Reflections on 2016, Shifts in Perspectives & My Response to Rogue One
Reflections on 2016, Shifts in Perspectives &
My Response to the new Star Wars film Rogue One
By Leo Adonis
The year of 2016 has, without a doubt, been one of the most difficult, challenging, lesson-filled, exhausting and cosmically intense years I have ever experienced. It has also offered me many shifts in perspective, many moments of joy, pleasure and bliss, while offering no small measure of healing and (gratefully) time for rest and integration. It has also been a year characterized by a great deal of revelation, personal awakening, and some serious shifts in perspective in terms of how I relate to many of the cultural aspects that I continued to indulge in as mere entertainment, passing of time while otherwise bored or unoccupied, or simply to get me through the rougher days.
Although I have been on what many term a “path of awakening” for some time, examining and investigating the many lies and illusions I believed in or gave power to as a result of the cultural programming so many of us are subjected to when living in this world, I can honestly say that I have never had a year that seemed to literally require that I go even further in my personal reflections, questioning everything I have ever believed, loved or included in my personal identity construction, including my likes, dislikes and the habits I had developed, such as my relationship to the internet, media and most especially films, which have for much of my life been a huge component of what I turned to for entertainment, perspective and, quite simply, joy.
My perspectives have changed dramatically, however, given the many revelations that have come out publicly regarding the dark and hidden aspects of the world in which we live. These shifts were the result of personal reflections, inner work and investigative research I’ve done to better understand the degree to which I have exposed myself to, or been influenced by, the manipulative and deceptive forces inherent to the cultural systems, such as media, education, and the like, that from the basis of the system of control under which the majority of people live. I have sought to understand the root of my own personal struggles, achieve a greater awareness and understanding of the sheer depth of the insidious and invasive methods of the social architects of “consensus reality,” and how interacting and identifying with that have influenced my psyche and world view.
In the wake of the many intelligence leaks and the now very openly waged war of information unleashed upon the American populace this year, I felt compelled to review certain presentations, books, and websites, to seek out new information, and to re-examine my life choices and patterns yet again in order to gain a more multi-dimensional and macro-cosmic overview of my life and the way I have been living it. Case in point, one of the main aspects I have been looking at these last few months is the nature of mind control and how it is used in our media to effectuate subliminal programming that promotes within the populace a distorted world-view, a collective desensitization to the real evils and violence taking place on Earth at this time, and to basically hijack the creative powers of a humanity still largely unaware of the nature of that power, how to use it, or the fact that they possess it at all. I have really challenged myself to examine the personal consequences of regularly viewing films as a form of entertainment for so many years, and how that may have actually done far more damage to my psyche than I had ever previously considered.
The facts being exposed more fully in the alternative media this year are not new to me. I have for a long while now known that the world most people experience is not a world of their own creation, but a life informed by a system of control and manipulation implemented by insanely wealthy elite families and their underlings and servants, most of whom have been exposed to or participate in Satanic rituals including pedophilia and demonic worship. I am also no stranger to the fact that mind control, subliminal messages and occult symbolism are present in much of the television programs and films released in this country, not to mention much of what goes on in the popular music industry (concerts, Superbowl half-time shows, music videos, etc.). Nonetheless, the more that comes out, the more even I marvel at, am sickened and shocked by, and am continually surprised at just how vast the conspiracy goes and the extent to which this corrupted and artificial über-mechanism of evil has infiltrated nearly every aspect of the cultural experience of the planetary population. My research also forever banished from my consciousness the idea that sitting down to watch a film is a harmless and consequence-free way to pass the time or entertain oneself.
To illustrate an example of this, I will use the Star Wars films, which have long been a source of great joy, entertainment and, frankly, spiritual contemplation for me. Ever since I was a young child, I was fascinated with this universe and its mythology, and found the excitement and enthusiasm of Star Wars fanboys to be quite infectious. I admit to having watched the entire Star Wars series multiple times, and I certainly got caught up in the hype over the first film of the new trilogy The Force Awakens, although I was not very enthusiastic about its derivative and overall rather shallow nature once I saw it. This is really where I began to realize that this series was becoming something far more than mere entertainment.
