A snuffling, heavy-footed tyrant manipulated by sinister forces into being a pitiless machine for autocratic cruelty was photographed next to Darth Vader today. The amusing juxtaposition happened aboard Air Force One, where Donald Trump poked his head into the press cabin during a screening of Rogue One, and quick-thinking AFP staff photographer Jim Watson snapped several shots of Trump’s head next to that of Vader’s. The internet was quick to note that this was very funny, or at least the hollow sort of gallows humor that briefly pierces the ever-present shroud of anxiety that these days envelops us all, provoking the mirthless cackling of the damned.
The fact that Rogue One was screening aboard Trump’s plane was deemed slightly ironic, given the film’s message of resistance against a fascist empire by an assortment of multicultural rebels—a message that many Trump supporters, who had only recently learned of Star Wars, urged a boycott against late last year, resulting in Rogue One taking in a mere $1 billion at the box office. Others drily noted the possibility of Trump “getting ideas” from the Empire, perhaps leading to his building a tremendous, illegal immigrant-obliterating space station. Yes, there is endless room for merry interpretation of this amusing coincidence, though it requires ignoring the fact that Rogue One was probably just playing to keep the reporters occupied while Trump was busy up front, preparing to dismantle diplomatic relations with China.
Oh, here’s one where Jyn Erso’s kind of looking at the camera like Eyyyy get a load of this asshole.
Anyway, this silly little goof-around took place while Trump answered a question over whether Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad should leave power in the wake of this week’s deadly chemical attack:
Ha ha, and the president made this vague, inarticulate assertion of a potential overthrow by military force—or maybe nothing! Or maybe something!—while he was standing next to Darth Vader! Thanks for the much-needed chuckles, President Trump! May the Farce be with you!