WWII as the peak of the age of heroic warfare

The warfare in the world of Star Wars, excepting the whole Jedi-swordplay stuff, maps closely onto WWII-era warfare.

Star Destroyers -> Aircraft carriers

Frigates -> Battleships and auxiliary ships for the aircraft carriers

TIE Fighters ect. -> Piloted aircraft

Death Star -> Maybe the Manhattan project?

Despite having seemingly human-like robots, it never occurs to any of the combatants to have them piloting the fighters,(though they do exist to support the human pilots for some reason) nor does it occur to anyone to have them be piloted remotely.(Though in the prequels the ships were piloted by droids, it never occurs to any of the other factions to employ robot fighters) The Death Star has a massive laser, but it doesn’t occur to anybody to use a (much smaller) massive laser to poke holes in enemy capital ships. And like most science fiction warfare where you can go FTL, it never occurs to anybody to us this to create a kinetic weapon, though perhaps “hyperspace” only allows you to exit at close to zero velocity.

Thinking about how WWIII would go down today, WWII era warfare was probably the peak of the heroic age of warfare, where one man in an airplane can drop the bomb on the aircraft carrier which wins the battle which wins the war. It was mechanized warfare but the machines were always under the direct control of a human. If you were killed by a tank you’d know that there were men inside the tank aiming it, reloading it, driving it around. If you were killed by a bomb dropped from an airplane you’d know that it was piloted by a human, with a human looking through the bombsite, pulling the lever. If you were killed by artillery it was a little different as the man who fired it might be miles away and not visible to you, still, you’d know he was in the battle area and might reasonably be able to visit the area he shelled if the battle went the right away. Contrast that with the experience of a crew in a submarine, living in this artificial environment under water, arming an ICBM whose target they would never see. That’s harder to make a heroic movie about. On land there’d be more human-to-human gunfights and tank battles and encircling cities and all that, but the soldiers would fight with the thought in the back of their minds that it could all be for naught if a tactical nuke was headed their way. You’d have drone warfare where two guys are sitting in rooms, piloting a drone or debugging the program which autopilots the drone. In WWII you had radar, but radar told you that there was a machine containing a human heading toward you. In drone-drone warfare, you’d be staring at the GUI of one machine to remotely control another machine in order to bring down another machine. Much more impersonal and less heroic. So I don’t think the parallels with WWII were just a matter of lack of imagination.

One thought on “WWII as the peak of the age of heroic warfare

  1. Pingback: Конец эпохи героических войн, ненужные кинозалы и лучший фильм десятилетия - mogilev.net

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