… they first make mad, or so goes the popular version of a concept which goes back to the ancient Greeks. They who are on that irrevocable final spiral towards destruction do seem addicted to self-destructive or at least counter-productive behavior – either of the personal or institutional sort. I can’t help wondering if the powers-that-be at Lucasfilm/Disney are entering that death spiral, what with firing Gina Carano from the cast of The Mandalorian for … well, nothing much more than pointing out that the Nazi genocide of Jews started with a program of determined “otherization.” Ms Carano merely drew a parallel which has occurred to many another so-called “Deplorable”, and it certainly has not escaped attention of sharper observers than myself that a chorus of so-called tolerant progressives have been clamoring for the punishment and erasure of Republicans, conservatives, Trump supporters and flyover rural residents, ever louder and with increasing urgency of late. Why she should be singled out for cancellation for pointing out the obvious parallel, other than being in a notoriously prog-sympathetic profession?

Well, probably for that reason alone. She played a popular leading character with a lot of fans, in a show which may be one of the most interesting and most-watched series that Disney through Lucasfilm has produced of late. She refused to play the “woke” game, even mocked it on social media, and there is nothing the orthodox despise more than a stubborn and unrepentant heretic. Lucasfilm’s official statement on her firing contained the phrase: “… her social media posts denigrating people based on their culture and religious identities are abhorrent and unacceptable…” A statement which rather begs the question of exactly whose’ culture and religious identities were being denigrated here and suggests that whoever generated that ass-covering bit of corporate boilerplate was as on-target as the white-armored Star Wars stormtrooper shock troops customarily are. Three cheers for corporate culture traditions.

As for the present downward spiral in the Star Wars concession and by extension, that of the Disney brand; it’s a bit sad, in my estimation. When I was growing up and well into my 20ies, Disney was the exemplar of wholesome (even sickly-sweet) family entertainment, where nothing in any of their genre movies, animated or live-action, would turn a hair on the head of the most hide-bound traditionalist in flyover country. That was their schtick – wholesome, traditional, patriotic, and ordinary. Not so much of that vibe in evidence of late, looking at some of the very public meltdowns of former Disney child stars. Something rotten in the Kingdom of Mouse, one might suspect, regarding it all from the far distant outside.

As for Lucasfilm – here we have one of the most dazzling, profitable, and interesting-to-fans movie series franchises ever … and it shriveled into nothing much over the subsequent years since the original trilogy took the world by storm. The second trilogy had some life breathed into it by heroic efforts in media artificial resuscitation and the fond memories of fans who remembered the first trilogy, but now I suspect that the Mandalorian was the last hurrah; Star Wars by Disney might just prove to be a dead franchise walking. Discuss as you wish.

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