Are We The Bad Guys?

Maj. Gen. DeAnna Burt, Combined Force Space Component Command commander, is sworn in to the U.S. Space Force by Second Lt. Wellington Brookins, a U.S. Space Force officer assigned to the 533rd Training Squadron, during an International Space Day celebration May 7, 2021, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The lunchtime event for CSpOC and Combined Force Space Component Command (CFSCC) personnel included opening remarks from CSpOC/Space Delta 5 commander Col. Monique DeLauter, a rocket design and launch competition, and a cornhole tournament, followed by a brief transfer-of-service ceremony for the CFSCC commander Maj. Gen. DeAnna Burt.
Maj. Gen. DeAnna Burt, Combined Force Space Component Command commander, is sworn in to the U.S. Space Force by Second Lt. Wellington Brookins, a U.S. Space Force officer assigned to the 533rd Training Squadron, during an International Space Day celebration May 7, 2021, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The lunchtime event for CSpOC and Combined Force Space Component Command (CFSCC) personnel included opening remarks from CSpOC/Space Delta 5 commander Col. Monique DeLauter, a rocket design and launch competition, and a cornhole tournament, followed by a brief transfer-of-service ceremony for the CFSCC commander Maj. Gen. DeAnna Burt.
Photo: U.S. Space Force photo by Michael Peterson

Normally, when a new Major General is sworn in it is a solemn, dignified affair. When Maj. Gen. DeAnna Burt was sworn in to the U.S. Space Force last month at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, it involved folks dressed as Stormtroopers. I thought what many of you are probably thinking: Wait a minute, Stormtroopers? Are we, in fact, the baddies?

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It wasn’t just Stormtroopers at the May 7 event held in celebration of International Space Day (missed an opportunity by not having it on May 4), according to Task And Purpose:

Case in point: Maj. Gen. DeAnna Burt was recently sworn in to the Space Force in a ceremony attended by cosplayers who were dressed as Imperial Stormtroopers, an Imperial Guard, Boba Fett, and Darth Vader, according to pictures of the May 7 event at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

None of the aforementioned Star Wars characters can be described as “good guys,” with the possible exception of Darth Vader, whose commitment to increasing lethality is legendary. (In the end, he too was a casualty of the Empire’s failed counterinsurgency strategy.)

[...]

U.S. Space Force spokesman Mike Pierson explained that the Star Wars reenactors were volunteers from the local community who were helping to celebrate International Space Day at the Combined Space Operations Center.

Calling cosplayers “reenactors” takes the whole thing a bit too far. What historical event were they meant to be recreating? The time the U.S. government got together with the Empire to crush the rebel scum? The time we nuked Alderaan?

Vadar I get (kinda), but Fett is just a bounty hunter and always struck me as an amoral character looking out for himself. Definite space pirate vibe. America has a long history trying to kill pirates, so I don’t know how this fits in exactly.

Sure, these are the most immediately recognizable characters from the franchise, at least of the ones who aren’t wearing cinnamon buns on their heads. I suppose if you had some good guys from the Star Wars films in there, it wouldn’t immediately track. These are U.S. soldiers, not egg-head Jedis. Nor are they rabble in mismatched uniforms fighting against a fascist state. But if Space Force doesn’t even identify with any of the good guys ... that makes them, at the very least, not the good guys, right? And if we’re meant to take Space Force seriously as a military branch, why were they there at all?

This is by no means a dig at Burt, who has an incredibly impressive resume with a long list of decorations, education and service during her time in the U.S. Air Force. She could most likely crush my head like a peanut with her bicep while reciting quadratic formulas. I bet she dominated the cornhole tournament held after the swearing in.

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Honestly, can we just get rid of the Space Force altogether and go for more of a Starfleet vibe? Less war, more exploration, like NASA but with slimming jumpsuits and diplomats instead of generals. The logo already looks like it is straight off of the communicator badges and uniforms from Star Trek. Hell, start a real Starfleet and Jason Torchinsky and I would be first in line to serve our country.

Managing Editor of Jalopnik.

DISCUSSION

meanwhileinpdx
TheManBearPigRoams

The Empire was unequivocally the force of good in the galaxy. They brought structure, stability, open trade and services. Sure, Palpatine was a shitbag, but the bureaucracy under him seemed way more interested in galactic stability and administration than anything particularly evil.

The Rebels on the other hand were a group of idiotic Monarchists with no real plan on how to govern. At best, they were naive revolutionaries - at worst they were a group of self interested terrorists.