Yesterday, we saw the new Star Wars movie. I liked it (not loved it) and promise not to give away the plot.
However, what really struck me is the World War II imagery that is evident throughout the movie. Not just the Nazi symbolism — the Storm Troopers with their Nazi like helmets, or the giant red flag with the black icon behind the general exhorting his troops and their Nazi like salute in response.
These symbols have been part of the Star War’s imagery for a long time.
What struck me this time, is the World War II imagery from the Allied side. The naming of those who are fighting the evil empire — the Resistance. The uniforms that the Resistance pilots wear which are reminiscent of those of the British pilots during the Battle of Britain. And the shots of them scrambling to get into their planes. And the costumes of the Resistance fighters themselves, which resemble those of the Red Army (tunics) and the Polish Partisans (brown pants, brown jackets).
Here’s some photos from WW II. When you see the movie, keep these images in your mind.
I’m not amazed that the Nazi symbolism is so strongly rooted in our psyche’s that it can still be used in the 21st century to symbolize evil, 70 years after the end of World War II.
And it makes me think a lot about the powerful effect of such symbolism. If it is so powerful after 70+ years, no wonder the Germans were so enthralled in the 1930’s.
I AM amazed that the symbolism of the allies in the new Star Wars film might also hold such power. Does the average American remember what the Battle of Britain pilots, Polish partisans, and Russian soldiers looked like? And I am doubtful that many people other than me, picked up the similarities. It was much more subtle. And, of course, you need to be of a certain age.
If you did, I’d love to hear from you.