10.28.2015

Exactly What The Internet Needed, Another Piece On Semi-Informed Speculation About What Happens In Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (Spoilers or Whatever)


Han and Leia have twins who are very powerful with the Force. Yeah Yeah Yeah. Even though all of the Expanded Universe stories were officially rendered non-canon by the Lucasfilm Storytelling Committee that was assembled post-acquisition, they did specifically state that they reserved the right to mine the non-canonical material for the best ideas and recycle them in whatever manner they deemed fit. This was always one of the best ideas. We all want to see Han and Leia together, we all want them to have twins that parallel the Luke and Leia genealogy, and we all want them to be bad-asses with the Force. Sometimes you have to do a little fan-service, and J.J. Abrams is no stranger to this dynamic.

Rey is clearly meant to be the female lead, and it's the coolest notion that she is Han and Leia's daughter, force sensitive, and a budding Jedi, which is supported by many factors, including a trading card leak that essentially confirmed she was both a Solo and a Jedi. To me, Luke is clearly talking to her when he says “The Force is strong in my family… my father had it… I have it… my sister has it… you have that power too.” The imagery of Rey wandering the desert with BB-8 on Jakku waiting to cross the threshold of Joseph Campbell's monomythic journey of self-discovery calls to mind her Uncle Luke on Tatooine, she's beautiful and just looks the part, it just all fits tonally.

Lucasfilm has been trying very deliberately in recent years to position strong female leads across all media (from Brian Wood's Star Wars run at Dark Horse Comics featuring Leia as the blaster-wielding X-Wing piloting main character, to everyone's favorite Mandalorian Street Artist Sabine Wren in Star Wars: Rebels, to Princess Leia headlining solo comic books and novels appearing in the very first wave of new offerings, their intention is clear), and the backing of Disney and the marketing opportunities waiting to be exploited with the young female demographic only underscores this approach. Disney Princesses sell millions, and the marketing division is wisely redefining what it means to be a Disney "Princess."

Rey's sibling is most likely Kylo Ren. I'm so obnoxiously LOL’ing at all the people who bizarrely think Kylo Ren is Luke turned evil. I mean, they're not even trying. They announced months ago that Adam Driver was cast as Kylo Ren, they've repeatedly shown him with his mask off in magazine spreads, their arms don’t even match up if you compare them side by side, and they've canonically stated that the Knights of Ren are an order that opposes the Jedi and that their members take the surname "Ren" as some sort of honorific in the same manner that the Sith take the title "Darth," so "Kylo Ren" is probably not even the dude's real name. Besides, if the Emperor was the most powerful Sith around and couldn’t turn Luke, then what possible off-camera person or event could have? It's not even hard to debunk this Luke as Kylo Ren knee-jerk theory. So, Rey’s brother turns to the Dark Side and becomes Kylo Ren, and you get the most storytelling mileage out of this drama. Clan Skywalker is plagued by the temptation of the Dark Side all through history, it's kind of their thing.

Now, either because of Kylo Ren's fall to the Dark Side, his own sense of conflict over light and dark, or because of some other self-imposed exile type of reasoning, Luke is in hiding. He's secluded on another planet like Yoda on Dagobah, he's either deep in meditation, he's attempting to re-establish a Jedi Temple and train Force-sensitive kids in anticipation of the looming big bad, he's feeling the shame of letting his nephew fall toward evil, failing his first student like Obi-Wan failed Anakin, possibly explaining Luke’s reluctance to initially take on Rey as a second Padawan and further disappoint both his sister and best friend, or whatever the hell ever, he'll be taken off the board for a while. This is why he isn't featured prominently in the trailers and his reveal will be either postponed until Episode VIII (which will really piss people off), or his big reveal will be the very last scene of Episode VII. We know that Mark Hamill has been on location already filming scenes for Episode VIII, so Episode VII will leave us with some rousing cliffhanger as he dramatically agrees to intervene in the escalating calamity.

Han and Leia will have been married and will now be divorced or separated in some way as Episode VII opens. This is a smart scripting move because it gives fans a taste of what they want (Han and Leia together), while also leaving their character arcs open for growth as we get to see them wax nostalgic and fall for each other all over again under these heightened circumstances. It could be everything from the stress of Kylo Ren going to the Dark Side (oh, Han knows firsthand that the Jedi and Sith stories are all too real and tells Rey as much in that last trailer), Rey being an estranged drifter type scavenging on Jakku, Leia's allegiance to her duties in the New Republic, any or all of it rips their relationship apart, but they pull a Michael and Kay Corleone in Godfather III and are reunited because of the rise of the Knights of Ren, the threat of the First Order, and the reemergence of their kids in prominent roles in the universe. They are the trope of the grizzled veterans getting pulled back into the game for one final ride. They will rekindle their romance as they're sucked back into service and agree to go recruit Luke out of hiding to address these threats, to train Rey, and to redeem himself like his father did for past transgressions.

If nothing else, Lucasfilm uses a lot of pattern emulation in their collective writing. Lines are repeated (you can make a drinking game out of the number of times someone says “I have a bad feeling about this” in The Clone Wars or Star Wars: Rebels cartoons or comic books), plot devices are rehashed (breaking folks out of detention blocks in Rebels, Garazeb Orelios masquerading as a Wookiee being transported under arrest like Chewie did on Death Star I), and genre re-appropriation occurs even internally (notice how Star Wars: Rebels’ Kanan Jarrus is 1/3 Jedi in hiding taking on a new apprentice like Obi-Wan, 1/3 rogue gunslinger like Han Solo, and 1/3 leader of a crew pulling odd jobs to survive and stick it to the man like Malcolm Reynolds in Firefly). That said, parallels are deliberately employed and at some point, I expect to see Luke sacrifice himself as Obi-Wan did for the greater good, this could happen in Episode VIII or IX.

