Corporations are Great: Star Wars, Disney and all the great things that come from making money

I personally love corporations, even though most of them function as socialist organizations. And it is difficult for a company like Disney to be creative as a result, as opposed to the early days when Walt Disney guided a much more capitalist enterprise. All large corporations have the same trouble when they become more socialist than capitalist for a lot of reasons which I am covering in my upcoming book, The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business. But I couldn’t help but notice that the Star Wars problem and overall fan reaction to the new Black Spire Outpost in Disney World has an anti-corporation bias which goes completely against the nature of what many Star Wars fans stand for. Reading recently the Black Spire Outpost novel about the new Star Wars land the situation was obvious for which we see muddled in most of our understandings of corporate culture and everyone gets it wrong.

In the new version of Star Wars, the post Disney purchase, which I think they have gotten wrong, but more because of their own cultural limits than out of maliciousness the various factions of population are the Resistance, which many liberals directly attribute to our contemporary president of Donald Trump. The First Order, which is an authoritarian regime of micro controlling government which Tea Party types would associate with the Progressive Movement. Then there are the scum and villainy—the smugglers and bounty hunters who live outside the law always running from the law as space bound pirates roaming about freely, but often without a sense of family or home. I personally relate to this last faction, but in all three I see a kind of infantile understanding of human existence, however compared to other art forms, its much more sophisticated than any other entertainment option. For instance, I think the prequal films, especially Revenge of the Sith is a very sophisticated examination into how government can be a good entity one day, then the enemy of the people on the very next.

The problem Disney has is that they try to appeal to all the leftist types, the transgenders, the feminists, the socialist Democrats which all corporations can relate to, so to disguise their need to make money—which is the goal of all corporations. The problem is the dysfunctional relationship that corporations have with appeasement politics so that they can earn the right to do what they do, and that is to be a profit driven enterprise. The Disney problem with Star Wars is the same one that George Lucas could never deal with, that was to use the great money generated off of Star Wars and its merchandise to continue expanding the ability to create great mythology, because it takes money to tell these stories. So there is nothing shameful about turning a profit even though Disney and now Star Wars seems ashamed of it.

Out of those three factions the stories never deal with people’s need to make a living. The members of the Resistance don’t have jobs, they are given shelter and camaraderie for their efforts in fighting for the cause, but they aren’t out building families, buying starships or buying property. And that is the same for the First Order and the Empire that came before them. The members of the order are corporate in their design, but the individuals aren’t interested in buying houses and using their finances to gain prestige in the greater society. It is among the bounty hunters and smugglers that we can most relate because they are concerned about personal gain, which says a lot about a science fiction story because at least there is room for such contemplations.

In that way the Black Spire Outpost built by Disney is unique because the Resistance and First Order are present, but the town belongs to the pirates, criminals and smugglers who really make that galaxy an interesting place to visit. That’s interesting because even as a massive corporation who is out to make a lot of profit, and deserve to, Disney understands that at the heart of Star Wars is the every day people just trying to make a few bucks so they can live in the universe and if that is the baseline of understanding, then we can all build off it toward a mythic masterpiece that can mean a great deal to the customers.

In the book The Black Spire Outpost I enjoyed the corporate namedropping of all the things that can be done in the actual Disney Park, the names of the drinks you could buy in the cantina, the clothes and other souvenirs. There is nothing wrong with Disney selling merchandise and wanting to make money. The problem is, Disney has allowed for their own shaming by trying to appeal to leftist anti-capitalist groups to prove that they aren’t bad people, like many corporations are pushed into liberal causes to show that they aren’t big mean capitalists. However at the heart of what consumers want is those very traits and if the bottom line is so important, then Disney and all corporations should embrace capitalism publicly, and not hide their real desires behind masks of socialism. Its OK to want to make a profit and people don’t mind paying. But where the fears of corporate Disney ruining Star Wars reside is the real fear is in losing what the stories really meant to people. Nobody is interested in a bunch of altruistic self sacrificers. They want characters who are driven by the same needs they are in real life.

Only Disney and the incredible amount of money they can make could have built something like a real Black Spire Outpost and if it wasn’t profitable, they couldn’t do it. So for the benefit of everyone, we all need to drop the socialist perspective, which the Resistance certain is and the First Order and just admit that Star Wars as a property is all about making money then reinvesting that money into something good, like expanding the myth. Disney shouldn’t be shy about that and neither should their fans. I was talking to a person the other day who spent $800 in the Oga’s Cantina, which I understand completely. I mean where else could you sit down and have some exotic drinks to play Sabacc with the Millennium Falcon parked right outside? It takes money to build all that stuff and to maintain that reality to enjoy leisurely. If not for all the money that the Disney corporation has made, nothing at the Black Spire would be possible.

Corporations are not evil, making money is not wrong. But trying to adopt socialist ideas in the products that the corporation produces is bad because its not honest. And that’s when Disney gets scrutinized by its own fan base who have been told that the Resistance is all about being altruistic yet the company itself wants to make all the money it can. Well, yes, of course they are. We have allowed our society to criticize the very thing we enjoy most, we like to make money and we like to see companies become wealthy so they can create things we ultimately enjoy. The ideas of the Resistance and the First Order are not completely fleshed out ideas, but in the aspects of Star Wars that has received some of the best attention are the parts that involve the them of the Black Spire Outpost and that is a good sign for the future not just of Star Wars and Disney, but for corporations in general.

Rich Hoffman
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