Stone Washington
Star Wars: The Force of Progressivism Awakens
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By Stone Washington
December 30, 2015


"Without the Jedi, there can be no balance in the Force."

~ Lor San Tekka

"There has been an Awakening... have you felt it? The Dark-side and the Light"

~Supreme Leader Snoke

Prologue

With the Holidays nearing and the year ending, a new generation of the world's most celebrated movie franchise is revealed – Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens. It has been 32 years since the continuation of the first saga in the 1980's and 10 years since the most previous films, having the prequel origin come after the original trilogy (movies 4-6 were created first then 1-3 were created). The seventh installment to the highly beloved space saga hit theaters Friday December 18th, exactly a week before Christmas. This movie review does not seek to spoil-alert anything concerning the new movie, yet seeks to shed light upon the multiple secrets and symbolisms hidden from the general public pertaining to the various key plot-point elements within the movie.

Background

Star Wars is an epic intergalactic space opera following the lives of a super-natural group of individuals known as Jedi, who are viewed as the peace keepers of the universe. The Star Wars universe is infinitely more expansive than our solar system, containing hundreds of different solar systems harboring thousands of planets each with a unique alien race. The governing system is a Republic, made up of a Chancellor and representative Senators from every planet in the universe. The most revolutionary aspect of the series is the presence of a power known as the Force – an omnipresent energy that can be harnessed by a chosen few born with the ability, known as Force-Sensitives. It is described in the first produced film as "an energy field created by all living things that surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together."

Jedi are selected based on one's preconceived ability to use this power from birth. In addition to superior fighting skills, deep intelligence, and moral rectitude, special abilities harnessed by Jedi include telekinesis, clairvoyance, precognition, and mind-control. The Force splits between those who are Jedi of the Light-side, fighting selflessly to uphold honor, balance, and peace; and those who are Sith of the Dark-side, driven by anger, greed, lust and hatred. The sole weapon wielded by each side is a lightsaber, a sword-like rod that emits a powerful energy beam which can slice through almost any substance. This is the groundwork behind the Star Wars films.

The first series (chronologically) follows the journey of young Anakin Skywalker from childhood as a slave to young adulthood as a Jedi. He is depicted as the "chosen one" destined to bring balance to the universe by destroying the evil Sith master. He is brought into the Jedi order unorthodoxly and is trained by Jedi Master Obi-wan Kenobi. Split between his love for his wife and his duty (Jedi are supposed to be emotionally detached) he is twisted into the Dark-side by the Machiavellian Sith master, Darth Sidious, and becomes the leading cause to the doom of the Jedi. This trilogy follows his descent into evil becoming the Sith villain – Darth Vader.

The second trilogy (first in creation) follows the journey of Anakin Skywalker's children: Luke and Leia Skywalker and their battles against the galactic Empire, the governing body imposed by Darth Sidious after the collapse of the Republic. Born as an average farm boy, Luke must learn the ways of the Force, lead a rebellion against his father: Darth Vader, and destroy the Sith once and for all.

It has now been 32 years since the fall of the Galactic Empire by the hands of Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. The Sith is destroyed, and order is restored to the galaxy... or so it was believed. A new Empire has risen from the ashes under the name: The New Order. The Rebel Alliance has transformed into the Resistance, a peace keeping army governed by the New Republic which governs the universe in absence of the Empire. At the same time the Republic is established, the remnants of the Empire that have been stripped of power suddenly retaliate in war against the Republic with a weapon of mass-destruction. The newest Star Wars movie is focused around the lives of three new characters that are swept into this ongoing struggle between good and evil.

Finn: The Underrepresented Hero

Finn, the central protagonist in the film, was originally a storm trooper for the First Order. After being forced to slaughter innocents on his first mission, Finn renounces his duty and frees a prisoner of his former enemy, Poe Dameron, the top pilot for the Resistance army. The two hijack a ship and escape a First Order base, but crash land on a desert planet called Jakku. Here Finn crosses paths with Rey, a local scavenger. The two must protect an abandoned droid belonging to the Resistance that holds key information which could stem the tide of the war. From this encounter, Finn's path is forever changed as he contemplates joining the Resistance.

Throughout the movie Finn slowly deviates from his previous misguided beliefs on how Luke Skywalker and the Rebel Alliance were criminals and scoundrels, which was in reality propaganda propagating false truths by the First Order. He slowly perceives that the Resistance is an army that seeks to uphold peace in the universe and teams up with Rebel legends including Han Solo, Leia Solo, and Chewbacca to launch a counter-attack against the First Order's secret weapon: the Starkiller base, a super weapon built into a gigantic planet capable of obliterating smaller planets by draining the energy of a star.

