I find it rather amusing that conservatives have gotten all hot and bothered about parallels they see between the Dark Side of The Force and their own leaders and philosophies. Some of these right-wing "thinkers" are even saying that the parallels are deliberate. Perhaps they blinked during the 28 years of publicity where Lucas explained that the story was already written. But don't be expecting them to let facts get in the way of their paranoia.
As the old saying goes: "Throw a rock into a pack of wolves. The one that yelps is the one you hit."
In one of the strangest interpretations of story -- which is right up there with the fictional Alex in "A Clockwork Orange" reading the Bible and identifying with the Romans -- conservative columnust J.J. Jackson offers this analysis:
When the true evil behind all previous events is finally revealed it is too late. The Jedi finally grow some balls to act but the Galactic Republic has gathered too much power and Chancellor Palpatine installs himself as Emperor of the galaxy. This leads to a war between the Jedi, people that donâ€™t want to be subject to the Empireâ€™s rule and the newly formed Empire under Palpatine. In the war the Jedi and the rebellion are overwhelmed because they have lost too much support and have tried for too many years to rationalize and think and debate rather than act. In essence they have failed to recognize that sometimes there are issues that are not shades of gray but simply black and white.
This is exhibited in a now oft quoted exchange between Anakin Skywalker and Obi Wan Kenobi where Anakin proclaims that â€œIf you're not with me, you're my enemy.â€? and Obi Wan retorts â€œOnly a Sith thinks in absolutes!â€? Their failure to recognize evil and act leads to the fall of the Republic the Jedi have been charged to protect and leads to years of tyranny for the people of the galaxy.Yes, you read that right, folks! The Emperor is the good guy, ridding the galaxy of evil. Of course, he also has to rewrite Vietnam history, too:
After pulling out of Vietnam and condemning millions to death and enslavement the United States fails to take decisive action again evil around the world (until President Reagan at least). There is a lot of hand wringing and ineptness at dealing with global communism and fascism. The United Nations continues to appease dictators around the world and allows people to suffer while setting itself up as the arbiter of what is right and accruing power to itself by getting member states to sign treaties that usurp even the basic principles of their own Consitututions. The UN sends â€œpeace keepersâ€? (itâ€™s army) to trouble spots around the world, usually with orders to not really do anything that helps those that they are there to protect from evil. In essence, they side with evil by proxy.
After failing to stand up to the Communists in Vietnam and around the world, millions are left to suffer because the good people of the world acted too late, succumbed to political pressures and failed to recognize that there is evil in the world and that it must be defeated.So despite the utter failure and implosion of Communism under its own failings, Jackson asserts that Vietnam was indeed a domino. What President Reagan is to have done about all this, I really have no idea, unless you want to count bombing Libya. Oh yeah, we saved Granada, too. Of course, if Ronald Reagan ran for president today, he wouldn't even get the nomination -- too damn liberal. Do you know he actually negotiated arms reductions with the Soviets? What a softy!
Yes, that's right, folks! Might makes right. And lest you think I'm misinterpreting Jackson's polemic, he lays it out in clear words:
Wow. Not the type of parallel the liberals are trying to paint huh? Pain and suffering at the hands of those that donâ€™t have the courage to act but rather lock themselves into endless political debate? Sounds like modern day liberals to me more than President Bush!That's right, the liberals are the Republic, and the Emperor is Bush. The liberals, in conservative minds, are like the hapless Jedi -- just too damn focused on that nuance thing. Ah, but there's a difference, Jackson notes:
The Empire likewise failed because it was operated under the concept of absolute tyranny and the Emperorâ€™s rule as law with no debate and no discussion. Because of this he could not ultimately maintain control and inspired an armed revolution that eventually caused his death and the death of the Empire.While Jackson sees the failing of the Empire in the movie, he gives a pass for his gang. He seems to believe that President Bush and his henchmen are not out to quash debate and discussion. Perhaps he's not been paying attention to the things that, had Clinton done them, the conservatives would be howling. Maybe he would like a tour of Guantanamo.
Personally I find the fact that conservative complaining has turned its "talking points" onto Star Wars is quite amusing. Obviously the parallels are readily apparent in many ways, such as how conservatives strive to react emotionally, give into their hate, seek to utterly destroy all who oppose them, covet power and jealously guard it -- it's as plain as day. Theirs is a dark philosophy. The Dark Side? Of course!
Perhaps, like Anakin, they started with the best intentions. But there was hope for Darth Vader. Upon witnessing the torture and attempted killing of his son, he lets go of his hate and destroys the Emperor. Now we are in the grips of a conservative agenda that, with policies that destroy the Earth, wreck our economy, vaporize our international standing, and kill men, women and children by the tens of thousands (however you justify it, 100,000 Iraqis have been killed in this war), will any modern day Darths wake up and see the horror they are wreaking upon us all?
I leave you with this topical cartoon.