Spoiler warning for “The Force Awakens”:
There’s a statistic I read years ago (and which I can’t find now, but which I’m pretty sure is accurate) that talked about the amount of money that goes into the training and experience of the highest-level military commanders. When you look at a general or an admiral and sum up the total cost of paying them for the long years they’ve spent in military service, plus the cost of the training and support that goes into creating a qualified, experienced, and effective top-level combat soldier, the number I read back in the day places it in the millions of dollars. The highest-grade military leaders represent a huge investment in military infrastructure, in other words, so that the loss of a high-ranking commander in action is a pretty big deal.
In reaction to The Force Awakens, some people are doing a lot of moaning about how Kylo Ren is this whiny, emo goth boy because of how he deals with his anger management issues by going all medieval on computer consoles and other equipment. Many of these people are unfavorably comparing Kylo Ren to Darth Vader, who by comparison is supposedly all cool and detached and malevolent, yo, like a villain should be. Except that in The Empire Strikes Back, Darth Vader deals with his own anger management issues by killing high-ranking Imperial officers every time they annoy or disappoint him — and it always seemed pretty clear to me that in Star Wars, Vader would have choked Admiral Motti to death if Tarkin hadn’t warned him off it, so it seems a safe bet that this is kind of Vader’s thing.
To me, destroying the most valuable human assets in your military — and presumably creating massive rank-upheaval and morale issues in the chain of command below those now-dead assets — seems much more of a petulant, emotionally unhinged act than doing an impromptu light-saber reno on an interrogation room. But clearly, I think about this shit way too much.