As a child I was tortured nightly by brutal insomnia. I learned to tame it and harness it by reading under the covers– sometimes reading all night long. And my “library” was my older brothers’ cast offs and hand-me-downs– exclusively science fiction and comix.
Now HA Hellyer, former front man for Sisi and the Tamarods (and non-resident fellow at the Brookings Institute of Gatekeeping and Griftology) has penned a “satire” saying Star Wars is more Islamic than IS. Sadly, his attempt is full of fail. There already exists a perfectly good scifi exemplar of the Islamic State– Frank Herbert’s Dune, the greatest selling scifi novel ever, which focuses intensely on a powerful and important aspect of IS ideology: prescience, the Science of Prophecy. Dune even has a prophesized mahdi, jihad, arabic language, and most important, rebellion. Star Wars isnt even remotely Islamic…but the Rebel Alliance and Jedi Knights are very similiar to the Mujahiddeen.
Theres no prophecy in Star Wars that I recall. I would remember, because I’m fascinated by prophecy. And there is plenty of jihad in Dune.
There was no past occupying the future in his mind… except… except… he could still sense the green and black Atreides banner waving… somewhere ahead… still see the jihad’s bloody swords and fanatic legions.
Green and black banners? Green was widely regarded as the color that represented Shi’a Islam, and the black banners from Khorasan are the trademark of the Islamic State, tapping into both prophecy and the legacy of the Prophet (SAW).
Most recently IS has taken to blowing up oil infrasture in the Baiji oil refinery– a page right out of Dune– when Paul Muad’ib holds the Padishah Emperor and the Guild Navigators hostage by threatening to cause the destruction of spice production forever.
“He who can destroy a thing– controls that thing.”
Theres even a parallel Melimah in Kralnezac, the apocryphal endtimes hurricane-typhoon that will destroy the world. If you are looking for an insurgency similiar to the Islamic State, the Fremen have the greatest isomorphisms. Herbert even said that spice is a metaphor for oil. But IS is also analogous to the Browncoats of Firefly, the Jedi Knights of Star Wars, the Quellists of the Takeshi Kovacs universe, and any other underdog insurgent force fighting the oppressive domination of the oligarchs, autocrats and tyrants of the science fiction universe.
Would an IS movie sell to Hollywood? Not in this frame of spacetime. Right now the land of the “free” and the home of the “brave” is busily devolving into white-fright fascism, witness the blockbuster success of American Sniper. Being American means never having to say you’re sorry I guess.
But the bottom line is that the Islamic State is the classic scifi underdog battling a seemingly all powerful Evil Empire America against impossible odds– and in the very best scifi tradition– they are winning.