Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Star Wars or USA 2005?

Caution: This post contains Revenge of the Sith spoilers.
I'm not a big enough fan of Star Wars and George Lucas to have any idea what his political leanings and hawk/dove status are, but there were many things in the new Star Wars movie which may have been hints (or may have just been products of my overactive imagination - what do you think?). Certainly there was much that made ME think of our world today. Quotes aren't exact, I'm sure, but are as close as I can remember.
1) Right before his duel with Obi-Wan, Anakin/Darth Vader says "You are either with us or against us" leaving no room for disagreement or gray area, compromise or creative thought. Sound familiar?
2) Conversation between Obi-Wan and another Jedi (Mace Windu?) about Anakin's apparent conversion to the dark side of the force: "When you see only in absolutes, you have joined the side of the Sith."
3) Senator Padme Amidala to Senator Organa, just after Chancellor Palpatine announces to the Senate that he is elevating himself to emperor and changing the republic to an empire: "So this is how democracy falls: with thunderous applause." The Senators, whose jobs were being eliminated, were among Palpatine's most vocal supporters.
4) One particularly striking line ("I have brought peace and justice") was spoken twice: first by Darth Sidius/Palpatine to Anakin/Darth Vader, and later by Anakin to Padme as he rationalized the murders - including those of children - which he had just committed. Instead of bringing peace and justice, however, what in fact had happened was takeover and mass murder. The war, which had been started by Palpatine himself, was ended because he, Darth Vader, and their clone troups had physically and brutally eliminated all dissent.
5) The showdown between Yoda and the new emperor took place in the deserted (and now presumably unneeded) Senate rotunda.
6) When asked by Padme whether he could really turn against Obi-Wan, Anakin responds that Obi-Wan and the other Jedi betrayed the Chancellor - the head of the republic - and that "My loyalty stays with the Republic". Immediately afterward, Anakin shows that his loyalty is not to the republic at all, because he doesn't bat an eye when his mentor dismantles the republic in order to name himself emperor.
7) Despite his claims that he was joining the Sith in order to save Padme, the second she disagreed with him Anakin began to use his power to choke the life out of her. This part reminded me of this administration's approach to women's rights to their bodies (professing to value life and to wish to protect women even as they take steps which endanger lives).
So - sci-fi fun, or political statement?


At 10:17 PM, Blogger Erin said...

We finally saw it, so now I know what you are talking about. I laughed at the line, "if you aren't with me..."

I got closure.

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