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Last week, a pack of white racists launched #DumpStarWars to boycott a movie they haven't even seen yet: Rogue One. The first standalone film in the ever-expanding Star Wars universe, they argued, features scenes calling the President-elect a racist. Go figure. Though these claims were made without evidence and could very well have just been ignored completely, here we are reading about Disney CEO Bob Iger having to actually address this bullshit.
"I think the whole story has been overblown and, quite frankly, it's silly," Iger told the Hollywood Reporter at the Rogue One premiere Saturday. "I have no reaction to [this] story at all." Then, confusingly, Iger proceeded to offer his reaction anyway. "Frankly, this is a film that the world should enjoy," he said. "It is not a film that is, in any way, a political film. There are no political statements in it, at all."
Hollllldddd up. "No political statements" at all? That's a cop-out answer. Of course the President-elect doesn't pop up in Rogue One. That wouldn't make any goddamn sense. But to say that a Star Wars movie is apolitical? Sorry dude, but have you ever even seen a Star Wars movie?
Part of what makes the story so universal, so beloved, and so relevant in today's climate is that Star Wars is absolutely political by way of clever allusion. The Empire itself, as noted by iO9's Katharine Trendacosta, "was clearly meant as a stand-in for fascism." Costume designer John Mollo was even told directly by George Lucas to go for a fascist style when putting together the Empire's look. "George made pronouncements of a general nature," Mollo said back in 2014. "First of all, he wanted the Imperial people to look efficient, totalitarian, fascist; and the Rebels, the goodies, to look like something out of a Western or the US Marines."
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which is definitely and awesomely all about fighting fascism, hits theaters Dec. 16.