By Adam Girvitz
(Calgary) – There is a great disturbance in the force. I have felt it.
We recently bore witness to Hamas propaganda films featuring the three Israeli hostages Noa Argamani, Yossi Sharabi and Itay Svirsky. What many have not noticed was the subtle background music intended to convey an unconscious and dangerous message. Listen carefully, the background music and the alarms are stolen right from the original scores from Star Wars.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, a young Luke Skywalker takes a moment to look towards the sunset over the vast sand dune sea on the binary star system planet of Tatooine, located in the outer rim of the known galaxy. As he looks out with hope turning to uncertainty, a theme plays in the background, “Luke’s Theme.” A poignant moment in cinematic history.
The scores from the original Star Wars films are legendary. From Darth Vader, to Yoda, to Luke, many of the main characters have their own scores that will play in the background when the respective character is on-screen. We subconsciously equate the “Imperial March” theme, usually played when Darth Vader is on-screen, with the dark side of the force just as we subconsciously equate “Luke’s Theme” that plays when Luke is on-screen with the light side of the force. Usually, we do not even know we do this.
In the latest Hamas propaganda film featuring the three Israeli hostages, Hamas cynically tries to equate themselves with the “light side of the force” and equate Israel with the “Evil Galactic Empire” and subsequently, the “dark side of the force.” As the video begins, you can hear “Luke’s Theme” in the background and about 1 minute into the video, you can begin to hear the alarms heard on Princess Leia’s Correlian Corvette, the Tantive IV, as the evil Sith Lord, Darth Vader, and his henchmen board her transport in search of the stolen plans for the newly constructed Death Star! (Shout out to the late, great Carrie Fisher!)
This is the desired effect the propaganda film makers want. When Hamas carefully times the moments while these themes play in the background of their latest hostage video, they are hoping that you subconsciously equate themselves as representing the “light side” while portraying the IDF and Israel as representing the “dark side.”
Hamas’s portrayal of themselves as fighting for the “light side” is a complete inversion of the truth. I do not recall Luke Skywalker, or any other Jedi for that matter, engaging in such atrocities like Hamas did by burning innocent civilians alive. But this is exactly what the Empire does to Luke’s Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru in Star Wars IV, A New Hope. ISIS also employed this method when they burned the captured Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kesasbeh alive.
It is common knowledge (among Star Wars aficionado’s) that the Jedi order is based on various aspects of many distinct cultures. These include Japanese, Taoist, Buddhist, and yes, Hebrew influences, among many others. The Jedi Order itself is depicted as a religious, meritocratic, and peace keeping cadre of warrior-like monks that can tap into an ancient mystical power known as “The Force,” and that are bound by a moral obligation to defend democracy, harmony, and justice. The Jedi abhor negativity. The emotion of fear plays heavily in the dogma of the Jedi because they understand fear will subsequently lead to anger, anger leading to hate, and hate leading to suffering.
In opposition to the Jedi are the Sith, also practitioners in the ways of “The Force.” But while the Jedi forbid the use of the dark side of the force, the Sith embrace it by focusing on destructive emotions such as greed, hatred, rage, aggression, and jealousy to fuel their lust for power. The Sith seek violence and absolute rule over the galaxy.
Hamas’ embrace of its complete hatred and quest for annihilation of the Jewish people has led Gazans on the path to ruin. Hamas and its followers have clearly embraced the dark side and as part of its propaganda machine, want to portray themselves as bearing of the light. A complete inversion of the truth to their situation. In contrast, the achievement of the Abraham Accords has given hope to the region by leaders who have embraced tolerance and peace, which represent the light side.
Hamas represents everything evil that the Sith represent. They, like the Sith, deal in absolutes: No recognition. No negotiations. No Peace. Hamas wants all the land from the river to the sea and they will not compromise. Israel on the other hand, has offered, more than once, peace in form of the West Bank, the Gaza strip and east Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. A compromise. The Israeli’s just refuse to compromise their own safety.
If Hamas, and frankly many within the general Palestinian population, continue to embrace hatred, rage, aggression, and jealousy to fuel their conduct, they will continue to suffer. Until the Palestinians finally begin to embrace tolerance and peace, such as shown in the recent and historic peace agreements of the Abraham Accords, there will never be a Palestinian state. And until the Palestinian leadership and the Palestinian people learn to employ commonly accepted forms of diplomacy, instead of terrorism to achieve their political goals, then perhaps they do not deserve one.
Star Wars deals with many themes. Themes such as morality, courage, genocide, politics, corruption, and redemption to name a few. But if Star Wars has taught me anything, it is that we must never stop striving for peace because even a small chance is a galaxy of hope.