Finn, as the hero of the story, is politically symbolic in many ways. Finn represents the underrepresented Black Americans in society. Since most major Hollywood movies do not feature a Black lead actor, it is implied that J.J Abrams, the Director of Star Wars not only wanted to fundamentally change the image of the franchise, but greatly impact the importance of having Blacks in major movies. This perhaps strongly influenced President Obama to cut short his final press conference of the year to witness a private screening of the film. There are close parallels in Star Wars to American History. For example, Finn escapes his previous enslavement to the First Order, similar to how Black Americans were liberated from slavery during the Civil War under President Lincoln and the Republican Party. In the First Order, Finn and the other storm troopers are expected to blindly carry out their duty without using reason or thought to justify their actions, similar to how Black slaves had to work endlessly and tirelessly under his/her master without the right to petition any personal thoughts or dissents on their predicament. In both cases of fact and fiction, any denial to carry out the assigned duties was met with immediate execution or torture. Finn realized he was an unwitting pawn for the First Order and thus was compelled to brake free in search for a life outside of both the Empire and the Resistance, despite pretending to be a Resistance fighter in order to remain alive during his encounter with those who helped him.


Finn taking Poe prisoner in a First Order Base

Similar to how virtually 100% of Black Americans portray political distrust and disgust toward the Republican Party, the party of Abolitionists and anti-slavery politicians who rebelled against Southern America to uphold the freedom and liberty of all Black Americans, Finn for half of the movie remained ignorant and ungrateful toward the Resistance for liberating his mind from the chains of the First Order. The new galactic Republic commanding the Resistance is representative of the Republican Party, seeking to uphold the rights and freedoms of all men and women under a governance representative of the public voice, while the First Order represents the Democrat Party, in that both seek to enlarge their sphere of governance over the public and attain greater political power, using democracy as a front to attain political dominance. The propaganda toward the Rebel Alliance is reminiscent the picture Democrats often paint the Republican Party as being made up entirely of rich White racists who are out of touch with main-stream America, when in reality for the most part it is the other way around. Despite this great honor as a Black actor, Finn's leading role is highly exaggerated and misunderstood by the Director, in that he overshadowed Finn's importance by his female counter-part in the movie: Rey.

Rey: The "overlooked" Feminist

Rey is the lead female character in the movie. She was abandoned at birth on the desert planet Jakku and has been raised with no knowledge of her parents. Her life drastically changes when she encounters a droid holding crucial military secrets and Finn, a rogue storm-trooper seeking redemption. In many ways Rey is strongly symbolic to modern day feminists. The way Rey is portrayed in the movie often appears to be dominant compared to the male actors. She seemingly raised herself from infancy, as there is no mention of any help from any foster family. When she operates the famous Millennium Falcon space ship belonging to Han Solo, she miraculously knows how to fly it, despite having no previous experience and even understands how to masterfully maintain it, to the point where she has to remind Han Solo what to do concerning the ship. When Finn admits to his past sins working under the First Order and how he wasn't brave enough to join the Resistance, they purposefully made Rey stand on a stool/step making her appear a foot taller than Finn as if he was inferior to her in his past follies. I found this and other aspects of Rey's character development patronizing and beyond credulity.


Rey and Finn running from First Order space ships

At one point in the movie Rey is captured and appears to be a damsel in distress until she frees herself from the ship and finds her way to her "rescuers," attempting to prove that a woman never truly needs a man's help to do anything. And lastly in a major scene, the fact that she single-handedly saved Finn using his weapon and defeated his attacker, when she was originally the one in danger proves that Abrams has promoted an unnecessary feminist agenda throughout the movie. One could argue that the previous Star Wars movies did not portray a well-known woman Jedi in the movies' plot, but this is no excuse to systematically make the men appear less able by comparison. The genders have no zero sum gain where women can only exert power at the expense of men – I reject that Progressive paradigm as totally sophistic and counterintuitive. Other feminine symbols are placed into the film such as how Rey was underpaid for her scavenge work symbolizing the belief that women receive less pay then men for doing the same amount of work. I believe Director Abrams was trying to push the hidden Socialist-Progressive messages that although having a strong Black lead actor is a profitable change, women suffrage is fundamentally more important and often overlooked by American society. Thus, in the perverted world of this Star Wars Identity-Politics, women's Rights trump Black Civil Rights.

