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The Case for the Empire
From the May 16, 2002 Daily Standard: Everything you think you know about Star Wars is wrong.
by Jonathan V. Last
12/26/2002 12:00:00 AM
STAR WARS RETURNS today with its fifth installment, "Attack of the Clones." There will be talk of the Force and the Dark Side and the epic morality of George Lucas's series. But the truth is that from the beginning, Lucas confused the good guys with the bad. The deep lesson of Star Wars is that the Empire is good.
In all of the time we spend observing the Rebel Alliance, we never hear of their governing strategy or their plans for a post-Imperial universe. All we see are plots and fighting. Their victory over the Empire doesn't liberate the galaxy--it turns the galaxy into Somalia writ large: dominated by local warlords who are answerable to no one.
Which makes the rebels--Lucas's heroes--an unimpressive crew of anarchic royals who wreck the galaxy so that Princess Leia can have her tiara back.
I'll take the Empire.
I felt a little shock and awe, actually disbelief, seeing the antique belt buckle for the first time. Worn by a Nazi German soldier, the aluminum, World War II era buckle carried the imperial eagle of the Third Reich above the familiar Swastika. Surrounding the eagle and Swastika was the motto, "Gott Mit Uns," or "God With Us."
Certainly the Nazi Germans, villains in history and Hollywood movies, couldn’t really have believed in God, could they? Certainly the common German soldier fought with great courage, discipline and fervor, following orders given by the High Command. Yet the Nazis fought a ruthless war against smaller countries, attacking them after planting false evidence, overpowering them with a combination of vicious air strikes and crushing armored superiority and then installed corrupt or cruel puppet leaders.
The Nazis demonized and then destroyed their enemies, after first intimidating and then liquidating their domestic opponents. The German propaganda machine cranked out misinformation and outright lies in the state-supported media, suppressing the truth and threatening anyone who dared to speak or print opposition to the war regime.