The first Star Wars film, Episode IV: A New Hope, spoke wistfully about democracy and egalitarian values. The force was only a little bit about talent and more about training: Obi-Wan offers to teach it to Han. By Episode VI, Lucas’ shift in perspective was becoming plain. More and more the story was about mutant demigods, “chosen ones,” fated from birth to be superior not by quantity, but by basic quality. Lucas became less the egalitarian, intellectually curious creator of the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and more a passionate pusher of the “chosen one” demigod theme. This became explicit when Lucas introduced “midi-chlorians” and mystical genetic mumbo jumbo in the prequels. Referring to Anakin Skywalker’s virgin birth and tying most of the force demigods together—good and evil—all in the same mutant family. His portrayal of the Republic poured contempt. The Galactic Republic never does anything in any of the first six films. It doesn’t even try to do anything.
The apotheosis of Darth Vader was truly disgusting. Saving one demigod—a good demigod, his son—wiped away all his guilt from slaughtering billions of normal people. Those who say I am reaching too far should look up George Lucas’ infamous interview with The New York Times in which he openly and explicitly disdains democracy and declared that the best form of government is to have a “good despot.” I wrote about this in Salon, infuriating some fans but delighting others, by pointing out how that nasty little green oven mitt Yoda is pretty much, inarguably, the most evil figure ever in the history of any human mythology.
Mace Windu is the only intelligent Jedi depicted in any film. He found evidence of Senator Palpatine’s plot. Mace wanted to tell the Republic—Yoda overruled him. When all the other Jedi are falling into a stupid trap ordered by Yoda, Mace is the one who does his job as a secret agent, sneaks up to the balcony, and puts a light saber to the bad guy’s throat. If one Jedi more had accompanied him, it would’ve been over. Mace, in confronting Palpatine, was the only one who tries to do what the Jedi are supposed to do, but he fails because Yoda screwed up the training of the dangerous apprentice, Anakin.
It’s time for the Jedi to end.