Sunday, May 15, 2005

Star Wars Our War

"When I wrote it, Iraq didn't exist," Lucas said, laughing. "We were just funding Saddam Hussein and giving him weapons of mass destruction. We didn't think of him as an enemy at that time. We were going after Iran and using him as our surrogate, just as we were doing in Vietnam. ...The parallels between what we did in Vietnam and what we're doing in Iraq now are unbelievable."—George Lucas at the Cannes Film Festival

The audiences at Cannes are comparing the themes and plot of the final Star Wars film to current political events and the US occupation of Iraq. Two lines from the movie are significant:

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."

We’ll soon all be able to draw our own conclusions. It is a refreshing thought that the creator of the number one pop-culture mythology of the twentieth century also might engender some serious reflection among younger viewers of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith about what course this country is on.

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