The Imperial Death Star from Star Wars and the Pentagon have much in common. It is not difficult to observe the similarities between the two behemoth structures and what they represent — especially in recent years.
For one, both used to be part of representative republics and both represent the military wings of the empires in power.
In 2007, Alternet reported that the U.S. had 737 bases, 38 of which were “major,” and that
…perhaps the optimum number of major citadels and fortresses for an imperialist aspiring to dominate the world is somewhere between thirty-five and forty.
The desire of the military’s operatives to exert control over regions all over the world parallels the desire of the Emperor and Vader to rule the galaxy.
Another similarity is the desire of both the Death Star’s leaders and those at the Pentagon to weed out dissent. One of the main objectives of the dark side’s adherents is to find the rebels and eliminate them.
Though the Pentagon hasn’t quite started assassinating political dissidents (or entire planets, though Hiroshima and Nagasaki are an earthly comparison to Adleraan), it has made its views crystal clear: protesters are a form of terrorist and anyone deemed associated with terrorism may be denied his or her rights.
Still another commonality between the two ministries of war and destruction is the level of decadence afforded to the galactic and American agencies. The Death Star was a moon-sized, laser-clad behemoth for the dark side. The Pentagon employs 23,000 people in a floor space three times the size of the Empire state building and spawns doomsday technology. In both societies, the resources devoted to violence far outweigh those dedicated to promoting peace or the well-being of humanity (or alienhood).
It is easy to compare the Death Star and the Pentagon as manifestations of evil that seek power and rule by force. But there exists at least one stark difference:
In the Washington Post this week, it was revealed that the Pentagon is looking for someone to fill its “Yoda” position.
The job ad for “Director of the Office of Net Assessment” currently reads:
The Director’s primary function is to develop assessments that compare the standings, trends and future prospects of U.S. military capability and military potential with that of other countries.
The job was founded and held by longtime analyst Andrew W. Marshall, who recently retired. Because of his wisdom and knowledge throughout the years, he came to be known as “Yoda.”
And therein lies the difference between the rulers of the Death Star and the rulers of the Pentagon: at least Darth Vader, the emperor and their cohorts knew they were evil.
Luke, you can destroy the Emperor. He has foreseen this. It is your destiny, join me and together we can rule the galaxy as father and son.
He iterated the slavery of being on the dark side in Return of the Jedi:
You don’t know the power of the dark side. I must obey my master.
Considering the empire practices what is called the “dark side” of the force, its members knew exactly what they signed up for.
But to a clearly significant portion of employees at the Pentagon, the irony is lost. It has gone over their heads that working for the world’s biggest, arguably most vicious military, is not working on the side of morality, peace, or freedom.
By calling a man who works for the Pentagon “Yoda” — a virtuous practitioner of the force — it is clear that many who work for the Pentagon believe they are working for a “force” of good. It’s scary. It’s scarier that the Pentagon likely has employees who know of its evil and yet continue to work there.
May all Pentagon employees recognize its evil, quit their jobs at the American Death Star, and work to promote the true meaning of the “force” (the same goes for soldiers of governments around the world). As the real Yoda said:
Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.
This is exactly how violent governments keep their people and foot soldiers under control and realizing this is the first step to achieving freedom and peace.