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Message Board: What are your thoughts on the comments George Lucas made about America's future at the Cannes Film Festival?

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May the Farce be with You

By Craig von Buseck Contributing Writer

CBN.comDelve with me into the mind of Star Wars creator George Lucas…

Somewhere in the bowels of the city in the clouds (we'll call it Washington, D.C.) the evil conservative, Darth Vader (played by George W. Bush) battles the innocent, pure liberal, Luke Skywalker (played by George Lucas). After brutally cutting off young Luke's right hand, Darth Vader (Bush) reaches out to pull the Jedi-to-be over to the dark side. As he extends his hand to the virtuous youth, he declares, "Luke, I am your FUHRER."

"No," you cry out with me in horror. "That's impossible."

And in the real world, you'd be right. There is a vast difference between the fantasy created by George Lucas and his liberal friends like Michael Moore and the reality of the war on terror:

  • The real George W. Bush just took American might to the terrorists of this world after September 11th to say, "Enough. You won't keep the free people of the Earth in fear."
  • The real G.W. just liberated Afghanistan and Iraq, setting free two peoples held under tyranny for decades -- and in so doing, bringing democracy to the totalitarian neighborhood of the Middle East.
  • The real G.W. became the first U.S. president to admit that it was a mistake to allow the Communists to get a foothold in eastern Europe after World War II -- an error that lead to the oppression of millions, the Cold War, and the nuclear arms race.
  • The real G.W. has declared that now is the time for freedom and democracy to break forth across the globe. In fact, he has been so forceful in his push for democracy that some pundits think he's going too fast and shouldn't stir up the masses to throw off dictatorship too quickly because it might upset the balance of power in the world.
  • The real George W. Bush adds curious phrases like this one in his speeches: "We have confidence because freedom is the permanent hope of mankind, the hunger in dark places, the longing of the soul. When our Founders declared a new order of the ages, when soldiers died in wave upon wave for a union based on liberty, when citizens marched in peaceful outrage under the banner 'Freedom Now' they were acting on an ancient hope that is meant to be fulfilled. History has an ebb and flow of justice, but history also has a visible direction set by liberty and the Author of Liberty."

You see, in the real world, George W. Bush, and conservatives like him, are defenders of liberty -- understanding that freedom is never free, but comes at a great cost. As Thomas Paine wrote during the darkest days of the Revolutionary War, "Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated."

In the real world, George W. Bush is a liberator, not a tyrant. I believe history will agree.

But then, as a moviemaker, it seems that Mr. Lucas doesn't spend enough of his time in the realm of reality. I give him credit -- he is one of the best fantasy weavers of all time. The problem comes when the fantasy world of the screen seeps over into the world of politics -- like it did last week at the Cannes Film Festival.

At the end of the festival, the Associated Press ran an article by their movie writer, David Germain, where Lucas actually associated George W. Bush and the war in Iraq with Darth Vader and the new Star Wars movie. I know, I know -- if I hadn't read it myself I wouldn't have believed it either. But it gets worse (or better if you enjoy amateur political punditry). Lucas went on to warn that America may be on the same track as Caesar in Rome, Napoleon in France and, if you can believe it, Adolph Hitler in Nazi Germany.

In ancient Rome, Lucas questions, "why did the senate after killing Caesar turn around and give the government to his nephew? Why did France after they got rid of the king and that whole system turn around and give it to Napoleon? It's the same thing with Germany and Hitler. You sort of see these recurring themes where a democracy turns itself into a dictatorship, and it always seems to happen kind of in the same way, with the same kinds of issues, and threats from the outside, needing more control. A democratic body, a senate, not being able to function properly because everybody's squabbling, there's corruption."

The AP writer pointed out that Lucas never mentioned the president by name, but was eager to speak his mind on U.S. policy in Iraq, careful to note that he created the story long before the 'Bush-led occupation' there (not the 'Bush-led liberation').

"I didn't think it was going to get quite this close," Lucas said ominously at a Cannes news conference. "So it's just one of those recurring things. I hope this doesn't come true in our country. Maybe the film will waken people to the situation."

What situation do people need to wake up to, Mr. Lucas? Is it the war on terror that is meant to take the fight to the terrorist, rather than them bringing their brutality to our streets as they did on 9/11?

Or perhaps you mean the liberation of Iraq, a nation that recently held free elections and appointed a democratic government?

Maybe you are referring to the liberation of Afghanistan -- which, like the freeing of Iraq, was an action similar to the American liberation of Germany and Japan in World War II. Remember, Mr. Lucas, that America rebuilt and released those countries into the family of free nations. Unlike the Communists who conveniently left their troops and puppet governments in Eastern Europe for the next 50 years.

