John Mandeville and the Knights of Ren

At the Public Medievalist, Asa Mittman writes about race, racism and the medieval narrative that inform The Last Jedi.

“In the final act of the film, the Resistance (our heroes) have fled the First Order’s mighty army. They hole up in a cave, behind a massive wall, with no apparent escape route. Enter, the film’s crystal fox, aka the ‘vulptex,’ who saves the day.

The vulptex seems to be a reference to a 600-year-old story, perhaps signaled through its name (derived, as it is, from Latin). This may be an intentional medieval Easter egg, or it may be just an astonishing coincidence. But the film’s progressive intentions—its thorough and clearly intentional challenges to white supremacy, toxic masculinity, misused medievalism, and the rest of the fascist alt-right ideology—crystallize (pardon the pun) in the medievalesque scene with the vulptex in a fascinating way.

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