With the upcoming Star Wars movie, it only felt right to try to make some sort of connection between our readings and the prolific series. I find that traits of Rousseau’s work can be found in the the series especially in the original trilogy. First and foremost, owe could begin by looking at the Empire. Throughout the movies, the empire is the face of evil in the movies as they are constantly hunting the protagonists in the films. What the empire seems to show is a reflection of the civilized society as Rousseau described which is a society that is corrupt, brutish and violent. There is a single character within the series that fully contradicts the state of the empire through his state of living: Yoda. When the audience first sees Yoda, he is a little green man who lives in isolation from the rest of the world on the planet of Dagobah. Living far away from society, Yoda can be perceived as the most wise character in the franchise. While Yoda may not be the absolute idea for Rousseau’s vision of early man in the fact that he is capable in critical thought but in his way of life being lacking in most forms of technology shows a form of the appreciation for Rousseau’s belief that the peak of man being a less modern version of man.
Another example of Star Wars showing appreciation of Rousseau’s work in the film is through the most disgusting character in the entire film, Jabba the Hutt. Jabba is arguably the most vile and disgusting character to ever grace the silver screen. Jabba reflects, the fear emitted from Rousseau’s work considering the progression of man. Rousseau believed that as man progresses, they slowly lose their athletic ability that allows them to survive without any technology. Jabba is portrayed as fat, lethargic, slug who talks so slowly that it’s almost like getting the air he needs to form words is an effort. Despite this, Jabba is an extremely powerful and influential person where he lives. He Has many people at his fingertips to do his bidding despite the fact that he is a vile creature. Also when reflecting back on the empire, one could also say that The emperor himself is the best example of the modern man in how he is. The emperor is first of all, a frail seeming old man (discounting what we see of him in the prequels) which as with Jabba shows the loss of human physical prowess. The emperor is also constantly vying for more power from the force. These two characters seem to display an agreement with Rousseau as to the state of modern man.
May the force be with you.