CAUTION: Spoiler Alert for Star Wars: The Last Jedi!
I liked a lot of things about the new Star Wars, but there are some genuinely eye-roll worthy scenes. One of the most dramatic (and most eye-roll worthy, imo) is when Rose Tico, a young Resistance fighter, saves Finn, another Resistance fighter, from death. However, Finn’s impending death is his own decision. He chooses to stop a massive First Order weapon by piloting his craft into the weapon. Finn’s actions are a shocking, but incredibly noble sacrifice.
…Rose swoops down and crashes her vehicle into Finn’s, driving him from his target, preventing his sacrificial rescue, destroying both crafts, and inevitably killing herself. What follows is a predictable, ham-fisted, quasi-inspirational, quote:
“We’re going to win this war, not by fighting what we hate, but saving what we love.”
And then she expires.
Apparently, many consider it a poignant moment in the film. The phrase has become a call to arms, of sorts and is now oft re-Tweeted, typically cited by those of #TheResistance. Who is this Resistance? Best I can tell, they are those on the political Left — progressives, feminists, activists, pro-abortionists, anti-capitalists, and embittered Democrats. Basically the ragged remnants of the #ImStillWithHer movement. For them, the new Star Wars films speak to our current social and political climate. As a result, they have hijacked the imagery and rhetoric of the films for their own ideological aims. In their story world, the First Order are cisgendered, male, white supremacists, and corporate CEOs, while #TheResistance are the compassionate, tolerant, inclusive, brave, #NeverTrumpers.
I suppose this shouldn’t come as a huge surprise as many of those attached to the re-making of the SW franchise have been vocal about their disdain for Trump and their support of an aggressive diversity agenda. For example, two writers of Rogue One openly attached their left-leaning politics to the film. One, Chris Weitz, tweeted “Please note that the Empire is a white supremacist (human) organization.” Gary Whitta, an original writer for the project, responded similarly: “Opposed by a multi-cultural group led by brave women.” And “brave women” are the order of the day for #TheResistance. The bravest of them all, perhaps, being Vice Admiral Holdo in TLJ (played by Laura Dern) who issued this rousing, none-too-subtle speech to the freedom fighters:
In every corner of the galaxy, the downtrodden and oppressed know our symbol, and they put their hope in it. We are the spark that will light the fire that will restore the Republic. That spark, this Resistance, must survive. That is our mission.
If you’re wondering who the “down-trodden and oppressed” are you need look no further than the filmmakers’ own politics. Indeed, CNN declared that the film “appears to lean into the political fray, from its egalitarian message to a more specific critique of callous plutocrats. …The latest batch of ‘Star Wars’ movies have also made a conspicuous effort to be more inclusive in terms of female and minority characters, after the original film was criticized for its all-white vision of space.” Thus the swing towards a more politically correct galaxy, far, far away.
This is the backdrop upon which Rose’s “inspirational” last words are overlaid.
In both universes — theirs and ours — #TheResistance stands against hate. Conveniently, the objects of that hate take the same form as those of contemporary progressive persuasion. Thus, the “down-trodden and oppressed” in both worlds are strikingly similar — namely they are the marginalized, multicultural, gender fluid, ethnic, immigrant ensemble that is being exploited by white straight males wielding too much power. In this world, the enemy is the Patriarchy, gender-heteronormativity, big government, white guys, and Judeo-Christian morality.
How is such an “enemy” fought?
If you’re looking to Rose for the answer, good luck. Other than providing an inspirational meme or a hashtaggable quote, Rose’s actions provide little more than a muddled conception of both love and war — a hallmark of squishy progressivism.
How can we “save what we love” if we don’t fight what threatens it? In Rose’s (and the Resistance’s case) what threatened them was NOT the death of one fighter (via Finn’s kamikaze tactic). No. What threatened them was that big ass cannon aimed at them. Finn’s actions are more in line with Rose’s inspirational quote than are hers. He was saving what he loved by attacking its enemy. In fact, just moments before that, Rose was doing the same thing! She was attacking their common enemy. What turned her? Her love for Finn? If so, Rose risked BOTH their lives with that maneuver, not to mention the lives of the entire Resistance. Rose’s “success” could have meant that she saved Finn while allowing the First Order to destroy dozens of their friends and comrades.
Spock was right, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” However, according to #ResistanceLogic, it’s just the opposite.
I suppose Rose’s dilemma is reflective of #TheResistance’s at large. After the release of Rogue One, the #StarWarsAgainstHate campaign was begun. What was the “hate” that these noble freedom fighters were resisting? Well, it was basically Donald Trump. Of course, that included a litany of associated evils — racism, sexism, white supremacy, corporate greed, xenophobia, etc.
So does being a freedom fighter mean standing “against hate” or “not fighting what we hate”? In the case of #TheResistance, as long as what you “hate” endorses a liberal cause, it means whatever makes the best meme or hashtag campaign. Hate. Don’t Hate. Love. Fight. Who cares. As long as I get to wear my Resistance pin and feel good afterwards.
Okay, so I still liked the film. It’s just that these philosophically mushy, politically correct resistance campaigns make me want to vomit. My apologies, but real resistance means fighting what you hate. Which means that hating the right things is critical.