I realized this as I was discussing the film with my friends — the thing that impressed me both about the film was how it was able to seemingly embrace contradiction as part of its fiber. I feel that the writing, all that stuff about following instructions, not following instructions, valuing off-the-cuff creativity in one set of circumstances, and practiced training in another, giving the limelight to both individual rebellion and groupthink, primed me to accept divergences between the morals hinted by plot resolutions and those articulated and stressed by the character dialog. Most films aim for consistency and violate their own world morals to make plots go forward. Lord and Miller didn’t have to worry about violating precedents they set, because from the outset, one of their precedents was that precedents could be violated.
I now increasingly find a lot of the accusations of sexism leveled against the writing of the film to be increasingly worthy and sensible. Nonetheless, I feel that Lord and Miller’s writing should be celebrated for the rare achievement of making contradiction palatable, maybe even agreeable, within the framework of their fictional universe.