The Realism of War in Star Wars
Fun Fact 2: Starkiller Base isn’t the universe’s first incarnation of a superweapon that destroys stars. In the Expanded Universe, now called Legends, there was a near-indestructible ship that could cause stars to go supernova.
* Though this high of a number poses a sticky logic problem, given how quickly the Rebel Alliance brought the Empire to its knees. See this blog post for more.https://lisagordon1138.wordpress.com/2011/08/14/star-destroyers/
Of course, we’re talking about the evil Empire led by the dark lord of the Sith, Darth Sidious. This is fiction, fantasy right? Palpatine’s empire needs to come across as mythically evil and more despotic than the real world regimes we’re used to. How do you accomplish that? Well, try rising to power on the backs of clone troopers who are programmed to lack free-will, using Wookiees as slave labor to construct the first Death Star, and round it out with the wholesale slaughter of an entire class of holy warrior monks, including the younglings. All stacked up like that, it does sound pretty evil, but sadly, even these extreme demonstrations of the Empire’s depravity have real-world counterparts. Here on Earth, we have child soldiers, prison laborers building missile components and advanced weaponry, and the slaughter of 25,000 Buddhist monks during the 1970s Khmer Rouge Cambodian genocide.
The Idealism of War in Star Wars
Since our world doesn’t offer exhaust ports and reactor cores that act as “off switches” to the military industrial complex, we will have to find new, and hopefully peaceful, ways to dismantle that war machine that keeps us warm at night. Until then, may our art from far far away inspire us to find ways to do better than repeat history, both real and fictional.