For some reason I never read the George Lucas novelization of the original STAR WARS (Episode IV: A New Hope), so when my best friend handed me a dog-eared copy of the paperback, and told me to read it carefully, I was amazed by two things.
First, I got the distinct impression that George Lucas had no idea that STAR WARS would become such a successful phenomonon. In other words, the STAR WARS franchise was an accident, a mere afterthought, initiated only by the success of the 1977 film.
This becomes obvious, when you read the original, novelized prologue, which differs in meaningful ways from the cinematic franchise, the most important difference being the nature and motives of "President" Palpatine, who becomes"Supreme Chancellor" Palpatine in the movies. Note that in the movies, Chancellor Palpatine, is in full control, using and discarding those who are helpful to him in his obsessive quest for power. In the novelization, however, President Palpatine is isolated and dominated by the people who brought him to power.
What a wonderful analogy for our current situation in Washington.
For all intents and purposes, George W. Bush is a dry drunk who is less influenced by his family, friends, and basic, common sense, than he is by the Radical Right Wing Christians and reactionary neocons who helped him achieve his "recovery." Why if you didn't know better, you'd think that certain "ambitious" indviudals decided to groom (some might say manipulate) the psychologically crippled son of a former president and then used him for their repressive, un-American agenda.
That said, the original version of the prologue (given below) sounds as if it could have been written in 2003 or 2004. The similarities between it and the political landscape in the United States today are truly frightening.
Please allow me to present the original prologue to the George Lucas novelization of STAR WARS.);
ANOTHER GALAXY, another time
The Old Republic was the Republic of legend, greater than distance or time. No need to note where it was or whence it came, only top know that....it was the Republic.
Once, under the wise rule of the Senate and the protection of the Jedi Knights, the Republic throve and grew. But as often happens, when wealth and power pass beyond the admirable and attain the awesome, then appear those evil ones who have greed to match.
So it was with the Republic at its height. Like the greatest of trees, able to withstand any internal attack, the Republic rotted from within though the danger was not visible from outside.
Aided and abetted by restless, power-hungry individuals within the government, and the massive organs of commerce, the ambitious Senator Palpatine caused himself to be elected President of the Republic. He promised to reunite the disaffected among the people and to restore the remembered glory of the Republic.
Once secure in office he declared himself Emperor, shutting himself away from the populace. Soon he was controlled by the very assistants and boot-lickers he had appointed to high office, and the cries of the people for justice did not reach his ears.
Having exterminated through treachery and deception the Jedi Knight's, guardians of justice in the galaxy, the Imperial governors and bureaucrats prepared to institute a reign of terror among the disheartened worlds of the galaxy. Many used the imperial forces and the name of the increasingly isolated Emperor to further their own personal ambitions.
But a small number of systems rebelled at these new outrages. Declaring themselves opposed to the New Order they began the great battle to restore the Old Republic.
From the beginning they were vastly outnumbered by the systems held in thrall by the Emperor. In those first dark days it seemed certain the bright flame of resistance would be extinguished before it could cast the light of new truth across a galaxy of oppressed and beaten peoples.
From the First Saga
Journal of the Whills
From STAR WARS
by George Lucas
1976 Del Ray/Ballantine Books
The Star Wars Corporation