The president of the United States was on Air Force One, waxing philosophical about some of the most important issues of the day — the U.S. response to a dictator’s attacks on civilians and rising tensions with North Korea — but some people couldn’t take their eyes off the guy on the television screen next to him.
To be fair, the guy was Darth Vader, silhouetted in a cloud of smoke.
Trump had come out for an impromptu meeting with reporters and interrupted the in-flight movie: “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” And while the media’s attention was focused on the president, the Internet couldn’t get past the symbolism.
There’s Trump interrupting a showing of “Star Wars” a day or so before greenlighting strikes on a foreign country. There’s Trump, a protest target and a president with historically low approval ratings, standing next to one of the world’s most iconic villains. The Trump-Vader comparison has been made over and over again. Fortunately, no one made a joke about Air Force One. Until now. Sorry.
Comparing Trump to Darth Vader is so insulting to the memory of Anakin Skywalker. He deserves better. Trump is Palpatine. End of discussion.
— Kaki (@KakiThorell) April 6, 2017
But the biggest burn came from one of the movie series’s biggest stars: Mark Hamill, the guy who has played Luke Skywalker.
Brent Ashcroft, a reporter from Grand Rapids, Mich., ABC-affiliate WZZM shot a tweet to Hamill, asking what the movie star thought of the Trump-Vader juxtaposition.
— Brent Ashcroft (@brentashcroft) April 7, 2017
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) April 8, 2017
Hamill’s reply was a shot at Trump’s chief strategist: Stephen K. Bannon.
The 65-year-old Hamill has made trolling Trump into a hobby. Earlier this year, for example, Hamill wondered what it would be like if the Joker read some of Trump’s more menacing tweets. (Hamill also has been the voice of the “Batman” villain in D.C.’s animated series and games.)
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) January 8, 2017
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) January 16, 2017
Hamill made the recordings — he calls the character “the Trumpster” — after comedian Matt Oswalt said Trump’s “Happy New Year” tweet sounded like something the Joker would say before releasing killer bees onto Gotham City.
Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don't know what to do. Love!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2016
But the Trump tirades have gone back longer than that. A week after Trump was elected, Hamill told the Daily Beast that Trump’s administration was “a who’s-who of really despicable people.”
That included Bannon. The former chairman of conservative news site Breitbart has been closely associated with the “alt-right” movement, which seeks a whites-only state, and has faced his share of bad comparison too.
“Saturday Night Live” has consistently portrayed him as the Grim Reaper who runs the country while Trump, banished to a tiny desk, plays with children’s toys.