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Who’s Your Daddy? For that matter…Who’s Your Mommy?

spaceballs spoiler

Ok, this is your one and only warning.  It’s time to talk about Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  I don’t care if Chris hasn’t seen it yet as I consider him to be the only person on the planet so afflicted.  We’re going to talk Star Wars.  More specifically we’re going to talk about the heritage of the film’s protagonist; Rey.

There are dozens if not hundreds of theories floating around the interwebs about Rey and various other characters right now, and since Disney just announced that Episode VIII has been pushed back to 12/15/2017 we have plenty of time to mull over our favorite theories.

Let’s start with what we KNOW.

Rey was left on Jakku, most likely -but not definitely- by her parents:
“They wanted to leave.  But Rey had to stay.  At least until they came back for her.  If she left, her parents would have no way of finding her.”  Source:  Star Wars: Before the Awakening

Young Rey is played by Cailey Fleming, age 8.  We see her in the film screaming “No!  Come back!” as a ship departs Jakku.  She is portraying Rey somewhere in the range of 5-8 years of age if I had to put a number on it.  The departing ship doesn’t tell us much – looks like a generic freighter.

Rey has been on Jakku for years.  Just look at all those marks she has made, presumably one per day, inside the belly of an Imperial AT-AT; her makeshift home on Jakku.  The marks number “in the thousands” per the novel.

Rey is portrayed wonderfully by Daisy Ridley, age 23.  Rey is about nineteen.  That lines up with thousands of marks and I’m pretty sure I read the number specifically referenced, but I can’t seem to find it right now.  At any rate it’s a good ballpark number.

Kylo Ren is portrayed by Adam Driver, age 32.  He’s older, but he looks young for his age.  My guess is he is intended to be older than Rey, but he looks young enough for all the twins fans out there that it’s believable.

Rey thinks Luke and the Jedi are just a myth.  This is well covered in the film and the novel.  She believes this to be true until Han tells her and Finn “I used to wonder that myself.  A bunch of mumbo-jumbo is what it sounds like.  Some magical power holding together good and evil, light and dark.  Crazy thing is, it’s all real.  The Jedi, The Force–it’s true.  All (of it).”  Ok, but did someone use The Force to affect young Rey’s memory?  We certainly see plenty of evidence in the film of mind reading and manipulation via The Force and a certain Sith wannabe in particular seem adept at such things…

After all, “The Force can have a strong impact on the weak minded.” ~ Episode IV

Upon touching the Skywalker lightsaber, Rey has visions of both the past and the future.  Rey hears several familiar voices.  She sees the betrayal of the Knights of Ren – this is the key scene in the story to unlocking her past, which is why we are only given fleeting images and scenes.  She sees the ship of whomever left her on Jakku leaving and screams “No!  Come back!”

“Stay here.  I’ll come back for you.”  “I’ll come back sweetheart, I promise.”  These phrases are in the novel.  Sure sounds like something a familiar scoundrel would say, but it’s pretty easy to believe he would call both his daughter or his niece sweetheart so we don’t get any concrete proof here either.  But, it could also be some other familiar figure.  Maybe even the offspring of our favorite scoundrel.

She also hears from both Alec Guinness and Ewan MacGregor as Obi-Wan.  But hey, were not new to the whole Obi-Wan as a blue glowing ghost guiding along the protagonist, are we?  She also hears Master Yoda who has also been studying post-death connections thanks to Qui-Gon Jinn.  This is just them reaching out through The Force to guide her in my opinion.

Maz clearly knows more than we do and she wants Rey to take the Skywalker lightsaber.  She chooses Rey specifically.  When Rey wont take the saber, she tries to make her friend take it along.

Rey has a natural affinity for the Millennium Falcon.  For a girl who has only used a flight simulator she seems to have a natural connection with everyone’s favorite Corellian vessel.  She also worked on it a bit for Plutt, but the connection seems stronger than that.  Then again, Luke and Anakin had a pretty good affinity to piloting too.

Kylo Ren is pretty sure he knows who Rey is:
Upon being informed about BB-8’s escape, Kylo Ren is first told of Rey.  “Kylo Ren’s voice took on a timbre lower and more menacing than any the lieutenant had ever heard.  What –Girl?”

While invading Rey’s mind…”Surprised by what he was finding, Ren lowered his hand.  Relieved of the mental intrusion, she sucked in great, long draughts of air.  His brows drew together and a reluctance to believe his own findings colored his comments.”

“At night, desperate to sleep, you’d imagine an ocean.  I can see it…I can see the island.”  Is this a vision of her home?  Of where Luke has fled to?