Kylo Ren: The Dark Crusader

The final political piece in the Star Wars puzzle lies behind the depiction of the film's primary villain, Kylo Ren, a Sith warrior belonging to a mysterious group called the Knights of Ren. Kylo Ren was once a Jedi who now scours the universe to crush the last remaining Jedi and cripple the new Republic. He works alongside the military generals of the First Order commanding an army of hundreds of thousands of storm troopers. While keeping Kylo Ren's origins secret, there are many historical symbolisms I will reveal surrounding this character. Kylo Ren represents the Knights Templar, an order of the wealthiest Christian warriors in the Middle Ages who were endorsed by the Holy Roman Catholic Church to enlist in the Crusades, a series of intense religious battles between Christian and Turkish armies over occupying the Holy Land in Medieval Europe.


Kylo Ren leading the legions of the First Order Army

The Director painted the Knights of Ren to hold a dark parallel to the Knights Templar through pushing a misguided belief that the Christian Crusaders were the bad guys during the Holy wars and the Turkish Muslims were the victims, when the historical reality follows that the Crusades sprouted from the Counter Reformation first launched by Pope Urban II in response to Turkish Muslims pillaging Asia Minor during 1095 A.D. Thus, it was the other way around with the Holy Roman Empire retaliating against the Ottoman Empire's expansion and violent quest to seize Constantinople and Jerusalem, Christianity's holiest religious sites where for centuries Muslims robbed, raped, and killed Christian pilgrims attempting to go to Jerusalem for religious pilgrimages. The Warrior Monks of the Knights Templar would put a stop to this injustice by waging war against the Turkish forces through continual battles.

The unique three pronged red lightsaber wielded by Kylo Ren symbolizes the sacred red cross worn by all the Crusaders which they received after swearing oath to the order of Knighthood. Lastly, Ren's obsession with Darth Vader, inheriting the deceased villain's similarities in appearance and desires, is a twisted parallel on how it is believed that Crusaders were blindly obsessed with their mission and oath for pilgrimage to the Holy Land and desire to establish Christianity in the Mediterranean. The shrine of Darth Vader's smoldering helmet which Ren seemingly worships in desire to complete the dark lord's mission is a warped comparison to how Progressives believe the Crusaders blindly pursued a false premise to preserve peace in the Holy Land, and in reality were greedy war mongers, whose lust corroded themselves from within (like Vader's evil had), and modern day Christians are at fault for supporting the Crusaders as the good guys. Indeed another perversion of History in this movie.

Conclusion

It is hoped that this new trilogy of Star Wars movies will begin a turn of historical correctness following the series' next two films. As a dedicated Star Wars fan, I have dreamed of a greater depiction of the series ever since the story was presumably complete following the arrival of the 3rd film in 2005 (completing the series of six films). Despite the pervasive and redundant Socialist-Progressive political agenda embedded within the movie's plot, the Force Awakens is undoubtedly a masterpiece film, and legendary installment to the cherished space saga. I advise everyone to witness this modern spectacle that is breaking multiple box office records and setting new ones by the day. As Kylo Ren systematically and with Nazi-like brutality blinded by hatred seeks to conquer the inter-galactic Republic, I am reminded of a famous quote from Alfred to Bruce Wayne – Batman: The Dark Knight Rises (2012) –
    Some people aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.
"May the Force be with you all" and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

© Stone Washington

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Stone Washington

Stone Washington is a PhD student in the Trachtenberg School at George Washington University. Stone is employed as a Research Fellow for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, focusing on economic policy as part of the Center for Advancing Capitalism. Previously, he completed a traineeship with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He was also a Research Assistant at the Manhattan Institute, serving as an extension from his time in the Collegiate Associate Program. During this time, he worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in Clemson's Department of Political Science and served as a WAC Practicum Fellow for the Pearce Center for Professional Communication. Stone is also a member of the Steamboat Institute's Emerging Leaders Council.

Stone possesses a Graduate Certificate in Public Administration from Clemson University, a Juris Master from Emory University School of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Clemson University. While studying at Emory Law, Stone was featured in an exclusive JM Student Spotlight, highlighting his most memorable law school experience. He has completed a journalism fellowship at The Daily Caller, is an alumnus of the Young Leader's Program at The Heritage Foundation, and served as a former student intern/Editor for Decipher Magazine. Some of Stone's articles can be found at EllisWashingtonReport.com, which often provide a critical analysis of prominent works of classical literature and its correlations to American history and politics. Stone is a member of the Project 21 Black Leadership Network, and has written a number of policy-related op-eds for the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, The College Fix, Real Clear Policy, and City Journal. In addition, Stone is listed in the Marquis Who's Who in America and is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society. Friend him on his Facebook page, also his Twitter handle: @StoneZone47 and Instagram. Email him at stonebone20@att.net.

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