Season 3, Episode 10: “Heroes on Both Sides”
Original Air Date: 29 November 2010
Long-time fans of the Star Wars saga might feel some dismay that George Lucas–the man who makes billions marketing Star Wars toys–incessantly hammers home ham-fisted anti-corporate rants throughout the Star Wars prequel saga. So it is with the Clone Wars episode, “Heroes on Both Sides”, a unique commentary on the war in Afghanistan, and its perceived effects on the American economy.
Lesson Number One: Corporations are bad because they’re, well, corporation-ey.
The episode begins with the Galactic Senate debating the escalating debt. Senator Bail Organa of Alderaan places the blame solely on the cost of the escalating Clone Wars, ignoring the obvious effects of Senator Palpatine’s tax cuts, the soaring costs of medical droids, and the thousands of members in Gungan marching bands.
This prompts the representatives from the Trade Federation and the Intergalactic Banking Clan to run a bill through the Galactic Senate proposing the de-regulation of the banks. Right away, we know this is a sinister plot because:
a.) It involves de-regulating the banks, which is, like, totally corporation-like.
b.) The script writers were lazy, and somehow forgot to notice that the Trade Federation and the InterGalactic Banking Clan were in clearly in league with the Separatists since Episode II. Then again, Obi-Wan seems to never remember ever owning a droid…
Meanwhile, Senator Padme Amidala argues against spending more money on the Republic’s military-clone creating-Senatorial complex. This earns her the ire of a powerful senator, whom we’ll simply refer to as “Loren Thompson”. (I fully expect George Lucas to release a special edition in which this Loren Thompson alien has a giant butt for a head, which would only confirm that Loren Thompson is a total asshat.)
The spiraling cost of the war, both in blood and treasure, has caused Padme to secretly negotiate with Separatist insurgents on the planet Raxus. There, an incognito Padme attends a session of the Separatist Congress, where delegates are also pressing to negotiate with the Republic. Says one idealistic Separatist representative, “Corporations do not rule here, only democracy”.
Oh, if only he’d watched Episode II, when Count Dooku rallies powerful corporations to his cause: the Trade Federation, the Corporate Alliance, the InterGalactic Banking Clan, Industrial Lights and Magic, and LucasArts Software.
Lucas’ anti-corporate rants are little removed from your local “Occupy Wall Street” denizen: Railing against corporate oligarchy by posting blog posts on their $4000 MacBook Pros.
Lesson Two: Insurgents cannot negotiate for peace without the backing of their powerful proxy overlords.
Several idealistic Separatist leaders push for a negotiated peace with the Galactic Republic, only to meet a terrible end, as they are conveniently killed by Clone Troops. Darth Sidious, in his guise as Chancellor Palpatine, learns of the secret negotiations from Padme, and passes the details along to his apprentice, Count Dooku–also known as Darth Tyranus. Dooku and Palpatine have every reason to keep the war raging, and a non-sanctioned peace overture could overturn the Sith’s plot.
Sound far fetched? Tell it to Mullah Baradar.