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A Republican Empire
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star wars

Yup. George Lucas has drawn back the curtain on a universal truth. Republicans are evil. They love money, don't care about the common man, go to war under suspicious pretenses and preach religion, all the while referring to their real bible, Il Principe, for clever ways to justify the means. And with the release of Star Wars: Episosode III this past weekend, every Red-state party member is Luke Skywalker in Degobah coming face-to-face with their own Dark Side.

Darth Vader? Red as his lightsaber. Grand Moff Tarken? Senate-hating meglomaniac. Big-time conservative. Dooku? Republican. Jabba the Hut? Resource hungry desert warlord. Palpatine's biggest campaign contributor. The Emperor? Please. A power-hungry, "look, here's a war while I seize power and limit freedom" driven to expand empire and his power-base wookie-hater. They might as well have called him "Emperor W. Palpatine."

"Wait -- we're the bad guys?" you say. "But ... we love America."

Then why do you hurt her, Ike?

"I'm sorry, baby. Look, I'm wearing an America pin on my lapel. I still love you."

Time for a long hard look in the mirror, ditto-head -- you've succumbed to the Dark Side.

You ever wonder what Imperial officers tell themselves when the wake up in the morning and strap on the gray and black? Ten-to-one it's something about smaller government. Lower taxes. The security the Empire provides is more important than things like "freedom" and "liberty." "Those Rebels could come to my house! How dare you you say something bad about the Empire? Don't you love the Emperor? Looney Rebel. Stick a flower in your blaster and smoke your Gundam ganja." No, they're nothing like you, Red. You're always in the right. You're the good guy. Right? Please...?

Princess Amidala? Might be royal, but she was elected and loves democracy - democrat. No question. Luke Skywalker? Whiny, but blue. Han Solo? Roguish, likes the money and the women (like a Kennedy), but he'll do right by the people when it counts. Obi-Wan -- always helping out the common man, stamping out death-sticks through education, eschewing personal wealth and living humbly in the desert preaching unity -- tried and true dem. Yoda? Conservative, he's not. Green party, maybe, but certainly not Red.

So as lines like Amidala's "This is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause" and Anakin's Bush-esque "If you're not with me, then you're my enemy" play on the big screen, no question, Republicans will look for ways to tear the movie down. "Children watch this movie. Look at how violent it is!" Fox news will do an expose on Lucas. Liberal political commentary in a mass market film? You can bet your ass that Sean Hannity is coming after you, and he's bringing Michael Medved and Bill O'Reilly.

But the best part of the Star Wars trilogy, is that, ultimately, it has a happy ending. Anakin Skywalker turns away from the Dark Side. It's not too late. You care about people less fortunate the you, the environment, freedom, liberty and the quality of life for everyone on planet, right? It's not too late.

Join us. Come back to the Light Side.

end of essay
Rick grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and attended college near Los Angeles. He's recently moved south of the Orange Curtain, and is teetering on the brink of becoming a Republican. Fear that. After reading so many of his great screenplays and plays (and performing in a couple of the latter), David couldn't resist asking Rick to write for the site. Surprisingly, he said yes, and even sounded genuinely enthusiastic. Whoda thunk it? | more essays by Rick
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