John Fund at OpinionJournal.com corrects the record on claims that the latest Star Wars movie is commenting on Bush and IraqNonsense, says Mr. Lucas. He told reporters that any analogies found in his latest effort are strictly historical. He noted he had read histories of how democracy had been subverted by the Romans under Caesar, the French under Napoleon, and the Germans under Hitler. He pointed out that the original 1977 Star Wars movie "was written during the Vietnam War and Nixon era, when the issue was how a democracy turns itself over to a dictator -- not how a dictator takes over a democracy." He said that parallels between the war depicted in the film and the Iraq conflict were also overblown: "When I wrote (the Star Wars treatment), Iraq didn't exist. We were just funding Saddam Hussein and giving him weapons of mass destruction."
Mr. Lucas' wish to distance himself from those who would exploit his latest Star Wars epic for political purposes is shared by Ian McDiarmid, the actor who plays the manipulative Supreme Chancellor Palpatine in the film. When asked if his character's preaching of peace while pursuing conflict involved any references to President Bush, he demurred. He says he modeled his character more along the lines of Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic, whom he described as "quite Sithian, actually" referring to the evil rivals of the virtuous Jedi Knights.