Weber on Star Wars: Or Why the Empire Should Win in the End

Now that Disney is turning Star Wars into a Marvel-like cottage industry and Harrison Ford has broken a leg while playing an older Han Solo, the time is ripe for asking the real question about what happened a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away: Was the Galactic Empire such a bad thing after all? And what would Max Weber think about Jedis?

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Pop Political Economy: Sahara (2005)

Hollywood does not have a track record of accurate or sensible portrayals of Africa in film. But that does not mean they can’t make a preposterous romp that somehow touches upon the key dilemmas of political economy in Africa. My personal favorite in this category is, without a doubt, Sahara (2005).

Consider awesomeness

Sahara stars Matthew McConaughey (before his current Academy Award-winning self but already in his “all-right, all-right, all-right” mode) as Dirk Pitt, the ultimate alpha male fantasy: ex-Navy seal, marine archaeologist, treasure hunter, classic automobile collector, charismatic, smart, irresistible to the ladies, and all-around good guy. Together with his inseparable pal Al Giordino – a crass, tech-savvy comic relief machine – Dirk follows the 140-year-old track of an old confederate ship believed to have sailed up the Niger river (you read right), and in so doing he manages to fight a warlord, help a doctor (Penélope Cruz with a thick Spanish accent) stop a plague, and thwart the plans of a shady European businessman.

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