CRENSHAW: Disney Turned ‘Star Wars’ From Hero’s Journey Into Maoist Hackery

(Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images for Disney)

Brooks Crenshaw Contributor
Font Size:

Disney’s new Star Wars series, “The Acolyte” is further evidence that Kathleen Kennedy and her acolytes (for life imitates art), are not just creating entertainment but are actively engaged in the cultural revolution. 

This latest installment — referred to as the “gayest Star Wars” — and the dismal sequel trilogy before it, serve as tools in a broader agenda to dismantle traditional cultural norms. Kennedy, acting as a political commissar, curates Star Wars content to align with the woke revolution’s mission, adopting the Maoist tactics of eradicating the Four Olds: old ideas, old culture, old customs, and old habits

Kennedy has recently become a meme for this movement, thanks to her on-the-nose lampooning by “South Park.” The predictable corporate response has been canned articles with titles like, “Star Wars Boss Kathleen Kennedy Is Not a ‘Woke Warrior’ at Disney (Report)” which, as anyone who’s paying attention knows, is like printing, “COVID was absolutely NOT the result of a lab leak!” in March of 2020. For “Acolyte,” Kennedy brought in Leslye Headland, a woke lesbian with an axe to grind against her religious upbringing who admits that she rooted for the evil witch Ursula in “The Little Mermaid” and spent four years as Harvey Winstein’s assistant. 

The transformation of iconic characters and narratives from the original saga into vessels for neo-Marxist propaganda underscores this strategic shift. In the original saga, Luke Skywalker and Han Solo epitomized the hero’s journey, representing the values of traditional culture. One as the farm boy with the secret lineage who heeds the call to adventure to avenge his dead father and reclaim his role in the world, the other as the redeemable bad boy or the beast to be tamed by the princess. Obi-Wan served as the sage archetype or Jungian wise old man common in such retellings of the eternal story, while Leia was both damsel in distress and leadership material. But that must be forgotten, as the world was obviously an oppressive patriarchy until five minutes ago, 1979’s Ellen Ripley be damned.

Many days on the playground of my yesteryears were spent fighting over who got to play the roles of Luke, Han, and Darth Vader as we dueled with our lightsaber sticks. The odd scraped knuckle or bruised leg served to build resilience and courage in the face of relatively minor danger. That wouldn’t fly today. This was the old culture, in which boys and girls took turns acting out the archetypal roles in the hero’s journey, a timeless theme found in countless cultures that Joseph Campbell describes as, “the one, shape-shifting yet marvelously constant story that we find, together with a challengingly persistent suggestion of more remaining to be experienced than will ever be known or told.”

Those stories have fallen out of style. In their place, we have the Maoist cultural revolution, which has mutated within its American host to become what we call wokeness. This term was derived from Paulo Freire’s concept of critical consciousness, further expanded by Herbert Marcuse, and filtered through the black radical lens of his student Angela Davis. “Consciousness,” for these scholars, means being “awake politically” or, in Davis’ case, “stay[ing] woke.” It has infected the universities, completed its long march through the institution and ultimately embedded itself in corporate leviathans (Disney included) through their HR departments. Maintaining that control is a simple matter of filtering out resistance by screening future hires for political alignment.

“Star Wars” and the larger Disney catalog represent the old order that must be destroyed to make way for the illusory utopian vision. Han Solo had to be unceremoniously run through by his bitter, malformed child of divorce. Luke had to become a basement-dwelling burnout, mocking the order that produced him with the effigy of Yoda’s force ghost nodding in approval as he initiates the book-burning session, a favorite Maoist activity. “Our lives and purposes were meaningless? Lol!” It was no longer a story of what could be in the timeless sense, but rather a reflection of who we have become after decades of chugging leftist narratives to the point of national kidney failure.

Kylo Ren and Luke act as a reflection of what the culture of resentment has turned generations of Western men into: brooding, underdeveloped adolescents who have failed to properly channel their aggression for the good of society. There are no more heroes. Heroes display masculinity, which we’re now told is universally toxic. Best leave it to the villain-identifying queer-theorist daughters of privilege with the shady résumé bullet of having been a monster’s henchman. 

All this to make way for Rey, the special Mary Sue, otherwise unremarkable (unlike Leia, Ahsoka Tano or Bo-Katan Kryze for that matter) who, based solely on her status as a woman, must be given a role in the story she didn’t really earn. That’s DEI for you.

Once this cultural revolution has been put down successfully, I see a future in which reclamation is possible. A future in which the sequel trilogy is scrubbed from the canon and reviled as what it always was: neo-Marxist propaganda.

There are already reasons for (a new) hope: The Acolyte has been review bombed on Rotten Tomatoes, currently rated at 26 percent by audiences, while the Tomatometer, an instrument that hates you, gives it a predictably glowing 91 percent. As a “Star Wars” fan for most of my life and an on-and-off subscriber to Disney+, I think we should spend less time and money on content made by people who hate us, want to make us uncomfortable, and want to make us cry … and focus our energy on supporting the actual resistance.

Brooks Crenshaw is a writer, columnist, and speaker who focuses primarily on philosophy, economics, and policy while serving as a manufacturing and technology consultant. With a background as a Naval Special Warfare intelligence professional and an economic advisor for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, he holds an MBA from Vanderbilt University.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.