Star Wars is everywhere. Every department store, every Best Buy, every toy store, anywhere a Star Wars artifact can possibly be inseminated, there you will find one. T-shirts, websites, Youtube videos, video games, cartoon series, entire sections of bookstores, Star Wars has captivated millions of people and has in many cases taken over the majority of peoples’ lives and hijacked their inner imagination. I was one of these people for a long time, delving into the mythology, being genuinely entertained and invigorated by it in all its various off-shoots and cosmological implications. Then I began to ask myself certain questions.
What kind of a reality is this mythology really advocating? What are the main themes of this story that capture so many peoples’ attention? Is it the possibility of living in a reality where intergalactic travel is a normal part of our reality, or where all manner of non-human life forms are an integral part of one’s experience? Perhaps. Is it the, at times, profound and mystical exploration of spirituality and consciousness as represented though the Force, with its Light Side and Dark Side, and the endless wars that have been fought by good and evil wizards over the destiny of the galaxy and its inhabitants? Perhaps.
One could ask these questions endlessly, I suppose. Regardless, what really began to dawn on me was the degree to which the Star Wars Universe has been potentially co-opted into manipulating the minds of the populace and the youth of several generations, and how it has potentially perpetuated a conceptual framework of duality and darkness and, in a very real and chilling way, the celebration of evil. Let’s face it, for as many people who cheer and venerate Yoda and Luke Skywalker, there are just as many, if not more, who champion or celebrate Darth Vader and the Emperor. I cannot even begin to count how many people, from the ages of 0 to 80, I see wearing Darth Vader-themed clothing or brandishing some kind of Vader-themed artifact. This character alone is so ubiquitously loved, so omnipresent and universally recognized, that people are literally thrilled at seeing his imposing and threatening presence “kick ass” on screen.
Even a cursory exploration of the two Disney cartoon shows Clone Wars or Rebels will reveal a large focus on the dark side, and the sheer joy and pleasure with which the evil characters such as Palpatine, Vader or Maul unleash their relentlessly violent and horrific tactics of torture as they murder countless individuals with their dark magical arts. The shows really make this look “cool” and exciting, exposing many young children to this onslaught of violence and gleeful evil. Quite frankly, the more I took a step back from all of this and really looked at how much violence is being celebrated and advocated in these shows and in these films, the more I really began to question how ultimately entertaining all of this really is when viewed in the context of the real world.
I cannot speak to the original intentions George Lucas had in making the six films he gave the world in terms of the influence he hoped to gain over the minds of the populace, but it does seem to me that he was really trying to tell a story that had a deeper message than most people may realize. Looking at the character of Darth Vader more specifically, let us examine the arc of this character as it plays out throughout the entire saga Lucas created. Although many people may wish it were not the case, the conception of Darth Vader as a character forever changed in 1997 when this menacing and beloved villain was re-examined through the lens of George Lucas’s prequel trilogy.
In A Phantom Menace, Anakin Skywalker is introduced as a young slave boy with a pure and generous heart, born of the Force itself, with tremendous potential and power. He is identified by the Jedi as the possible savior at a time where darkness was growing in the galaxy and evil was beginning to work its influence in ways that would lead to its near-total domination. He is then brought in to the Jedi Order, mostly due to the fact that he might turn out to be a useful tool, the Messiah-like Golden Boy spoken of in their prophecy, even though they recognize the inherent danger of taking a child with such power from his mother at a young age. Young Anakin also comes under the watchful eyes of the evil Sith Lord Darth Sidious, hiding in plain sight as a seemingly well-intentioned and innocuous senator named Sheev Palpatine. Sidious is, of course, essentially the embodiment of Satan in the Star Wars mythology. Yes, the Biblical analogies of this mythology are hard to miss.
As Sidious/Palpatine amasses more power by becoming “Supreme Chancellor” of the Republic, he watches, baits, plants seeds, and gains young Anakin’s confidence, feeding his ego and making him feel understood and appreciated for who he “really is,” rather than who the Jedi “force” him to be through their rigid rules and codes (pun intended). As Anakin’s anger, his sense of helplessness, and his inner conflicts grow, the Jedi fail to fully understand Anakin, fail to offer him the guidance and compassion that would help him to see through the deceptions of Palpatine, which they are also ultimately blind to until it is too late. Essentially, they fail to help Anakin feel loved, like he truly belongs as a member of their Order. This leads to Anakin’s later conflicts where his trust of the Jedi comes into question.
