new practice of questioning literally everything I thought I believed, I realized that my understanding of the films has been wrong for all of my 40 years. It is now abundantly clear that we have all been cheering for the wrong side of good and evil as Luke Skywalker and his fellow Rebel scum were traitors to the Empire while Emperor Palpatine was the true hero of the tale.
Think about it – Sheev Palpatine was a democratically elected Galactic Senator from the planet Naboo. Through his hard work and honest reputation, he was eventually elected by his peers to the position of Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Senate. There, he served proudly as the Republic did battle with Separatists and their unholy droid army. This went on until one night when, as he was working diligently in his office, Jedi Master Mace Windu attempted to murder him on behalf of the Jedi order for nothing more than baseless accusations. Lucky to survive, he put an end to the evil Jedi faction, sent his trusty sidekick Darth Vader to bring closure to the Clone Wars, and all was made right in the world. As a reward for successfully bringing peace to the galaxy, the Galactic Senate cheered wildly as he reorganized the government in effort to bring lasting peace.
All was well for 30 years until a bunch of rabble rousers came along and screwed the whole thing up.
First there was born-into-privilege Princess Leia who surely lacked the understanding of working class galactic issues as Palpatine did. Then we are asked to believe that Han Solo, a space pirate and smuggler, is one of the good guys. When have pirates ever been on the right side of history, I must ask? Luke Skywalker, for his part, was a sniveling little ingrate that complained about every task he had to perform on his aunt and uncle’s moisture farm. Completely devoid of emotion or sense of attachment, he did not mourn their deaths but simply saw it as a grand opportunity to run off into space.
Who did Luke Skywalker run off to space with, anyway? That would be Obi Wan Kenobi, otherwise known as the old man living under an assumed name with the sole purpose of “watching over” young Luke himself. Roy Moore much, Jedi Kenobi?
After this band of hooligans inhumanly murdered hundreds of thousands of men and women serving their galaxy on the first Death Star, they were just getting started. Luke hates the animal kingdom so he gleefully chopped off the arm of a Wampa on Hoth and later traveled home to Tatooine to murder Jabba the Hutt’s beloved pet Rancor. Leia, Han, and his giant Muppet friend Chewbacca led authorities on a high speed chase across the galaxy, ultimately visiting Cloud City to turn reformed criminal Lando Calrissian against his own government. Eventually, they all teamed up with the cannibalistic Ewoks to once again destroy a space station full of hardworking servicemen and women.
This brings us to Darth Vader, one of the most complicated characters of the tale. He began as a servant of the Jedi before Emperor Palpatine freed him from those chains and, as mentioned, he was pivotal in bringing peace to the galaxy after the Clone Wars. Vader served valiantly against all odds, never seeing his missing limbs, scarring, or breathing issues as a handicap or ever using them as a crutch. He was an inspiration to people with disabilities across the galaxy and his performance was stellar with but a small handful of choking incidents blemishing his record. His final moments, however, show a decisive fall from grace.
Charged with putting an end to Luke Skywalker and the Rebellion once and for all, Vader inexplicably came up short, losing his hand in the process (again). Not one to handle defeat with class, Vader lashed out at the one person who trusted and relied upon him the most – Emperor Palpatine. Attacking from behind, Vader cruelly threw Palpatine down a reactor shaft, presumably to his demise. To add insult to injury, movie audiences actually cheered when our fearless leader and hero of the galaxy was so callously discarded.
This weekend audiences rushed to theaters to see chapter eight of this epic tale and hopefully they did so with the proper perspective. Will Snoke and his faithful companion Kylo Ren bring peace back to the galaxy or will Luke Skywalker and now-General Leia continue their reign of terror, this time with the help of Rey (a scavenger and a thief), Finn (a military deserter), and Poe (an escaped convict)? Only time will tell but here’s hoping that peace is restored and Emperor Palpatine’s legacy and years of service are never forgotten.
May the fête be with you.