Godwin Strikes Back
I’ve heard all the commentary about “Star Wars” as anti-Bush propaganda. I’ve even seen the MoveOn/”Star Wars” ad. (To imitate Democrats paraphrasing Buffy the Vampire Slayer: “MoveOn, I beg you not to help me!”)
But … lacking Michael Medved’s Judeo-psychic powers and not knowing Lucas’s own intentions when he wrote this story, I think the media/politicos are pulling a postmodern violation of Godwin. That is, they’re assuming a story that resembles the Third Reich is actually about Bush.
When the first of the new trilogy opened in 1999, I figured the political side of the plot was a Hitler allegory. To recap: Scheming Senator Palpaltine, who’s precipitated a crisis in the Galactic Republic, gets the Senate to vote him Chancellor with increased powers. This is kind of Hitler doggerel – Hitler was a nowhere politician until the economy crashed and his Nazis started winning the 2nd-greatest amount of seats in the Reichstag. Hitler cleverly picked his battles and manipulated the Reichstag until Kurt von Schleicher fucked up the governing coalition and Hindenberg gave Hitler the chancellorship. This is very well known, and it’s what I thought of when I saw “The Phantom Menace.”
The new movie’s political plot seems to mirror the Reichstag fire and the subsequent granting of Hitler’s dictatorial power. I mean, the Third Reich is automatically what I think of when I see an allegory about a bad guy taking over an empire. Dunno why everyone has agreed that now that allegory = Bush.