The Jedi, as a result of the fear of losing all for which they had worked to accomplish over a period of centuries, come to exemplify the very tactics and morally ambiguous actions which they have taught Anakin to resist and avoid as a Jedi, namely engaging in all out warfare to preserve their way of life and resorting to offensive military tactics in order to “defend” a democratic Republic against the threat of those who apparently wish to secede from it, which could lead to its dissolution. Unfortunately, they realize only too late that it was Sidious pulling the strings on both sides all along, from within the Republic itself as newly elected Chancellor, manufacturing the war to create an opening for him to seize ultimate power over the whole galaxy. The Jedi’s treatment of Anakin and their own hypocritical actions undermines his faith in the Jedi way, calls his trust of the Jedi into question, and makes him an easy target for Sidious to corrupt and seduce into embracing the dark side and its promise of power.
Throughout all of this larger conflict, the individual conflict is played out between Anakin’s relationship with Padmé Admidala, a former queen and now Senator herself, the very same position Palpatine held before becoming Chancellor. After losing his mother twice, once to abandonment and then to death by murder, Anakin falls in love with this woman, an act forbidden by his Jedi Masters, and marries her in secret. At heart, he is still an innocent youth who is unable or unwilling to the deny the yearnings of his heart and the desire to feel loved. Only through the love of a woman, the grace of the Feminine, does he find the love, belonging and sense of communion that he failed to find through the Force. Yoda and the other Jedi Masters had found this peace and balance as a result of going within and merging with the Force, a result of their long years of training during more peaceful times, but for Anakin the Force itself had always been a tool, a weapon, and the source of what has continually been reflected to him as his “above average” power, which are all very Masculine properties.
The Jedi fail Anakin by not truly helping him to know the Force as something that provides the very love, belonging and communion he seeks, which he thus continually looked for from others. What the boy really needed was love and acceptance to temper his power, and the Jedi, both as a result of being distracted by a war and adherence to their dogmatic codes, were unable to identify the signals that would have allowed them to help steer Anakin on his path as they attempted to indoctrinate him with the rules of the code and their ascetic and monastic ways. It was this failure that Palpatine capitalized on by offering the love and understanding Anakin desired, acting as a pseudo-father figure to complement the maternal and carnal satisfaction Anakin found with Padmé. Once Anakin began fearing that he would also lose his wife to death, it became “all too easy” for Palpatine to manipulate him into believing that only the Dark Side could make him powerful enough to save her.
Palpatine’s seductive promise becomes all the more tempting for Anakin after he seeks counsel from Yoda, who is so rigidly attached to the dogma of the Jedi Code that he simply advises Anakin to “train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.” Now, Yoda’s wisdom may indeed have been the most sound and important lesson Anakin needed to ultimately learn, however Yoda did not fully appreciate the precariousness of the situation. In his serene non-attachment, Yoda fails to understand just how crucial the love and communion Anakin had with his wife had become for him, because for Anakin his love for Padmé offered the sense of peace and connection that he required to maintain his sense of humanity, so that his sheer power did not consume him.
This is not to imply that Anakin was a helpless victim throughout the films, or that he is excused from knowing the difference between right and wrong. His own dark side involved a struggle with greed, anger and a lust for power, as a result of his “attachment issues,” but also the great power that was inherent to his uncommonly strong abilities with the Force, and he certainly had a responsibility to face those demons himself in order to be a true Jedi, which represents his own failure. Of course, he is not absolved of the many evil choices he continued to make as we went on to become a mass murdering Sith Lord, although in this mythical Universe he was obviously still able to find redemption.
As wise Masters, Anakin’s Jedi mentors also had a responsibility to look beyond their own dogmatic beliefs in order to recognize the uniqueness of the situation, and employ a more flexible approach in training Anakin, so that they could address the very real emotional needs of a young man with extraordinary powers who was seeking to maintain the innate goodness he had as a boy before the burdens of being the Chosen One, and thus the “fate of the galaxy,” were thrust upon his shoulders. This was a responsibility Anakin never really felt he had any choice in accepting or denying, thus breeding his shadow tendency to take pride in his abilities as a means of feeling powerful in a world where he felt he had little or no control and in which most of his life decisions were dictated to him by others that expected, and at times demanded, his allegiance and obedience.