The amazing thing is that Lucas seems to actually believe that this is what is happening in America and the world today. The parties at Cannes and in Hollywood must be so entertaining with George Lucas and Michael Moore spinning their yarns as their devoted fans sip martinis and mindlessly take it all in.

The AP writer joins in with the liberal fear-fest as he writes, "Lucas's themes of democracy on the skids and a ruler preaching war to preserve the peace predate 'Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith' by almost 30 years. Yet viewers Sunday — and Lucas himself — noted similarities between the final chapter of his sci-fi saga and our own troubled times."

Germain writes that the Cannes audiences made blunt comparisons between Revenge of the Sith -- the story of Anakin Skywalker's fall to the dark side and the rise of an emperor through warmongering -- to President Bush's war on terrorism and the invasion of Iraq.

"Two lines from the movie especially resonated," Germain ominously warns: "'This is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause,' bemoans Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman) as the galactic Senate cheers dictator-in-waiting Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) while he announces a crusade against the Jedi."

"'If you're not with me, then you're my enemy,' Hayden Christensen's Anakin -- soon to become villain Darth Vader -- tells former mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor). The line echoes Bush's international ultimatum after the Sept. 11 attacks, 'Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.'"

"That quote is almost a perfect citation of Bush," says Liam Engle, a 23-year-old French-American aspiring filmmaker who Germain cites. "Plus, you've got a politician trying to increase his power to wage a phony war." Though the plot was written years ago, "the anti-Bush diatribe is clearly there," Engle said.

Perhaps in the mind of Engle, Germain, Michael Moore, and George Lucas … but I believe most thinking Americans understood in those dark days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks that our president was not initiating global American imperialism. He was making it clear to terrorists and dictators around the world that people of liberty would no longer stand by and allow ourselves to be attacked.

You see, most conservatives understand the reality of a world that has both good and evil people living in it. They understand that there are people who hate freedom and democracy, and are willing to commit atrocities to eradicate it -- like the attacks of 9/11; or the attack on the train station in Madrid, Spain the day before an election (the timing of that was quite interesting, don't you think Mr. Lucas?); or the dozens of other attacks against innocent, liberty-loving people around the world. And they understand that there is a cost to protecting freedom and democracy.

Throughout history, though, there have been leaders who demonstrate through their words and actions that they don't understand this concept.

People like General George McClelland in the American Civil War who could train an army, but then was not willing to use it -- who went on to oppose Abraham Lincoln in the presidential election with a plan to sue for peace with the South if he won, leaving millions in chains and allowing the division of the Union.

Or folks like British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain (though he was a conservative) who signed an appeasement accord with Adolph Hitler in September, 1938 giving one-fifth of Czechoslovakia to Germany. Chamberlain declared triumphantly that there would be 'peace in our time', just months before the Nazi's took the rest of Czechoslovakia and then invaded Poland, launching World War II.

Or the peaceniks of the Cold War years who called for appeasement with the Communists, allowing them to gobble up nations one-by-one in their quest for global domination. These are the same liberals who opposed Ronald Reagan's plan to implement a defensive shield against nuclear missile attack -- a plan that ironically was dubbed 'Star Wars' by the press.

Or the liberals today who would equate a war against terror to protect America and freedom-loving people around the world, and a war to liberate a nation from brutal dictatorship, establishing free elections and free enterprise, with the evil empire of Star Wars and its' brutal leader Darth Vadar.

Which reminds me, let's return to the movie in Lucas's mind:

The pure, liberal Luke Skywalker (Lucas) in an act of self-sacrifice, falls away from the evil Darth Vader (G.W.), and finds himself tumbling mercifully into a series of garbage disposal tubes that drop him out of the bottom of the celestial city to dangle helplessly in mid-air. Crying out for help, his distress is picked up by German Prime Minister, Gerhard Schroeder and French President, Jacques Chirac in the Millennium Falcon. They swoop in to rescue the Jedi-in-training from the evil Darth Vader.

Sounds scary, doesn't it? But then, good fantasy needs a dramatic plot to help people believe and escape. The problem is, after two or three hours, the movie is over and everyone goes back to reality.

To Mr. Lucas I say, "Stick with fantasy, George. You're really good at it."

Message Board: What are your thoughts on the comments George Lucas made about America's future at the Cannes Film Festival?

Read the AP article: 'Wars' Raises Questions on U.S. Policy

Craig von BuseckCraig von Buseck is Ministries Director for Send him your e-mail comments on this article.



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