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Star Wars: The Last Jedi' leans into political frayBut the latest movie, "The Last Jedi," appears to lean into the political fray, from its egalitarian message to a more specific critique of callous plutocrats.More pointedly, the mission undertaken by Finn (John Boyega) and Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) leads them to a planet where the ultra-rich congregate at what amounts to an intergalactic casino. Moreover, it's noted that most of those one-percenters earned their money from war profiteering -- selling weapons to the First Order and Rebels alike -- while subjugating and exploiting those around them.
The pair's escape also weaves in an animal-rights theme, as the two rebels liberate a creature used for a kind of horseracing entertainment. The beast eventually wanders off free, regaining its natural state.
There's obvious irony in a money-making enterprise like "Star Wars" -- fattening the coffers of the Disney empire -- decrying capitalism run amok. Yet even if that's a minor, peripheral element in a fantasy set in a long-ago, far-away galaxy, rather than being reluctantly drawn into such debates, "The Last Jedi" signals its willingness to at least be part of the conversation by addressing issues in the here and now.
Wednesday, December 13, 2017