Ultimately, the final moment of Anakin’s fall arrives, as Palpatine plays his final card, revealing himself as Sidious to Anakin. In his conflict, Anakin reports this revelation to Jedi Master Mace Windu, who acts swiftly to arrest Palpatine. This results in a duel that Anakin walks in upon just after Windu has disarmed the Chancellor and has him seemingly begging for mercy. Here, Palpatine, whether because he legitimately lost the duel or as a result of his calculated and strategic choice, places himself in harm’s way, appearing to Anakin to be helpless under the killing stroke of Windu’s saber. Sidious risks everything in order to confront Anakin with another loss of someone with whom he has known love, acceptance and mentorship, in order to force him to choose where his allegiance ultimately lies. If Anakin sided with the Jedi, Sidious would have been destroyed and his life’s work would have been for nothing. As Palpatine/Sidious says to Anakin under threat of death: “You must choose.”
The tragedy of the story is that Anakin chooses evil, the false love that he had been promised and the seduction of power with which he had been tempted. The choice to serve evil, to submit himself to the Dark Side and surrender what was left of his free will, had to be his choice, even though it was relentlessly and ingeniously manipulated to that end. Anakin sacrifices everything that he once was, everything he once believed, to embrace what he then believes to be the more powerful path so that he could take control of his own destiny after being used as a pawn by both sides that vied for his trust and allegiance. Sidious had seeded the notion that the Jedi had been deceiving and manipulating Anakin so effectively, that Anakin failed to recognize that he had been manipulated by Sidious all along. Unfortunately, what he becomes in the process is a slave to evil, even though he deludes himself in the belief that he has become the most empowered version of himself and that under the tyranny of Sidious’s Empire, he finally has the ability to be his “true” self and choose his own path.
The consequences of his actions lead to him becoming a mutilated and scarred man, a burned and charred quadruple amputee, that must be kept alive through the most sophisticated cybernetic life-preserving methods, and through the sheer will of his hate and anger, which is all he has left after the Jedi are destroyed and his wife dies, as well as their unborn child as far as he is aware. In the aftermath of his dark initiation, he spends the rest of his life using his immense power to inflict violent harm upon others and enforce the will of an evil madman, all while suffering in constant pain and torment every day. He is only redeemed in the end, when he is faced with yet another loss. He comes to learn he has a son, a son that Sidious wants to corrupt, bend to his will, make his servant, and even supplant Vader himself once this is accomplished.
Only Luke’s love for his father, the love and call to the light that Anakin lost and abandoned so long ago, is what ultimately redeems him. In what becomes a rather ingenious reversal of the Palpatine-Windu scene, Vader looks on as Sidious electrifies and tortures Luke before his eyes, and Vader/Anakin is faced with yet another loss, this time his own son at the hands of this evil master he has served ever since his tragic fall. In the ultimate cinematic moment of epiphany, Vader reconnects with his true self, his inner light, and finally sees the truth. He now makes the correct choice and, in an act of self sacrifice, saves his son and kills Sidious, finally bringing balance to the Force as the prophecy foretold. What is ingenious about this scene is that it demonstrates that it is actually a selfless act that saves his loved one, not one based on selfish attachment, whereas Anakin’s selfish choice to save his wife from the threat of death led to his own downfall and the rise of an evil Empire. Vader finally recognizes the false love of the Emperor, rejects it, and protects the true love that finally brought him back to the truth of his inner being and the light side of the Force.
That is the story of Darth Vader as George Lucas originally intended it, but the world was not originally introduced to Anakin Skywalker in 1977. Due to the fact that Lucas started in the middle of the story, audiences were first introduced to the menacing and evil Darth Vader without the back story of how this villain was created. The consequence of this is that Darth Vader has become a figure celebrated for his menacing, intimidating, calculating evil, and the sheer strength and power he displays as one of the most formidable and memorable villains of all time, and not as the tragic fallen hero who started out as a good man. Taking this a step further, though, the point is that Anakin’s fall does not simply represent a single man’s fall, or a single man’s failure, but the failure and fall of an entire generation–an entire society–to identify and root out an “in-Sidious” evil that infiltrates and corrupts nearly every facet of that society from within, all while using its citizens as tools to carry out his master plan.
