Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Jedi Fascism

The first time I saw Star Wars1, I was dissatisfied with the sketchy portrayal of the Rebel Alliance. What was their program? If they succeeded in their rebellion, how would they govern? Did they have any core beliefs other than mere opposition to the Empire? The movie was nearly silent (nearly!) on these important issues; we, the audience, were expected to root for the Rebels based on nothing more than heavy-handed semiotics.

I say nearly silent because there is a disturbing clue at the very end of the movie: the final scene, in which the putative heroes are awarded their medals, is a direct visual lift from Triumph of the Will. This shocking turnabout calls into question everything that comes before it--or rather should have called into question, because it seems to have been lost on all but a few discerning viewers.

I didn't give this much thought over the years...until recently, when I learned that everything I know about liberalism is wrong2. Maybe now, I thought, the public would be ready to revisit the all-important question surrounding Star Wars3: who were the real totalitarians?

Surprisingly, the deeper I delved, the more evidence I found confirming my unorthodox conclusions. Among other things, I learned that:

  • Arch-villain Darth Vader, in his youth, espoused beliefs almost exactly like those of the Jedi;

  • Like 20th-century Fascists, the Jedi had a deep-seated hostility toward free trade--as evidenced by their military action against the Trade Federation;

  • Despite their professed opposition to Emperor Palpatine, the Jedi Council worked for him at one time; and

  • The Jedi considered themselves a sort of 'master race' marked by superior blood ("midichlorians"), just like Hitler.

All of the above and more are explored in detail and with great care in my forthcoming book, Jedi Fascism: the Totalitarian Temptation from Midichlorians to Mace Windu from Ewoks to Alderan from Jar-Jar Binks to the Death Star (publication date: December 2008 May 2009 eventually). This will be a thorough, compehensive, painstakingly researched and incisively argued account that should settle the question once and for all about who was the real 'Empire'.

In the meantime, though, I'm still doing research for the book, so if any of you Star Wars4 experts out there (regardless of ideological affiliation) could provide additional examples, I'd certainly appreciate it.

1i.e., Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope.
2Apparently liberals are really fascists and fascists are really liberals, or maybe it's the other way around.
3i.e., the whole 6-film Star Wars series.
4See Footnote 3.