Politics was stuff no one cared about. Until now.
But the influx of Tumblr fandoms into Twitter, brought on by the collapse of Tumblr itself – injected new blood into the arena. And much of it was promoted, advanced, and pushed by political operatives who want new voters. There was a big push, after all, for Democrats to “Pokemon Go to the Polls” way back in 2016 when Hillary Clinton was running for office – and that was just the beginning.
These days, you can’t go a day without seeing young people who’d otherwise be preoccupied with video games, movies, or TV shows open up to talk about politics. And that’s not entirely a bad thing. It’s good to care about what happens in Washington, and it’s good to care about what happens in your local legislature – all of the decisions they make impact you, after all, and you’ll only have yourself to blame if you don’t get at least somewhat involved.
Politics is no longer exclusive to boomers. It’s for everyone – and if you’re a conservative and the wokest person you know is trying to advance an agenda that impacts your livelihood, then you damn well better get involved in politics, be it to post a meme, share a video, or speak your mind about an issue you care about. After all, if Joe Biden wasn’t in office, you’d still be paying two dollars for a gallon of gas instead of whatever price it’s at right now – and you can thank young, progressive activists like those involved in Tumblr’s – and now Twitter’s – fandoms, for getting Democrats elected.
Segueing back to Star Wars, it’s necessary to discuss how movie franchises like Star Wars have essentially dumbed down politics for the masses. And they’ve done so to the point where the masses, who consume the media, conceive of political sides – liberals and conservatives – and real-world military conflicts, as epic battles between good and evil.
The Star Wars Twitter account, which is no doubt run by a progressive activist, has been promoting a host of very woke, very progressive views that are far out of sync with the original Star Wars. The movies by George Lucas could be best described as escapism at its finest. There was nothing woke and nothing conservative about them. All they offered was a good, entertaining time with absolutely no politics at all.
Star Wars, unfortunately, is no longer apolitical. It’s embraced politics full throttle. For the company that now owns it, Disney, the messaging in their movies, TV shows – and now even their comic books – are a means to promote progressive views.
Enter Star Wars: Bounty Hunter, the latest comic book from Marvel Comics and Disney. In a tweet celebrating Pride Month, the official Star Wars Twitter account posted a picture of a new comic book cover alongside a link to the comic books celebrating Pride Month, all of which feature special covers.
As detailed in the article, both Lucasfilm and Marvel, which are owned by Disney, say that they’re dedicating this Pride Month to supporting the LGBTQIA+ community’s impact in the world. In and of themselves, the comic book covers aren’t anything special and you’d be forgiven if you didn’t think there was anything Pride-ful about most of them, aside from the little Star Wars rainbow logo.
A couple of them feature some poorly drawn women in apparently lesbian romances – but it’s nothing you’d see much of in the theater. Like other companies to practice Rainbow Capitalism, Disney isn’t above pretending gay people don’t exist in the Chinese, Russian, Middle Eastern and Asian markets, where the company tends to censor its material, knowing full well that the local viewers won’t eat it up. So much for Pride.
In response to the covers, one fan had the audacity to say,
“Don’t make Star Wars political.” Perhaps waxing nostalgic about the days when Star Wars was actually good, the fan incurred the ire of the official Star Wars account, which replied that “Queer characters existing isn’t political” and that “Star WARS is literally in our name,” suggesting that war itself is political.
War is political, but don’t let their remarks fool you – Star Wars as a franchise never really was. The “wars” in the name didn’t allude to any real wars, only wars as a sort of vague, nebulous concept that a child might conceive. Real wars are complicated, messy affairs with no good guys, and no bad guys. There’s no ancient evil to defeat, no “big bad” for the heroes to come along and vanquish.
As for Emperor Palpatine taking inspiration from President Richard Nixon – George Lucas did have his biases, after all – it’s not really something any member of the audience could pick up. It was subtle, and Palpatine – if anything, had Nixonian qualities seen through the lens of George Lucas. But he wasn’t Richard Nixon. Certainly, you’d have no idea that he was even based on Richard Nixon unless you read Lucas’ writing notes.
And don’t even get me started on how boring the Senate scenes were in
Attack of the Clones. Ceding democracy to the autocratic reign of a tyrant isn’t exactly a novel concept.
Unfortunately, thanks to the popularity of Star Wars and the insistence that Star Wars
is political, many people now assign “good” and “evil” to the combatants of any conflict. Take the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, for example. No serious military historian would ever speak in such terms about either country involved, not to mention the US and NATO’s involvement in bolstering Ukraine’s military.
But thanks to Star Wars, warmongers in the media can now very quickly assign “evil” to the Russians, casting them as monsters – like the orcs in Lord of the Rings, and the Ukrainian nationalists as the warriors of Gondor or the Horse-lords of Rohan charging to defend Middle Earth from Sauron. It should come as no surprise that Ukrainian militants often use the exact word – ‘orcs’ – to dehumanize their Russian adversaries.
Like so many other conflicts throughout history, this is one that’s been dumbed down and simplified as a battle between good and evil – and it’s all thanks to media like Star Wars in their modern form.
Naturally, the tweet received over 50,000 likes, and some 10,000 retweets. The fandom, which is as easy as any fandom to pander to, ate it up – and the user who dared raise their voice in objection was very swiftly harangued, harassed, and driven off by hundreds of angry replies accusing them of ignorance, stupidity, and bigotry. One cannot criticize Star Wars without going unpunished.
And unfortunately, these days, one cannot enjoy fictional media without being given a basic, dumbed down lecture in politics.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
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