A long time from now, at a point far, far into the future, historians will look back at the current decade and might determine that rebellion—be it in Cairo’s streets or demonstrated by Russia’s renewed challenges to an order represented by NATO—characterized the period. The first half of the 2010s opened with the Arab Spring, intensified with China’s rankling at Western rules, escalated with the ascent of the Islamic State, and witnessed the people of the United Kingdom vote to exit the European Union. Whether one designates the players in this drama as either the Light or Dark side depends perhaps on where one stands, but regardless of where the line is drawn, it is safe to say that existing orders of all kinds and at all levels are being challenged.
Enter Cass R. Sunstein’s timely analysis of rebels and rebellions in his new book, The World According to Star Wars, to help make sense of today’s insurgent movements and rebellions against the status quo. In its entirety, the book covers a wide-range of topics, but its “episode” on rebellions is of special interest to those concerned with governance and global security. But first, zooming out for the sake of context, The World According to Star Wars could be read as a commentary on human culture and the power of artistic links that join all people. Star Wars is one of those connectors.