Darth Vader backs Nuclear Power

I just posted a nuclear power news roundup over at the ABC Buhlert blog.

Among other things, I also posted a link to this news story about an anti-nuclear power protest march right here in Bremen with some 8000 protesters.

Take a look at the top photo. In the back on the right, in front of the arcades of our world-famous UN heritage townhall, there is a sign with Darth Vader and the slogan “The Dark Side of the Force”.

I found this not only amusing, but also very very apt. Because of course, the Empire utilizes nuclear power in the Star Wars films – nuclear reactors power Death Stars 1 and 2. Meanwhile, we never hear the word “reactor” uttered in connection with the Rebellion, at least not in the films. Whatever powers their spaceships and outposts, it’s not nuclear power.

Even as a teenager, this struck me as very logical. The Empire were the villains, so of course they used nuclear power. For me, it was just another puzzle piece in characterizing the Empire as evil. It may not have been intended that way – but on the other hand, who knows? There is an environmental message in some of the Star Wars films and it’s even stronger in the novelization of Return of the Jedi, where there are several passages about the environmental damage the Empire has wrought on Endor.

Talking of Endor, I do worry about those Ewoks, considering they had a nuclear-powered monster space station explode right in their orbit. The resulting fallout would probably make the environmental damage caused by the Empire look like nothing. But then it is Star Wars and in order to properly enjoy the films you can’t worry about radioactive fallout on Endor any more than you can worry about the fate of the innocent Death Star mechanics, plumbers, kitchen staff and prostitutes (come on, you know there are prostitutes).

So here’s another reason for the geekily inclined SF fan to oppose nuclear power (and judging by all the “la, la, la, I can’t hear you” head in the sand posturing in the SFF community, they could sure use one): Because the Empire uses it and you don’t agree with the Empire, do you?

PS: The nuclear power station assembled from waffle rolls and Schokoküsse in the second photo is neat as well.

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