Breaking Bad: Star Wars Allegory

I read an interview today with Breaking Bad creator and mastermind Vince Gilligan where Gilligan talked about trying to re-make Star Wars in his basement with his brother, and I immediately contrived a Breaking BadStar Wars saga allegory that will sum up the remainder of the show’s run in a general way. Indulge me.

It’s no secret that Walt has become a father-figure to Jesse, and now that Gus can no longer attempt to divide and conquer them, it seems that this element of Breaking Bad’s plot will be what the remainder of the show is about.

Here’s where the allegory comes in: Walter White is an Anakin Skywalker who has now fully become Darth Vader. Now that Walt has moved from anti-hero to full-fledged villain, the only huge question that remains is what will happen to the conflicted, tortured hero, Jesse Pinkman, who still has a sound moral compass that is occasionally put askew (in a way that evokes Huck Finn) by his pseudo-familial loyalty to Walt as a father figure. Will Jesse completely turn to the dark side and lose all sense of moral direction? Will he be strong enough to simultaneously save and destroy father-figure Walt as Luke Skywalker did Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader in the Star Wars saga? (I am certainly in favor of the former, as it is rare for any show to completely plumb the depths of despair for its resolution. This kind of series ending would push the show into uncharted dramatic terrain.)

It should also not be forgotten that Mike, Gus’s main muscle and fixer, spent much of the season as a second father-figure for Jesse, building up his confidence as part of Gus’s plan to divide Jesse and Walt in order to eliminate Walt. Mike certainly built up Jesse’s confidence, not unlike Obi Wan Kenobi or Yoda in Star Wars, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Mike resurfaces in this sage-like, fatherly capacity in the coming seasons (Too, I wouldn’t be surprised if Walt needs to and does succeed in killing Mike off, which could undo his connection with Jesse as much as the Lily of the Valley plant at Walt’s condo).

I’m sure I could extend this allegory further. Is Hank like Han Solo? Is the US government, the DEA, the IRS (Ted Beneke thread), or the multinational parent corporation that owns Los Pollos Hermanos akin to the Empire? The writers have certainly left themselves with a great many ambiguities as the show moves forward. And it is certainly fun to speculate about these ambiguities and create wild allegories about how Breaking Bad will end.

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