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John Chuckman


Anti-empire, pro-activist … The Last Jedi is as left wing as Jeremy Corbyn
The latest Star Wars film is an unlikely champion of the grassroots – and it’s not even subtle about it

I am surprised that anyone takes anything about Star Wars seriously.

The series is nothing more than a hi-tech update of the old 1930’s serials, Flash Gordon, with Buster Crabbe.

There, the ultimate evil was Ming the Merciless, who, of course, also served as a regular propaganda mechanism to instill anti-oriental attitudes against the rising Japanese.

Now, it is Darth Vader and Company. Darth vaguely resembles a WWII German soldier with the shape of his helmet, his black outfit perhaps suggestive of the Waffen SS, elite Nazi soldiers who also carried daggers and had a dark credo.

It is just the same childish fantasy as Buster Crabbe’s series entirely.

Star Wars is remarkably unimaginative, too, with its good guys versus bad guys and space wars resembling battles between aircraft carriers in the 1940’s Pacific War.

Awkward weapons – light sabers or big robotic marching animals – which make no sense except to a child.

Already our abilities to kill already far exceed these, and this generation will see us hurled into far more terrible ones with AI and new concepts in nuclear weapons.

But in the end, the message seems to me to be the opposite of Corbyn.

It is a message of: “War, you have with you always, and only a well-armed vigilance can halt the evil ‘others.’”

That is precisely the message of the American power establishment. Prepare for war. Always.

There is always another “other” out there: communists, Japanese, jihadists, Russians.

The movie series actively promotes the American imperial view of the world, except that in the series, the bad guys have already got the upper hand.

Real message: we can’t let that happen here on earth.

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