DARTH VADER & G.W. BUSH: A COMMON VISION OF EMPIRE?
By Pastor Chuck Baldwin
May 17, 2005
The entertainment world is all abuzz with the release of the final Star Wars episode. "Star Wars: Episode III-Revenge of the Sith" is the final installment of the popular sci-fi saga which has spanned more than two decades and has captured the imagination of young and old alike.
One of the attractive elements of Creator/Director George Lucas' Star War films has been the clear good vs. evil theme that ubiquitously appears throughout the story lines. However, according to early previews of the latest film, the clearly delineated line between good and evil is not so easily defined in "Revenge of the Sith."
The story centers around principal evil character Darth Vader's struggle and eventual surrender to the "dark side." In the film, Lucas presents a dark and sordid picture of how the good Anakin Skywalker becomes the evil Darth Vader. Yet, there is another element to the story line.
In "Star Wars: Episode III-Revenge of the Sith" viewers also witness the demise of a republic and the rise of an empire. Lucas pictures a war-mongering, blood-thirsty empire whose roots had once burrowed deeply into the soil of freedom and democracy. But no more. The once peace-loving republic had been turned into an aggressor-state that laid waste all its adversaries without mercy.
After viewing the early releases of the movie, many viewers have come away from the screening rooms comparing Darth Vader's empire to the actions of President George W. Bush. This is more than interesting when one considers that Lucas wrote this story long before G.W. Bush became President. In fact, Richard Nixon was in the White House when Lucas wrote Star Wars. However, the similarities appear to be striking.
At one point in the film Anakin Skywalker says (just before becoming Darth Vader), "You are either with me, or you are my enemy." Of course, we all clearly remember when President Bush said, "You're either with us or against us in the fight against terrorism."
Speaking to reporters, Lucas said, "When I wrote it [Star Wars], Iraq [the U.S. led war] didn't exist, but the parallels are unbelievable." He went on to say, "The issue was, how does a democracy turn itself into a dictatorship?"
Indeed. How does a democracy turn itself into a dictatorship? That is a very relevant question for this generation of Americans to ponder, as it does appear that the United States is currently on that very path.
Remember, a dictatorship can be composed of one all-powerful ruler or a group of all-powerful rulers. An oligarchy is just as tyrannical as a monarchy! (I recommend that everyone read Pat Buchanan's book, "A Republic Or An Empire?")
Obviously, one of the marks of an empire is the insatiable desire for war, the constant need for military incursions into foreign territories, regardless of the cost in dollars or human lives. An empire can never rest from armed conflict. Indeed, armed conflict feeds and sustains the empire! Which brings us to the G.W. Bush administration.
Virtually everyone now knows that the reasons President Bush gave for invading Iraq were invalid and even deceptive. Therefore, whatever the real reasons for the invasion were, they were known only to Bush and a few selected insiders.
Furthermore, not only is there no resolution in sight for America's military involvement in Iraq, it now seems that the Bush administration is making plans to extend the war into Syria and Iran and even to North Korea.
I believe it is time that the American people (especially conservatives) begin asking themselves some serious questions. Does George W. Bush intend that the United States be in a state of perpetual war? Is he seeking "monsters" to destroy? Does he envision a global empire headed by all powerful rulers? These questions deserve studious attention, especially when one recalls that shortly after being elected President Bush once quipped, "If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator." Looking back, we might need to consider that he was not joking!
President Bush is making it very difficult for conservatives such as myself to articulate to people the difference between the need of an independent republic (what America used to be) for a strong, ready defense and the need of a global empire (what America is becoming) for an omnipotent, omnipresent global police force. Put another way, do Lucas' fictional character Darth Vader and President G.W. Bush share a common vision of empire? And would the American people even be able to recognize it if they did?
© 2005 Chuck Baldwin - All Rights Reserved
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Chuck Baldwin is Founder-Pastor of Crossroads Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. In 1985 the church was recognized by President Ronald Reagan for its unusual growth and influence.
Dr. Baldwin is the host of a lively, hard-hitting syndicated radio talk show on the Genesis Communications Network called, "Chuck Baldwin Live" This is a daily, one hour long call-in show in which Dr. Baldwin addresses current event topics from a conservative Christian point of view. Pastor Baldwin writes weekly articles on the internet http://www.ChuckBaldwinLive.com and newspapers.
I believe it is time that the American people (especially conservatives) begin asking themselves some serious questions. Does George W. Bush intend that the United States be in a state of perpetual war?