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17.5.05

I have to thank my friend Jennie who, knowing I'm a Star Wars dork (hey, I can admit it), sent me to this article about the parallels between The Revenge of the Sith and Dubya...Go check out the entire article. Interesting read.


The Empire Strikes Bush
By Dan Froomkin

"This is how liberty dies -- to thunderous applause."

So observes Queen Amidala of Naboo as the galactic senate grants dictator-to-be Palpatine sweeping new powers in his crusade against the Jedi in the final "Star Wars" movie opening this week.

It's just one of several lines in "Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith," that reveal the movie to be more than just a sci-fi blockbuster and gargantuan cultural phenomenon.

"Revenge of the Sith," it turns out, can also be seen as a cautionary tale for our time -- a blistering critique of the war in Iraq, a reminder of how democracies can give up their freedoms too easily, and an admonition about the seduction of good people by absolute power.

Some film critics suggest it could be the biggest anti-Bush blockbuster since "Fahrenheit 9/11."
New York Times * * *
gives "Sith" a rave, and notes that Lucas "grounds it in a cogent and (for the first time) comprehensible political context.

" 'Revenge of the Sith' is about how a republic dismantles its own democratic principles, about how politics becomes militarized, about how a Manichaean ideology undermines the rational exercise of power. Mr. Lucas is clearly jabbing his light saber in the direction of some real-world political leaders. At one point, Darth Vader, already deep in the thrall of the dark side and echoing the words of George W. Bush, hisses at Obi-Wan, 'If you're not with me, you're my enemy.' Obi-Wan's response is likely to surface as a bumper sticker during the next election campaign: 'Only a Sith thinks in absolutes.' "

* * *

It's been generating "murmurs at the parallels being drawn between Bush's administration and the birth of the space opera's evil Empire."

Filmmaker George Lucas * * * pointed out that certain themes do seem to repeat themselves, whether here and now or a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
Lucas * * * said he first wrote the framework of Star Wars in 1971 when reacting to then U.S. President Richard Nixon and the on-going events of the Vietnam War. But the story still has relevance today, he said, and is part of a pattern he has noticed in his readings of history.

" 'I didn't think it was going to get quite this close,' he said of the parallels between the Nixon era and the current Bush presidency, which has been sacrificing freedoms in the interests of national security. 'It is just one of those re-occurring things. I hope this doesn't come true in our country. Maybe the film will awaken people to the situation of how dangerous it is.' "

* * *

Lucas said he has long been interested in the transition from democracy to dictatorship.

"In ancient Rome, 'why did the senate, after killing Caesar, turn around and give the government to his nephew?' Lucas said. 'Why did France, after they got rid of the king and that whole system, turn around and give it to Napoleon? It's the same thing with Germany and Hitler.'

" 'You sort of see these recurring themes where a democracy turns itself into a dictatorship, and it always seems to happen kind of in the same way, with the same kinds of issues, and threats from the outside, needing more control. A democratic body, a senate, not being able to function properly because everybody's squabbling, there's corruption.' "
* * *
"Lucas said Darth Vader's saga is about how a good man turns himself into a bad one.
" 'Most of them think they're good people doing what they do for a good reason.' "
* * *

" 'It is a film about how easily (freedom) can disappear, how easily we can all be seduced into surrendering it while thinking we're having a good time,' he said. 'It chimes with the zeitgeist.'"
* * *

5 Comments:

  • At 2:16 PM, Blogger Matthew said…

    I *cough* linked to a similar article *cough* with the exact same quotes *cough* a few days ago *cough*

    Not to mention *cough* my post about this *cough* from last month *cough*

     
  • At 4:33 PM, Blogger Me said…

    I have been avoiding ALL Star Wars discussions (to avoid spoilers). Everything.

     
  • At 5:47 PM, Anonymous jennie said…

    I really did send her the link to this article yesterday. My dad sent it to me. I think he found it by actually reading the Washington Post.

     
  • At 11:07 PM, Blogger Gothamimage said…

    Never really got into Star Wars- fell asleeop in second grade when the first one came out- but maybe this worth a look.

     
  • At 7:56 PM, Blogger Me said…

    Fell asleep during Star Wars?! What?!?!

     

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