The Last Jedi and Communication

So on my Facebook feed a friend of mine was positing that the latest Star Wars movie, The Last Jedi, could easily be a treatise/commentary on the failure of how men tend to think and act versus how women tend to think and act.

(Yes, I said tend to. I don’t mean to generalize. I am also being lazy and sticking with typical male/female pronouns. I’m not trying to disrespect anyone here.)

The basic idea is this: during the movie, male characters like Poe and Skywalker seem to act impulsively, and with their own self-interests in mind. Poe wants to blow things up. Skywalker wants to crawl into a hole and die. Neither, at the beginning, see that sometimes, you have to think beyond yourself.

It’s a great argument, and a great point of view. One of the reasons I like the latest Star Wars movies is because they have such strong female characters. Check that. They have strong characters, some of whom appear to identify as female. My opinion on this matters not one little bit, but I still think it is fantastic.

But I’m not writing to lend weight for or against this particular viewing of the movie. Rather, I wanted to capture another thought, which came while I was discussing the first one.

The Last Jedi could really be an interesting comparison of rigid, top-down, proprietary organization structures versus fluid, open-source communities. Consider the First Order. It is led by the Supreme Leader. He holds the vision, and he alone sees the big picture. The people he attracts are those who do not want to think for themselves, who want to be told what to do. (Kylo Ren is a possible exception here.)

These traits are similar to the classic top-down communication structure found in older technology companies. One person has the vision. Everyone else is supposed to execute on that vision. The vision is not to be questioned.

Now look at the Resistance. It is organic. (Maybe it gets that from it’s nominal leader, Leia. Organa = organic? Ha! I amuse myself so.) Low-level captains can argue with Vice Admirals. Individual rebels can take on a mission without asking anyone else’s help. It is chaotic, crazy, and often at the brink of failure. Yet it is also has the potential to be inspirational, awe-inspiring and world (okay, galaxy) changing. Just like more modern technology companies, where the individuals make the call, not someone sitting in an ivory tower or massive Star Destroyer.

Dunno. I should probably spend more time thinking on this. Or maybe I’ve spent enough.