On January 20, Denver joined (most of) the rest of America in finally taking a deep breath after a four-year fog of bullshit. People took to social media to share their relief and joy — during the COVID-19 pandemic, online is the safest way to celebrate — and Mayor Michael Hancock joined in, too. The manner in which he celebrated, however, was a little unique. He posted a long official announcement, leading with the line “This will be a day long remembered.”
That intro to Hancock's Facebook post recalls a Death Star line from Star Wars: A New Hope, in which Darth Vader tells Grand Moff Tarkin that “Today will be a day long remembered. It has seen the death of Kenobi, and will soon see the end of the Rebellion.” Festive!
While it’s true that Darth Vader, born Anakin Skywalker on the circumbinary desert planet of Tatooine, ended up redeeming himself by throwing the Emperor and his former boss down a handy Death Star reactor shaft, he wasn’t what you might call a champion of freedom prior to that. On the contrary, he enjoyed his share of galactic despotism, and his role in spreading its influence and centralizing power among the elite.
While Star Wars quotes are always awesome, context is everything — and this one seemed a strange pull.
So, being huge Star Wars nerds in our own right, we thought we’d offer the Hancock administration a list of other quotes away from which it might want to pilot its X-Wings during this new era of American politics.
“Do or do not. There is no try.”
— Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back
This oft-quoted line from everyone’s favorite little green guru is utterly undermined by our experience in both state and national politics. Trying counts, because trying is the only thing that leads to doing. Colorado had a cardboard senator, and after years of trying to get Cory Gardner to show up and live up to his vaunted middle-of-the-road conservatism in the middle of a far-right revolution, the state succeeded in getting him replaced. Same happened in D.C. at the national level. Trying is in, Master Jedi. Mayor Hancock, take note.
“So this is how liberty dies…to thunderous applause.”
— Padme Amidala, Revenge of the Sith
It’s a grateful nation that wipes its brow in relief that the moment seems to have passed — for now — for the proper and tragic use of this quote. For years, a lot of Americans thought this might be way too applicable, particularly as they watched Trump rallies and marches in Charlottesville and riots at the Capitol on January 6. Witnessing the cheers of the witless is so 2016.
“Your eyes can deceive you…don’t trust them.”
— Obi-Wan Kenobi, A New Hope
Sorry, old Ben, but we’ve been told not to believe our lying eyes for four long years; some stupid and deluded Americans stormed the U.S. Capitol because of it. It’s time to keep our eyes wide open, and to believe in reality again. Reach out with your feelings, sure, but let’s also accept objective truth.
“When 900 years old you reach, look as good you will not.”
— Yoda, Return of the Jedi
Okay, no jokes about Biden’s age. Too soon. Too soon.
“No one’s ever really gone.”
— Luke Skywalker, The Last Jedi
But…what if we really, really want him to go away and stay in Mar-a-Lago and stop all the tweeting and the lying and the saying all the things? Unless Luke is talking about the dearly departed Denver dining establishments that we’ve lost in the last year, in which case we totally agree. The Market, Racines, 20th Street Cafe, Zaidy’s? Y’all can come back anytime.
“We seem to be made to suffer. It’s our lot in life.”
— C3PO, A New Hope
Aside from the inherent negativity of this statement (Threepio is sort of the Eeyore of the Star Wars saga), it’s also bad policy. Take note, CD3 Representative Lauren Boebert: Victimhood is not policy, even if you’re carrying your stupid Glock.
“In time, the suffering of your people will persuade you to see our point of view.”
— Nute Gunray, Phantom Menace
This was the entire platform of the Trump administration, right? At least it wasn’t delivered in an inexplicable Asian accent — not that the Donald was ever above offensive mockery. It was sort of his jam.
“I’ve seen your daily routine. You are not busy.”
— Rey, The Last Jedi
This, too, applied more to the last four years, in which our president spent much of his time tweeting, watching TV, tweeting about watching TV, and golfing — though it might work if Hancock were talking about the McDonald's nearest the White House, which saw its revenue drop precipitously on the morning of January 20.
“Never tell me the odds.”
— Han Solo, The Empire Strikes Back
Han, we love you, but knowing the odds are important. We have to embrace the odds, because they’re part of science, and science is the pursuit of truth and knowledge, and that’s something that got dangerously out of fashion there for a while. America is still working its way back from the embrace of ignorance, from Colorado’s own David Lesh to anti-vaxxers to the hollow claims of election fraud. Reality matters.
“I have a very bad feeling about this…”
— Someone in every Star Wars movie
No, no…you’re thinking of Inauguration Day 2017.
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