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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Letter to George Lucas From Someone Who Understands Communism, Arthur Chrenkoff

I've always been rather rabid in my anti-communist views, something that has brought me grief at times. So, imagine my chagrine when I read what George Lucas was saying about StarWars and how the Evil Empire was actually a representation of the US and the USSR as I had always thought.

Then, today while reading The Indepundit, I read this posting which sent me to an open letter to George Lucas from the esteemed Aruthur Chrenkoff.
Dear Mr Lucas

This might be a good opportunity to thank you for many hours of entertainment that your two "Star Wars" trilogies have provided for me with. I'm not one of the "Star Wars" fanatics, but I've watched the five films so far several times over the years. I most fondly remember watching the first trilogy in the late 1970s and the early 80s at the movies, when I was a boy living in the then communist Poland. Your space saga of Luke Skywalker and his fight against Darth Vader, the Empire and the Dark Side has proved as big a hit on the other side of the Iron Curtin as it did in the West.

You might be aware that all of us who saw the "Star Wars" trilogy throughout the communist world saw it as an entertaining, yet still nonetheless powerful commentary on the current world events. We simply couldn't escape the conclusion that the militaristic and freedom-crushing Empire with its legions of stormtroopers is a futuristic version of the Soviet Empire, which had conquered and enslaved hundreds of millions of people like myself. For us, of course, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and all the others fighting to restore the Republic were brave oppositionists and freedom fighters in the truest sense of the word. Like the Western movie goers, we too cheered when the Death Star was destroyed (twice), but whereas for our counterparts in the Free World this was just a great cinematic climax, for us it embodied the hope ("A New Hope", if you pardon the pun) that one day the specter of totalitarianism will vanish and we will be free again.

Apparently, however, we were wrong - we didn't read your movies correctly...
Thank you Arthur. You said it better than I ever could have with a perspective I'll never have. You lived it, I have only read about it.

UPDATE: Some more good comments over at Dean's place.