There is no more libertarian movie series than Star Wars. Each of the prequel films provides lessons on the dangers of growing government power. Then the original trilogy exemplifies the necessity of fighting against the tyranny of totalitarianism to restore the Republic.
The films are the perfect example of why we have to vigilantly watch our elected representatives and pay attention to politics. If we don’t, our very own Senator Palpatine may one day become Emperor Sidius and a Alliance to Restore the Republic will have to be formed.
That example shows what makes Star Wars the best libertarian movies. The films are literal illustrations of how representative government can become authoritarian, and how freedom loving rebels are needed to defeat an empire.
Statists Turn The Republic Into The Empire
What makes the Star Wars prequel movies libertarian is that they provide step-by-step guides of how tyranny can take hold. Each film shows step by step how a Republican form of government can grow to become unrecognizably tyrannical. It often begins with an unnecessary war that is used by politicians to scare the people into giving up their freedoms.
In the Star Wars movies it’s the war manufactured by Palpatine against the Trade Federation. The war could have been avoided if the Jedi were allowed to negotiate in the first film but that was stopped by Palpatine’s alter-ego Darth Sidius. Palpatine/Sidius then plays both sides of the war to grant himself more power all while pretending he is doing so to save the Republic and protect the people and their democracy. In the end Darth Sidius declares a Galactic Empire to ensure “a safe and secure society”.
In our own universe a recent example of this would be the War on Terror. While hunting down Bin Laden was a just response to 9/11, an abstract and never ending War on Terror was not. That lead to occupying two countries for years on end which only made us less safe. Those wars served their purpose though. They drummed up patriotism used to pass the Patriot Act and sell our children further into crushing debt. Politicians are continuously using 9/11 as propaganda to justify restricting our freedoms. The government has more power than ever before thanks to the War on Terror.
The Star Wars prequels are the perfect case study for libertarians watching our own government accrue more power at the expense of our Republic.
Libertarians Rebel Against The Empire
“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” – Thomas Jefferson
The original Star Wars trilogy is even more libertarian than the prequels because these films show the Empire can be defeated.
After the Galactic Empire has been declared in the end of the third prequel film an Alliance to Restore the Republic is formed. This is shorted to the Rebel Alliance during the original trilogy and composed of freedom fighters that believe in limited small government. They’re fighting to abolish the Empire and the Clone Army which will restore the Republic to its roots.
This mirrors the American colonists who rebelled against the British Empire to defend their natural rights from the tyranny of King George III. They had seen their rights as Englishmen abused and restricted over the years while government power grew. They rebelled against the Empire to start their own Republic wherein their voices would be heard and their rights protected.
Many of those lessons have been forgotten over the past two hundred years and the day draws near when a new Rebellion might be needed. As Thomas Jefferson says, these revolutions are needed from time to time and it’s been quite a long while since our last one. If the government continues its path towards an Empire a new Rebel Alliance will have to be formed in response.
Those two themes from the Star Wars movies prove they’re the most libertarian films ever. The original trilogy shows how quickly a Republic can turn into an Empire. An apathetic populace will blithely sit by while their rights are taken away under the guise of safety and security.
Thankfully, there are those that do care about freedom. They form the Rebellion, which is as natural a response to tyranny in the Galactic Empire just as the American Revolution was to the British Empire.
The only question is when another rebellion will be needed in response to the burgeoning American Empire. If that happens, hopefully the Star Wars movies will still be around to provide lessons for future libertarians.