Just as it’s obvious that if Han Solo and Chewbacca were U.S. citizens they’d be voting for Donald Trump, so it’s a no-brainer that in Britain they’d be rooting for UKIP.
This is what I argued on BBC’s Daily Politics show yesterday in response to a New Statesman piece by left-leaning journalist Stephen Bush. According to Bush, the Star Wars series is essentially a celebration of “the left-wing values of solidarity and collective action”.
Hmm. The only bit of Bush’s convoluted thesis I agree with is where he describes Han and Chewie as “a pair of sole traders, equivalent to white van men.” Exactly. That’s why they vote for Britain’s nearest thing to the Tea Party: they are taxed enough already and just want to be left to get on with their lives, unencumbered by the depredations of the controlling monolith that is the Empire.
Given that Star Wars was written in the Cold War, I suppose the model for the Empire was the Soviet Union. Today, of course, its closest equivalent would be the European Union, only with one key difference: on their day, the Imperial Stormtroopers can be a pretty formidable and effective force, where its EU equivalent – the European Army being proposed by President Jean-Claude Juncker – would be as crap as a platoon of transgendered Ewoks with their hands tied with rainbow ribbons and without the advantage of the forest which, as I dimly recall, is the only reason that stops them being as crap as they look.
Why would the European Union’s Imperial forces be as crap as a platoon of tied-up transgendered Ewoks with no arboreal advantage?
Well first because, unlike, say, the Fatherland or Blighty, a corrupt, amorphous, simultaneously insipid and toxic entity like the EU is not something for which any stormtrooper would consider laying down his life. And secondly because the German element would be too fat and pacifistic, the French would be too busy cooking five course lunches featuring ortolan and foie gras, the Italians’ AT-AT Walkers would only work in reverse, the Greeks would flog off all their kit to the Rebel Alliance, the Spanish would divide in factions and kill each other and the British just wouldn’t because we are NOT Europeans.
But I digress. There is really very little in Star Wars which offers much ideological comfort to those of a big government persuasion – big government being represented, after all, by a giant armoured orb, nudgingly named the Death Star, heralded with Wagnerian theme music – which crushes rebel planets by blowing entire civilisations including Princess Leia’s to smithereens and by tall evil men in black capes with advanced asthma or skin like a Gila monster’s.
There is, however, very much in Star Wars to suggest that ramshackle rebel alliances formed of shabby-looking, lovably eccentric, heroically determined social outcasts – see also: UKIP conferences; Tea Party rallies – may be our only hope against the growing tyranny of One Universe Government.
If you want a more sophisticated and involved analysis of why Star Wars is a Hayekian paradigm, here’s Zero Hedge’s Tyler Durden.
If you are interested to read up on Star Wars from the warped, but never less than involving perspective of a man whose inevitable response on first meeting Jar-Jar Binks would be “And how much do you charge for anal?”, read this.
Obviously, we all want to claim Star Wars in support of our own political philosophy because it’s about the most famous film series ever and we’d all like to think of ourselves as being on the winning ideological team.
But I do think that anyone from the left side of the argument trying to claim Star Wars for their cause is on a losing wicket, the fundamental problem being that the Baddies in the movie series just happen to embody the very thing that lefties most adore, viz: the Leviathan of Big Government and the Goodies embody the very things that lefties most hate, viz: freedom, individual personality, inappropriate behaviour, crass but twinkle-eyed casual sexism (see Han and Leia who, of course, loves it really) etc.