Alrighty then, since I spent all of the last post talking about our main girl, let's take a look at the men in  the cast. Particularly, Kylo Ren and Finn.

I've already mentioned how I like the direction being taken with Kylo Ren (aka Ben Solo) as the new main villain. He has proven to be powerful and skilled for sure but he overcompensates big time. It was almost comical for me to see him take off the mask to reveal the normal, not at all intimidating, person underneath.  From his interactions with Supreme Lord Snoke (Don't worry, I'll talk about him later) he appears to still be an apprentice so he's not matured in his ways of the force yet. He wants to be seen as a force (pun absolutely intended) to be reckoned with and respected but doesn't think his 'normal' self is good enough for that. He is getting rid of every trace of the weak, light-side 'Ben' and replacing it with what will be the all-powerful Kylo Ren.

So why did he go bad? What could have made the son and nephew of the most notorious good guys in the galaxy turn to the dark side? Part of me believes it has something to do with Kylo's insecurities. From the tantrum he throws when given bad news and the weird pep talk he has with the remains of Darth Vader, it looks like he doesn't feel adequate even though he can stop a freaking laser mid-air. So he wants to be more powerful, but why? It's evident that he no longer cares for his true family, or at least doesn't associate himself with them anymore, so protecting them (a la Anakin in Revenge of the Sith) is out. Could it be that he wants to become more powerful than someone, his Uncle Luke perhaps? Maybe he was told a twisted version of the story of Darth Vader, one where the Jedi messed everything up in his life. It's also possible that while Luke was striving to rebuild the Jedi Order he neglected Kylo in some way that made him bitter, therefore making him susceptible to the seduction of the Dark Side.

It's also possible that something happened between Return of The Jedi and Force Awakens that shook Kylo's belief in the ways of the Force. Did his parents or Luke have to make a hard decision that he didn't agree with? Maybe he feels responsible for some tragedy that occurred off-screen, though I feel that Han would've mentioned it when trying to talk him down on the Starkiller. Unless Han isn't aware of his involvement in the tragedy...there are way too many possibilities, to be honest.

No matter the reason, I guarantee that Kylo's thirst for power and control is the main reason why he's forsaken his past and turned to the Dark Side. I also predict that he wants to find Luke in order to fight and destroy him to complete his training. Think about it, Kylo killed his own father to go further to the Dark Side, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if one of the 'tests' would be to kill Luke as well. Get rid of the last Jedi (as far as we know) to destroy Light Side for good.

My guess is that Snoke somehow got a hold of Kylo and used the legacy of his grandfather, Darth Vader, to turn him to the Dark Side then fed his insecurities by promising to make him more powerful than he could ever be under the tutelage of Skywalker. From there he had to have turned on his uncle and, if Rey's flashbacks are any indication, slaughtered all of the students Luke had attempted to train. After that Luke disappeared, to hide from Kylo or from his own shame of what had happened.

As for Snoke, I'm positive that Han was right when he told Kylo that he was being used by the Supreme Leader to achieve his own agenda which is the same as what Sidious wanted, control the galaxy through the Dark Side. Snoke and Kylo have different goals in Force Awakens when you think about it. Snoke wants to destroy the last of the Resistance while Kylo wants to get the map to go after Luke. It's almost like Snoke gave Kylo an errand to keep busy while he worked on the REAL task at hand. He doesn't seem to care about the map as much as destroying the Resistance and gaining ultimate control. Now that the Starkiller has been destroyed, Snoke is going back to Kylo as a 'plan B' or fallback to achieve his goal. This makes sense to me because Snoke doesn't seem very upset at Starkiller's destruction but instead tells General Hux to find Kylo Ren so they can complete his training. Maybe the next time we see Kylo he'll be at an even crazier level of powerful!