“And Han Solo”, Ren continued relentlessly.  “He feels like the father you never had.”  Feelings.  Hmm.  Search your feelings Rey…

Much later, when they do battle on Starkiller Base:
Taken aback, he whirled – to see the weapon land in the hand of a girl standing by a tree.  Rey appeared equally shocked that her reach for the device had exceeded his.  She gazed down at the weapon now resting in her grip.  “It is you.” Ren murmered.

I am almost certain Kylo Ren says, “Han Solo wont save you this time,” in the forest during the finale when he encounters Rey and Finn just before the lightsaber battle.  Clearly I need another viewing to validate this.  I’ll get right on that…

Lastly, when Snoke sends Hux to find Kylo Ren and bring him to him as Starkiller Base is being destroyed.  “It appears that he may have been right about the girl.”

Unless otherwise specified quotes above are from:
Source: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Novel)

 

So, having thought through the above.  Let’s now cover some of the Theories:

Skywalker
She’s a Skywalker.  Sure, Rey absolutely could be Luke’s daughter.  This is the path of least resistance.  Perhaps after the Empire’s destruction Luke found love; maybe a fiery red-head (wink wink).  Maybe Rey was the only one to survive the Knights of Ren, saved by her Uncle.  Perhaps the loss of his wife, and all his padawans, broke Luke.  Maybe our group of heroes gathered and decided that to best protect Rey, and the galaxy, she needed to hide and their memories needed to be wiped.  Seems unlikely…after all they have faced great adversity and triumphed before.  Maybe Luke thought Rey was dead too.

Maybe young Rey was saved by Kylo Ren himself.  In the flashback, we see adult Rey prone on the ground in the rain at the slaughter.  That’s probably exactly where young Rey was.  We then see what may be a Knight of Ren run through from behind by what appears to be Kylo Ren.  Maybe he couldn’t bring himself to slaughter his own cousin, and so he dumped her on Jakku telling her that her parents would come and get her.  Maybe she had shown no real power in the Force at that point and he considered her to not be a threat.  Kinda makes a lot of sense to me.

Everyone thinks Rey died as a child, if that was even her given name.  Gets rid of the need to wipe minds galore.  Han and Leia wouldn’t recognize her.  Their niece was dead.  As a father, I can certainly tell you that this is the kind of thing that would break me, and make me leave behind the war between the First Order and The Resistance.  Luke would be utterly broken by loss.

Luke and Rey’s reunion on Ahch-To certainly felt like it had the weight of a family reunion and not just a ‘Hey, here’s your lightsaber.  Come save the galaxy again’ vibe.  Did it also have the vibe of ‘You’re Alive!?!?!?’  Maybe, maybe not…

“The Saga films focus on the Skywalker family saga,” Kathleen Kennedy explains. “The stories follow a linear narrative that connects to the previous six films. The Force Awakens follows Return of the Jedi and continues that generational story. The Anthology films offer opportunities to explore fresh characters, new storylines and a variety of genres inside the Star Wars universe.”

Let’s dive a little deeper and remember a quote from Master Yoda, “No. There is another.” Let’s try to tie that into TFA.   Now keep in mind that Obi-Wan was the audience of that particular comment, and Obi-Wan was well aware of Leia’s birth.  However, he may not have known of her connection to The Force.  Then again, perhaps Yoda was not speaking of Leia after all.  Perhaps he had looked to the future.  Perhaps another Skywalker is meant to bring balance to The Force…

“Difficult to see.  Always in motionis the future.” ~ Empire Strikes Back

Solo
Ancestrally, Leia is also a Skywalker.  So chances are the Skywalker or the Solo answer is true when it comes to Rey’s lineage.  A lot of people want Rey to be Jaina.  After all, Jaina had her father’s mechanical aptitude and her mother’s connection to The Force.  That would make Ben/Kylo Ren her twin brother.  Sure the actors have an age difference, but it’s not enough to make this outside the realm of possibility.  Plus, she could always just be his younger sister.

But, it would require some serious abuse of The Force on the part of Luke or Kylo Ren though.  One of them would have to have mind wiped the living daylights out of Han, Leia, Chewie, C-3PO, Rey, and more.  But hey, Luke’s broken now (he would kinda have to be for the above for the Skywalker option as well) so maybe he had a lapse to the Dark Side while overwhlmed with grief, anger, and despair.  Maybe this is part of what further broke him and caused him to turn to isolation.

I’m not buying it.  Why?  Because I don’t think that Leia, with her connection to The Force, would not recognize her own damned daughter.  I also can’t see Leia’s belief that there is still good in Ren if he had slaughtered his own sister.  Then again, maybe she just never felt her death and knew she was out there somewhere.  Again, not bloody likely.  Han is not Force-Sensitive and Leia immediately feels his death across the galaxy.

Ok, yeah.  Han and Rey certainly hit it off pretty easily, and sure Rey has that hug with Leia at the end of the film that could speak volumes if the potential mind wipes are breaking up but the whole Solo theory is a long shot in my opinion.

