You know, while people were too busy complaining about the Star Wars prequels and their CGI, Jar Jar, and wooden dialogue, George Lucas was at least trying to warn us about the kind of shit we’re dealing with in the aftermath of the presidential election.
A dangerous authoritarian (Palpatine) uses political trickery and rhetoric to maneuver himself into power, pretending to be on the side of the economically-oppressed. He also manipulates a stooge (Jar Jar) to give him even greater power.
Obi-Wan warns Anakin that politicians are not to be trusted, including Palpatine, but Anakin insists that Palpatine is “a good man,” and his blind faith in him leads to his undoing. He also muses that a dictatorship is fine, “if it works.”
Queen Jamillia of Naboo (a democratic leader) tells Padme, her predecessor, that “the day we stop believing democracy can work is the day we lose it.”
Senators like Bail Organa and Padme Amidala try their best to argue against Palpatine’s increases in power due to his exploitation of the Clone Wars, but it is ineffective. Eventually, following an unsuccessful attack by the Jedi, Palpatine spreads fake news that the Jedi are traitors intent on overthrowing the Republic, and declares himself Emperor. Padme notes that “liberty dies… with thunderous applause.”
Sure, some of it was clunky and heavy-handed, but the #DumpStarWars crowd (along with many others) obviously missed the point. George Lucas is famously liberal, and his early work reflected his anxieties about the state. THX-1138 is a good example, painting a picture of a dystopian society with an ignorant, drugged-out populace controlled by an oppressive government, and one man’s quest for identity and freedom.
The Empire in the Star Wars films is as fascist as it gets, and is notably all-white and human in the films (Some of the Expanded Universe material suggested this was part of a deliberate policy of exclusion of alien races.)
So Trump supporters who see an anti-Trump agenda in Rogue One, here’s a newsflash: Star Wars was never for you. Or to put it another way, it could have been had you educated yourselves, but you didn’t, and you obviously didn’t pay attention to the themes of the saga.