Preface: I am aware that there are other threads that discuss the Jedi/Sith aspects of common knowledge in the Star Wars universe such as this one, this one and this one. My question is not about knowledge of the Jedi/Sith stuff as much as the “wars” of Star Wars itself. To me it seems as if the general population of the galaxy knows they are oppressed, but are not really aware there is an active war to end that oppression regardless of the “religious” aspect that seems to have started it all.
So the some of the trailers for the new film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens have a key scene where Han Solo states:
It’s true. All of it. The Dark Side. The Jedi. They’re real.
Okay, so I understand how the whole mystical concept of “The Force” might have been lost by the sands of time. But what about the rest of it? Objectively thinking of how the original trilogy was presented it seems everything was secretive or clandestine in many ways:
- Star Wars: The mission to recover the Death Star plans from the Rebels was carried out by one Star Destroyer lead by Darth Vader. When the idea the plans were jettisoned to Tatooine in an escape pod, Stormtroopers are sent to the planet, but everything is somewhat secretive. Even the massacre of the Jawas was done in a way to make it seem as if Tusken Raiders (aka: Sand People) carried out the attack. The rest of the film follows the same notes including the attack on Yavin moon that contained the secret rebel base.
- The Empire Strikes Back: Again, Darth Vader is hunting down Rebels and they are hiding on an ice planet seemingly as far away from everything as possible. The trip to see Yoda on Dagobah was not shared by Luke with anyone, and when Han Solo heads to Bespin, it’s to seek refuge. And heck, even Lando Calrissian brags about how his operation in Cloud City is small enough to not attract the attention of the Empire. So everything that happens there is known only to the parties involved it seems.
- Return of the Jedi: The rescue of Han Solo from Tatooine is yet another clandestine operation carried out by a small group of friends trying to save the life of a fellow friend. When Jabba dies and his ships are destroyed, who cares and who knows what happened outside of that group? Jabba’s just a huge crime lord and his death would not mean much to other criminals let alone raise an eyebrow by others. Then the whole Death Star II operation on Endor is yet again, a secret operation.
And there we go. It seems that everything that transpires in the the original trilogy are all special operations and “need to know” operations at best carried out by two opposing sides who might be fighting for larger power, but it’s not like—for example—a World War II struggle it seems. It all seems like small scale operations in a lager conflict much like action films such as The Guns of Navarone or Where Eagles Dare.
So in this context, what exactly did the “wars” in the Star Wars actually mean as far as awareness goes throughout the galaxy? My desire for “canon” extends into the modern definition of Star Wars canon which means Disney canon as well; no fan-fiction or wild guesses please.
Again, it seems the new series of films will you touch on how “legendary” yet not real these events seem to contemporary residents in the Star Wars universe goes. But is there an canonical material that explicitly states something like, “The war against the Empire was important, yet not directly known by most inhabitants in the galaxy/universe of Star Wars.”
PS: FWIW, this all seems odd to me because to my knowledge—in the context of our own conflicts on Earth—even in pre-Internet/pre-modern communication times, wars and conflicts were known or conveyed in some way to even the most menial people in society. You talk to someone about the Crusades, the Civil War or even World War I nowadays people at least know that some kind of war happened even if they do not know any specifics of the conflict. But in the Star Wars universe, average citizens seem fairly clueless despite having apparently better technology and communication methods.