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Star Wars: The Last Jedi – 4 Lessons about Animal Advocacy

Star Wars: The Last Jedi – 4 Lessons about Animal Advocacy

Hoth-y holidays everyone! 

On Thursday, December 14th, I was fortunate enough to get tickets to the early showing of The Last Jedi at a local movie theater in Boston. As I sat there taking in each scene, I found myself smiling. Why? As an animal advocate I noticed several things that, in my opinion, called attention to some serious issues affecting animals in our very own galaxy. 

**To those of who you haven't watched Star Wars: The Last Jedi yet, please note that this post contains spoilers.**

Now, to the main attraction...4 lessons about animal advocacy taken from The Last Jedi

1) Chewy...future vegan?

If you’ve seen the commercials for The Last Jedi, then you've probably seen a porg. This adorable, wide-eyed creature is, you guessed it, pictured above!

My first thought was that these petite creatures are the perfect cross between a puffin, Ducky (my rescue Cavalier King Charles Spaniel), and a potato. Adorable right?!

Early in the film, I was briefly horrified see Chewy pulling a roasted porg from his campfire, mouth open and ready to bite. But no, what a moment of redemption!  Staring up at him as the camera pans out are a group of equally horrified porgs, silently guilting our friend Chewy with their adorable eyes and mouths agape.  This is how behavior change happens, friends, and I’m 99.8% sure that he’ll never have another bite of meat again. Chewy, I’m happy to connect you with some great vegan advocacy groups that would love your support.

2) Roam free Falthiers!

On the Casino planet Canto Bight we are introduced to evil worse than Snoke himself – the capitalists selling weapons and profiting off both sides of the war. Here’s hoping this storyline is brought back in the last film of the series.  Anyway, the entertainment of choice for these villains? A Star Wars universe take on horse racing using super-sized, incredibly fast, and wall climbing Fathiers.

“Look closer” Finn is urged after initially falling for the glitz and glamor of this planet. We next see Finn look through a viewfinder at the “breaking” of one of these beasts including the whipping of the creature, it rearing in pain and fear, all in front of its child caretaker.  Sad right? 

We later see these animals in their concrete stables where their natural grazing and roaming behaviors are clearly prevented, and cared for only by enslaved children. So many heart-strings pulled! But fear not, for only a few scenes later our burdened beasts are making their escape with Finn and Rose. And as our heroes depart they remove the saddle off their new friend and free the animal to its (we hope) natural habitat.  Here’s hoping they escape capture again. “Episode 9, The End of Arms Dealing,” you heard it here first.

3) Sly as a fox, or sly as a Vulptex?

On the salt-mine-planet of Crait are a crystal-fox species that have taken over an abandoned mine-base of the resistance.  Unfortunately for the sieged resistance who have escaped to this base, there’s only one exit, and on the other side is an army of the First Order.  But wait!  Where did the Vulptex go?  One of our animal friends leads the resistance fighters through caves and to a rock-slide where another daring escape is made. Thanks crystal fox! See you on the shelves of Toys-R-Us!

4) Milk is gross, but freshly squeezed walrus-giraffe creature milk is WAY more gross…

I’ve read that Mark Hammill isn’t the biggest fan of the character arc for Luke, and after a scene where he drinks what looks like a green smoothie from the udder of a newly introduced walrus character, and turning to Rey with a revolting “milk-moustache,” I think I might feel for him. Sorry Mark...Luke deserved better – that scene was gross. But really, is it any grosser than what so many Americans do with cow milk?!

So there you have it my fellow animal advocates! Enjoy the film and enjoy the lessons we can take from it about our treatment of animals here on Earth!

Nathan Herschler
Executive Director

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