Will the new Star Wars film have political overtones?

When the first Star Wars prequel came out 15 years ago viewers noticed some suspiciously-named characters.

Episode One: The Phantom Menace’s devious and deceitful Trade Federation leaders were Nute Gunray and Lott Dod. To some ears that sounded a lot like prominent Republican politicians at the time – then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and recently-deposed House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

That was far from the only political turn of newer Star Wars films. Series mastermind George Lucas has contributed heavily to Democratic candidates and causes, and is an outspoken supporter of gun control, among other issues.

Consider the third Star Wars prequel, Revenge of the Sith, which portrayed series protagonist Anakin Skywalker – who would become the evil Darth Vadar – in George W. Bush mode. Released in 2005, fascist-leaning Anakin growls at one point, “If you’re not with me, then you’re my enemy.”

To some that echoed Bush’s address to a joint session of Congress on September 20, 2001 – nine days after the terror attacks that took nearly 3,000 lives – when the president said, “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”