Force-ing an agenda

A long time ago, in a society far, far away, one could enjoy a sci-fi adventure tale without having to stomach an overdose of “social justice” writing thrown in for propagandistic effect.  Those days appear to be over, even for established franchises:

Star Wars fans anxious to see “Episode VII: The Force Awakens,” get a taste of the new universe in a new book, Chuck Wendig’s Star Wars: Aftermath. But not all fans are rejoicing — many are panning the book — for bringing sexual politics into mainstream science fiction. Don’t worry about all the haters, though — they’re evil homophobes with the Empire.

This was — truly — the author’s response to criticism on his blog. To anyone with the gall to question his inclusion of not one, not two, but 5 gay characters, Wendig wrote, “You’re not the Rebel Alliance. You’re not the good guys. You’re the f**king Empire, man. You’re the sh**ty, oppressive, totalitarian Empire.”

He went on in his rant to compare anyone who disagreed with his favored lifestyle to dinosaurs whose opinions are “about to be extinct.”  Such a likeable fellow, no?  A publicist’s dream, I’m sure.

I loved Star Wars as a kid.  I enjoyed introducing my then-four-year-old Oldest Musketeer to it when “The Phantom Menace” debuted in 1999… though the “Jar-Jar” generation gap was quickly evident.  (Meesa still thinks George should have been smart enough to let someone ELSE write the prequel screenplays.  After all, what’s arguably the fan favorite–The Empire Strikes Back–was written by Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan, NOT George “how many computer-generated special effects can I cram in here” Lucas.)

Lucas’ mishandling of the prequel trilogy was bad enough.  But I knew — I just knew — when Disney acquired the franchise, “I have a bad feeling about this.”  Could there be any doubt that the company running the ABC ‘Family’ channel (tagline: “A new kind of family”), and that has no problem with annual “Gay Days” at Disneyworld (what an unexpected bonus for all the unwary “old style” families there, no?), or whose child stars routinely grow up to be public train wrecks, would perform their ‘Disney magic’ on the most successful science fiction franchise of all time?  Using such a popular vehicle to attempt further mainstreaming of homosexuality is just too appealing to the Social Justice crowd.  That’s why the sitcom Seinfeld produced the tagline “not that there’s anything wrong with that” and got America repeating it incessantly.  (Disclosure: I’ve never seen a single episode of that sitcom; after hearing coworkers parrot that phrase one too many times, I looked up what all the fuss was about.  And when I explained later to some of them how they were demonstrating the manipulative effects of media, a couple of them took pause to consider.)  People forget that mass media is the vehicle for modern propaganda and psychological effects — they assume that’s a practice from a bygone era, and “it could never happen here.”  Oh, sure, people label political campaigns as “propaganda,” but they assume it’s innocuous because they think they see it coming. Which makes the real, subtle social engineering through other channels all the more effective.

The kid in me wants to be excited about Star Wars’ return to the big screen, but instead my deflector shields are up.  I will not be in the crowds on opening weekend, and neither will my family.  If Disney is smart enough to keep the propaganda out of the films, we MAY rent it on DVD at some point.  But there will never be another Star Wars book (or lightsaber, of which our Three Musketeers have worn out many over the years) purchased by our family after what transpired with this latest book release.  And I doubt I’ll be taking my future grandchildren to the theater as I did with my son in 1999.

As for ‘evil empires,’ that’s how I would describe a company originally founded on childhood imagination being perverted to the dark side to lead the youngest among us astray.  I’ll find my entertainment elsewhere, without the added indoctrination.

Disney is not the only media conglomerate with an agenda.  Be discerning, dear readers, and be aware of what messages you and your family are absorbing.

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