Furthermore, Anakin Skywalker literally is the Christ figure of this mythology, in that he was “born of the Force” and his personal balance was essential to the balance of the entire galaxy, to the Force itself. When Anakin cuts off Mace Windu’s arm to save Sidious, Sidious grins gleefully and shouts “unlimited power,” not because Ian McDairmid simply decided to ham it up, but because Sidious knows in that moment that he has succeeded not simply in gaining yet another apprentice, but in turning the Chosen One himself to the Dark Side, placing the dark master (Satan) in a position to command the Force itself, and thus to rule the entire galaxy. He is positively gleeful because his long-laid plans have come to fruition, reveling in the fact that he played his hand so well that literally every major player fell into his trap, and the galactic scales had finally tipped in his favor. So the reality to be faced here is that by starting the story where he did, George Lucas, inadvertently to be sure, created a scenario in which millions of people all over the world, across multiple generations, are celebrating, admiring and even emulating Darth Vader, the veritable Anti-Christ of the Star Wars mythology.
Unfortunately the focus and admiration of this character’s worst qualities have been fully exploited, more than ever now that Disney owns the company, through marketing products that reinforce this fascination and emulation of evil. Countless people seem to enjoy watching Vader slash and burn his way through enemies, employing his telekinesis and mental manipulation to sadistic effect in battle. This is what many a young boy focuses upon and finds entertaining, when the reality of this character is that he is a tragic, tortured individual who has lost everything and everyone he ever loved and fallen victim to a terrible evil that has enslaved him and corrupted his infinite creative power to serve a system of Imperial control that is maintained through the threat of violence and mass murder.
Hmm. Evil overlords infiltrating the deepest levels of government, using various means of manipulation and disinformation, manufactured war and conflict to influence a populace into choosing to relinquish their freedoms to serve the ultimate ends of a tyrannical Emperor and his system of “government” that imposes its will to dominate through the use of violence, including utilizing weapons of mass destruction and an unquestioning order-following military willing to carry out the most heinous acts of violence against their own brethren? Dark sorcerers willing to corrupt the innocent through the use of torture, or fool the populace through trickery and false proclamations of serving the good of the all through democracy while secretly planning to undermine their freedom in order to dominate them? Good men willingly choosing to subjugate themselves and use their infinite creative power to serve evil because they’ve been programmed to believe it is right, just or will make them feel powerful or safe? It seems George Lucas may have been trying to clue people into something here, but what do far too many young people take away from Star Wars? “Look how cool Darth Vader is when he chokes people with the Force, hurls objects at his victims with his mind or slashes through his enemies with his light saber.”
Granted, there are a great number of fans and scholars who explore the myriad political and mystical implications of the mythology, and who love and venerate the Jedi, the positive aspects of the Force, and have made Yoda their personal guru. I happened to be one of those people for many years as well. That being said, there was a time when I thought Darth Vader was cool and reveled in the scenes where he showed of his badassery in disposing of his victims. As far as villains go, Vader and Sidious are pretty high up there in the annals of film villains. This makes it all the more chilling and perhaps even tragic, that so much of what Lucas was attempting to expose has seemingly fallen on deaf ears and blind eyes. How is it that these evil figures that so obviously represent very real and chilling aspects of the reality we are living in today and the corrupted state of our own world have become characters that are celebrated and even admired for the evil and murder they commit? How is it that the people of this world still venerate and celebrate politicians, willingly giving their power to them when these politicians literally are in many ways these very same evil characters personified in reality?
Despite the obvious similarities between Star Wars and the real world, there are still people who glorify, admire and celebrate Obama, the Clintons and other politicians even while they exemplify the same behaviors of the movie villains so many have been “loving to hate” throughout the history of film. Our own military and police force resembles Storm Troopers like never before. The Empire of Evil, crumbling and dismantling as it may be, has never been a more obviously real aspect of our reality than it is now, and yet millions, if not billions, will still flock to the theater to see the new Star Wars film and “geek out” over Darth Vader going ape shit on “rebel” men desperate to save the galaxy from a super weapon of terrible power.
Which of course, brings me to the new film, Rogue One. Personally, I think Star Wars has become something far different than George Lucas ever intended since he sold his company to Satan, I mean Disney. George Lucas made most of his money by managing to secure ownership of the original merchandising rights to the films, and then capitalized on the revenue from all of the Star Wars-themed toys, books, clothing, etc. This is what enabled him to finance the prequel trilogy with autonomy and tell the story he wanted to tell. Despite the fact that all of these marketing tools made him such a rich man, I believe what made Star Wars so enduring was that there was a real story at the heart of it all, clunky dialog and all.