Quick thing about Snoke: He's not Darth Plagueis, guys. I won't go into long explanation of who that is (But if you're curious HERE is the link to explain) but basically everyone thinks it's him because the music that accompanied his tale in Revenge of The Sith plays again when we see Snoke. First of all, no one in the crew seemed to even know who that character was when questioned about it at panels. Second of all, Andy Serkis, who plays him, specifically stated it was a new character in the Star Wars universe when interviewed about Snoke. Also Plagueis was killed by Sidious! We're not in the Marvel universe guys, people can't come back to life all willy-nilly in a galaxy far far away!
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With this one exception of course.
As for the flip side of turning to the Light Side, we need to talk about Finn. If you think about it, Finn starts off, not by turning from the Dark Side, but by running away from it. He gets his first taste of death and destruction and seems to realize that none of it is right, so he runs because he's seen firsthand what the First Order is capable of and it's too overwhelming for him to even think about fighting back. His arch is quite fascinating to me not only because of the transformation he makes, but because it raises so many questions about how the First Order operates.

We aren't told much about his past in the film. He reveals that he had worked primarily in the First Order's sewage system before joining the Stormtroopers, which makes his change of heart on the battlefield make sense. Supporting an ideology and enforcing it are very different things. When we first meet Finn he goes to the side of a fallen Stormtrooper who dies in front of him after smearing blood on his mask. This is his turning point. Could the fallen Stormtrooper be someone he had known? Was it a friend he had while working in sewage that wanted the chance at being a Stormtrooper, same as himself?
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And if so, how in the hell could Finn have told them apart from the others?
We get a glimpse into what being a Stormtrooper entails when Phasma tells Hux about Finn's rebellion. They pull up a holographic file of him which shows a very young boy version of Finn, which means they had trained him his whole life. Could he have been taken from his birth family? How do they recruit exactly? It wouldn't surprise me if they took tons of children from helpless planets to be used as soldiers to absorb laser fire. And up until Poe decided to call him 'Finn', he's been referred to only as FN2187. That was his name people, the only identity he might have ever known! Captain Phasma also mentions that she had planned to have Finn go through a bout of what sounds like brainwashing via First Order propoganda, so there's no doubt that this is something every officer would have to go through every day. So the First Order is a galactic version of what the Nazis were hoping to become.
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Never would have guessed, right?
She also mentions that him busting out with Poe and escaping was his first ever offense, so up until then Finn was just one of many grunts doomed to be blown up in the all-powerful space station they had to run. I can absolutely see Finn being an ignorant worker vying for the chance to become a Stormtrooper in order to defend the ideals he had been taught for as long as he could remember, only to have them shattered when he sees the real-life consequences.

While Finn had lots of humor infused with his character, I still want to see the inner turmoil of what he has gone through in the next two films. There is a lot to work with there and not all of it would need to be dark or depressing. He's coming to the 'Light Side' after all. By the end of the film he's already stopped running and fights back, even if he ended up getting his butt handed to him. Though that was an excellent use of Lightsaber for not being a Jedi. Well done, sir!

What could happen to him in the next films? I'd imagine he'd want to find Rey, as she's a big part of why he made the decisions that he did, but what else? Would he stay with the Resistance and build upon the bromance he has with Poe? He's proven to be a quick learner both behind a ship blaster and a lightsaber. Could he become a pilot? Or, dare I say, a Jedi?
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God, I hope so.
Think about it, out of all of the other Stormtroopers he just couldn't kill in the name of the First Order and while he had to use the lightsaber for self defense. I'm not saying it would be impossible for any regular Joe to pick up a lightsaber and keep himself safe, but the lightsaber is a weapon that requires lots of skill and training to use and Finn was able to keep up with one of the Knights of Ren for a while. It's said that what makes a lightsaber even more effective is a user with a strong connection to The Force. Could Finn be destined to become a Jedi like Rey? Was their meeting on Jakku more than just a coincidence?

We'll know in the next films, which we'll have to wait even longer for. In the meantime, I think I'll go watch The Force Awakens a few more times while it's in theaters.