Speaking of hugs…Why didn’t Leia hug the walking carpet with the life debt who just lost his closest friend?  Once again, Chewie gets the shaft!  No medal after The Battle of Yavin – yeah that’s right the BS revisionist history Rucka just published doesn’t count.

Then of course there’s a wacky and very unlikely little theory of mine about a teen pregnancy in a galaxy far, far away….

Kylo Ren gets someone pregnant and the baby is taken away to be raised elsewhere.  He stops thinking about it completely to focus on becoming Grandpa’s Little Boy.  Hey, it would be weird but Kylo Ren gets to say “I am your father” this way or maybe it gets twisted to a “I am your daughter” revelation.  We had another spherical, planet-destroying weapon in TFA, so who’s to say it’s too cliche at this point?  That would make her a Solo, but I really don’t think Disney is going to go here.

Kenobi
The theory that Duchess Satine and Obi-Wan have a mystery child and the Kenobi lineage carries on is pretty weak.  Why would Obi-Wan then think Luke was the last of the Jedi in Empire?  Why would someone so dedicated to guarding the legacy of the Jedi Order not guard his own child as well?  I love Obi-Wan, but his role in the saga is clear to me.  After all his words in TFA were “Rey, these are your first steps.” not ‘Rey, Gradpa wishes he had been alive to see your first steps.’

Anakin Reborn
Please no.  Well if she’s some immaculately conceived reincarnation of Anakin, then why is she waiting for her parents!?  Not bloody likely.  On this note though, I do like the idea that Plagueis could be Great Grandpa Skywalker.  He was just making himself a new apprentice hidden in the Outer Rim….

Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith so powerful and so wise, he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create life.” ~Episode III

Satele Shan
Rey certainly has the look of Satele Shan, so she could be of her lineage, but I’m pretty sure I’m still scarred over the loss of the entire EU and that includes the history of The Old Republic.  This one’s a long shot at best, and just because she has that look doesn’t make them distantly related.

I’m Nobody
Seems pretty damn unlikely based on all of the above.  Face it Rey, you’re somebody and we’re dying to know who!  Heck, the Prophecy could have been interpreted wrong and you could be The Chosen One!

If only they had spelled it all out for us and we didn’t have to wait almost two more years for some answers… Bet hey, what would be the fun of that.

Mystery Box, right?

p.s.  I wonder who that Snoke guy is….

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Spector for Hire: Advertising Done Right

EA/Sony just hit the ball out of the park with their latest advertisement.  Go ahead, click this link and tell me this isn’t an absolute clinic on how to advertise.  This may well be the best ad of all time.  If The Gunn Report says differently, then The Gunn Report is wrong.

https://youtu.be/mByznNYCWTY

Star Wars: Battlefront is being released on November 17, 2015.  My pre-order has been in for ages, but this commercial captures the essence of what it’s like when your heart belongs to a galaxy far, far away….

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Spector for Hire: The Force is Strong in 2015

This year will definitely be an exciting year for Star Wars fans, young and old (like me).  Hey, “when 900 years old you reach, look as good, you will not.”  There is a LOT to look forward to!

Star Wars: Rebels

Yes, I’m still reeling from the loss of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.  Yes, I understand, in part, why they had to stop.  But hey, Star Wars Rebels rocks!  Five years before the events taking place in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, comes the story of the Rebellion’s beginnings while the Empire spreads tyranny through the galaxy.  Sitting down to watch this show with my son is often the highlight of my week.

The second half of Season One of Star Wars Rebels hit the airwaves on January 5th.  The episode, entitled Path of the Jedi focuses on a key trial all Jedi must overcome.  Will Ezra be up to the task?

Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend

The folks at runDisney have created the race you’re looking for this January at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA.  Well, I guess it’s the race you’re looking for, unless you’re like me and would prefer an event in Florida during Star Wars Weekends at Walt Disney World….

Can you say Imperial Challenge?!!!??  Come on runDisney, let’s make it happen!

Feel the power of the Force during the first-ever Star Wars Half Marathon run at theDisneyland® Resort.  It’s a 13.1 mile intergalactic adventure in the most magical place on Earth. Your course takes you through Disney California Adventure® Park, past Disneyland® Park, and then on to the terrestrial streets of the surrounding areas.  There’s also kid races, a 5k and 10k and a Rebel Challenge for completing both the half marathon and 10k distances.

_rD_wookiee

Star Wars Celebration

In April, Star Wars Celebration will take over the Anaheim Convention Center in CA.  The official convention of a galaxy far, far away, will herald the premieres of both Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith in 3D and the Season 2 premiere of Star Wars Rebels.  On top of that are appearances by Star Wars actors and creators, panel discussions, more merchandise than you could smuggle past an Imperial blockade, and of course exclusive reveals which will no doubt be about The Force Awakens!!!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xU9a0t174N4&w=560&h=315]

Marvel Comics

While Dark Horse certainly created some great comics over the last twenty years, I am very much excited for the upcoming releases from Marvel.

