Let’s see if everyone behaves themselves and stays focused on just the question at hand and can resist the urge to take cheap shots at my love for the prequels.
But to make sure the whole series is intact, and I ask questions from all six, I really pondered on something that would be a good question. Possibly an unsolvable question?
Was there a press corps in the Galactic Republic?
I mean, let’s think about this. The Fourth Estate, even if it fails in its duties and occasionally becomes the sycophantic lap-dog of an administration, is something of a stabilizing force for politics. At a bare minimum, they’ll carry water for a charming politician who gives good speeches and disseminate his will to the far corners of the world (or, in this case, galaxy). So even if they fail in their charge of scrutinizing those in power, they get information to the masses.
But in The Phantom Menace, despite the massive Senate, we see no press. (Truthfully, in none of the Star Wars films.)
We see ‘droids that record the proceedings, watch things that are happening all around and presumably broadcast and/or record the proceedings. Is it possible that, in theory, the people of the Star Wars universe have, at the time of The Phantom Menace, felt they reached an era of such transparency that they no longer need the press? Does the government simply go to whatever social media there is and get people supportive of their initiatives to act as their mouthpieces for them?
It’s a question that I’m not sure we can answer. There is always room on the margins, and I believe that there is a press represented in some non-film material. But going only with the text of the films, I see a world lacking a press – at least a skeptical one.
Is it possible that this was a subtle cultural warning from Lucas?
What say you?