Thursday, February 19, 2009

Rebuilding the Republic One Star Wars Metaphor at a Time



OMG WE ELECTED A JEDI PRESIDENT!

I know I'm not the first to say it on the intarwebz, but it kicked me in the blast shield last week when I came across a post on Politico.com informing me that George Lucas has bestowed upon Barrack Obama the distinction of being able to "take" Luke Skywalker in a fight! Now Lucas has been pushin' the Obama = Jedi concept since sometime during the campaign, but this was the first time I've heard of him ranking Obama's ass-kicking abilities directly against my childhood heroes. Methinks someone is kissing some serious Obam-ass.

Upon reading this nugget of nerdy nostalgia, I immediately asked myself how I should interpret the audacious allusion. Patently ridiculous? (they're both Jedi so they wouldn't be throwin' down, CHELLOOO?!) Or potentially awesome? Are we comparing our President to young, untrained, impetuous Luke from Hope, or badass, black-cloak wearing, Jedi-Mind-Tricking-his-way-into-Jabba's-den-and-fucking-shit-up Luke from Jedi?" Then I thought "Is this what I really do with my brain's spare processing capacity?" Then I thought "Did I just refer to my mental wanderings as 'what I do with my brain's spare processing capacity?'" Having answered the second two questions with a bemused "apparently," I was back to my previous train of thought.

Now I know I'm about twelve parsecs behind on the whole Star Wars-to-real-life metaphor meme, but I feel compelled to jump in anyway. Why? Because with few exceptions all I see out there are shallow character references and decent audio/visual editing. I did find one serious attempt at political analysis in Andrew Sarris' piece found in the New York Observer, but it's WAY off base.

In the piece, Mr. Sarris reviews Episode III: Revenge of the Sith looking for jabs at the Bush Administration. While I generally agree with his findings on the matter, it doesn't exactly take a genius to apply the quote "This is how liberty dies-to thunderous applause" to G Dub's re-election less than six months after the second inauguration. Frankly, I think this analysis sucks (classy, I know). The reason why I think it sucks is that Mr. Sarris openly admits ALWAYS hating the films, so why should I a) be surprised or b) care when he then proceeds to oversimplify the rich cultural diversity and complex societal interactions that take place in the Star Wars universe? But I digress, Mr. Sarris is clearly in the film industry, not politics. So I'll give him a pass... this time.

What I wanna know is, where are all my wonky Star Wars geeks at?! The world can't afford to wait for you, there is too much metaphorical extrapolation 99% of the planet cannot possibly understand without a deep connection to The Force! So until you all climb out of your personal Sarlacc Pits, I'm just gonna have to try to (no try, only do!) this concept some justice.

(Don't tell anybody but I think I'm promising a continuing series here.)

For this introductory post, allow me to set the scene:

Emporor Palpatine and his powerful puppet Darth Vapid have been removed from power. The empire is in disarray and on the brink of dissolution. But fear not, there is A NEW HOPE! A promising young Jedi has been democratically elected to bring peace, prosperity, and order to the chaos! However, politics is a dangerous game. One rife with scum and villainy. One the Jedi have been wise to avoid whenever possible. Can our young Jedi leader navigate the rampant greed and incessant scheming of the Galactic Senate without succumbing to the Dark Side? Can we even say with all certainty he has done so thus far?

What lies ahead as we reach a point in history most of you probably thought would be far, far away?

To Be Continued...

P.S. I wanted to end this introductory installment with a video I found on YouTube. I think it does a great job of illustrating the struggle Obama went through to win the Democratic Nomination. I especially appreciate the allusion to the Clinton's as Sith, not because I think they are evil per se, but because it's obvious that they are loyal to the Empire. That and Hillary DOES scare the shit out of me.



21 comments:

AZWiner said...

As a huge Star Wars fan and a politics follower -- I think we need to make this a series.

the adventures of Jedi Obama ~

Damo said...

So I was doing a google image search for a "nerd jedi" pic to replace my current gmail image and something jumped out at me. It was so striking I seriously almost soiled myself. Here is my search: http://tinyurl.com/atqa8p

Do you see what I see?

David Pratt said...

What the fuck does George Lucas know?

Damo said...

Pratt, I understand you and at least 5 other people in this country don't actually like Obama. That totally cool man. Its just that every time I hear someone denigrate Obama it comes off lame or over-the-top cynical to me. I keep thinking "wait, you could have said that about ANY of the candidates!" OR "now you're just nitpicking" OR "dude, that is a big stretch using some pretty weak assumptions." But feel free to flesh out the Obama = Sith concept.

