rocking republic

Love doesn’t lead to the Dark side. Passion can lead to rage and fear, and can be controlled… But passion is not the same thing as love. Controlling your passions while being in love, that’s what they should teach you to beware. But love itself will save you…not condemn you.
—  Jolee Bindo

Algy perched rather precariously on a sloping ledge beside a strange rock pool and peered into the murky depths. Today was a day of significant political activity in certain parts of what humans called the “western” world, and Algy was wondering what the outcomes might be. As he gazed at the tangled masses of seaweed overshadowed by hard, slippery rocks, he was reminded of a thought expressed by an ancient Greek human being, many, many years ago…

Until philosophers are kings, or the kings and princes of this world have the spirit and power of philosophy, and political greatness and wisdom meet in one, and those commoner natures who pursue either to the exclusion of the other are compelled to stand aside, cities will never have rest from their evils - nor the human race, as I believe - and then only will this our State have a possibility of life and behold the light of day.

[Algy is quoting from Book V of Plato’s The Republic, written around 360 B.C.]

Does anyone else get a lot of feels about Cassian as a child throwing rocks and bottles at Republic tanks and soldiers? His father peacefully protested the Republic’s militarism and look what they did to him. Can you imagine that angry, hurt child flinging rocks because he had nothing else, maybe delivering messages and carrying supplies for the Separatists because he could hide better in the rubble and was less suspicious than a grownup or older kid?

In our world children have been shot for throwing rocks at occupying forces. Did Cassian watch kids, kids he knew from his neighborhood being killed? Did he run away and hide, too scared to even cry, still clutching his rock and wishing it were a blaster, or a bomb?

By the time he was seven the Clone Wars ended and the Republic was replaced by the Empire. His enmity simply transferred to the Empire, a logical if extreme continuation of what the Republic had become.

Yet even in the Rebellion it was the Senators who called the shots, the Senators who told him to get blood on his hands, grinding him down to be harder and sharper until he hardly felt like a person. Even the name was cruel; the Allience to Restore the Republic. To restore what? Repression and destruction, children dying in the streets? The Senators promised things would be different this time, but that’s what they promised the first time around.

Did he think about taking up arms against the Republic, too, giving them more than rocks and bottles if the Alliance won and the demands of the downtrodden were not met? Did he think to live that long?

Perhaps his victory lay in this small, hard fact: The Senators might have had his life, but his death was his own. It wasn’t some Senator or General who told him to go to Scarif, he went against direct orders for the conscience he found still beating in him, for the wisp of a hope that he could protect other children from the fires of annihilation.

So Cassian Jeron Andor went to Scarif a free man, though freedom demanded an unfairly high price. He had known that already, though, from the moment his father’s lifeless body came home. Freedom was a mean, demanding bitch and he reached out and grasped her with both hands. He died in that embrace; it was all the choice he had in a broken universe.