1. Alexander Preston says:

    To me, the whole “Nazi” villain theme has long since become severely overdone and rendered into something of a cartoon. At one time it may have been fresh and original – particularly in the immediate aftermath of World War II and the Holocaust. But its continued use after being recycled so many times usually indicates a severe failure of imagination from a storytelling perspective.

    As you yourself just pointed out – Hitler was neither the first nor the last of history’s villains. A case can be (and has been) made that Stalin and Mao were far worse – from a strictly numerical perspective they were responsible for far more deaths, and their animating ideas are all the more insidious for their continued influence around the world. Hitler’s ideology, on the other hand, was officially placed beyond the pale of respectable discourse by the Nuremberg trials and is held today only by a fringe element of delusional cranks. But you would hardly get that impression from much contemporary literature and cinema. And in the same vein, you would hardly know that other mass murderers even existed. It speaks to the poverty of our popular culture that so few of these other potential villains have ever been explored in fiction. It would be a breath of fresh air if we could ever see a significant fictional antagonist modeled after, say, Vladimir Lenin. At the very least it would indicate the author/director is thinking outside the box.

  2. I agree with Alexander. I think the whole “evil Nazis” thing seems like lazy writing that plays off old propaganda that’s still ingrained in the general population. I’d love to see the bad guys based off some other villains. This hasn’t just happened in Star Wars, but in many speculative fiction books where the bad guys are evil racists who have no motivation for the way they act. The only slightly original thing I’ve seen was in the fourth season of Legend of Korra where the Nazi based villains didn’t seem racist but just wanted to make their nation powerful again.(LOK had quite a few other problems.)
    I also think it’s a bit dehumanizing to keep acting like every German solider was evil, especially when they were fighting against the Soviet Union, which judging by what happened in Germany after the war, they had a very good reason to fight against.

What do you think?