A lot has changed since 2015, when Donald Trump announced his first run for president. As he prepares for his second go at America’s highest office, we see that one thing has remained the same: Trump’s willingness to appeal to the dark heart of America’s legacy of racism for political gain.
During his first campaign, Trump focused his hate on Mexicans, who he claimed were all rapists. He vowed to build a wall to prevent Mexicans in dire need from entering into America to find safety, falsely claiming that Mexican people commit crimes. This time around, however, Trump is retooling his racist message to focus on the diverse casting of the Disney+ Star Wars series Obi-Wan Kenobi.
“Donald Trump has seen the success of Disney in rebooting Star Wars; now he’s rebooting his racism to focus on Star Wars,” Black CNN analyst Van Jones said of the pivot.
On Saturday, Trump appeared at a Texas event for the nonprofit conservative group “Christians United for the Jews,” and once again spewed vitriolic and racially-driven false criticisms of Obi-Wan Kenobi, which experts have said is a very good show.
“We are going to bring back school choice, we are going to drain the swamp, we are going to make America great again, and we are going to arrest the team of writers, producers, and actors behind the abysmal Disney production Obi-Wan Kenobi,” the former president declared.
The crowd began chanting “lock them up.”
As the viciously angry and racist crowd chanted, Trump sucked air through his teeth and tilted his head.
“Disney has not been so kind to the American people,” Trump declared when the chant finally ceased. “Mickey Mouse has done something awful to us. I remember back in the old days, Mickey was a very nice mouse. Not anymore. Under this fraudulent administration of the corrupt and senile Democrats, Mickey Mouse has bent us over and – you know, it’s really ugly what they’ve done, and I hate to say it, but I have to say it because it’s what happened – with this Obi-Wan Kenobi show, Mickey bent us over, and stuck us right in the ass. And I’ll tell you what – it didn’t feel so good.”
The crowd booed at the imagery of America being anally raped by Disney producers, which was only a foreshadowing of the dark tone Trump took in response to Disney’s newest Star Wars entry.
“The nonsensical plot of Disney’s Obi-Wan Kenobi show is an insult to American history and American culture. The plot holes in this show are bigger than the holes in our Southern border. The action scenes look cheap, and the characters are not the ones we remember. Darth Vader is weak. You remember Darth Vader in the old films? Did he seem weak to you?”
The crowd again screamed their disapproval.
“This Darth Vader throws Obi-Wan into a fire, and then a robot comes and gets him out of the fire, and Darth Vader can’t do anything. He’s just standing there looking weak, like Sleepy Joe Biden. Sleepy Darth Vader. Can you believe it? And baby Leia. Poor little baby Leia. She’s a child prodigy, but she’s also a moron. Which is it? Is she a genius or a stupid brat? Nobody knows. Disney doesn’t know. If you ask them, they will just call you the worst names: racist and of course, white supremacist. You ask what is going on with these plot holes and these characters, and they call you a racist.”
After declaring that his criticism was not based on racism, Trump then began attacking the strong black female lead villain, Reva, played by Moses Ingram.
“And then you’ve got Space Moses,” Trump said, using the name that the Alt-Right and white supremacist Star Wars fans have given to Ingram’s strong black female character. “Good old Space Moses. Ain’t she a beauty.”
An audience member then shouted “ugly bitch!”
Trump chuckled in response, saying, “No, no. Of course not. We would never say something like that. Well, some people might, but I wouldn’t do it. She’s a beautiful woman. Just lovely. But she doesn’t belong in our Star Wars, folks. Does she?”
The crowd screamed once more in racist unison. This theme of “black people are okay but they don’t belong in our spaces” harkens back to the era of Jim Crow, when blacks were declared to be “separate but equal.”
“Space Moses is the single stupidest – and most annoying, I might add – one-dimensional character that the American people have ever seen on a TV show, and she does not belong in our Star Wars,” Trump claimed without evidence. “Maybe she can get a spot on The View, with some other very angry and untalented women, but we can’t have her in Star Wars. We can’t do it, folks. If we’ve got a Space Moses in our Star Wars, then we don’t even have a Star Wars.”
“On my first day in office, I will sign an executive order demanding the arrest of everyone involved in the production of Obi-Wan Kenobi, and banning Disney from making any more Star Wars media until we can figure out what the hell is going on. We will pass a law officially declaring that none of the Star Wars material produced by Disney is a part of the official canon. How would you like that? We’re going to erase the Disney film trilogy completely, erase the dumb Han Solo movie, and erase this horrible abomination Obi-Wan Kenobi. Jake Skywalker, Palpatine resurrection, Space Moses, all of it – gone. Can’t have it. It might seem mean. They say to me ‘Mr. Trump, sir, it’s too mean, you can’t do this to Kathleen Kennedy, she worked so hard.’ But folks, we’ve got to do it, or we’re not going to have a Star Wars anymore.”
At the suggestion of officially altering canon to delegitimize the more diverse and progressive Star Wars entries made by Disney, the crowd screamed as you would imagine a lynch mob screaming as blacks were hanged to death during the darkest part of our nation’s history.
Film and television experts were quick to denounce Trump’s attacks on Obi-Wan Kenobi as a false and debunked conspiracy theory fueled by the racism of America’s dwindling white population.
“White Americans are fearful, as they see themselves being replaced, they see themselves dying off and new people coming in to push them out,” said Dr. Chaim Bagowitz, a professor of film history at Harvard University. “So they see themselves being replaced in the country, they see themselves being replaced in Star Wars, and they begin to embrace conspiracy theories, such as the Great Replacement theory spread by Tucker Carlson, or the theory that Obi-Wan Kenobi has terrible writing and production values. The truth is, there are no plot holes in Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the show is very well written, with very exciting action scenes and compelling characters. But whites can’t accept that a show with a strong black female lead could be good, so they spread false theories.”
Democrats are calling for a crackdown on hateful attacks on Obi-Wan Kenobi, with Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer saying that people who don’t like the show should be flagged as potential terrorist threats. Schumer is working with Democrat House leader Nancy Pelosi to put together a “Save Star Wars” bill to protect Obi-Wan Kenobi from unjust and racist attacks.
Pelosi said that Trump’s attacks on Disney were “straight out of the Kremlin playbook” and that “we can’t allow Russia to continue to influence American opinions of new and diverse Star Wars productions.”
Meanwhile, many on the Republican side are also criticizing Trump, while being careful not to admit that Obi-Wan Kenobi is actually a good show.
“We can’t legally order Disney to change Star Wars canon,” said Linsey Graham, who was asked about Trump’s comments Sunday morning on Meet the Press.
“Are you willing to say on the record that Obi-Wan Kenobi has good writing and high production values, and that anything counter to that is a racist conspiracy theory?” host Chuck Todd asked Graham.
Graham weaseled out of the question, saying that he is not a film critic.