The Star Wars series is no stranger to political commentary. George Lucas’ sci-fi series tells a story about two intergalactic factions who are vying for power. The Galactic Empire finds itself ruling the universe with an iron, Force-ladened fist while the Rebellion works to free star systems from imperial enslavement. With Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in theaters, fans have wondered how the film might comment on the political landscape of the real world, but they may be disappointed. According to Riz Ahmed, the actor says Rogue One contains no such thing.
In an interview with The Wrap, Ahmed commented on the #DumpStarWars social media campaign which started shortly before Rogue One premiered. The movement was spurred by fans who felt the Star Wars film would unfairly target the the U.S. political scene after the 2016 Presidential Election. However, Ahmed said Rogue One did not comment on the ordeal as doing so would be petty.
“It is absolutely to be expected that people will project their anxieties and concerns … onto art. It’s also the role of art to reflect the times we live in. But this film wasn’t made to speak to this particular moment. This is a film that was written years ago, that was filmed over a year-and-a-half ago,” he said.
“Our hope is that this film isn’t just resonant now, but in 10 years from now,” Ahmed continued. “I don’t think the creators of this film are to be as petty and small-minded as to use something as big and all-embracing as ‘Star Wars’ to score kind of mean political points. I actually think that in this time that is so divided, a film like ‘Star Wars’ brings everyone together.”
When asked about the ongoing social media firestorm, the actor simply said it was weird. “I have no idea what they’re talking about,” he said.
The hoopla began after some Twitter fans began circulating rumors about Rogue One’s reshoots. Trump supporters questioned whether Disney had added anti-Trump scenes to the film, but the studio firmly denied those accusations. Still, some were inclined to ignore Disney’s word after the writers for Rogue One used the film as a tool to fight against the Republican elect. Chris Weitz and Gary Whitta rallied against Trump on Twitter by using the Rebel Alliance logo as a means of - well - rebellion.
So, what do you think? If you’ve seen Rogue One, did you think the film was inherently biased about the U.S. and its politics? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is in theaters today.