Star Wars had their own COVID-19, May 4th now brings politicize pandemic to table


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The rebels may have been a lot of things, but they weren’t stupid.

As they fought to fight patriarchy in the Galaxy, they knew not to screw with certain things. Darth Vader, Darth Sidious aka Sheev Palpatine who ultimately destroyed the Jedi, and pandemics.

No, really, Palpatine and Pandemics would become two of the most feared names in the Star Wars Universe.

Although theirs wasn’t called COVID-19 .

It was called the “Blue Shadow” virus.

It was part of the animated Clone Wars Saga, which ironically enough concluded this morning on Disney Plus with Disney’s May the 4th Be With You celebration. However, this episode wasn’t new.

In fact, it’s over a decade old. And it was used for a story arch over multiple episodes!

This wasn’t some one-off thing.

Originally airing and becoming part of the Star Wars Canon on February 13th, 2009, the Blue Shadow Virus was a deadly disease that spread via airborne means throughout the Galaxy. Eventually erratic acted but later re-engineered on Naboo via an out of his mind scientist fighting for the Confederacy of Independent Systems.

It’s one of several examples of pandemics being used by pop culture to further stress and explain the dangers of viruses.  Even Batman did plague episodes during his original Animated Series run nearly three decades ago.

Yet today, in Kankakee County, we have already begun to see local politicians like County Board member Jim Byrne who represents District 23, using pop culture to further spread talking points of premature reopening efforts while Illinois continues to chart record numbers of our own Blue Shadow Virus, COVID-19.

In Byrne’s own backyard? Over 15 cases of the Virus were announced just yesterday by the Kankakee County Health Department. Maybe instead of preaching on a podium, politicians should understand the most basic lessons and values a franchise exhibits before using it for their own propaganda. 

It’s almost a guarantee Byrne won’t be the first politician to use social media today to push pop culture for his own political means while missing the grander scope of the message the franchise presents. Unfortunately for the United States and the Global Population, we didn’t have a Jedi Order to save us from COVID-19.

Stay tuned…the day isn’t over yet. 

Shane Saathoff
Shane Saathoff
An active writer for two decades, Shane's focuses on local news and events throughout the area, Shane is an active historian, science nerd, and tech geek. Shane is a native of Bourbonnais, IL, and alumni of Olivet Nazarene University.


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