#FBF: Ronald Reagan and Star Wars

Friday, May 4, is what is unofficially known as ...

Posted: May 4, 2018 3:31 PM
Updated: May 4, 2018 3:31 PM

Friday, May 4, is what is unofficially known as Star Wars Day. For those of you who (or whose parents) didn't have a hard time finding a date in high school, it's Star Wars Day because in the Star Wars series, "May the Force be with you" is a classic line. Get it? May the Force Fourth. Good news is that it's also Star Wars Day on our very special #FlashbackFriday post. Gather 'round, fellow nerds.

You might think that Jar Jar Binks ruined the franchise, but rest assured, politics beat him to it. The culprit: President Ronald Reagan's March 1983 speech on defense spending, since dubbed his "Star Wars" speech.

"The budget request that is now before the Congress has been trimmed to the limits of safety. Further deep cuts cannot be made without seriously endangering the security of the Nation. The choice is up to the men and women you've elected to the Congress, and that means the choice is up to you," Reagan said in the televised address.

Reagan was trying to justify a hefty boost to the Defense Department's budget in order to protect against the threat of Soviet attack. Critics were having none of this partially space-focused program. The New York Times said the technology Reagan wanted was "decades away from reality." He basically wanted everything short of X-Wing fighters and lightsabers. He also wanted $30 billion more for defense in the 1984 budget.

Likewise, President Donald Trump is currently looking to the stars. Almost seeming to pull from the title of one of the most recent Star Wars iterations (or a 1984 video game), Trump has repeatedly floated the idea of a "Space Force." Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani also referred to FBI agents who raided Michael Cohen's office as "stormtroopers." Although, it's entirely possible Giuliani had the even more evil historical version of stormtroopers in mind.

Like Reagan, Trump has asked for a healthy bump in defense spending, although it's not specifically for "Space Force." Surely we are close to exhausting the list of 1980s reboots, right?

Reagan's Star Wars speech wasn't his first foray into a galaxy far, far away. A few weeks prior, he had delivered his "evil empire" speech, in which he described the Soviets in Vader-esque terms.

At the time Reagan was delivering these speeches, America was awaiting the third film in the original Star Wars trilogy. "Return of the Jedi" was released in May that year. In between developments on current US-Russia relations, Star Wars fans today await the finale of the current trilogy. Time is a flat circle.

Things ended up going well for both America and the Rebel Alliance back in the 1980s. May the Force be with us this time around.

Terre Haute
Overcast
64° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 64°
Robinson
Overcast
59° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 59°
Indianapolis
Overcast
61° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 61°
Rockville
Overcast
55° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 55°
Casey
Overcast
57° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 57°
Brazil
Overcast
64° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 64°
Marshall
Overcast
64° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 64°
Breezy, Warmer Thursday
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 354457

Reported Deaths: 9537
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1664575369
DuPage21231599
Lake19714506
Will17106422
Kane15616342
Winnebago9314167
St. Clair7623213
Madison6832152
Champaign574128
McHenry5726120
Peoria431064
McLean391831
Rock Island372189
Unassigned3627260
Sangamon355660
Kankakee319078
Macon263348
Kendall248527
Tazewell244549
LaSalle220760
DeKalb213842
Coles179838
Williamson173758
Boone168725
Adams165915
Clinton163124
Vermilion15627
Jackson144325
Whiteside116722
Randolph115914
Knox11519
Effingham10953
Ogle10897
Grundy8897
Jefferson86744
Franklin8666
Marion86613
Monroe86128
Bureau85517
Stephenson8207
Morgan81024
Henry7987
Christian78425
Macoupin74110
Union73825
McDonough66815
Fayette63821
Crawford6306
Lee6271
Shelby5928
Douglas5638
Livingston55710
Montgomery55515
Woodford55311
Logan5474
Saline5057
Bond4719
Warren4647
Iroquois45919
Jersey45621
Cass45011
Wayne44011
Jo Daviess4367
Fulton4290
Perry40916
Moultrie3785
Carroll3678
Johnson3220
Richland31815
Lawrence3068
Hancock2853
Clay28411
Washington2771
Clark2729
Greene27015
Pike2674
Cumberland2586
Jasper25010
Mason2381
White2351
De Witt2333
Pulaski2261
Mercer2256
Piatt2180
Wabash2105
Ford1829
Menard1651
Edgar1478
Massac1412
Marshall1403
Hamilton1142
Henderson1110
Alexander1091
Gallatin1052
Edwards990
Brown980
Scott950
Putnam860
Schuyler801
Stark802
Calhoun670
Hardin490
Pope361
Out of IL20

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 150664

Reported Deaths: 4008
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion24697784
Lake13220352
St. Joseph8877159
Elkhart8469132
Allen7880222
Hamilton5962113
Vanderburgh559360
Tippecanoe354714
Monroe320738
Hendricks3183130
Johnson2995128
Porter297848
Clark285461
Delaware282074
Vigo252637
Madison229593
Cass222021
LaPorte215557
Warrick188464
Kosciusko176823
Floyd174867
Howard158866
Bartholomew139758
Dubois135125
Marshall132526
Henry122628
Grant120939
Wayne119327
Boone118848
Hancock114145
Noble113533
Jackson108713
Morgan92240
Dearborn91628
Daviess84033
Gibson83411
Clinton81616
Shelby79429
Lawrence78534
LaGrange76715
Harrison74024
Putnam71016
Knox70310
DeKalb69411
Posey6796
Steuben6008
Fayette58517
Miami5845
Montgomery57222
White56815
Jasper5624
Greene51837
Scott50813
Decatur49839
Adams4725
Clay4346
Whitley4316
Sullivan42812
Ripley4228
Wells4155
Starke3937
Wabash3919
Orange38725
Huntington3785
Spencer3706
Franklin36525
Jennings36013
Washington3592
Randolph3398
Fulton3362
Jefferson3305
Pike31913
Carroll31413
Perry29514
Jay2876
Fountain2863
Tipton26823
Parke2203
Newton21811
Vermillion2181
Rush2044
Owen2021
Martin1950
Blackford1923
Crawford1491
Pulaski1471
Brown1303
Ohio1227
Benton1070
Union1040
Switzerland890
Warren751
Unassigned0233