View Full Version : Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith -- Political Subtext

Home - Discussion Forums - News - Reviews - Interviews

New reviews, interviews and news

New in the Discussion Forum

Pages : [1] 2

Brad Smith
May 19th, 2005, 05:58 AM
War! The Republic is crumbling under attacks by the ruthless Sith Lord, Count Dooku. There are heroes on both sides. Evil is everywhere. In a stunning move, the fiendish droid leader, General Grievious, has swept into the Republic capital and kidnapped Chancellor Palpatine, leader of the Galactic Senate. As the Separatist Droid Army attempts to flee the besieged capital with their valuable hostage, two Jedi knights lead a desperate mission to rescue the captive Chancellor.

George Lucas' homage to space opera and Joseph Campbell is fianlly finished (A live-action TV series bridging Episodes 3 and 4 and Clone Wars CGI-animated spin-off will be coming soon). The Phantom Menace took a beating from fans; Attack of the Clones fared slightly better. Personally, I liked both of the earlier films. Jar-Jar Binks never bothered me--hell, if you flashback to 28 years ago, Chewbacca the Wookie was bashed for the very same things.

How good is Revenge of the Sith?

Very good.

It's been rumored that Tom Stoppard and others helped Lucas with the script and Steven Spielberg helped with some scenes. This alleged input has helped to make this episode one of the best since The Empire Strikes Back.

This movie is a bridge to the second trilogy. The white-armored clone troopers now look like Imperial stormtroopers; the Jedi Interceptors have a distinct TIE fighter look to them and the Star Destroyers . . . well, I think that you get the picture.

A friend asked me about the politics of the film. As one story said (http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire2005/index.php?category=3&id=31025):

George Lucas, director of the upcoming Star Wars: Episode III—Revenge of the Sith, told reporters at the Cannes Film Festival that he never intended the movie to comment on the current political situation in the real world. Appearing at the European premiere of Episode III, Lucas said that he never thought about the Middle East, George W. Bush or voter fraud when writing the script for the final prequel in the epic space saga.

"When I wrote it [the] Iraq [war] didn't exist," Lucas said. "We were just funding Saddam Hussein and giving him weapons of mass destruction. We didn't think of him as an enemy at that point. We were going after Iran and using him as our surrogate. This really came out of the Vietnam era."

In the prequels, which culminate in Episode III, Lucas said he wanted to explore how a democracy turns into a dictatorship: how it gets "given" away. Back in the mid-1970s, when he first conceived of the Star Wars saga, Lucas said that he "went back into history and began to study a great deal about things like ancient Rome, such as why did the Senate, after killing Caesar, turn around [and] give the government to his nephew? Why did France, after they got rid of the King, turn around and give it to Napoleon? You sort of see these recurring themes, where a democracy turns itself over to a dictator. It always seems to happen kind of in the same way, with the same kinds of issues and threats from the outside and needing more control and a democratic body not being able to function properly because everybody is squabbling and there is corruption. This is seen as you go through history, but I didn't think it was going to get this close. I hope this doesn't come true in America. Maybe the film will awaken people to how dangerous a democracy can be when it's subverted."

There are some interesting lines in the film. When Palpatine declares himself Emperor of the Empire, the New Order meant to insure safety and security throughout the Galaxy, the Senate responds with approval. To which Senator Padme Amidala observes: "This is how liberty dies . . . . With thunderous applause."

During the climatic lightsaber duel, Anakin Skywalker snarls to Obi-Wan Kenobi, "If you're not with me, you're my enemy."

Hmmm . . . .

Sounds like Bush's "With-us-or-against-us" diatribes.

During the film, Jedi such as Kenobi, Mace Windu and Yoda, along with Senators Amidala and Bail Organa are wary of Palpatine's increasing power; he has already done things to circumvent the Jedi Council and their traditions and he is sapping at the Senate's power--with the Senate all too willingly giving up their checks and balances.

It's mentioned in other Star Wars books, that the Republic has a "HomeWorld Security" directorate and elite clone shocktroopers stop citizens everywhere, demanding to see their new multipurpose ID cards.

There's a xenophobic backlash, with humans taking control of the government and military, shutting out humanoids and nonhumans, their rights denied.

Sound familiar?

What do some of you think?

May 19th, 2005, 07:36 AM
First of all, yes, the film is very good, an excellent addition to the series and the perfect culminating piece of the puzzle.

Secondly, there is indeed an embedded distrust - and rightfully so - of any political manuevering that leads to the growth of absolute power in the hands of one person or group. Palpatine and the Jedi Council are set up as equally desirous of possessing total political control over the galaxy, and it is between them that Ani is forced to make his fatal choice.

I believe Lucas when he says there was no conscious effort to create a commentary on the current situation between the US and Iraq. There are a multitude of historical political situations which involved war or the threat of war over struggle for absolute power. The film does a good job of portraying the tragic results of such struggle......the destruction of both the innocent and the guilty.

May 19th, 2005, 08:33 AM
Although I totally disagree with you on the worthiness and quality of the newer two (at least chewbacca didn't have the "me-sa-you-sa-we-sa" voice and was reasonably funny even without english) as well as the fact that the latest one could even be compared to ESB, I must say that I notice a lot of similes.

The emperor began the war against another army that he had started in the first place, making it so that he had the approval of the public as well as the Republic to make his clone armies. In doing so, universal domination could be imminent, and construction of the Death Star could begin.

It reminds me of so many things of today, with Bush, his war, and "his" oil.

May 19th, 2005, 11:41 AM
The movie is great and I didn't think about politics while watching it - I just enjoyed it!

May 19th, 2005, 12:34 PM
I didnt see any link to bush, or his party at all through out the movie. Its probably because I'm not American though.

I think people are over reacting personally.

May 19th, 2005, 12:59 PM
some scenes were a bit obvious at what they were referring to...who knows if it was intentional. You can see who General Grievious kinda represents though.

May 19th, 2005, 01:46 PM
some scenes were a bit obvious at what they were referring to...who knows if it was intentional. You can see who General Grievious kinda represents though.

You can? Who is it? :confused:

May 19th, 2005, 04:20 PM
You can? Who is it? :confused:

the reason for the war on terror.

his name rhymes with Hosama.

May 19th, 2005, 07:01 PM
Bin Laden is a cleric, not a warrior. Also, Grievous was not human, but an android. Bin Laden is the same as we are. Is it merely a symbolic correlation you see?

May 19th, 2005, 08:23 PM
some scenes were a bit obvious at what they were referring to...who knows if it was intentional. You can see who General Grievious kinda represents though.
Not sure what you mean by international, but I'm from Ottawa, and though I admit I'm not really up to speed on my American politics, I still don’t see what all the hoopla is about. (maybe its just me...and the guys I saw the movie with)

Like c'mon "you're either with me or against me" is so cliché. Trying to link that to something Bush sorta said awhile back is a pretty weak attempt to discredit the movie.