Fashionably late capitalism

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Jack Graham

Jack Graham writes and podcasts about culture and politics from a Gothic Marxist-Humanist perspective. He co-hosts the I Don't Speak German podcast with Daniel Harper. Support Jack on Patreon.


  1. Goodluck
    February 4, 2016 @ 11:45 am

    This essay is everything I hoped for and more. Great job.

    Oh, but don’t say this is a conclusion just yet. I imagine you’ll have something to say about Rogue One by the end of the year. From the bits and pieces trickling through, it’s seems like it’s going to be a Sci-Fi/WWII/Espionage mashup, with the Rebellion standing in for “Plucky British Spies” this time. I’m sure you’ll have a lot to say on that.


  2. D.N.
    February 4, 2016 @ 12:17 pm

    “Almost the only non-American accent in the Rebellion is Threepio’s… And the Empire’s officers are overwhelmingly played by British actors. Peter Cushing, Leslie Schofield, Don Henderson, Michael Sheard, Kenneth Colley, Michael Culver, Julian Glover, Michael Pennington, and Ian McDiarmid all appear in the original trilogy as high-ranking Imperial personnel. It’s no mystery why. America is founded on a rebellion against British imperial rule.”

    This doesn’t contradict your point, but I think the predominantly American-cast Rebellion vs. the almost-totally British-cast Empire is linked to Hollywood Biblical epics usually casting Americans as the Jews and Brits as the Romans. (A tradition Martin Scorsese deliberately evoked by casting David Bowie as Pontius Pilate in “The Last Temptation of Christ.”)


    • Jack Graham
      February 5, 2016 @ 9:13 am

      The first version of this began with the rhetorical question “Why was David Bowie cast as Pilate?” but it stopped fitting anywhere and had to be cut. Wait for the special edition in 2036 when it gets jarringly spliced back in for no good reason.


  3. Greg S.
    February 4, 2016 @ 6:26 pm

    The other glaring exception to the good = American Accent is of course Obi Wan Kenobi.


    • Joseph
      February 4, 2016 @ 9:35 pm

      And James Earl Jones, surely? Yes it’s heavily distorted, but he’s from Mississippi…


      • Jack Graham
        February 5, 2016 @ 9:11 am

        Sure, it’s a trend not an iron rule.


    • Random Comments
      February 5, 2016 @ 10:19 pm

      Also, briefly, Leia, who uses a British accent in about half her scenes in A New Hope.
      And, obviously, characters like Chewbacca and Nien Nunb.


  4. Bakuraptor
    February 4, 2016 @ 9:38 pm

    Although I suspect that you’re absolutely right in assuming that this trilogy will conclude with the restoration of the republic (in some more moral form), I can’t help but hope (although this is basically a pipe dream) that the resolution actually comes in a revolution of the storm-troopers, who are prompted into a rising by Finn; their actual narrative, of a people deprived of their families, lives, and identities (in the Force Awakens) is almost that of a subjugated populace. As you say, though, I highly doubt that would fit into the essentially cyclical structure of star wars films.


  5. Citizen_Alan
    February 5, 2016 @ 6:32 am

    Is there anything textual in the Star Wars series that supports the idea that droids are sentient enslaved beings as opposed to computerized machines with really good interfaces? Relatedly, I’m thinking of buying an iPhone. How much should I offer Siri in hourly wages and vacation time?


    • Holly
      February 5, 2016 @ 12:46 pm

      I think the way that C3PO and R2D2 communicate with each other like people chatting when no-one is watching is an indication.


  6. SpaceSquid
    February 5, 2016 @ 1:47 pm

    I feel we should all take a moment to consider just how great that alternative title’s pun is. I am basking in its magnificence.


  7. Tim B.
    February 7, 2016 @ 12:50 am

    Isn’t the reason for the rise of the First Order the $4bn Disney paid for Lucasfilms. Whilst my knowledge of the Star Wars Expanded Universe is very, very limited (a couple of the Darkhorse comics, the Thrawn trilogy and a smattering of video games) there were occasional remnants of the Empire but that wasn’t the be all and end all. I seem to recall there been a big storyline / background involving an alien invading force. Also Luke set up a Jedi Academy to start a new Jedi order to protect the New Republic, as well as a clone called Luuke turning up.

    These rather prosaic, essentially soap opera-esque ideas function fine to generate a respectable turn-over when you’re a largely prose/comics & licencing outfit but nothing generates profit at the level they needed to see after the 2012 purchase like a good old fashioned war.


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