The Corner

Culture

One Indisputable Sign that the World Is Getting Better in Some Ways

The Obama presidency has brought us a world on fire, an $18 trillion debt, a sense of endless economic stagnation for millions of Americans, a major drop in the workforce participation rate, higher insurance premiums, riots in our cities, worsening race relations, the rise of ISIS, terror attacks on our soil, a functional defeat in Afghanistan, a tidal wave of refugees destabilizing and threatening Europe, and many other problems. 

But it hasn’t been all bad. Let’s give credit where it is due: The Obama years have given us one good Star Wars movie, and it looks like we may see another one before he leaves office: 

Star Wars: Rogue One is part of Disney’s ambitious and probably insanely-lucrative plan to release one new Star Wars movie per year, every year… until no one wants to see another one again. In a few years, we get Episode VIII, the sequel to The Force Awakens; in between, we’ll get stand-alone movies featuring other characters and other tales in that galaxy far, far away. For parents of Star Wars-crazy kids like myself, it may just be simpler to sign over our December paychecks directly to the Disney Corporation.

If you evaluated presidents simply by the quality of the Star Wars movies released during their terms, our greatest president would be (gasp) Jimmy Carter, whose term saw both the original Star Wars (later A New Hope) and the widely-beloved The Empire Strikes Back. Ronald Reagan would be ranked significantly lower for 1983’s Return of the Jedi, and both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush would be judged poorly for the prequel films released during their terms. 

“But Jim, presidents have nothing to do with the quality of Star Wars films!” Well, not quite, but George Lucas’ 2012 sale of the rights to Star Wars to the Disney corporation was, allegedly, influenced by the impending change in tax laws as the highest-level Bush tax cuts expired. And more than a few prequel-detesting fans would believe that getting the rights to Star Wars away from Lucas — even if not the intended effect of the tax increases — represents one of Obama’s greatest achievements.

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