Ahead of the 2020 general election, President Donald Trump’s campaign seems perfectly fine with promoting the idea of graphic violence against the president’s opponents. On Monday, May 4, which is customarily nicknamed “Star Wars Day” thanks to how close “May 4th” sounds to the catchphrase “May the force be with you,” the Trump campaign posted an edited Star Wars clip that had been tweaked to depict Trump decapitating his opponents. In the short clip, Trump’s face had been edited onto the face of the Star Wars character Yoda, and after a character that had Joe Biden’s face edited on sent other figures with the edited-on logos of CNN and MSNBC against the Trump-ified Yoda, he decapitated them.
Check out the video below. The Trump campaign did not offer any immediate explanation for the video beyond the implicit desire to try and use any coverage at all as a way to boost their profile.
May The 4th Be With You! pic.twitter.com/TdFY5ojlgN
— Team Trump (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TeamTrump) May 4, 2020
This incident is not the first in which the Trump team has touted imagery depicting graphic violence against Trump opponents. At one pro-Trump conference at one of his own hotels in South Florida, the speaker showed a clip of a figure with Trump’s face edited on slaughtering a dizzying array of figures with imagery edited on that suggested Trump’s opponents.
In this incident, some Twitter commenters suggested that Disney might have some grounds for a lawsuit against the Trump campaign for appropriating the Star Wars imagery for campaign messaging. Disney is famously strict with their intellectual property. In the past, the Trump team has faced criticism from a slew of creators whose work they have appropriated. Even the rock band The Rolling Stones have demanded that the president’s team stop using their music at his rallies.
The post depicting Trump murdering his opponents went up on the same day that reporting emerged from The New York Times that the Federal Emergency Management Agency had collected projections suggesting that the daily Coronavirus death toll in the U.S. could hit a steady high of around 3,000 by the beginning of June. The U.S. has already long blown past previous estimates for the total death toll from the Coronavirus, but the Trump campaign evidently remains focused on securing gotcha moments against the president’s political opponents.
Check out Twitter’s response…