Woe is us when Hollywood offers a more reasoned, common-sense world view than Washington, D.C., and all the major mainstream media markets. The Associated Press, in a story titled "'Sith' Invites Bush Comparisons," outlines some of the dictatorial themes that resonate through George Lucas's final installment of "Star Wars."
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.
"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."
Lucas, the political philosopher, waxes eloquent toward the end of the piece:
"You sort of see these recurring themes where a democracy turns itself into a dictatorship, and it always seems to happen kind of in the same way, with the same kinds of issues, and threats from the outside, needing more control. A democratic body, a senate, not being able to function properly because everybody's squabbling, there's corruption."