May 15, 2005

Star Wars and Politics

All my nerdy addictions in one post. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has noticed the politics of the new Star Wars movies. Its very clear that Chancellor Palpatine has engineered both sides of the Clones Wars to end the Republic and make himself Emperor. This is like the darkest nightmare liberal version of the Bush administration. I think I first saw Bush=Palpatine in BoonDocks after Episode 2 came out. The AP is now noticing:

Cannes audiences made blunt comparisons between "Revenge of the Sith" the story of Anakin Skywalker's fall to the dark side and the rise of an emperor through warmongering to President Bush's war on terrorism and the invasion of Iraq.

Two lines from the movie especially resonated:

This is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause," bemoans Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman) as the galactic Senate cheers dictator-in-waiting Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) while he announces a crusade against the Jedi.

"If you're not with me, then you're my enemy," Hayden Christensen's Anakin soon to become villain Darth Vader tells former mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor). The line echoes Bush's international ultimatum after the Sept. 11 attacks, "Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.

Pretty strong stuff for a pop culture icon, eh?


Tyler said...

People read into things too much....Keep in mind Lucas wrote the Star Wars movies in the late 60s and early 70s. So if you're looking for political or foreign policy parallels, get out a history book!

Chris said...

That's right! People keep trying to draw a parallel between [Star Wars] and Vietnam, but frankly I just don't see it. I mean being falsely lead into a war that costs of thousands of lives, and divides a great empire. I cannot think of anything at all to which such a parallel applies.

Wait a minute... No, I got nothing.

Laura said...

So, what you are saying, Tyler, is that it is impossible for a movie, written ages ago, to have any similarities to our current reality.

But, hey don't these things go through tons of rewrites...even during the course of shooting and editing?

Beyond that, however, is Chris's phenomenal sarcasm. Certainly one can draw certain conclusions between the Vietnam war and the first movies, and let's face it, Iraq is a slightly less spectacular failure than Vietnam.

And Craig's spectacularly chosen (if stolen from elsewhere) line's could certainly refer to what's going on in the world today.

So, in this case, I'm going to have to go ahead and disagree with you, Tyler and say that maybe this isn't a case of other people reading too much into something, that maybe it's a case of you not wanting to look behind the glossy, pretty surface to what may well be the actual content below.