By Jonathan V. Last
In Star Wars, droids aren’t robots or comic relief—they’re chattel
I always hated the Jawas.
As a kid, the Jawas weren’t scary the way Stormtroopers or Darth Vader were. But there was something unsettling about them. The Tusken Raiders might have been primitive savages who tried to kill Luke Skywalker—who, back then, was my hero—but the Jawas seemed worse. A little bit evil, even. The feeling was so pronounced that in the dozens of times I watched A New Hope as a child, the massacre of the Jawas never roused even a beat of sympathy in me. It was the opposite, actually. Every time C-3PO piled the Jawa carcasses into a funeral pyre, a little part of me thought, Good riddance. They got what they had coming. But I never understood why I felt that way.
Then I grew up. I came to understand that George Lucas’s trilogy had a lot of moral confusion in it. I realized that the Empire is actually the force for good in Star Wars. I realized that the Jedi were actually contemptible and that the series can easily be read as following the radicalization of a young terrorist. I even realized that the destruction of Alderaan was not only justified, but prudent….
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