During the period Han and Leia are separated, Han shacks up with a dark-skinned woman from Socorro or wherever (because c’mon, you can take the smuggler out of the cantina, but you can’t take the cantina out of the smuggler, err, something), which also allows for, wait for it, Three Words: Lando Calrissian Cameo! This is consistent with what's going on in the Marvel Comics Star Wars fare currently, as a woman shows up claiming to be Han's wife. Remember that they're taking a multimedia approach to things here (I've seen clues in everything from the new comics to the new novels to frickin' Lego mini-figures that confirm the identity of characters in the trailer that casual fans were stressing so hard about). Shit, Finn's mom could even be Lando's sister now that I think about it. Cool.

So, this other woman was pregnant with Han's kid, and their son is revealed to be Finn. There's not as much evidence to support this sub-theory, but I like it for some reason. Finn's story mirrors Han's. He joins the Imperial Navy, he's a gifted pilot/officer, he experiences some incident that disillusions his misplaced allegiance to the old Imperial forces (the trailer essentially says as much), and he becomes part of the resistance force. Maybe he's Force-sensitive, maybe he's not, some things could be red herrings. Just because you use a lightsaber doesn’t mean you’re a Jedi, or know the Force, they’re making a lot of distinctions now between regular folks, so called “Force-sensitive” folks, and full-on Jedi, while over on the Dark Side, we’ve seen multiple Inquisitors who wield lightsabers and have knowledge of the Force, but are technically not Sith because of The Rule of Two, and hell, Han Solo used a lightsaber to filet a Tauntaun so that scene in the trailer don’t mean shit. The bottom line is that we should remember than Finn is a Solo, and not a Skywalker like Rey and Kylo Ren.

At some point, I expect Han Solo to die. That sucks. You love Han. I know. My heart can’t take it either, but it's pretty logical. There's no way in hell he survives the trilogy. Harrison Ford is pretty vocal about Star Wars not being his favorite career gig ever, and he's on record as wanting Lucas to desperately kill the character off in Empire Strikes Back, so I expect him to go out. This sets Finn up to "inherit" the Millennium Falcon, explains why he and Rey have a bond and find each other (they may or may not initially know they're half-siblings), and, like his dad, he could end up with Chewbacca as his copilot (Wookiees live like 700 years or some shit now), or there's even an off-chance that Chewbacca is also out of the picture and Finn gets someone like Nien Nunb as his copilot. If you've read the new Princess Leia novel, you know that Nunb plays a significant role as one of Leia's go-to personal pilot/fixer/bodyguard types. There's also that scene in the trailer where we see Rey crying and grief-stricken and it looks like there's a furry thing on the bottom of the screen, which could be nothing, or it could be a deceased Chewbacca.

I guess this brings us around to Poe Dameron, the X-Wing pilot from the trailers. He makes up the third leg of the heroic trio with Finn and Rey, which supplants the Han/Leia/Luke triumvirate, while maintaining a few of those beloved parallels from the original. We have (half) sibling leads being reunited in Finn and Rey, a third party being introduced as a potential love interest for one of them who happens to be a hotshot pilot in Poe, one of the three leads being a Solo in Finn, and one being a Skywalker in Rey, with one of their identities initially hidden, ie: Leia was revealed to be a Skywalker, and here Finn will be revealed as a Solo.

If you read that new Princess Leia novel then you know that in the flash forward there's a scene where someone named Dameron shows up, which is probably not a coincidence. This means he figures prominently in the mythos. If you also read the Greg Rucka mini-series that just wrapped, then you know that this comic introduced us to Poe's parents, Shara Bey and Kes Dameron, who fought at The Battle of Endor. I told you, the clues are out there. Shara and Kes know the players in Star Wars, they know Leia, they know Luke, they know Han, they're family friends, and in the comic they're gifted a rare "Force Tree" (for lack of a better term) that survived from the Jedi Temple on Coruscant during the Jedi Purge, all of which tends to insinuate that Poe himself may be Force-sensitive or was otherwise exposed to this "Force Tree" growing up. This might also explain why Kylo Ren appears to be Force-torturing him in the trailer. Ren is hunting Jedi artifacts like Vader's helmet, possibly his lightsaber, and maybe even hunting Skywalkers, so he could sense Dameron's residual "Force Tree" energy. Poe would make an interesting eventual love interest for Rey, basically mirroring the Han and Leia story with an ultimately duty-bound young woman who falls for a hotshot pilot with a heart of gold. If Rey is a full-on Jedi and even if Poe is merely “Force-sensitive,” that’s a deadly combination.

If you really want to reach ahead and extrapolate some even wilder speculation, imagine yet another future trilogy where the children of Rey Solo and Poe Dameron are the (next) next generation of Jedi, and the cycle repeats anew. Rey is half Solo and half Skywalker, so these kids would be a quarter each, have kick-ass grandparents who flew A-Wings in The Battle of Endor (on Poe's side), and their other set of grandparents are none other than Han and Leia (on Rey's side), with a great-uncle named Luke Skywalker. That's a frickin' generational legacy.

There will always be another new comic, a new novel, a new movie, a new TV show, or another new Star Wars "thing" in the works. Forever. We'll be hearing about "the new Star Wars" (whatever it is) until the day we die, I see my own kids and their generation being drawn in to a newly evolved iteration of the mythos, and there's no reason to think the mega-corporation isn't already laying the seeds for the juggernaut to continue to self-perpetuate as we speak. While the rampant sense of consumerism it embeds in society turns me off, you kind of have to marvel at the sheer audacity of the marketing campaign being interwoven with such intricate story construction.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home