Spoof Star Wars ad launches to protest anti-filibuster moves in US Senate

NEW YORK - The new 'Star Wars' movie 'Revenge of the Sith' and its murky politics are spoofed in an ad by the political campaigning group Move On PAC, which is protesting against moves in the US to ban the democratic time-wasting art of filibustering.

'Save the Republic', which can be viewed on Move On PAC's website, was created by the ad agency Z Creative, with animation by FlickerLab, and sends up the year's most anticipated film trailer -- complete with star ships firing their laser weapons at the White House, sonorous voiceovers and evil senators.

The main target is Republican Senator Bill Frist, who is compared with the character of Chancellor Palpatine, the man who eventually becomes the evil Emperor in the 'Star Wars' saga and who is played by Ian McDiarmid.

The ad is in response to moves by President George W Bush to appoint a number of conservative judges, which Democrats are attempting to block by using filibuster -- the art of making excessively long time-wasting speeches in an attempt to block legislation from passing.

Speakers effectively use up all the time allowed for legislation resulting in new laws ending up on the shelf. The art is as popular in the US as it is in the House of Commons.

Right-wing politicians, lead by the Republican Senator Bill Frist, are responding with attempts to introduce a bill that would ban filibustering in the case of judicial appointments.

Move On is one of the organisations fighting against this move, and the 'Star Wars' spoof urges people to write to their senators in protest.

The spoof echoes the opening of 'Stars Wars III: Revenge of the Sith', which begins with a huge space battle as the Clone Wars rage, fuelled by the doubling dealing Chancellor Palpatine who abuses the senate to cling to power.

The Move On spoof was written by Zartosht Soltani and Harold Moss, with Soltani also acting as art director, and Moss directing the ad.

"The film and all its hype offers a way to look at the actions of one senator and how he might change the very way the government works. We wanted to capture the humour of a parody, but also hit the issue dead-on," Moss said.

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