“So this is how liberty dies… with thunderous applause.”
– Padme Amidala, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
I am of the mind that the three Star Wars prequels were not remotely as good as the original trilogy. But Revenge of the Sith was definitely the best of them. In part, this is because of the manipulations of the Sith are finally reaching their culmination. As Palpatine declares himself an emperor in the name of “security and continuing stability,” his forces have been shooting the Jedi in the back, mowing down the Republic’s most stalwart defenders, burning their school and murdering even the children. The carnage is horrible, the destruction absolute, and atop their fresh, smoking corpses, the Sith take military control of the galaxy, with just a few more pretty words.
And as the Jedi, betrayed defenders of liberty, lie rotting in countless ditches, the Senate, governing body of the Republic, applauds the words of their new despot. They should be on their feet, shouting bloody murder, calling for entire populations of numberless worlds to rise up in defense of their freedom and justice for the murdered Jedi, but instead… they applaud. Thunderously. In unison.
The Sith failed to outright conquer the galaxy, so instead, they seduced it.
We often think the greatest evil is the force that comes bashing through our front door, trying to take what is ours by force. But far worse is the evil which pretends to be a friend, to be good, to be hope, slithering its way across our threshold, and slowly convinces us that we should just let them take what is ours.
The most devastating weapon of enslavement was never a sword or a gun or a bomb, but flattery and seduction.
Be wary of those who use such, for they are often vipers in disguise.