Stephen Kent of the Beltway Banthas podcast joined the “Pat & Stu” guys on Wednesday’s episode to talk about how current politics influence pop culture and what’s next for the latest generation of Star Wars films. Kent recently wrote about the links between politics and the universe created by George Lucas in the Washington Examiner.
“Star Wars has been and will always be political,” Kent said on Wednesday’s show. “You can’t really take out the context of the world in which a movie or a book or any piece of art was made from the piece itself.”
In the ‘80s, the Cold War influenced the original trilogy, while the prequel films of the early 2000s reflected the war on terror and the “slippery slope of war,” Kent explained. “You were talking about how democracies fall apart, executive power, all those sorts of themes that were in those movies and were in politics of the time.”
Released in December 2015, “Episode VII: The Force Awakens” showed the binary divide between good and evil, Kent asserted. Because they are influenced by today’s politics, the latest Star Wars films are about “the divide, the massive gulf between people,” he explained. “We’re very divided, and Star Wars is looking like it’s gonna be moving in that direction in terms of their commentary and their story with ‘The Last Jedi.’”
The next film is slated for a December release. According to Kent’s analysis, “The Last Jedi” is about Luke ending the Jedi tradition because “the Jedi were never really looking for a balance.”