Saturday, May 14, 2005

Star Wars and Politics

The Star Wars prequel trilogy adds political subthemes to George Lucas' sci-fi / fantasy "space opera" saga.

Author James Luceno, in collaboration with Lucas, highlights and expands these themes in his prequel novels, Cloak of Deception, Labyrinth of Evil, and upcoming Dark Lord. He weaves the plots of corruption, abusive power, and the decline of accountable government into a tyrannical empire.

Here is an excerpt of an interview with James Luceno that The Unofficial Clone Wars Site just published about his Star Wars stories:

The political subtext of the prequel films deals with the growth of dictatorships. Lucas has mentioned Caesar and Hitler. Some readers have accused me of including President Bush in the mix, but this is not the case. I borrowed the term “Homeworld Security” from one of the Dark Horse Republic comics, and my play on “Axis of Evil” was not an attempt to draw parallels between Bush and Palpatine, but to pay light-hearted homage to what I consider a very interesting phrase. Personally, I’m more concerned about censorship-obsessed individuals like Tom DeLay and Joe Lieberman -- who even resembles Palpatine!

Lucas and Luceno intersperse lessons from history in their tale of "a galaxy far, far, away." Their political undercurrents add depth to the Star Wars epic, giving value beyond what some minimize as escapist fantasy with innovative, eye-catching effects.


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