There’s a lot to love about Star Wars. The space battles. The cool laser swords. Princess Leia’s incomparable shit-talking ability. But one of the most overlooked aspects of why we all love Star Wars so damn much is how well-constructed the galaxy far, far away actually is. Over the course of the films, we don’t just get to know the main characters, we get to feel like we visited an entirely new culture that is filled with real-life superheroes, cities in the clouds, and badass aliens. Yet for all the credit George Lucas and his team deserve for creating such a rich and detailed universe, it also should be noted that there is some really weird shit going on that nobody seems to notice. Here are eight of the most disturbing realities of the Star Wars universe that you definitely won’t want to share with your kid.
Droids Are Slaves
The droids in Star Wars are nothing like the robots in our world. These aren’t just machines built to perform functions and provide convenience, they are living and feeling beings capable of all the emotions we feel. C-3PO’s constant nervousness is a constant source of comedic relief but it also means that he is afraid of pain, danger, and death, just like us. Except unlike humans and other galactic species, droids are incapable of disobeying order. Talk about an existential crisis.
They are denied access to bars just for being droids, forced to put their lives on the line for causes they never signed up for, and are seen as literal property to be bought and sold freely. They’re slaves and if the rebels had any real sense of right and wrong they would be fighting for droid liberation as well as their own. Some may note that humans are also slaves in the Star Wars Universe but the droid slavery is arguably more devious because they aren’t even acknowledged as slaves.
Jedi Are Dumb
The prequels are every bit as shitty as everyone remembers but hidden beneath the endless trade negotiations and Jar Jar hi-jinks is a fascinating and subtle revelation: The Jedi are kind of dumb. For supposedly being the most enlightened beings in the Universe, they sure seem to fuck up a lot. They see the Dark Side stirring in Anakin yet do next to nothing. They are unable to detect the fact that the Sith Lord is their coworker. Every step of the way, the Jedi make decisions that bring them one step closer to extinction.
There Is a Lot of Economic Inequality
Economic inequality is something every American is familiar with but it appears to be even more of a problem in the Star Wars universe than it is here. Basically, if you aren’t wealthy enough to own a planet (or at least the moon of a planet), you are a dirt-poor farmer struggling to afford enough droids to survive the next harvest. They also still have slavery, which means the wealthy are just allowed to get more wealthy while the poor are given little to no opportunity to escape their lives of poverty. The Last Jedi finally acknowledged this disparity with Rose’s disgust when she visits the absurdly lavish Canto Bight (the casino planet) but there’s still a lot of work to do if there can ever be true equality in the galaxy far, far away.
Grief Can Kill You
There’s a weird trend in Star Wars where nobody seems to be able to process grief. Leia has a front row seat to her entire planet getting blown up. Meanwhile her brother Luke watches the people who raised him (his Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru) and his mentor (Obi-Wan Kenobi) all killed by the Empire. Yet beyond a brief moment of sadness, they don’t really seem to process grief in a mature way. Why? The answer lies with their mother, Padme, who is arguably the only character to truly process her grief when Anakin turns to the Dark Side. And what happens to her? She literally loses her will to live. For these characters, moving past grief is not simply a matter of emotional stability, it’s a matter of life or death.
Star Wars pretends to be a universe where all creature can co-exist in harmony but the reality is if you’re not a human, you’re probably not getting the respect you deserve unless you become a Jedi Knight. Chewbacca has done every bit as much to protect the galaxy from evil as Han, Leia, or Luke, yet he isn’t allowed to receive a medal at the end of A New Hope. How is that fair? Meanwhile, Admiral Ackbar fought valiantly in the Clone Wars and eventually masterminded the successful attack on the second Death Star yet he’s regarded as little more than a glorified punchline.
Ewoks Eat People
This disturbing reality has already been covered extensively online but the fact remains that these tiny, adorable bears likely ate a bunch of Stormtroopers after the Battle of Endor. While it’s never explicitly stated, the clues are there. The first time we meet the Ewoks, they are about to burn Han alive. Then after the battle, we see them playing drums on Stormtrooper helmets. While it’s possible they may have just pulled them off dead Stormtroopers, it seems far more likely they used the helmets after the finished cooking and eating the heads they were originally on. There is even a moment in a Star Wars comic that hints at this theory, giving it further credibility.
Nobody Can Read
It might sound absurd but there is overwhelming evidence that most of the characters in the Star Wars Universe can’t read. As a culture, they tend to rely on visuals to understand concepts instead of having instructions written down. They also seem to favor oral storytelling over writing down important events, which may explain why nobody remembered Jedis less than 50 years after they were wiped out. They don’t have a written history because nobody can read it. This is strongly related to the vast income inequality in the Star Wars Universe, as it is unlikely that most people have access to any form of education. Instead, they are probably forced to learn a trade from a young age and the idea of reading never even occurred to them. Sad but true.