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The Radicalization of Luke Skywalker

We’ve seen Star Wars dissected this way and that, probed and evaluated and critiqued beyond measure. If you ascribe to the theory that the Galactic Empire was on the right side of history and the Rebel Alliance was a terrorist insurrection, then you won’t have trouble seeing how Luke Skywalker compares to a typical jihadi recruit. Aw, you won’t have trouble seeing it even if you don’t ascribe to that theory.  

When we first meet Luke Skywalker, he’s an orphaned farm boy with barely any friends, living with his Aunt and Uncle, and wanting to join the Galactic Academy like all the other guys his age. You see, Luke didn’t become a space terrorist overnight, but he did exhibit signs that would make him a prime candidate for terrorist recruiters. The process of radicalization, as described by Anthony Stahelski in the Journal of Homeland Security, notes terrorists tend to:

    Come from families where the father is absent (check)

    Have difficulty forming relationships outside the home (check)
    Be attracted to groups offering acceptance and comradeship (checkmate)

Luke is just the kind of isolated disaffected young man that terror recruiters seek out.

Ripe for the picking in Obi-Wan Kenobi’s plan! The Decider takes us through Luke’s radicalization over the three films of the original trilogy, and shows us how he was a textbook case. -via Digg

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