That or I could read less into one-liner comments and just try to get to work on time. ::shrugs::

David Pratt said...

That really wasn't my point at all Damo. I just don't like George Lucas.

Damo said...

I am the answerer of unasked questions, the responder to unmade statements. The Force is very strong with me, indeed.

Ozkirbas said...

Heh. I wonder if someone would be willing to read his book and apply the Hero-cycle to it

Side Question: Wookies? Applicable metaphor to politics today?

Damo said...

Regarding Wookies in politics: Janet Reno & Condoleeza Rice

Michael Tew said...

Not a fan. Maybe I just have a predilection for the sinister, but Obama, Clinton, Bush, Kerry, Bush - they all cut from the same cloth, man.



I saw Oliver Stone's W last week. And while there was a plausible story for those dwellers in the celluloid universe (for whom, unfortunately, "W" is now "reality") the glaring distortion of the initiation ceremony left me convinced of nothing but a blatant attempt to deliberately misinform. Stone cannot claim to be unaware that Bush junior followed senior into the notorious "Skull and Bones" fraternity at Yale. And this one salient fact compels a different, and far darker interpretation of the events of the Bush presidency than that portrayed in this latest offering from the formerly courageous producer of "JFK".



The "Bonesmen" date their founding to 1832 and the foundations of their fortune in the smuggling of heroin. Their 15 person annual intake have consistently found their way into senior positions in Intelligence, Politics, Education, and the Media, and always the spectre of the global trade in illegal drugs and the covert and extremely profitable business of warfare has followed their every project. Bush's Nazi heritage, his grandfather Preston's involvement in the plot to overthrow FDR by force of arms, and his subsequent funding for Adolph Hitler's war machine through the family bank (Union Banking Corporation) are conveniently ignored by Stone, and having obscured the links between the events, he is compelled to offer a fantasy Bush - a far more sympathetic interpretation than the man deserves.



There were ten members of Skull and Bones in Bush the younger's first cabinet.



The mighty wurlitzer was the code name for the fantasy world presented to the consumer of American news media, and the tune of the mocking-bird has been crafted in Langley since that monstrosity was foisted on the world. Spawn of incestuous coupling, child of the OSS and the SS, -the nazi propaganda merchants were scooped up in a giant CIA paper-clip and attached through their Skull and Bones brothers (there are sisters now, as well, but this is a recent development). These criminals have been in effective control of the United States since November 22, 1963.



And now we see President Obama absolutely dependent on Republican Senator Arlen Specter (Did I spell that right?) father of the "magic bullet" theory that obscured the coup.



The Banksters have their man in the White House. President Obama is not who you think he is. Nothing has changed.

David Pratt said...

That might be the best and scariest response we've gotten to a post yet.

Jason Heat said...

Agreed.

Ozkirbas said...

So, Obama is now Anakin Skywalker?

Damo said...

Michael, thank you for that fascinating, horrifying, and absolutely depressing response.

But I say nay, The Rebellion is not dead! Just as it seems all is lost we find The Rebellion is just beginning to gain momentum!

I'd like to think Obama is the beacon of Hope most of us are looking for, not a figurehead for a failed revolution.

(However, as we discussed a few days ago "there just might be a run on pitchforks and torches in the not too distant future.")

...at the end of the day I just want my speeder bikes! http://globalnerdy.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/speeder_dogs.jpg

Jason Heat said...

I think the most important question, as always, is who's Lando?

Damo said...

Its a great question. Mayhaps we should have council the issue of casting for this series. When do you have time to cross the street?

Michael Tew said...

If this event is in costume I want to be invited.

Michael Tew said...

Winner in tew categories (Best AND Scariest).

For more scary writing try my blog Last Days of Empire, or SloppyShrapnel on MySpace.

Stephen said...

Criminals in control since 63? Ever heard of the United Fruit Company?

Jason Heat said...

No - what's that?

Miasma said...

This post cracked me UP!

the thread is ridiculous though.... sounds like a win, huh?

Michael Tew said...

The United Fruit Company (founded 1899) is the name of the criminal cartel that controlled most of central and south America during the last century. Implicated in various atrocities including several massacres of striking workers, the notorious United Fruit Company was purchased in 1969 by George H.W. Bush's Zapata Oil company. Zapata Oil also operated as a CIA front company (heavily involved in the Bay of Pigs fiasco), and was also involved in cocaine smuggling operations esp. Iran-Contra. George H.W. Bush's connections to the international trade in cocaine are many and various. On one occasion, while President of the United States, Bush used the United States Military to invade the country of Panama to arrest his former partner in crime, Manuel Noriega, and seize control of the largest cocaine smuggling operation in the Americas.