Given that watching the first Star Wars movie in the cinema when I was a wee lad had a defining influence on all of my future thought, it’s probably not all that surprising that I have the ability to see almost anything through the lens of George Lucas’ most prosperous creation. Take British politics: I see the Lib Dems as the Jedi. Let me explain. They are well intentioned, but something happened in the relatively recent past and now there’s about two of them left in the whole galaxy.
The Tories are like the Empire/dark side of the force. Every time my inner Tory asserts itself (like when I had to live next to a drunk who was given a very sizable place to live in Zone 2 and spent all of his time racially abusing my mostly black neighbours, as a for instance), I can almost see Peter Bone, dressed up as Emperor Palpatine (mostly because he looks a lot like him already), laughing and saying: “Use your aggressive feelings, boy. Give in to your hatred and your anger and your conversion to the Conservative Party will be complete!”
Labour are like the Ewoks. From a distance they look like cute teddy bears, but up close they are vicious and somewhat feral. If you aren’t one of them, they may just stick you on a spit and cook you for dinner. Given their cute exterior they often get underestimated, but their fierce adherence to collectivism means they are a formidable force. They brought down the galactic Empire with some sticks and ropes, if you will recall.
The problem then comes in trying to think about how the other parties might line up under this scenario. The SNP as Jabba the Hut – a threat to organised labour? The Greens as that monster in the asteroid belt in Empire Strikes Back – surprisingly ineffective with their mouths? UKIP as those monsters in the cantina on Tatooine – because they are a bit scary and like pubs? You see, the whole Star Wars thing, like most extended metaphors, sort of breaks down when you try and take it too far.
Plus, there’s no Darth Vader figure in British politics at present. Come to think of it, there’s probably never been, unless you count Norman Tebbitt (on reflection actually, I do). But there are some causes for hope in Star Wars for British politics: the Ewoks and the Jedi formed a coalition to defeat the Empire, after all. This was after the Jedi had screwed up in ways not revealed in the original trilogy (and that the shitty prequels make not that much clearer), with the Ewoks having to overcome their inherent tribalism. If it can happen in a galaxy far, far away, perhaps it can happen in Britain in 2015.