5.22.2005

Star Wars: Revenge of the Libs

[Don't worry -- no spoilers if you haven't seen it yet]

Much has been made of the political overtones in the new Star Wars movie. There are some pretty transparent anti-Bush comments, and Lucas has substantiated this view with his own comments about the movie and politics.

I do think that the "If you're not with me, you're my enemy" line and the accompanying "Only a Sith thinks in absolutes" were an intentional slap at Bush.

But it was a clumsy intentional slap at Bush, and didn't make sense in the context of the story.

In an earlier scene, Palpatine is trying to bring Anakin to the Dark Side. Anakin, as a Jedi would, thinks that the Dark Side is evil and he shouldn't go there. Palpatine says that the Jedis are too dogmatic and narrow-minded (sound like anyone to you?) and that, in order to understand the full potential of the Force, one must embrace all aspects of it in order to achieve balance*, sounding very much like a modern-day "Understand why the terrorists are mad at us, don't think they are evil," liberal.

This view, with the Jedi cast as absolutists in the service of good and the Sith as moral relativists, makes a lot more sense and is consistent with the rest of the series. But Lucas obviously didn't want to make a film that looked favorably on Bush. So he threw in the ham-handed switcheroo line, which makes absolutely no sense but is a feel-good slap at Bush.

Overall, though, not a bad movie. This morning I've been singing Weird Al's "Yoda" to myself.

UPDATE: I had missed this earlier Chrenkoff smack-down of Lucas. Chrenkoff, who grew up behind the Iron Curtain, has a different view of who the Empire represents.


*This characterization of Palpatine's comments is borrowed from uncanny strange dejavu, who more eloquently recalled the gist of the comments than I could have.

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