Mace Windu for Chancellor

Say what you want about the Star Wars prequels, they are excellent tools for teaching a six-year-old boy about the basics of democracy.

Yesterday I was in a post office with my son Sam (6) and he saw a big cardboard standup for the HBO John Adams bio-pic, and he said “Who is that guy? I’m seeing this poster everywhere!” So I started to explain to him who John Adams was and what he did and what his role was in the formation of the United States, and that necessitated an explanation of monarchy vs. democracy, and at that point Sam chimed in and said “Yeah, like in Episode III, Chancellor Palpatine is supposed to be the leader of the Senate, where people are supposed to get together and talk about what’s best for everyone, but instead he’s just making everyone fight each other and sitting back and laughing at them all because he’s really controlling everything.” Then I blinked a few times and decided Sam didn’t need to know that much more about John Adams for a while.

Anyway, we were watching Revenge of the Sith the other day, and if you ever need to explain what is going on in this country right now to a six-year-old boy, you could certainly find worse teaching tools than this movie. All the players are there and the political delineations are as clear as could be. Palpatine is a corrupt, cynical politician scheming to become an emperor, starting a war to give himself expansive executive powers, controlling the Senate and the courts to make sure no one can oppose him, et cetera ad infinitum. This is not news, it’s pretty obvious that the movie is intended as a criticism of the Bush/Cheney doctrine.

And then, about 2/3 of the way through the movie, Sam, apropos of nothing, says “I think Mace Windu should be elected Chancellor.” Which kind of created a moment of clarity for me. Mace Windu (the “stoic” Jedi, according to is a wise, well-spoken, incorruptible warrior-priest, who sees (eventually) what Palpatine is and seeks to remove him from power. He fails, and dies, but Sam is correct — none of this would have happened if Mace Windu had been Chancellor. Which inspired me to make this:

click for larger view.

Inspiration here.

UPDATE: Sam just walked in, saw this entry on my computer, and said “That guy with ‘HOPE’ on him?  Is either Mace Windu or God.”

Oh, and honestly, I am going to do a post on 1941, and it honestly will be worth it.hitcounter


21 Responses to “Mace Windu for Chancellor”
  1. Anonymous says:

    Stick to what you know

    So Chancellor Bush is going to have all the other wise, incorruptible Democratic Senators killed off by the Army?

    I love what you have to say about movies, but your cartoonish perspective on politics is just embarrassing. Obviously, you haven’t spent a lot of time around politicians if you think any of them possess Jedi-like qualities.

    I look forward to your 1941 post – your Jaws postings inspired me to watch it again the other day, with renewed appreciation.

    • Todd says:

      Re: Stick to what you know

      Well, the mock-poster is intended to be tongue-in-cheek, but I guess if one is looking for fault one will find it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Re: Stick to what you know

      Right, because the movie doesn’t map to reality down to the very molecule, it’s completely worthless as a vehicle for discussing the current political situation. Right. Gotcha.

      Stick to what you know, indeed.

      — Kent M. Beeson

  2. It might be less that Sith is directly aiming to criticize the Bush administration as it is using a current popular archetype of terrifying bad government as part of its own story. I think it’s similar to the way that Moore’s V for Vendetta, written in Thatcher-era Britain, portrayed totalitarian government as inhuman and coldly efficient, while the recent film, written in Bush-era America, told the same story (okay, it tried to tell the same story) with a totatlitarian government that was frothing-at-the-mouth right-wing Christian. The effect is much the same, but it’s more natural and less directly allegorical.

    • Todd says:

      The nice thing about Thatcherite England is that it’s made all the Thatcher-inspired English New-Wave records I own suddenly relevant. That way I can listen to them and be nostalgic and current at the same time.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I hope you’re planning on doing a comparison of the theatrical and extended cuts of 1941. A few small character moments aside, I don’t think the extended version adds anything to 1941 but more length.

    • craigjclark says:

      That was me, by the way. Don’t know what happened the first time I tried posting it. I thought I was logged in.

    • Todd says:

      Don’t worry, a discussion of the differences between the theatrical and DVD cuts of 1941 is crucial to my analysis of the movie.

      • craigjclark says:

        This is going to sound weird, but the movie in Spielberg’s canon that I’m most interested in reading your take on is actually Twilight Zone: The Movie.

        • Todd says:

          I’ll get to it (I watched it the other day), but I can’t guarantee I’ll have anything enlightening to say about it.

          • craigjclark says:

            The most fascinating thing about it (to me, at least) is the fact that Spielberg was originally set to do a remake of “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street” — one of the darkest episodes in the whole series — but after the Vic Morrow incident during the shooting of John Landis’s sequence he went in the complete opposite direction — some would say a bit too far.

  4. ndgmtlcd says:

    “Oh, and honestly, I am going to do a post on 1941, and it honestly will be worth it.”

    It had better be. Every cinephile knew that the WWII film “genre” was something very special for Mr.Speilberg, long before it was announced that he was preparing “1941”. And then, it came out, and boy was it ever a shock.

    • Todd says:

      For you, and for John Wayne and Charlton Heston, both of whom were asked to play General Stillwell and both of whom were appalled and disgusted by the script.

  5. r_sikoryak says:

    Lucas should re-title episode IV: The Audacity of a New Hope.

  6. bassfingers says:

    Seeing your Mace/Hope propaganda inspired me to attempt a Hitchcock-based “Rope” poster in a similar style. Didn’t really read well, even though I found some nice John Dall source pictures to work from.

    Also had misgivings that using “rope” in an Obama parody could be misconstrued. Really, it was a pun on the word, and using Hitchcock. Not a hanging reference. But yeah. Abandoned that one for now.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Just as a heads up, I’m going back and re-reading your Bond analysis while I re-watch the movies; they’re great. But some of the images you used are now a woman flashing her breasts and a website urging you to stop stealing bandwidth. Dude, you’re not supposed to hot link pictures.

    • Todd says:

      Wait — there’s something bad about a woman flashing her breasts?

      As for the hotlinking, if I knew what it or “bandwidth” were I’d be more careful about it.

      • Anonymous says:

        No, sir. I am completely pro bare breasts. Just thought you’d like a heads up that breasts are now on your blog.

        And I’m no techo-geek but to my understanding bandwidth is the amount of data a site is allotted to have sent out when a person visits the site. When another website hot links a pic, all the times the pic is brought up on the second site (like your blog) the initial site that actually holds the pic is getting “charged” bandwidth and either they run out of their monthly (?) allotment or something else that I’m unaware of.

  8. emeraldsedai says:

    Great poster! Great response to it from Sam.