Let the Force Sleep. Awaken the Spirit of Civilization!
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is a great event. And as money is still the generally accepted measure of success, the box office worldwide total of $890.3 million for the first 8 days only means that this film project is also the greatest success in the cinema history.
Great events are great, because they matter. Visibly or invisibly, directly or indirectly, with stronger or milder impact, there are always consequences, profit being only one of the dimensions. In this case the story develops “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….”, but each one of the millions of people who’ve already seen or will see this film, without single exception, live on our planet. Now, and for years to come.
Starting from the title, it is wars, and in wars most essential is force. The trailer shows the trade mark “lightsaber”, and many future technology weapons, devices, spacecraft, etc. Projecting human type of conflicts into the future, and expanding them into the infinite universe, however, is a challenging exercise that generates a few questions:
First, and the most important question: what are the First Order and the Resistance fighting for? Dominance? Dominance in the universe, that is indefinite? It would be absurd to imagine that in a space without limits two or more potentially conflicting parties cannot exist far enough from each other. My relatives fought in the Resistance, but that was when my country was occupied by the Nazis.
Love? In the Star Wars there is no “Troy” War love story that could initiate a war conflict.
Treasures or money do not seem to be the issue either.
Because they are in some way different – vision, religion, value systems, gender policies, etc.? Unlike our globalized world, as mentioned, the space is wide more than enough to comfortably accommodate any type and size of diversity.
Or maybe because they just like to fight, but, compared to football fans of rival soccer teams in the same pub, they are not so lucky to find (the universe is very spacey) some other enemy?
The reality is that there is no rationale for waging the Star Wars. They just fight, and this is the right answer. Yes, in the film there is ample shooting and destruction, but we are speared the rivers of blood of the “Rise of an Empire” – the tutorial that might be used in the ISIS training camps. And Guantanamo is not forgotten either – Ren tortures Poe to get intelligence about BB-8.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is just a moderate entertaining piece, representing the culture of violence.
Millions of years ago, in the jungle, force and fighting were the only instruments for achieving the utmost priority – to survive. As everything in Nature, those were perfectly functioning components of a superior highly sophisticated system. With very clear “rules of engagement”: never kill more than you can eat.
Atavistic by origin and counterproductive by consequences, fighting among human beings themselves has somehow survived despite the existence of so many noble challenges in front of the human civilization as a whole. Why is that primitive irrational trend not changing, then?
One reason is our unreasonable obsession with history. If you have a look, for example, on the most popular literature writers, you will find on the first position Shakespeare – with more than four billion published works. And when you go through his most read works – “Macbeth”, “Richard III”, “Hamlet” and “King Lear”, all you find is people killing other people, even closest relatives, in order to get on the throne. The Power Vector. Number two of the most popular English literature writers, also with more than four billion published works, is Agatha Christie – again people killing other people, even closest relatives, this time in order to get their property or inheritance. The Money Vector. Number three in the list, whoever she is, has orders lower popularity – about one billion published works.
I like war films with a real story civilizational cause – “The Heroes of Telemark”, “Fate of a Man”, “Casablanca” and many others. When the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” ends, there is a feeling of excitement to fight. And the kids ask their parents to buy for them the lightsaber toy. With all its intergalactic future super technology spacecrafts and weaponry, this film is, from the point of view of civilizational values, light-years behind, for example, “The English Patient”. Having watched “The English Patient”, you leave the cinema with the sharp emotional understanding about where war stands as destructive force against the supreme human values of love, or the quest for truth of ancient civilizations.
Shakespeare died 400 years ago, but the culture of violence continues to reproduce mindsets. We seem to have all the ground to say “nothing has changed”, which would in fact make a film like “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” a technologically disguised documentary of the underdeveloped political thinking in our 21st century.
But that would be wrong: conflicts, violence and wars are not natural disaster; they are all products of human activity. So, the right question for our 21st century would be:
How long shall we tolerate the primitive medieval status quo of humans fighting humans?