- The original 1977 Star Wars was an escape from grown-up ideas about the guilt of America in Vietnam by casting America as an evil empire, and film makers, creative people, and young people as rebels. It was able to do this without thinking too hard by putting it all in fantasy land where you don’t need to think about what the difference is, other than that the bad guys blow up planets and hide their faces.
- This was justified by pinning it to the Monomyth idea of reactionary anti-semite Joseph Campbell. (Actually it was justified by the fact that it made a lot of money, but Campbell was the justification to give to smart, bookish people.) Fascist ideologues love myth and ancient stories, because you do’t need to think about your own moral culpability or grown-up relationships. In fact they view self-doubt, non-violence, and rational thought as signs of weakness and decadence. Also myths extoll violence. (Fun obscure fact: Campbell was a student of German Indologist Heinrich Zimmer.)
- Star Wars because of its nostalgia has an odd relationship to science fiction. It takes the imagery of science fiction but makes it all look old and beat up. Even though a lot of classic sf is about extolling rationality and thinking hard about the moral choices technology will cause us to make, the ideology of Star Wars looks to the past and irrationality (The Force!). It repurposes science fiction images into a world view that is pro-past and anti-thought. That’s why there are spaceships but how they work doesn’t make sense, and why there are ancient religious leaders running around telling Luke not to use his mind.
- In both original Star Wars and Rogue One the interesting characters are monsters and robots. And I guess spaceships. The franchise made a lot of money selling these as toys, because the characters originally WERE toys. The whole vibe is of a pre-pubescent boy playing with dolls — i.e. action figures. Now this thing blows up! Now that thing blows up! Now these guys are sneaking around this way but then they turn around and sneak this way. This subtext became text in the Lego Movie, where you actually see the kid is just playing with toys cause his Dad is ignoring him. All the sexual relationships are chaste and smirky — like a ten year old boy’s view of sex and adult relatinships.
- In the latest Star Wars — Rogue One — it starts with iconography of the Iraq war, where the USA is the Empire, i.e. the bad guy. Then it becomes the US campaign against Japan in the Pacific where the US are the rebels and the Empire are different bad guys.
- Whole thing is way reactionary because it encourages the ruling class of a military power to view itself as noble children.
- Whole thing eats its tail because now the children who grew up watching the original Star Wars have nostalgia for Star Wars. Like nostalgia squared. That’s why the new one ends on disconcerting image of recently deceased talented screenwriter Carrie Fisher brought back as creepy CG simulacrum as she looked in 1977.