Ukraine events resonating with Half-Life2, Harry Potter and Star Wars

I first posted these musings in a Bitcointalk thread.


With each passing week of Ukrainian events, I get a feeling that I have seen some elements of those events before, in popular culture. Namely, in two titles, that I quite like: in Harry Potter and in Half-Life2. Now before you call me mad… 🙂

The way Irina Farion of the Svoboda party has been going on about the Russian-speaking population of the South-Eastern regions calling them for cattle and creatures that need to be exterminated, along with any Ukrainian who supports them, resonates strongly with Death Eater propaganda on Muggleborns, “Mudbloods”, who need to be exterminated and registered as creatures, along with any those supporting their rights, “Muggle-lovers”.

Farion’s own behaviour is best depicted in Helena Bonham Carter’s depiction of the psychotic female Death Eater, Bellatrix Lestrange.

And the whole Right Sector movement finds clear parallels with the Death Eaters in general.

So:

Irina Farion = Bellatrix Lestrange
The simpering Dolores Umbridge (aka, the toad) = Victoria Nudelman (aka Nuland)
Fernier Greyback = Yarosh
Snatchers = National Guard
Death Eaters = Right Sector


For Half-Life2, I see parallels in the resistance fighting for freedom from an alien occupation, where some humans actually side with the aliens, with Dr. Breen being at the head of collaborationists, urging the resistance to lay down their weapons and accepts their fate in being “improved” by their extraterrestrial “benefectors”. The resistance are heavily outnumbered by both the alien technology and the collaborationist armed forces, the Overwatch, while in cities, the “peace” is kept by Civil Protection, cornering anyone whose look they don’t like. So my parallels there:

The Resistance = The Resistance
Dr.Breen = Turchinov/Yatsenjuk/Poroshenko
The Benefectors/Combine = USA/NATO
The Overwatch = National Guard
Civil Protection = Right Sector

Headcrabs = Nuland, McCain, Beiden
Headcrab hosts = Turchinov, Yatsenjuk

Some telling images from the game, is when the resistance members fight a losing battle against armoured vehicles, screaming “Get the hell out of here” at the aggressors, while Dr. Breen’s voice in the background urges everyone to accept the benefits from “our benefectors” – to become improved transhumans.

Furthermore, the events of game take place in an unspecified Eastern-European county, where the lettering on the signs is written in Cyrillic, often in Russian. Game developers said they did not pinpoint any specific country, but rather created an amalgam of the region. However, in Half-Life2 Episode 2 the player enters a coal mine, which name is “Шахта Победы”, “Victory Mine”, or more precisely in the general context of Eastern Europe “Mine, commemorating in name the WWII Victory”. Coal Mine? A name in Russian? In my mind I now place the events in the area of Mariupol, as the game also features extended coastline in a shallow sea, Azov…

Think also of the Odessa Massacre and compare images from there to the burn corpses of the resistance members, who dared oppose the Combine and were exterminated. Or of Barney, on a com channel, telling the player of the dire situation they are in, saying they are being shelled, and then screaming “Oh, shit! Incoming!” and compare it Slavjansk, Lugansk and Donetsk…


In Star Wars, I see clear parallels with Episodes 1 and 2. Remember, how in Episode 1, the Naboo (Novorossia) is under siege by the Banker’s clan (IMF/US). The situation is discussed in the Galactic Senate (UN) at a snail’s pace. Princess Amidala breaks through the blockade to speak for the planet in the council, exclaiming that people there are dying, while a finer points of politics are being discussed.

In Episode 2, the now grown-up Anakin has a profound conversation with Amidala about the merits of dictatorship and how they are watching the process of a democracy (The galactic Senate, but think US in this context), turning into a dictatorship (and in our world, the real dictator, just as Palpatine, still remains in the shadows).

I just got a new connotation to Star-Wars. With the latest escalation of aggression from the Washington-backed Kiev fascists, I have a feeling that Yoda-Putin is going to send some Jedi Knights to Naboorossia (Novorossia) to help freedom fighters there break the American Trade Federation blockade.


Can anyone name any other resonance points? In other popular culture items?

2 thoughts on “Ukraine events resonating with Half-Life2, Harry Potter and Star Wars

  1. I hopped over here from Lada’s blog. Very interesting! Yes, I think all of these authors were attempting to warn people about what they saw happening. Rowling really drew on Nazi history, I understand. I had my criticisms (she doesn’t see the force behind the scenes so well –i.e., an international coalition of wizards, not just Voldemort, who are not necessarily psychopathic, but benefit from all the havoc they wreak, and therefore empower Voldemort), but she was good at drawing people’s attention to what was happening. Most of her fans, however, convinced themselves that it is not happening now, unfortunately. They don’t want to see it, because then they have to take responsibility for it.
    As an author myself, I see fiction as a way of saying what needs to be said without violating polite society’s taboos. Unfortunately, fiction doesn’t change people’s minds about what is happening in reality. There is a certain subset of people who get it, and they comprise the biggest fans, but to everyone else, it is just entertainment.
    You and I are watching a play in which real people die in the stunts and the extras are terrorized and traumatized for life.

  2. Thank you for the comment. All that you say is, alas, true, especially the last sentence. Fiction was the driver for moral and wisdom in the West as well, but that changed with the advent of Hollywood. Children’s fairy tales were relegated to the second place, to pure entertainment and the media stripped them of their intrinsic educational value. In Russia fairy tales still have the educational role. Many folk tales are started or ended with a short instructive rhyme: “Сказка ложь, да в ней намёк – добру молодцу урок.” “Fairy tale is a lie, but within it there’s a hint – a lesson to a good young man.”

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