George Lucas, Pundit

There's a new Star Wars movie coming out.

Perhaps you've heard of it.

Apparently it contains a "political message" that is -- surprise! -- "relevant" for our times.
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.
Oh, please.

Now, would that be a crusade, or a jihad? The terms aren't really synonymous, though to the mushy thinking of the "all religions threaten me equally, except for fundamentalist Christians who are the WORST" secular leftist, they are identical.

I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader to discern the nuanced differences. But here's a hint: one of them is an eternal, ongoing duty to spread a doctrine by force; the other is a reaction to re-establish the status quo before the jihad ruined everything.

Oops, gave it away there.

Anway. So they're implying the GWOT is just a plot to make Bush an emperor, and our Democracy has died.

"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."
What is it with these people and their dislike of that line? They seem to quote it with disdain almost as much as the phrase "axis of evil."

Both are accurate statements. Bush was speaking directly to foreign governments. To not cooperate with our efforts is indeed to provide ahaven for terrorist gangs.
"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.
Ah, the brilliant Liam Engle speaks!

What's phony about it, Liam? So which is it: are you mentally deficient, or a terrorist sympathizer?

"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.
Well guess what, George, it hasn't.

Don't quit your day job, George.