“This is how liberty dies — to thunderous applause.”
So observes Queen Amidala of Naboo as the galactic senate grants dictator-to-be Palpatine sweeping new powers in his crusade against the Jedi in the final “Star Wars” movie opening this week.
It's just one of several lines in “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith,” that reveal the movie to be more than just a sci-fi blockbuster and gargantuan cultural phenomenon.
“Revenge of the Sith,” it turns out, can also be seen as a cautionary tale for our time — a blistering critique of the war in Iraq, a reminder of how democracies can give up their freedoms too easily, and an admonition about the seduction of good people by absolute power.
There's lots more meta-criticism (what other journalists say) where that came from.