Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Very Short Note on Star Wars, Strategy and Monarchy

I was a big Star Wars fan as a kid and thoroughly disappointed by the prequels, pointing out missed opportunities that could have been great touches and provided human emotion to the soulless films. Looking back on the big reveal in Empire Strikes Back, it dawned on me, why did Luke not try to negotiate with his dad, Darth Vader? Darth Vader is a lonely, broken man who finally reaches out to his son, having bested him in battle when his son was trying to kill him because his son believes Vader killed his dad and his spiritual father (Obi-Wan). To steal from myself from elsewhere...

Luke Skywalker was pretty stupid to not negotiate with his dad in Cloud City. What was he going back to anyway? A rebellion routed from their hidden base that let their one secret weapon (Luke) go AWOL on a forgotten planet and left their best female politician with a pirate that they had made a commander. Vader explicitly made a play for Luke to join him and overthrow the Emperor to rule the galaxy. It is "Vader's Coup". Luke should have said,

“Dad, let me go back and be a mole in the Rebellion, we’ll set up the Endor battle, I’ll mindwipe the Endor moon strike squad so they can be held by your troops, we’ll kill the Emperor, but leave the deflector shield up killing the entire fleet of useless rebels (side note: Lando/Wedge were competent), complete the 2nd Death Star and then you train me to start a new Jedi Order as we mop up the small remnants of the rebellion that didn't go to Endor, find me a wife, and set up the Galactic House of Skywalker monarchy through my kids. Deal?”

Luke can keep his friends around, discover Leia's Jedi powers and being his sister (Obi-Wan would appear in blue to chastise him for dealing with his dad setting up a great two fathers conundrum), and if he were reluctant to search for Jedi hoard the galactic difference maker (Jedi powers) to his family only. His family being the only ones with Jedi powers would be like a formal divine right of kings and allow for his family to have a competitive edge on everyone else. Their name is walking in the sky, and they have the power to do so. From a galactic standpoint, the Force is in everyone but only the Skywalkers are strong enough in it to manipulate it. They have a built in evil figurehead to blame excesses of the Empire on (the Emperor) as they pull off their coup. Vader even states ruling as father and son, implying that they can create a monarchy.

It's a great what if for a movie. This would never happen though because good must always win, and good as defined by modern Americans like George Lucas is rebellions fought in the name of republican ideals winning.


King Richard said...

At the time I was as shocked by the reveal as anyone, but before I got home from the theatre the scene made no sense to me.
Lucas, like many of his disposition, is obviously deeply conflicted. He obviously loves the *idea* of a tiny, technologically inferior, force of irregulars defeating massive, sophisticated, well-trained and equipped militaries but has no idea what that would look like. He likes the *idea* of a noble, selfless knight that fights for the greater good but has no idea what that would look like. He obviously loves the *idea* of a noble, enlightened aristocracy that rules well but has no idea what that would look like (and makes his nobles women; and senators; or elected 'queens' with term limits).
I wonder that if Lucas had gotten his first wish and been able to re-create Flash Gordon if it would have ended with Prince Barin and Prince Vultan calling for elections....

Anonymous said...

My only issue with this is that Vader may or may not have been capable of sensing Luke's deception. Vader may in fact want what Luke also wants, but Vader also has to consider his close proximity with the Emperor. The ruse may be too high risk for both of them.