Malcolm Tucker delivered the best description of Star Wars, in The Thick of It: ‘The one about the fucking hairdresser, the space hairdresser, and the cowboy. The guy, he’s got a tinfoil pal and a pedal bin. His father’s a robot and he’s fucking fucked his sister. Lego, they’re all made of fucking Lego.’ He didn’t mention that Star Wars is really about Henry Kissinger.
It was written by George Lucas, grossed $33 billion over six films, with merchandise, founded a new and stupid religion called Jedi, which, in the 2001 census 0.8 per cent of the population of England and Wales said they identified with, and invented the Star Wars convention where you can, as I did, meet the man who operated Jabba the Hutt’s left arm. The seventh film — The Force Awakens, the first in a third trilogy — opens this month. How to explain it to Spectator readers who have not seen it, because they are good at life and do not need it?
It is a fairy tale, inspired by Lawrence of Arabia, by James Bond (but I can’t see it), by 2001: A Space Odyssey, and by J.R.R Tolkien. A young man (Luke Skywalker, a plank, like Frodo in Lord of the Rings, because everyone can identify with a plank) grows up during a Manichaean struggle. The evil Galactic Empire is really Nixon’s America, and it is bad; the Republican rebels are really the Vietcong, and they are good. When Walter Cronkite praised Star Wars, which surprised the people involved, because they thought it was junk and said so — ‘George, you can type this shit, but you sure can’t say it,’ said Harrison Ford (Han Solo, the cowboy) — I do not think he knew that.
The Emperor Palpatine is Richard Nixon and his enforcer Darth Vader is Henry Kissinger, but he breathes like JFK. Everyone — everyone — has noticed that Darth Kissinger looks like a big black sex toy, which is why I mention it. (I am a journalist. I am supposed to be observant and I certainly observed that.) Vader is, essentially, a perv Henry Kissinger. To repeat: Darth Vader is dirty and it’s not just me that thinks so. Lucas was so in denial about his filth creation he banned all sex-themed Star Wars ‘fan fiction’.
Luke is armed with knowledge of ‘the Force’ — this part is hippy — by the Gandalf-esque Jedi wizard Obi-Wan Kenobi. He was played by Alec Guinness, who wailed to a friend from the set, ‘New rubbish dialogue reaches me every other day on wodges of pink paper — and none of it makes my character clear or even bearable.’ He recovered by spending his 0.25 per cent of the profits in the Connaught. Luke then battles with his father Darth Kissinger.
The most obvious problems in the films are: why can’t Imperial Stormtroopers shoot straight? Are they hippies? They shoot like hippies. Are they stoned? Why is a Republican rebellion against the evil Galactic Empire led by a woman called ‘Princess’ (Leia, the hairdresser, who is wearing hair earmuffs). Haven’t they missed something essential about a Republic?
Why does the evil Galactic Empire’s greatest weapon, the Death Star — or ‘flying pillbox’ — have a hole large enough to accommodate enemy missiles next to its main power source? I am not an engineer and even I wouldn’t do something that stupid, particularly if I worked for Darth Kissinger. Also — why isn’t the Millennium Falcon called the Millennium Pigeon? Quibbles. Star Wars made $33 billion because you can understand it in Russian when you can’t speak Russian. I saw the sixth Star Wars movie, Revenge of the Sith, in Kiev, where I was reporting on the Eurovision Song Contest. (I say this not to enlighten you about anything in particular, but to make the editor of this magazine jealous.) It was completely in Russian and in a scene between Anakin Skywalker (the youthful Kissinger) and Padmé Amidala, his unlucky wife, she said, ‘I don’t know you anymore, Anakin.’ I don’t know how I knew she said that because I don’t understand Russian. But I did. And when I returned to London I watched the film in English, just to check. And she did say, ‘I don’t know you anymore, Anakin.’ That everyone lands on the planet of the teddy bears at the end is not a mistake, although Darth Kissinger probably was. Star Wars taught Hollywood to make children’s films for adults and never stop. There are no action figures of the cast of Chinatown, and there never will be.