Rebellion is defined as “open resistance against established authority.” In the Star Wars universe, of which the film “Rogue One” is now a part, rebellion is depicted as small groups of stalwart heroes engaging in blaster battles and space dogfights against forces of the evil Galactic Empire. But military action is just one part of what a rebellion has to do in order to survive and prosper. Propaganda persuaded the people to join the rebellion. Is an integral part of succeeding against a tyrannical regime.

In the context of the American Revolution, the printed pamphlets by such luminaries as Thomas Paine were as important as the heroic actions of George Washington and his Continental Army. In World War II, the radio was an important tool for keeping the fires of resistance burning in Nazi-occupied Europe. Radio and television broadcasts were also an important tool for stirring up resistance to the Soviet Union during the Cold War. In the modern era social media has been a tool to spread the message by such rebel groups as the Tea Party and, on the opposite side of the political spectrum, the Occupy movement.

So, where is the “Voice of the Rebellion” in the Star Wars movies? At the very least, the rebels need to explain their actions to the populace of the Galactic Empire, encouraging support for the rebellion. But in the movies and the various TV shows, rebels seem to join up on their own, without prompting from a media operation. Not only is there not, so far as can be determined, a media service as part of the Rebel Alliance, but no one has even gone so far as to spray paint “Darth Vader molests Ewoks” on the side of an Imperial Walker.

Of course, from a cinematic point of view, depicting people engaged in gun battles with Imperial storm troopers is easier than other people dropping messages on Imperialpedia, breaking into the Imperial News Network to broadcast the truth about the Massacre of Alderaan, or posting photo shopped pictures of the Emperor performing an unnatural act with Jabba the Hut. Maybe, though, a stand alone film about the Rebel Alliance’s media unit could be made. How about it, Lucasfilm?

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