Now that Disney has taken over the reigns of the “franchise,” Star Wars has obviously become more of a “product” than a genuine (albeit occasionally clumsy and campy) attempt to tell a meaningful story. The Force Awakens, showcases a slick “fanboy” service approach to quite literally re-hashing the plot of the original film only to offer us a story in which the last remaining Jedi has, in defeat, abandoned the galaxy to an even far more menacing enemy built upon the ashes of Sidious’s Empire, unleashing an even more terrible weapon that is now capable of destroying multiple planets at once by literally consuming a star (and thus sucking the life and light out of the galaxy).
They finally bring the story to a twisted and inverted reversal where Darth Vader’s grandson (now the Son of Darkness) impales and murders his own father (the Father of Light, the beloved Han Solo) even while he is attempting to offer his son redemption through love and forgiveness to call him back to the light. Solo dies as the last glimmer of light from the dying sun symbolically darkens while the “Starkiller” weapon prepares to fire. Some people may call this ingenious film making, but that is some serious dark symbolism conveying a bleak underlying message that is quite literally Satanic in nature. The film even includes disturbing scenes depicting mind invasion torture sessions more than once, one even casting overtones of psychic rape. The Disney version of Star Wars is altogether more dark, more sinister and frankly has a corrupted feel to it, as it takes the original story into new directions that, at least from we’ve seen so far, departs a great deal from the original vision of its maker. But hey, J.J. Abrams did a great job, it was awesome to see Han and Chewie on screen together again, and boy was it cool when Kylo Ren stopped a blaster bolt in mid-air, right?
Now we have yet another film, this time one that is considered stand-alone, yet acts as a bridge between the two original trilogies, acting as a direct “prequel” to the original 1977 film A New Hope. It is being marketed as one of the “untold stories” of the original trilogy, that expands upon many of the elements of the original film while celebrating it in the process. While it is largely successful in doing just that on the surface, this time I knew going in before going to see it that it was likely going to be a darker film with a potentially hidden agenda, and that I was probably not going to experience “joy and enthusiasm” as so many others have. My joy is now replaced by a cautious and discerning mind as a result of the hard lessons I have learned this year, not to mention the challenging revelations about the real inner workings of the elite members of Hollywood, the government, etc., that are saturating the internet of late. Fair warning, the following assessment will give away some major plot points of the film, so if you want to see this film and be surprised, you may want to stop now.
While hope, sacrifice, brotherhood, fighting for a cause one believes in, and the power of familial love, among others, are dominant themes in Rogue One, there is a darker undertone that belies what seems to me to be an attempt to make people feel somewhat hopeless and horrified. Furthermore, as I said, this film is ultimately filler. It is not really a part of the larger story of the Skywalker clan. It is based on two lines from the opening crawl of A New Hope, satisfying the curiosity of those who may have wondered how the Rebels actually obtained the plans to the Death Star, and just why the Death Star was so easy to blow up in the first place. Add to this that one major character and several cameo roles are not actually played by real actors, but by digitally re-created representations of actors from the original film, one of whom, Peter Cushing, has been dead for over two decades.
One review I read described his presence in the film as “soul-less” and that is exactly what it felt like watching this performance by a digital human. It seems strange to me that in a world where all manner of film characters such as animals, mythological beings and cartoon people are created digitally, it doesn’t seem to bother me and often serves the story well without being too distracting (such as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings films), but when an actual person is re-created digitally, it strikes me as creepy and distracting more than being impressive or wondrous. I admit, however, that it could have something to do with the nature of the character, a cunning and amoral military leader willing to commit mass murder simply to “make a statement” or for the sake of being thorough. Still, the “performance” has none of the gravitas or nuance that a seasoned actor like the real Peter Cushing would have brought to the proceedings. In a word, the performance is lifeless. This sort of emptiness is a big element of this film. It is light on character development and big on trying to impress with sheer size. It is also a very gritty war film depicting just how much resolve, sacrifice and willingness to face certain death a successful rebellion must employ to achieve an eventual victory, which of course has now been undermined by where they took the story with the 7th official “episode.”
