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Related Categories: U.S. | Anti-War
New 'Star Wars' Film - "This is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause"
by repost
Wednesday May 18th, 2005 8:45 AM
"The parallels between what we did in Vietnam and what we're doing in Iraq now are unbelievable." - George Lucas
Published on Tuesday, May 17, 2005 by the Associated Press
'Star Wars' Raises Questions on US Policy
by David Germain

Without Michael Moore and "Fahrenheit 9/11" at the Cannes Film Festival this time, it was left to George Lucas and "Star Wars" to pique European ire over the state of world relations and the United States' role in it.

Lucas' themes of democracy on the skids and a ruler preaching war to preserve the peace predate "Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith" by almost 30 years. Yet viewers Sunday — and Lucas himself — noted similarities between the final chapter of his sci-fi saga and our own troubled times.

Cannes audiences made blunt comparisons between "Revenge of the Sith" — the story of Anakin Skywalker's fall to the dark side and the rise of an emperor through warmongering — to President Bush's war on terrorism and the invasion of Iraq.

Two lines from the movie especially resonated:

"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."

"That quote is almost a perfect citation of Bush," said Liam Engle, a 23-year-old French-American aspiring filmmaker. "Plus, you've got a politician trying to increase his power to wage a phony war."

Though the plot was written years ago, "the anti-Bush diatribe is clearly there," Engle said.

The film opens Wednesday in parts of Europe and Thursday in the United States and many other countries. At the Cannes premiere Sunday night, actors in white stormtrooper costumes paraded up and down the red carpet as guests strolled in, while an orchestra played the "Star Wars" theme.

Lucas said he patterned his story after historical transformations from freedom to fascism, never figuring when he started his prequel trilogy in the late 1990s that current events might parallel his space fantasy.

"As you go through history, I didn't think it was going to get quite this close. So it's just one of those recurring things," Lucas said at a Cannes news conference. "I hope this doesn't come true in our country.

"Maybe the film will waken people to the situation," Lucas joked.

That comment echoes Moore's rhetoric at Cannes last year, when his anti-Bush documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11" won the festival's top honor.

Unlike Moore, whose Cannes visit came off like an anybody-but-Bush campaign stop, Lucas never mentioned the president by name but was eager to speak his mind on U.S. policy in Iraq, careful again to note that he created the story long before the Bush-led occupation there.

"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."

The prequel trilogy is based on a back-story outline Lucas created in the mid-1970s for the original three "Star Wars" movies, so the themes percolated out of the Vietnam War and the Nixon-Watergate era, he said.

Lucas began researching how democracies can turn into dictatorships with full consent of the electorate.

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."
by sad
Wednesday May 18th, 2005 11:41 AM
"Lucas began researching how democracies can turn into dictatorships with full consent of the electorate."

Sad, and true. We need to all get educated on this. Or maybe we already know too much as it is. Might as well party until we hit rock bottom via the sheeple.
by John R. McCommas
(jrm67 [at] snet.net) Sunday Jun 12th, 2005 10:10 AM
Yes I do think there are some conspicuous things in the movie that you can put into context with the current state of affairs but I think you can only do so in the most superficial way. “Star Wars” is undeniablely a work of fiction 3 hours long (one hour to many in my opinion). The movie’s villains are one-dimensional and pure evil.

You cannot call the President of the United States a “dictator in waiting”. That charge is childish pout from a sore-loser who cannot come to terms with the fact that in a democracy he made his case as strongly as he could, the people willingly listened, carefully considered, and decided differently than the child would have had them choose.

In this modern era our enemy is indeed the dark side but that evil lies within the poisoned souls of Muslim-extremists who hate our way of life. They hate us for who and what we are. We have no enemy in the White House for he is the man we chose ourselves. In a little under 4 years, we shall again choose. On and on. It is the Muslim extremists, I must remind you, who are our real enemy. It is they, not Bush, who would end democratic rule.

Insofar as Europe goes, Old Europe anyway, they would meekly allow the terrorists to succeed incrementally (like Spain with their last election), foolishly thinking each time that they can minimize their losses with deals and compromise.

If you want to know something about the future than look the past Mr. Liam Engle. It is your own country of America that liberated your old home of France (that your ancestors abandoned with good reason) not once but twice in the last 100 years.

America must be doing something right because it has never been taken over by a foreign power. France cannot say the same so who cares what they think?

I know I don’t.
by to John r. McCommas
Sunday Jun 12th, 2005 10:28 AM
***In this modern era our enemy is indeed the dark side but that evil lies within the poisoned souls of Muslim-extremists who hate our way of life. They hate us for who and what we are. We have no enemy in the White House for he is the man we chose ourselves. In a little under 4 years, we shall again choose. On and on. It is the Muslim extremists, I must remind you, who are our real enemy. It is they, not Bush, who would end democratic rule.****

Do you really believe this jingoistic diatribe? These sound like the simpleton talking points vomited on Fox, Rush, Hannity, O'Reilly, AM-nut radio, ect.
Do you really believe they hate us for who we are, or what we do?
I've seen and talked to vetren CIA analysts, foreign policy experts, ect.---and none of them---and some of them are quite indoctrinated into militarism---even believe this childish notion
It is common understanding that many--not just "Muslim extremists"-- around the world hate our govt.'s foreign policy.
It's not about who we are, it's what we do.
Chane the actions, and over time, change the perception---that's the solution.
Just because, about one quarter (and just over 1/2 of those who actually voted) of the voting public was swayed by Bush's (Rove's)
mega-million dollar propaganda onslaught as oppossed to Kerry's--doesn't mean anything except that they are good at advertising, manipulation, message tailoring, ect.---and they have alot of money to repeat a message over and over (if you tell people a lie often enough, they'll believe it) You are truly naive if you believe that the Bush administration has the majority's best interest at heart---check out this link
http://www.americanprogressaction.org/site/pp.asp?c=klLWJcP7H&b=118263
or this one for your beloved ruler
http://groups.msn.com/NightWatchPrime/greatquotesbushregimeliesaboutwmd.msnw
by we deserve it
Sunday Jun 12th, 2005 1:27 PM
We prey on the world's resources like a giant tick. We let children starve while we grow fat. We kill innocent civilians in mass, just to keep our fuel costs down. No wonder we're hated. We deserve it.
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