What are your theories on the Force Awakens? Did you notice anything interesting about the film, story, or characters that I didn't mention? Write about it in the comments below!
 
 
A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away....there were SPOILERS!!!!

Get ready people, the flood gates have opened!

There's so much I'd like to discuss about The Force Awakens, so let me start out by listing spoilery things I really liked about the film.

1.)  *{[]]]]],]]}={ ====================

Kylo Ren is a nice change of pace for a Star Wars baddie. When it comes to villains in the Star Wars universe, diversity is pretty scarce. Are they wearing all black, covering most if not all of their face, or have a creepy voice? Then they're a villain. There's nothing wrong with broad stroke character traits but after years of the same type of antagonist things got stale. Now Kylo Ren does have the same traits when we're introduced to him, what with wearing all black and having a mask with a voice modulator, so he hits all of the 'checks' for a Star Wars villain but something new was thrown into the recipe, personality. Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine have an intimidating presence to be sure but that's really all there was to them; they were scary and wanted to do evil things, that's it. With Kylo Ren we can see insecurity underneath the mask. Even before he reveals himself to Rey you can see that he's unpredictable and kind of a brat with how he reacts to the failure of his men and himself. He has power to be sure but he doesn't know how to control it or his feelings and boy does this kid have a lot of feelings. I felt his character added an interesting element to a tired trope and I'm anxious to see what they do with him as the sequels roll out.

2.)  [[0][0][0][:]<======================

Han and Leia's relationship wasn't a 'happily-ever-after'. The smuggler and space princess had chemistry and obvious feelings for each other in the original trilogy, but if you really take their personalities and careers into account it would make sense that things would be rocky between them. It would've been really easy for the filmmakers to show Han having settled down having become a bureaucrat working with his wife, missing the old days but being content with what he has now. That's not Han Solo. It makes total sense that they'd have fights so bad that he'd try and go back to smuggling with Chewie to have a go at reliving his glory days. You can see that they care about each other but for one reason or another it just doesn't work. Having your son turn to the dark side must put a damper on the relationship as well.

3.)  (T?[|]!!!!!!';['}|(######################

I'm glad they didn't go overboard with the references. There ARE references to the original trilogy but it didn't get to be annoying. Like when the plot to blow up the new Death Star, 'Starkiller', is realized Han only says 'How do we blow it up?' to remind the audience of what happened many years before. The reference isn't hitting us over the head, just giving us a knowing smirk.

4.)  ([[[[[]o[+-{IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIID

When Rey first touches Luke's lightsaber we can hear the voices of many characters from the past speak to her. Sir Alec Guiness says her name (They took it from a sound bite of him saying the word 'Afraid') and we hear things from Yoda, a younger Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor is confirmed at having recorded dialogue for them), and a younger Luke. Whether you decide to acknowledge the existence of the prequels or not, you have to admit that including elements from them helps with the mythology surrounding a legendary object like this lightsaber

5.)  (l%%%l{O}l=[]>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The lighting is actually very clever if you take the time to notice. Watch Han Solo's death scene again and pay attention to what happens on Kylo Ren's face. It's pretty cool, trust me.

Now for the big stuff, theories! Remember, the only sure thing to take from this is that everything that I say or speculate about my very well be wrong. The whole idea behind having theories is to discuss and debate (in a friendly manner!) with other fans about what could happen next in the series and build up hype. So if you disagree with me or have something to point out, please do so (Politely!) in the comments.
Now for the big stuff, theories! Remember, the only sure thing to take from this is that everything that I say or speculate about my very well be wrong. The whole idea behind having theories is to discuss and debate (in a friendly manner!) with other fans about what could happen next in the series and build up hype. So if you disagree with me or have something to point out, please do so (Politely!) in the comments.

