Today’s annotation is by Robert:
There are occasional calls in the Star Wars fandom for gritty, realistic stories on the side of the Empire – often phrased as “Band of Brothers with Stormtroopers” – and Battlefront 2: Galactic Boogaloo seems to be a response to that.
But Star Wars is not the real world, and nor should it ever be. Star Wars is not about what things are, but what things mean. In-universe, Stormtroopers wear those helmets for head protection, but that is not the true reason: the Stormtroopers wear those helmets because they have thrown their souls away. They serve a distant, uncaring power that has made them into the cogs of a vast, grinding, endlessly-consuming machine; they are literally and figuratively faceless. They are people who have seen the Empire, with all its oppression and cruelty, and have chosen to support it. They have chosen to give up their own freedom for the security of the powerful, and they have chosen to hurt other people in service to evil. The Stormtroopers aren’t Easy Company; they’re kind of the other guys.
The solution for such types, then, is to make Star Wars ‘realistic’ – less luminous beings, more crude matter. If there’s no underlying cause of all life that joins people together, and no criticism of those who ignore that bond for their own petty reasons, then you can dive right into the gritty militarism and not give a damn about anything else. Other people are grist for the mill of death, war is a political hobby for armchair hawks to screech over, and the Death Star is just another really big gun. ‘Every choice is bad, so it doesn’t matter what side you’re on, as long as you get to hold yourself above everybody else’.
Maybe Battlefront 2 won’t be all that bad. But the problem remains. And I don’t see it going away.