Perhaps I am jaded by all of the information coming out this year from Wikileaks, Edward Snowden, and others, who are (finally) revealing certain truths to the world about the true nature of the “leaders” and “celebrities” who so many people have come to admire, celebrate, give their power to or believe in as the way-showers and guides of the world, when in fact many of them represent, or have aligned themselves with, the same evil that people line up to be entertained by in film and television. Perhaps I am now all too aware of the real dangers and threats of a world characterized by mass surveillance, militarized police forces, war-torn countries, false flag terrorist attacks, and the other horrors that far too many people are still living through every day in the name of “democracy,” “capitalism,” “free trade,” “fossil fuels” and the many other excuses for evil, violence and dominance in the world.
To put it mildly, I did not come out of Rogue One feeling uplifted, excited or “hopeful.” I felt exhausted, battered and terrified, after witnessing a film in which not one, but two massive Death Star blasts cause, instead of a three-second planetary explosion, huge nuclear explosions that were milked for every lingering shot they were worth while coldly gleeful (and in one case literally undead) military agents looked on with pride and evil grins. There is one chilling shot, seen in previews, that shows the (“that’s no moon”) Death Star perfectly blocking out the sun of a planet like an eclipse, moments before it brings death and destruction to its inhabitants. This brings a whole new level of creepy to the many assertions by internet truthers that our own moon is in fact a space station and may not even be a natural moon. It also furthers the imagery showcased in The Force Awakens of the “darkening of the light,” before what amounts to an Armageddon-like event takes place. I find it hard to dismiss this as a coincidence, and for all the talk of hope in this film, it really does seem there is a darker, subliminal message being imposed by Disney, and thus the “Cabal” as they have come to be known, through these new Star Wars films.
Are the true “masters of evil” seeking to corrupt the minds of the masses, capitalizing on the enthusiasm, joy and “force” of a Star Wars-loving populace, harnessing the creative power of the collective consciousness through their free will choice to pay for a ticket and watch this film under the guise of being entertained, in order that the viewers energetically fund the Cabal’s perpetually fearful vision of domination and destruction? To these awakened eyes, it would seem so. While the film markets hope on the surface, it also seems to advocate moral ambiguity through the tactics employed by the Rebels themselves, including murder, deception, secrecy, and extremist guerrilla warfare methods (conjuring references to “terrorism” and “insurgents”) in order to fight the Empire “on their terms,” which is another concept these Star Wars projects are putting forth, especially in the cartoons. In the new Rebels series especially, there is a regular exploration of the idea that one must “know the ways of the enemy,” or be “willing to fight and kill as coldly, relentlessly and readily” as the enemy in order to win. So much for the teachings of non-violent disobedience, or the power of love and peace, which strangely enough is how James Earl Jones signed the autographed picture of Darth Vader I received as a young boy.
By the end of Rogue One, every major character introduced in this film dies, several in a massive nuclear explosion, after a grueling and death-filled battle by freedom fighters attempting to subvert the efforts of a vast, technologically superior evil Empire willing to murder mass amounts of people and destroy whole planets in its unquenchable thirst for power and control, only to realize a small victory in a larger war fought over many generations by people fighting to regain peace, prosperity and freedom once again; a war that would still last yet many more generations. The irony is that the democracy they are fighting to regain was never a perfect system and was in itself a corrupt structure based on compromises and sacrifices that led to the divisions and conflicts that left an opening for Sidious to take advantage of when he arrived on the scene, though admittedly the fallacies of governance is a topic unto itself.
In the wake of all of the truths I have learned, and that the populace continues to learn about the reality of the world we are living in as more information comes to light every day, I must say that the events and themes depicted in this film hit closer to home than ever before and definitely did not qualify as entertainment in my personal opinion. As a result of my own personal experiences this year and the shifts in perspective I have had, it was also the first time in my life I could not join in the enthusiasm at the inclusion of Darth Vader in a Star Wars film. As the final sequence depicted Vader going on a murderous rampage to retrieve the Death Star plans, I was not entertained, or thrilled, or excited–I was horrified. Maybe that was the intention. This film certainly succeeds in demonstrating the monstrous nature of Vader as an agent of terror, rivaled perhaps only by the Death Star itself.
What Rogue One sells is “hope” in service to the title of the film it directly ties into, however what it delivers is anything but hope. It delivers a harsh and over-stimulating assault on the senses, depicting a world of hardened and conflicted veterans who have known nothing but war, conflict and the threat of death and imprisonment for most of their lives, who sacrifice themselves in order to fight evil so that the next generation can finish the job, at least as far as Lucas was concerned. This may seem like a positive message, but when one looks at the hope this film is selling, it is ultimately as empty as the promises of the Hope sold to us in the Obama campaign, or as empty as the performances of artificially created digital people to sell a product.
