Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s chief strategist is a nerd. That’s fine — “geeks” “rock” — but the troubling thing about Bannon (other than his white nationalist views), is that he really, really seems to identify with the villains in popular sci-fi and fantasy. In a new New York Times interview, Bannon compared himself favorably to Darth Vader, and it wasn’t the first time.
Bannon — a fairly reclusive figure who doesn’t often give interviews to media outlets other than Breitbart, the white nationalist website used to serve as the chief executive for — spoke to the Times on Thursday. The 63-year-old mostly used the interview to criticize the media, saying the press should “keep its mouth shut,” but he also aligned himself with the Dark Side and shouted out Middle Earth:
On the telephone, Mr. Bannon spoke in blunt but calm tones, peppered with a dose of profanities, and humorously referred to himself at one point as “Darth Vader. He said, with ironic relish, that Mr. Trump was elected by a surge of support from the working class hobbits and deplorables.”
Bannon has done this before. In November, he told The Hollywood Reporter that “darkness is good” before listing some of his role models. “Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power.”
It’s also not the first time he’s trotted out the “hobbits and deplorables” line. He used it while speaking to Breitbart News Daily last month.
So, yeah, Bannon likes himself some geeky properties. But Star Wars and Lord of the Rings are hardly deep cuts. It’s not like he’s showing off any real geek credentials. Also, he seems to be seriously misreading both Star Wars and LOTR.
The Hobbits of Middle Earth are simple folk, yes, but the bravest among them rise up and manage to defeat an evil force against all odds, saving the world. And Darth Vader, a mutilated momma’s boy with anger issues, ends up sacrificing himself in order to defeat his villainous boss, the most powerful person in the galaxy.
All we’re saying is that if Bannon truly sees himself as Darth Vader, then Trump might want to watch his back.
Photos via New Line Cinema, Getty Images/EA