Carano, who played Cara Dune in Disney Plus seriesThe Mandalorian, faced criticism last week after sharing a post on her Instagram Story that likened “hating someone for their political views” to the persecution of Jewish people by Nazis.
The post was the latest in a series of inflammatory social media posts by Carano, who will not return for future Star Wars projects.
SNL’s Colin Jost tackled the subject on the sketch show’s Weekend Update segment, and used the opportunity to wade into a long-running debate over one of the sci-fi franchise’s most controversial characters.
“Yeah, I don’t know if Star Wars is the authority on what’s antisemitic,” he said, highlighting the character Watto from George Lucas’ prequel The Phantom Menace (1999).
Alongside an image of the character, he said: “If that’s not Nazi propaganda, I don’t know what is.”
Watto has long been considered offensive by many critics and, over the years, has been accused of taking inspiration from antisemitic caricatures.
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Writing for The Nation at the time of the film’s release, Professor Patricia Williams said that Watto had a “striking similarity” to a cartoon published in the antisemitic magazine Kikeriki in the early 1900s.
In a retrospective of the film, published in 2019, writer Aaron Freedman wrote in Jewish Currents that, as a child, he perceived Watto to be “the only representation we Jews get in the Star Wars franchise”.
The film’s design director previously described the character as "this conglomeration of odd things that really didn’t fit”.
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