Is Star Wars a Dystopian Franchise?
Star Wars: A New Hope changed movie history. The epic space opera film was one of the first blockbusters ever, and basically because of this movie wide releases were invented. New Hope had hope, fast forward 40 years later and all hope has died.
Spoiler Warning I will be discussing about all of Star Wars movies including Rogue One.
Dystopia is an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one. The opposite of utopia.
Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith are considered to be dystopian movies. It’s not hard to see why. These movies describe the falls of the Republic and the rise of the Empire. Or in more simple terms, the falls of democracy and the rise of dictatorship. This fits the definition of dystopia perfectly.
The original trilogy had the Empire, but it started with hope. A victory. It’s hard to look at the trilogy not as a trilogy. The Empire in all of the movies is a dystopian element, but not necessarily enough to make each movie in this trilogy into a dystopian movie.
And then came Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Now, in theory as Star Wars: The Force Awakens has the same plot as New Hope, it should have brought the same hope back to the Star Wars universe. Instead, it basically cancelled out all of the actions of the characters in the previous movies.
The resistance defeated the Empire? It was pointless “First Order has risen from the ashes of the Empire.” In Rogue One we got to personally meet all of the people who gave their lives to get the plans to the death star. Their deaths were meaningless as the First Order now has a starkiller base, which is the same thing just bigger and deadlier. At the end of Return of the Jedi I felt that we were promised balance in the force and in the galaxy. I expected the new threat to be at least somewhat original. This lack of originality just leaves a feeling of despair.
And yes, the universe that is build is a dystopia. As maz kanata says “through the ages I’ve seen evil take many forms: the Sith, the Empire, today, it is the First Order.” A war against the Dark Side. A war with no end. Sounds very dystopian to me. A never-ending war against whatever dictatorship form the Dark Side will take form. Especially as Lucasfilm will never stop making Star Wars movies now that they are under Disney, the story of this war will never end. The characters have no hope and the feeling that the viewers are left with, after we were done with the excitement of the nostalgia, was despair at the meaningless of it all.
Do you agree with me that Star Wars has become a dystopian franchise? I’d love to hear your opinion.
All pictures are taken from IMDB
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I think this overestimates the power and scope of the First Order. Of course, we'll learn more in December with The Last Jedi, but as of now, the First Order is more of an insurgency coming from the outer regions. It had Starkiller, yes, but we don't know how powerful it is, but we do know it doesn't have the might to directly invade the New Republic. Most of the galaxy still lives free under post-Empire government. The conflict we're watching in The Force Awakens, is off in the wilderness somewhere and quite small. That's why Leia launched the Resistance, because the New Republic didn't see the First Order as enough of a threat to bother with. The destruction of Hosnian Prime changes that, but it was still more of a terrorist attack than a full on invasion.
Thank you for your comment. The New Republic is all but fallen at the end of the Force Awaken. The planet which the council is in was destroyed. Yes, they didn't assert power like the Empire did because they are not working from within the system like Palpatine did. I guess we will find out there grand plan in the next movie. What matters is what sort of world is left at the end of this movie, and it's a pretty dismal one.
Star wars are the best!!!! =)
Interesting. I have never thought of SW as dystopian. Good points.
I had not realized that SW is a dystopian film.
But yes, as you well pointed out an endless war is also dystopian for me.
Thanks to this they ensure the public of all generations.
The business never ends.
Yeah, they should have thought of something more original for the new trilogy. It's just depressing.