Commentary: ‘Star Wars’ has always been political. ‘Andor’ made it must-see TV
For a film series that has been around since 1977 — and that has been seen on American primetime for more than 40 years — its relevance to current events has been, at times, quite clear.
The Force is strongest in the moment, and with these new films, it seems the time is right.
As part of its 25th-anniversary celebration, Disney began running a series of “Star Wars” tie-in DVDs, and the first to arrive, this week’s “Star Wars Episode I: Andor,” has certainly made it clear to anyone paying attention that the series is more than just a collection of space opera set adventures.
Like previous “Star Wars” films — from “The Empire Strikes Back” to “Return of the Jedi” — this latest installment is part morality play and part political commentary. The prequel to the original trilogy takes place in the Republic’s second-century Republic World, where a group of rebels are hunted down, imprisoned and eventually executed.
Then, two decades later, the film jumps three generations, and Han Solo and his crew are captured and forced into a life of slavery.
As it turns out, the new film is a much more direct statement about slavery than George Lucas was willing to go, and it’s worth noting that this is the first time a “Star Wars” entry has dealt with the issue with any depth.
Here’s the opening scene:
“We are slaves.”
This is important stuff.
“This is your new life. Your new life is what will determine what happens from here. All you can do is decide.”
That’s a man’s answer to the question, “If you were me, would you work for the Empire?” (Or, to put it another way, “If you were me, what would you