A Galaxy Not So Far Away II: The Unifier
SPOILER ALERT: If you are a “Star Wars” Extended Universe reader and have not yet read the “Legacy of the Force” series, this piece contains spoilers for it. You’ve been warned.
Previously, I took a look at the character of Emperor Palpatine and his chief tactic for consolidating power, and how today’s leaders use those same tactics. However, another “Star Wars” comparison may prove itself true down the road for our current leader: Could Obama be following the lead of Jacen Solo?
Jacen Solo, son of Han and Leia Solo, nephew of Luke Skywalker, and grandson of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader did not emerge emotionally unscathed from the Yuuzhan Vong war. He lost his younger brother, and was captured and tortured himself before escaping. During his time of exile, he was twisted a bit by his captors, but also became convinced by his semi-ally Vergere that a special destiny awaited him. Also during the war, Jacen had become a father, which we’ll address momentarily.
After the Yuuzhan Vong war, the galaxy was still not at peace. The New Republic had been replaced by the Galactic Alliance, but the Alliance started employing tactics similar to that of the old Empire. Some planets, primarily Corellia and Commenor at first, objected and withdrew, leading to a potential war. Ohter key planets started choosing up sides.
Jacen, fearing for his daughter’s life in a war-filled world and having become somewhat estranged from the Jedi because of their uneasiness about promoting him to the rank of “Master” (an eery similarity to what had happened to his grandfather before his fall from grace), became convinced that if he were in control, he could unite the galaxy behind him and prevent further conflict. He became further convinced of this when he united with Lumiya, a Dark Lady of the Sith who had survived battles with Luke Skywalker in the aftermath of the first Galactic Civil War. Using his powers in the Force, he obtained visions of the past, and saw what his grandfather had done in the hopes of avoiding making the mistakes Vader did, though naturally, his vision only gave him part of the story. Jacen was convinced that he was different, because he was doing what he was doing out of love for his daughter, not a lust for power.
But of course, it all went astray, and Jacen fell to the dark side, but he was still convinced he was doing the right thing. He became the leader of the Galactic Alliance Guard, then co-leader of the Galactic Alliance itself, and eventually its sole leader. His status as a Jedi (everyone else still thought he was one) garnered him much respect and trust, and he used it to his advantage. Meanwhile, more planets and star systems saw what was happening, and the anti-Alliance faction (which included Jacen’s parents) grew stronger, making the war even worse.
As the war went on, Jacen’s allegiance to the Sith became known, and his ruthlessness only made the war he was trying to stop bloodier and more costly. Yet he remained convinced that he was the one who would unite the galaxy. He made desperate alliances, then discarded them when it suited him. Eventually, the Jedi went from a neutral stance to joining the fight against Jacen, which only drove Jacen’s madness even further. Jacen’s allies fell off, as did his loyal supporters within the Alliance, and it became clear that by the end, he was all alone trying to win a battle for the galaxy.
Of course, after a deadly war, Jacen was eventually defeated. Yet in his dying moment, Jacen realized something: his destiny had been achieved, just in a different way than he had assumed it would be. Jacen had thought that it was his destiny to unify the galaxy, and he had; what he didn’t realize until the very end was that he had succeeded in uniting the galaxy against him.
So as I asked last time: What does this have to do with today?
It is interesting to ponder if Obama is taking the same route Jacen Solo did. Obama seems quite convinced that he is the man who can cure the world’s ills. Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright serve the role of Lumiya (the background force that helped build and shape the leader and his view of his role) quite nicely. Obama is also doing a fine job of making his enemies stronger and alienating his supposed allies. The Tea Party movement (much like the anti-Alliance faction) has been built on opposition to the current administration’s growing power, and independents are leaving the Democrats on a daily basis. But the more people Obama alienates, the more he presses on shoving unpopular policies down their throats, because he is convinced that his way is the right way and will lead to a united country and world.
There is still a long way to go before 2012, but how close can Obama come to mirroring Jacen Solo and uniting the entire country against him? It’s doubtful he could make it all the way there, of course, but he sure seems to be trying.