Bush and Star Wars

Word from Cannes is that the final installment in the Star Wars saga: Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith is making the links between the Empire and the Empire.

The last episode rounding out the seminal sci-fi saga Star Wars screened at the Cannes film festival today, capping a six-part series that remains a major part of popular culture – and delivering a galactic jab to US President George W Bush….

Reaction at advance screenings was effusive, with festival-goers, critics and journalists at Cannes applauding at the moment the infamous Darth Vader came into being. But there were also murmurs at the parallels being drawn between Bush’s administration and the birth of the space opera’s evil Empire.

Baddies’ dialogue about bloodshed and despicable acts being needed to bring “peace and stability” to the movie’s universe, mainly through a fabricated war, set the scene. And then came the zinger, with the protagonist, Anakin Skywalker, saying just before becoming Darth Vader: “You are either with me – or you are my enemy.”

To the Cannes audience, often sympathetic to anti-Bush messages in cinema as last year’s triumph here of Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 attested, that immediately recalled Bush’s 2001 ultimatum, “You’re either with us or against us in the fight against terror.”

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