With the release of Episode III, the final installment of George Lucas’s classic saga, we can now ask ourselves what is the true legacy of Star Wars. But better yet, while doing this, let us also consider that other famous space flick Star Trek. For both series’ have far different outlooks on the future.
Simply put, Star Trek is based on the premise that man is perfectible and the institution in which he achieved that state of perfection is government. Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek’s creator, was a believer in a one-world government system, also known as the New World Order, and was a big proponent of the United Nations. His story centers not on a world government system, but a universal government agency – the United Federation of Planets (UFP). During the first series, with Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock, all galactic beings got along great, with the exception of the Klingons. But by the Next Generation, even the evil Klingons had been brought into the fold and “perfected.” Even evil can be eradicated in Mr. Roddenberry’s world. The UFP controlled everything and one is quickly led to believe that everything will work out great if we just had one international institution to watch over us.
This notion comes directly from socialism and Marxist/communist theory. Karl Marx and other proponents of these ideas believed in a utopia, a perfect society that could be achieved by government, in one form or another, but all totalitarian systems. Marx also believed that even government would not be necessary once the final stages of his utopia, his worker’s paradise as he termed it, was achieved. However, these utopian ideas are there to fill a void, a void without God. We as Christians understand that man is perfectible only by God and only when we arrive in His perfect place – Heaven. No superior being exists in Roddenberry’s saga. So Star Trek would equal communism and socialism. Government can be used for good, to perfect man and to perfect society. But because there is no God (to a communist/socialist), we have to have a strong, centralized government structure to perfect man and to perfect society. Isn’t this what Hitler had in mind for his Reich? A perfect society full of perfect people. So doesn’t Star Trek sound a lot like our liberal, and even neo-conservative friends in Washington? A world-wide (or universe-wide) crusade for utopia.
Star Wars, on the other hand, is a great story about good vs. evil, a version of God and Satan, and about human nature itself. There is good in this world, but as we have seen throughout our history on this planet with the likes of Hitler, Stalin, and Mao, we also have much evil. But liberals refuse to believe evil exists. Unfortunately it does and because of this we as humans have to have government. As James Madison said, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” But we are not angels, a little lower I’m afraid. Star Wars portrays this perfectly. We need a government but the best system we can have, which our Founders left us, is a constitutional republic. Episode III demonstrates that a republic is much preferred to a dictatorship. Rather than try to co-exist with evil (or even to convert it), Star Wars seeks to destroy it. The Jedi do not co-exist with the Sith, but wage war against it at every turn, seeking to end its influence in the republic. In fact the Jedi exist solely to protect the republic against enemies that might try to destroy it. This is true conservatism. We should be concerned with enemies, both foreign and domestic, that threaten our freedom and our republican institutions. However, foreign crusades for utopian ideals can be destructive and should be resisted. As John Quincy Adams once said, “Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will [ America ’s] heart, her benedictions, and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy.”