Fire Across the Galaxy: A wonderful first season of ‘Rebels’

Star Wars is about substance. The stories and my love for them trace back to my Joseph Campbell Foundation days where George Lucas was one of the original board of directors. I understand and appreciate what he has been trying to do, which I have talked about extensively in other articles. To that effect, the first season of Star Wars: Rebels is about to air as of this writing and my reason for this article is to remind you to tune into Disney 😄 at 9 PM Eastern time to watch it. Here is a preview of what you will see.

If you think about the themes of that episode, the Empire torturing Kanan for information about the increasing resistance from the Rebellion is a theme that harkens directly back to the end of the great Ayn Rand novel, Atlas Shrugged. In that work John Galt was tortured into compliance for his help in assisting the collective whole of civilization. It’s a mature theme intended for adults in a very grown-up story. Star Wars is obviously for kids. George Lucas is an open supporter of Barack Obama and even has his hands in Chicago politics in paving the way for his Star Wars museum on the shores of Lake Michigan. But, the content of his intentions with the expansion of Star Wars through first the San Francisco operation expansion into the Presidio, then the sale to Disney and the upcoming films is a strategy through myth that I think is excessively important.   Lucas has always been the best articulator of modern philosophy that our world currently knows. He will be remembered at the level of a Socrates, or Plato in bringing mythology, religion, and global cultural understanding to humanity in an excessively positive way. I doubt Lucas would see himself that way—but I do. History will prove me right.

Star Wars: Rebels is one of the best and most important programs on television currently. The season started off slow as it was obvious that the creative people behind the series were getting their feet wet with Star Wars without the hand of Lucas directly guiding them.   But as they completed a few episodes, it is clear that they are off to a roaring beginning to a very dramatic series. I love the show and my wife and I watch it every week. I don’t know that I’m all that excited about the new movies because I have a feeling my favorite character isn’t going to be around much longer, but I love the overall world of Star Wars because of the power it has of harnessing myth in a positive way. Star Wars: Rebels is special because it has captured that power in a way that is appealing to adults and children—it is a truly family oriented show about values.

The depth of ability that Star Wars has to reach into the nature of politics is truly amazing. The range of characters and how they interconnect allows stories to truly explore human nature from the motives of a galactic empire hell-bent on power, to a common smuggler straddling the cracks of the law to make a living the best way possible without squandering away their integrity. It’s a very dramatic portrait of competing ideas that goes well beyond the simplicity of a child’s tale.

For those who know Star Wars, which is most everyone, Darth Vader will be in tonight’s episode. If you are reading this after the date of March 2nd 2015, then this episode will be available at Star Wars.com. Vader is from the original trilogy and is actually the main character through the first six films and the entire Clone Wars animated series that went on for six seasons. Vader will be there to torture Kanan and it will be intriguing. The point of the torture is of course to coerce Kanan into revealing the location of his friends and the greater threat of a larger rebellion emerging from the senate. In a lot of ways the story lines look to be peeled away from the pages of our current history. But what’s important is that they often deal with difficult issues of extreme complexity with a joy that is openly supportive of living life as joyfully as possible.

In the episode leading up to Fire Across the Galaxy the Rebels even under great duress, managed to have a good time finding out information on where their friend and leader is being held—which is on Mustafar—which those who know Revenge of the Sith will know as the planet that made Darth Vader into who he is. Also, Bail Organa makes another appearance revealing that he has all along been the contact the Rebels have been using to get information. So there are some critical plot points that will be revealed in this episode that will serve as a nice cliffhanger to the new season that will begin in the upcoming fall of 2015.

Prior to the release of this episode my wife and I discussed my upcoming birthday and in having some fun with it this year. We spent much of the weekend playing our new favorite game Star Wars: Commander and making plans for the birthday at Dave and Busters having a Star Wars theme party centered on their new arcade game Battle Pod. Star Wars never gets tired to me; it is fun, exciting and full of interesting things to think about if the conflict at large is considered. But more than any of that, the technical achievements to tell those stories never gets old. For instance, it’s been thirty years since the film Return of the Jedi, but in Battle Pod game players gain the opportunity to fly into the second Death Star and blow it up flying the Millennium Falcon which is something I’ve always wanted to do. Battle Pod allows for that kind of experience, which is exactly how I’d want to spend my birthday with my family. I wouldn’t want to go to Dave and Busters really for anything else, but that they have a Battle Pod machine there.

Star Wars is fun, and special, so it is quite a treat to having something as unique as the episode Fire Across the Galaxy coming up on television tonight at 9 PM. If you can make time, be sure to watch it. It’s about a lot of things, but more than anything, it’s about substance. By far, it’s the best kids show on the air. But, because of the serious content underlying the story lines, and the philosophy emerging from them, it’s the best adult show also. It’s just a matter of time before the full impact will be felt. But, tonight’s episode for the uninitiated would be a great place to start. Enjoy!

Rich Hoffman

 CLIFFHANGER RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

 

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