As we've come to discover with the unsung heroes in our own lives, the Star Wars ice fox is likely to play a role greater than initially believed.
“If we can make it to the ground,
we’ll take the next chance.
And the next.
On and on until we win…
or the chances are spent.”
– Jyn Erso, Rogue One
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, a group of rebel warriors led the first victory against “the evil Galactic Empire,” jettisoning the plans for the Death Star – and thereby the fatal flaw within the design – to fellow Alliance members.
The plans were critical to the destruction of the Death Star, and the heroic acts depicted by those brave soldiers in Rogue One delivered hope – quite literally – as seen in the clip below:
Lately the world seems short on hope – with good reason. Between COVID, climate change, wars, social justice issues, global government turmoil and economic woes, etc., a world that’s supposed to be more connected than ever often feels like it’s drifting further and further apart.
“What chance do we have? The question is what choice?” Run, hide, plead for mercy, scatter your forces. You give way to an enemy this evil with this much power and you condemn the galaxy to an eternity of submission.”– Jyn Erso, Rogue One
Leadership requires bravery, and bravery generally reduces chances of survival
In a time where we could use more actual leadership, selflessness, and bravery, we appear to be caught up in cycles of finger-pointing, committees, and upholding of systemic status quo rather than focusing on what could – and should – be for the generations who follow us.
Believing victory against the Empire wasn’t possible, the Alliance Council in Rogue One refused to act on proposed plans to steal the Death Star plans, so Jyn Erso rallied a small group of rebels to do it instead.
Rogue One was my favorite Star Wars film for many reasons, but the most compelling: It depicted the reality of fighting for the causes you believe in, including the final scene as the remaining characters die after incurring the wrath of their enemy – for heroism and bravery generally reduce continued chances of survival.
Perhaps this is why we see fewer true leaders today – the act of talking about leadership is far less daunting than making tough calls or self-sacrifice.
It’s one thing to love a film or narrative about such things; it’s entirely another to live like you believe in more than yourself and your own survival.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, the internet didn't exist. Today, we've got Star Wars email replies to help navigate corporate galaxies.
“That is a bad idea. I think so, and so does Cassian. What do I know? My specialty is just strategic analysis.” – K2SO, Rogue One
When data, science, and facts aren’t our guiding light, how do we illuminate the path for the future?
Despite having nearly infinite knowledge available at our fingertips, society seems to be less wise for it. Over the last few years, we’ve seen experts and scientists ignored repeatedly – on multiple critical topics – as facts appear to matter less than opinions.
As earth teeters upon an environmental precipice, it’s become critical that enterprises step up to mind the gap where governments haven’t been able to drive progress. Today climate change is a top concern among the younger generations who will inherit – for better or worse – the world we leave behind. Bold actions and course-correction are required today if we’ve any hope of saving tomorrow.
The Rise of Skywalker promises to be the end of the Skywalker saga. For the generations who grew up on Star Wars, it also means considering our own legacies.
“So this is how liberty dies . . . with thunderous applause.” – Padme Amidala, Episode III: Revenge of Sith
From democracy to dictatorship: How many times will history repeat?
Before filming the prequil trilogy series, Star Wars writer and director George Lucas delved into political science and history to get a better understanding of how democracies fall to become dictatorships.
He noted, “You sort of see these recurring themes where a democracy turns itself into a dictatorship, and it always seems to happen kind of in the same way, with the same kinds of issues, and threats from the outside, needing more control.” The issue that leads to the downfall is “a democratic body, a senate, not being able to function properly because everybody’s squabbling.”
Our reality today aligns with the themes Lucas portrayed in his films: Around the world, we’re witnessing egregious acts to de-stabilize democracies and strip away the fundamental rights of citizens within those countries.
As leaders assign decisions to committees and engage in partisan fighting, the lives of those they were meant to govern hang perilously in what remains of the balance.
From a historical perspective, these moments are parallel to real-life rebellions being born – despite knowing this, progress feels paralyzed.
“Save the dream!”–Saw Gerrera, Rogue One
May the 4th quotes on leadership, wisdom, and hope
Another common theme among Star Wars: how a small group of selfless, dedicated people can alter the destiny of so many and overcome odds that seemed insurmountable.
Following are some of the best Star Wars quotes that inspire leadership, deliver wisdom, and spark hope:
- “The First Order wins by making people think they are alone. We’re not alone. Good people will fight if we lead them.” Poe Dameron, The Rise of Skywalker
- “We’re going to win this war not by fighting what we hate, but saving what we love.” Rose Tico, The Last Jedi
- “My father made a choice. He sacrificed himself for the Rebellion.” Jyn Erso, Rogue One
- “Who’s the more foolish; the fool, or the fool who follows him?” Obi-Wan Kenobi, Episode IV: A New Hope
- “Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.” Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
- “We are the very last of the Resistance. But we are not alone. In every corner of the galaxy, people know our symbol and put their hope in it. We are the spark, that’ll light the fire, that will restore the Republic. The spark is that the Resistance must survive. That is our mission. Now go back to your stations… and may the force be with us.” Admiral Holdo, The Last Jedi
- “Hope is like the sun. If you only believe it when you see it you’ll never make it through the night.” Leia Organa, The Last Jedi
- “I couldn’t face myself if I gave up now.” Cassian Andor, Rogue One
- “Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1.
Never tell me the odds.” C-3PO and Han Solo, The Empire Strikes Back
- “Why are you helping me?”
“Because it’s the right thing to do.” Poe Dameron + Finn, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens
- “Every time I walked away from something I wanted to forget, I told myself it was for a cause that I believed in. A cause that was worth it. Without that, we’re lost.” Cassian Andor, Rogue One
“What is it they’ve sent us?”
Captain Raymus Antilles and Princess Leia, Rogue One
As ever, may the Force be with you.