The first issue, which comes out on January 14th, already has over a million pre-orders which sets it up as perhaps the highest selling comic of the year already.

Yours truly may or may not have gotten his grubby little hands on an advance copy….

_sw1_mine

Yep, this is the comic you are looking for.  It’s fantastic!

Buy it.  Read it.  Love it.  Oh and grab some amazing variant covers too.

_sw1_skottie

_sw1_quesada_sw1_ross_sw1_campbell

and of course the piece de resistance…..

The Force Awakens

It’s going to be a great year to be a Star Wars fan!

~Rob

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Spending Those Elusive Entertainment Bucks

We all struggle to spend our hard-earned entertainment budget wisely.  There are certainly many things worse in life than making a misstep on this front, but it’s always nice when we get a little guidance from those with similar tastes.

 

In March, I had the good fortune to be guided by my favorite author, George RR Martin, to explore a seven-volume series I hadn’t yet heard of.  It’s always enlightening to explore the works that have inspired those who have, in turn, so deeply inspired me.   So, I very eagerly ordered a copy of the first book in Maurice Druon’s series; The Accursed Kings.

 

The Accursed Kings (Maurice Druon)

Iron King The Strangled Queen

 

“Pope Clement, Chevalier Guillaume de Nogaret, King Phillip, I summon you to the Tribunal of Heaven before the year is out, to receive your just punishment!  Accursed!  Accursed!  You shall be accursed to the thirteenth generation of your lines!”  The haunting words of Jaques de Molay, Grand Master of the Knights Templar, as the flames of his funeral pyre consumed him set the tone for a tale for the ages.  Burned at the stake in 1314 by the order of King Philip, Molay was the last of the Grand Masters of this ancient monastic order.

 

This series is the seven-volume telling of the fall of the Capetian dynasty and the very roots of the Hundred Years War.  According to many, this is historic fiction at its finest!  While I have only just finished reading the first book, The Iron King, and have eagerly dove into the second volume, I am already inclined to agree.  The depth of character, political intrigue, and sense of historic immersion are incredible.

 

British publisher, Harper Collins, is planning on publishing all seven volumes in English.  The seventh book has never before been offered as such.  While there are no plans for a US edition of the books, through the power of the internet you too can partake in this fantastic series.   Maybe we can even talk the Great Stories crew into making a few copies available for direct purchase.  I’ll see what I can do.

 

Ten Grand (J. Michael Straczynski & Ben Templesmith)

 tengrand01_cova tengrand01_covb

 

Then there are other times when we just get lucky.  I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a comic I grabbed on impulse last week; Ten Grand #1 – “Blood Oath”.  A great fusion of grit and the supernatural, this one caught me by surprise.  You can even scan a QR code in the back of the book for an excellent audio performance of the story as you flip the pages.  Even better still, there’s an alternate cover by Bill Sienkiewicz of Moon Knight fame (yep, I worked Moon Knight into my guest blog with minimal effort).  So what’s the story here?

 

As mob enforcer, Joe Fitzgerald, laid dying and staring across the room at the corpse of Laura, the love of his life, he was offered a deal.  Where he was going, he wouldn’t want her to follow.  Where she was going he couldn’t follow.  But, if Joe agrees to work for a mysterious and seemingly angelic force, he will be brought back to life again and again, with the promise that should he die a righteous death he will be given five minutes together with Laura.  Would you endure an eternal cycle of pain and death, to be reunited with the one you love?

 

If that doesn’t whet your appetite, I’m not sure what will.  This story has a lot of promise, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the arc.  Ten Grand #2 – “Angels Never Lie”, is slated for a June 5th release.

 

And more…

300px-Savage_Wolverine_Vol_1_6_Textless

 

Of course, if you haven’t yet read George RR Martin’s series A Song of Ice And Fire (The first book is A Game of Thrones), David Eddings’s Belgariad (The first book is Pawn of Prophecy), or Raymond Feist’s Faerie Tale, you’ve got some other amazing stories available to you as well and I’m only scratching the surface.

 

On the comics front, June looms, and then you can pick up Savage Wolverine #6 with artwork by the amazing Joe Madureira.

 

 

These are just a couple ideas on entertainment spending.  But remember, your local library carries a veritable plethora of fantastic tales too.  Take advantage of that!  Nothing stretches your entertainment dollars more than enjoying so many options for free.  And when you do purchase a book or movie with your hard-earned money, you can almost always donate it to your local library when you are done with it to further develop their catalogue.

 

So get reading, or better yet writing and drawing, and let us know what you would recommend!

 

~Rob