Star Wars and Fascism

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Star Wars and Fascism

Post by guardienne on Fri 22 Sep 2017, 5:20 am

this is a very exciting read: http://eleven-thirtyeight.com/2017/09/burden-of-empire-the-complex-relationship-between-star-wars-and-fascism/

As writer Tom Engelhardt said, “Star Wars denied the enemy a role they had monopolized for a decade—that of brave rebel. It was the first cultural product to ask of recent history, “Hey! How come they got all the fun?” And to respond, “Let’s give them the burden of empire! Let’s […] be the plucky underdogs ourselves!”

But how does Star Wars really portray this transference of the “burden of empire”? Let’s look at A New Hope, the original Star Wars movie; at how it starts and how it ends.

It starts with a very Wagnerian fanfare and the now-familiar Star Wars logo, a logo that, according to designer Suzy Rice, was intended to look “very fascist”.

It ends with our heroes walking down a parade straight out of Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will, with our proverbial wild man Chewbacca of course not even receiving a medal.

We see fascist motifs, yes, but this time they are not applied exclusively to the Galactic Empire.

They are applied both to the heroes and to the identity of the saga itself.

Stephen McVeigh says in his essay The Galactic Way of Warfare, published as part of Finding the Force of the Star Wars Franchise: Fans, Merchandise, & Critics, that “critics tend to opt for a simplistic view of conflict in the Star Wars universe” suggesting that “the Empire represents the communism of the Soviet Union or the Nazism of Hitler’s Germany” when “the dark truth of Lucas’s evil Empire is that it presents a version of America itself.”
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