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Looks Like We Had The Messages From 'Star Wars' All Wrong

It can be next to impossible to get away from political chatter these days. Conversations about the various trials and tribulations of President Donald Trump are all over social media, and programs that used to be thought of as escapist options are now anything but that. Whether it’s sports, movies, talk shows, or regular television shows, it seems like anyone and everyone has a political point to make. That leaves many folks pining away for the good old days when there was a clear separation of politics and entertainment.

As Time shares, the good old days may be full of some landmines as well. While few folks that tune into the classic George Lucas film ‘Star Wars’ will be looking for a political viewpoint when making that choice, it turns out that they’re being exposed to one anyway. According to an interview that Lucas had with the Chicago Tribune three years after the film was released, he had a specific point in mind while filming it.

"It was really about the Vietnam War, and that was the period where Nixon was trying to run for a [second] term, which got me to thinking historically about how do democracies get turned into dictatorships?" he said. “Because the democracies aren't overthrown; they're given away."

Oh. So all that fairytale stuff about other worlds and fictional battles between good and evil was just filler? Not necessarily, but many parallels have been drawn between that universe from far, far away and modern political discourse. In fact, one of former President Ronald Reagan’s more famous speeches occurred in 1983, the same year as ‘Return of the Jedi’ was released. There’s a popular school of thought that suggests Reagan’s speechwriters drew some inspiration from the flick.

“I urge you to beware the temptation of pride—the temptation of blithely declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire , to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil,” Reagan said.

Throughout the 1980s and beyond, many references were made to Star Wars themes throughout popular culture - such as Darth Vader, Jedi, Death Star - and those references crossed over into the world of politics as well. Was that due to the fact that Lucas overtly built political discourse into his films? Not exactly, but it does point out that politics can cross over into entertainment even when we don’t realize it.

Fast forward to present day, and there’s simply no mistaking it. Entire monologues are devoted to Trump by late night talk show hosts, many of whom make no secret of their disdain for the commander-in-chief. The recent reboot of the NBC show ‘Will and Grace’ devoted an entire episode to bashing Trump, and there’s an endless array of plotlines elsewhere devoted to current happenings in a roundabout way.

Add it all up, and there really is no escaping it. However, you can count us in the camp of those that pine away for the time when you can turn on the tube or head to the movies without being preached at.

Source: Time
Photo: YouTube

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