“You know what would be really interesting to do? Don’t denounce me as a Stalinist but, for example – it’s my old temptation – to rewrote Star Wars… presenting Palpatine and Darth Vader as good progressive egalitarian centralist fighting reactionary feudalist, all the Jedi bullshit. It would tell a completely different story, from the others point.
What do they [Jedi] stand for? All that, ‘Republic’, what strange of Republic is when you have a Princess Leila, knights, kings and so on? No, Palpatine the Emperor and Darth Vader, they are my good progressive Bonapartist revolutionaries trying to get rid of the old world.”
“American imperial ideology has a dynamic character. And there is no doubt that those who resist are blamed, just think of the use of formulas such as ‘empire of evil’ or ‘axis of evil’. It must be added, however, that the United States does not openly present itself as an empire. Thinking about the Star Wars saga, clearly inspired by the Cold war: the good guys are a confederation of free peoples which symbolize the West; on the other side there is a gloomy militarist empire that recalls the Soviet bloc. An extraordinary example of how cultural power is exercised.”
We must also observe that such movies, filmed from the perspective of Palpatine/Stalin, have already been made: the first that comes to mind is The Great Warrior Skanderbeg, a 1953 Soviet-Albanian biopic directed by Sergei Yutkevich (“People’s Artist of the USSR” and “Hero of Socialist Labour”). In this propaganda masterpiece, Skanderbeg represents precisely the wise and just centralizer that unifies the nation against the barbaric and feudal invader.
A more compelling example is Vlad the Impaler (1979), a two-hour historical drama by Romanian director Doru Năstase. In this case the figure of Dracula is even more similar to the villains of Star Wars: the egalitarian “leveling” is expressed in plastic form, when Vlad Țepeș impales voivodes of the old world or allies of the eternal feudal enemies, the Turks.
A striking detail of the costume drama, in the light of Žižek’s jokes, is the fact that the Ottomans are represented almost like the Star Wars Jedi, portrayed with a positive -or at least neutral- connotation, fom example during their invocations to Allah to gain power with which to exercise His justice. In this, we see the notorious “strength” as well as the role of the space “Knights” as custodians of universal peace.
So the masterpieces in which the “bad guys” are painted as “good” were already filmed decades ago: you just have to rummage a little in the dustbin of history.