While this film seems to explore the message of inspiring courage in the face of tyranny, and the sacrifice and determination that ultimate victory requires, it is hard to ignore the tactics this film is advocating as the means by which that victory is to be achieved, and when everyone in the film dies, it does not exactly engender a pay-off of hope, even when one knows where the story ultimately goes. I recognize that each of us evaluates a film experience based upon our own filters of experience, and that many viewers may find that Rogue One explores positive and insightful themes, many of which I saw too. However, based upon how I felt after watching it and the horrific images this film exposes its audiences to, the question begs to be asked, does Hollywood really need to spend $200 million to make a film full of death and destruction just to convey a positive (arguably) message of hope? Is this really what the world needs right now?
The film contains the line “Rebellions are built on hope” twice, but hope is just an empty concept, offering nothing but an excuse to endure. Hope is the feeling one gets when it appears one has a genuine “fighting chance.” Real rebellions and revolutions are not built on hope; hope is just what gets people through the moments of despair. Real movements are built on Faith, such as the warrior monk Chirrut’s “blind” faith in the Force, which is so absolute that it allows him to see what others do not and succeed where others fail. They are built on Love, such as the love for her father that inspires Jyn to take up arms and fight with courage, or the love for his fallen friend Chirrut that inspires the faith that the Force-doubting warrior Baze finds at the moment of his death. They are also built on Truth, such as the Truth that tyranny and violence are fundamentally evil and that liberty and freedom are the only real causes worth fighting for in a world dominated by militants bent on enslaving mass populations for the sake of “control.”
Perhaps my more sober reaction to the latest entry of a film series I once loved and experienced joy upon viewing is the greatest testament to my own personal evolution and my own unwillingness to further subject myself to the distorted and manipulative corporate output of the film industry. Like Anakin Skywalker, each of us has to choose whether or not our actions and choices are serving evil, and part of that is taking a real inventory of what we have dismissed as “harmless entertainment,” and what we choose to fund not just with our money, but with our time, attention and energy. I am no longer willing to “fund” these experiments in mass mind control with my viewership or my money.
I did so in this case to further examine the “message” underlying these new Disney films. I wanted to see what they are attempting to create, but I suppose in the end the message is always the same, and the vision has not changed, it has only become more destructive and bleak in order to counter the growing collective awakening and revelation of the many hidden truths that threaten to finally expose these people for who they truly are to those still not paying enough attention to see it. I take heart in the further awakening of the populace as more and more dedicated truthers, journalists, and spiritual warriors continue the real battle for peace by standing up to evil and spreading the word of Truth.
I have Faith in the real Force, the Higher Will of the Creator, and I have Faith that the Universe has not abandoned humanity to its decadent and corrupted ways, but is truly ushering in an infusion of light and Cosmic Energy to awaken us all from our slumber and revitalize our knowing of what constitutes real Truth, real Love and true Freedom. I trust that, like the evil Empire of the Star Wars films, the real evil Imperialists are destined to fail, and will in the end never fully accomplish their vision of domination, due to the efforts of the real Rebels and warriors of peace. As long as Faith truly lives in our hearts, and we do not give up the “hope” that keeps us going, but are willing to see our way through to the utter end of the tyranny in the world, true victory remains a possibility. I believe we are witnessing that downfall now, that the Empire is truly crumbling, no matter how many movies they make or “fake” news reports they release in an attempt to convince us otherwise. With love in our hearts and truth as our guide, may the true Force be with us all.
There is no shortage of analyses of Star Wars online, and I have read several of them, yet these are two sources I came across that most informed my own analysis presented here, which was more of a cursory overview of the story of Anakin Skywalker in order to make a point. Thanks to all the many writers, fans, and journalists who have contributed their assessments of these films to the collective consciousness.
Also, I found the below link while looking for the above references, which I did not read before writing this blog. After reading this amazing analysis of the entire Star Wars saga that Lucas created, it is very easy to see how sophisticated and well-thought out his entire conception of the whole saga really was and, while he may have taken more care to adhere to this artistic structure than to ensure the quality of the dialogue and acting within the prequels themselves, there is no question there was serious elevated thinking going on here, not to mention meticulous planning and construction. This really blew my mind.