Return to Sun Tzu and Hollywood


Was George Lucas deliberately comparing the Empire to the Bush conservative movement in the U.S. on Revenge of the Sith?


Do not misunderestimate the power of force


Some of the lines in the movie did seem very close to anti-Bush statements.  Why might this be so?


The Jedi philosophies described in the Star Wars series have clear Taoist roots.  Sun Tzu in his Art of War also has clear Taoist roots.  From the Tao Te Ching, a predictive verse appears that I have watched unfold step-by-step since the March 2003 Iraq invasion.  Since it follows apparent Jedi ways of thinking, it lends some credence to why conservatives could see an attack on them and Bush regardless of whether Lucas intended the attack or not.


Verse from the Tao Te Ching below with commentary:


He who serves a ruler of men in accordance with the Way of life will not subdue a kingdom through force of arms.  Such a course is bound to bring retribution.


The invasion of Afghanistan in 2002 proved a necessary war.  Much of the world agreed with that action or at least understood it.  However, much of the world views the Iraq war as an unnecessary war.  Not surprisingly, the Iraq war has led to retribution.


Where troops are stationed, briars and thorns spring up.  In the track of armies must follow lean years.


No doubt the Iraq war has and will continue to hurt the U.S. economy, particularly as unhindered rivals such as China spend more of their resources on economic development.  The war costs money that could be spent elsewhere.


The good general wins victory and then stops; he will not continue with needless acts of violence.


This was our opportunity after Afghanistan in 2002, to win the military and moral victory and then stop.  Much of the world sees the U.S. invasion of Iraq as a “needless act of violence.”  We did not make our case.   


Winning he does not boast; he does not triumph; he shows no glory. 


The aircraft carrier victory speech violated this principle.  Most people I have talked to wish Bush had not done that.


He wins because he must.  After winning he will not be overbearing.


This is where we are now.  We are attempting to start a democracy in a region that has not known it before.  It is a very tall task for anyone to do.  Hopefully, it will not prove too tall a task.  Many people in the U.S. and around the world, however, see this as overbearing, particularly in light of the U.S. centric approach to reconstruction efforts.


Power lead to fall, which is not in accord with the Way.  What is not in accord with the Way will surely come to an end.


This predicts a possible future, from the Taoist point of view.  So if George Lucas has a movie with deep seated Taoist roots, whether he intended it or not, you would expect the movie to show ideas that would not sit well with a conservative point of view.  Though I have not doubt Lucas completed this story years ago, I would not be surprised if such lines that say, essentially, "Either you are with me or you are my enemy" were later additions.  However, it's not as if people haven't understood the danger of absolutes for a few thousand years. 



Return to Sun Tzu and Hollywood