Daily Archives: January 6, 2017

SOME QUESTIONS ON “ROGUE ONE”

CULTURAL NOTES
January 05, 2016

SOME QUESTIONS ON “ROGUE ONE”r1

By Arturo P. Garcia

A UCLA student leader wrote on her Facebook post this: “ This article captures the easier point to see, but I also would love to see an article that explains the conflicts within the Alliance itself: evolution vs. revolution, “non-violence” vs. militancy, privilege (to fight) vs necessity. At what point do the tactics of the Rebel Alliance lean towards militancy, or do they at all even at the end of the movie? The fact that the movie makes me ask these questions is what makes it so brilliant.”

I read the article in Politico and I want to write my own movie review to make it more profound. But instead before I write my own movie review, I would like to answer some questions by this student leader. I hope my elucidations answers her questions.

1. Evolution vs. Revolution. For many who are unitiated or not so serious student of history, the question of evolution or revolution is always a problem of change.

Some thinks, change will come even if we do not do anything by evolutionary means. By letting change by evolution come as it is. But this kind of change is like waiting for doomsday in the worst scenario or letting the oppressors have a change of heart or change by themselves is only for the kind-hearted and a lot of wishful thinking.

Evolution by its meaning is to let matters evolve on its own way and time. For the oppressed people, this had been the thinking fostered by the ruling class. As the Beatles said in their song, “Let It Be” during their reactionary times, but as they matured, even George Harrison and John Lennon rejected the evolutionary trend and went for the revolution.

So, former Beatles George Harrison became an avowed anarchist and supported Bangla Desh struggle for national liberation and nation hood in 1971 while John Lennon embraced Maoism and wrote the songs “War Is Over” and Imagine” both revolutionary in those times.

So, revolution is a revolutionary act. As Mao as pointed out, “ Revolution is not a picnic.”

But revolution cuts both ways. It is also an anti-toxin that cleans itself of opportunists and hangers on. Zealots including who thinks that “ all measures necessary to win by any means “ is essential. That is a no-no in a revolution,

sw2As in “Rogue One” the leading character, Shy Erso told the other character, Alliance Intelligence Chief Cassiam Andor, “You can’t give me that kind of talk.”

Some revolutionaries loved to rationalize and give all the reasons for their mistakes and errors. But revolution is such a noble thing, not a romantic one. As we waged revolution, we mature and as Mao has pointed out cleanse itself and lead towards the righteous path for the people.

Always for the greater good for the greatest number. Not for the glory of one party and a group of individuals or an vain-glorious individual or leader.

2. “Non-violence” vs. Militancy. In the scenario of evolution, it is always the advocacy of “ non-violence. But in history, non violence only figured out in rare instance like in the Bible in the case of Jesus Christ, in the triumph of Christianity as a religion of Mahatma Gandhi in India and in the United States, the example of the African-American Civil Rights movement led by Rev.Martin Luther King.

In the recent times, the Philippines EDSA People’s Power 1 and 2, in Poland and the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia are mentioned as examples on “non-violent revolution.

But these are all media hype and are not true. These changes were made behind the power of the gun or with the active role of the reactionary military.

In the case of the Philippines, EDSA 1 in 1986 was a failed coup and the in EDSA 2 in 1991, that was a case of the military changing sides again and supporting the people.

Not entirely a peaceful change as other envisioned it to. Thus, it was a political revolution. A change in political power of individuals and not a systemic change. Thus, the more it changes, the more it remained the same.

In the case of a “militant change” or “militancy”, it can be divided into two. A change led a group of conspirators either by a military group or a rebel alliance like in “Rogue One”.str1

But the rebel alliance can also be –a revolutionary one led by a group dedicated to the people or a group using the name of the people for their own purpose like in the last three parts of the “Star War” trilogy led by the emperor of the evil empire and Darth Vader that necicitated the formation of the real Rebel Alliance ( supported by former Jedis, Luke Sky Walker, Princess Leia and the adventurer Hans Solo).

But even in militancy, change can come and change can be for the worst or for the better. We cite the case of the Iranian Revolution of 1979. The corrupt and feudal regime of the Shah of Iran supported by the United States were overthrown but was replaced by a feudal theocracy led the Ayatollahs. But at least it was a change for the sovereign people of Iran who still up to this day opposed US Imperialism.

Thus, revolution or militancy as the western portrayal of revolution in “Rogue One” is a real serious matter. IF we are really for the people.”absolute devotion to the cause” is developed and mature in us. It is not fanaticism that is inculcated into soldier’s training. It is a conscious effort and has a iron-disciple, not blind following. Those are basic revolutionary principles we should learn.

And that was what the leading character of “Rogue One” learned. First Shy detested the cause because it cause her family and her, personally a lot of pain. But from personal, from Dad’s ( Galen’s) death and the last moments they shared, she changed into a revolutionary. That is the wonder of the revolution or militancy.

3.Privilege (to fight) vs necessity. Revolutions are always necessary. Even at the most personal selfish end of a dictator’s need to control a society for an individual end for privilege it is a necessity . As the slogan said it all” Who Dares Win.”

In classic examples, in a revolution there is not a thing called “privilege to fight.” It is always a duty. But to some people it became a privilege because they were born into a revolutionary families that It became their tradition to continue the legacy of serving the people. Their nation and the cause.

In the case of Jyn, she does not see it that way. In the eyes of the Captain Andor it was a privilege to serve the cause. Thus he rationalizes and also agonize for his mistakes.

For may of us, we see it as both. It is always a privilege of a lifetime to be in the service for the people and the cause to have joined and served in a revolution.

4.At what point do the tactics of the Rebel Alliance lean towards militancy, or do they at all even at the end of the movie? In the tactics of the Rebel Alliance, the tactics is always for militancy or for winning the revolution.star-wars-1200x675

Tactics are formulated at a time or a particular period to survive and then lastly to win. Lucas, a Marxist echoed in his film the essence of class struggle.

In his first three films, the Rebel Alliance won. But in the last series, class privilege won, revisionism sets in, the Dark Lord masquerading as the wise one seduces Anakin Skywalker and launched a coup and turned the Rebel Alliance rule into a an Evil Empire.

Thus, the struggle started again with the offspring of Darh Vader fighting their father to re-impose justice in the galaxy far,far away.

One thing and the best part I enjoyed in “Rogue One” the character Jyn in the end, with the sacrifice of his father, Galen Erso to the cause learned to embrace the truth that only in struggle and by militant struggle will they win.

“Hope in the resistance.” She realized it and she became the epitome of revolutionary sacrifice.

And in the process, she was infected by the adherence to the force by people who believes in her and who believed in the force of the cause like defector pilot Rook, Imwe and Malbus. Even Captain Cassim Andor and his cohorts went to their glorious end just to finalized their mission.

After watching “Rogue One”.It is better than the “Hunger Games” that tried to be partial to evolutionary change and to show that revolution is futile and meaningless as it makes matters worse for change. Contempt for revolutionary shows its angry side.

At most the author of the ” Hunger Games “Trilogy lost the handle because in the end, she does not know how to end her stories.

Besides, “Rogue One” it helped me to become more firm in holding on to my revolutionary principles

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