You want to know what's funny about all of us developing these theories? The creators don't even have a clear idea of the characters past or future. Kasdan and Abrams only wrote for the first movie, nothing else. They're handing it over to Rian Johnson who will write the next two films and direct only the second. Rian Johnson has only just decided which of our speculations will end up being correct!

One of the most common theories that keeps popping up is that Rey is the long lost child of Han or Luke. I've seen it everywhere and completely disagree. First of all, it's too obvious. Family relations have been something of a theme in the SW 'verse but discovering that everyone is the long lost relation of someone else would become boring and ridiculous very fast. From the work I've seen from Johnson, I think he's going to take a very unique route with the sequel and it probably won't be Rey being a Skywalker. But if you need more convincing I'll take you through my thought process.
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Who am I?
What do we know about Rey? We know that she is likely not originally from the desert planet Jakku, or as I like to call it 'New Tatooine'. She was dropped off their as a young child by someone we don't know and from her reaction in the flashback, this was a person that she either cared about or felt safe with. She grew up as a scavenger for ship parts, earning very little and surviving as best as one could in her position. Her traits and eagerness to help Finn and find 'The Resistance' suggests that she has some wanderlust or at least wants to be gone from the waste of a planet. But she also thinks that whomever left her as a child will be coming back for her on Jakku, though this belief is gone by the time the third act of the film starts.

So if Han and Leia left her on that planet, what were their reasons? Seeing as Leia is living quite safely with the Resistance it would make little sense to send Rey away for safety. If it was because Kylo needed her for something then wouldn't he be more intent on finding her than getting into her mind to see the map. And if they are siblings wouldn't they be able to recognize each other? Rey is left on Jakku at an age where she'd be able to remember someone as important as her own brother, not only that but Kylo Ren would have been much older in the film if they took her away from him because he turned to the dark side. Let me explain.
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That thing needs a tune up.
Now, I'm not sure how old Rey and Kylo are supposed to be but the age difference doesn't seem to be very big and in real life the actors are about 9 years apart in age. Either way, if Rey had been sent away after Kylo Ren turned to the Dark Side, Kylo would have had to have been old enough to have been trained as an apprentice by Luke and then be seduced. For all of that to happen, I'd think that Kylo would have at least been in his mid teens to an adult when he started following Snoke. If they are close to the same age, then she would have been hidden away at an age much older than we see in the flashback. If there is an age difference similar to the one they have in real life then she still would have been old enough to remember her big brother and recognize him when he took off the mask. 

Plus, with everything that happens between them in the movie and with all of the use of 'The Force' wouldn't one of them at least sense a connection? Kylo Ren recognizes when Han is nearby and Darth Vader recognizes Luke as his son when he had never met him before, even Luke admits that somehow he had 'always known' that Leia was his sister. I find it hard to believe that neither of them would not be able to see the other as a blood relative with a super strong connection to The Force.

As for her being Luke's daughter I'm still not convinced. Once again, she'd be old enough to recognize those she'd come across in life and an aunt, uncle and cousin would definitely be amongst those people. If he sent her away after Kylo Ren turned, once again, there would have been some kind of recognition from one of them. And why would Han or Leia not say anything to her? She's just as eager to be reunited with the person who left her on Jakku so them looking for Luke would help out everyone. And, I must reiterate, two people with major Force powers would have been able to see the family connection between them when they meet on that dramatic cliffside. Rey would have made some kind of exclamation or tried to embrace him if he was really her father, think of her loss of Han who was a father figure and her need of having that family back.

But more than anything, I don't think anyone we know is related to Rey because of what Maz tells her in the cellar of her cantina-I mean-castle. After Rey is drawn to Luke's lightsaber and sees the flashback Maz finds her, having an idea of what Rey had just seen and heard, and she tells her that the person who left her on Jakku was never coming back. Do you think Luke, Han, or Leia would be capable of simply leaving her without even checking up or going back when the danger they're facing has been destroyed? It isn't a kindness to leave her in a place that will only use her to further selfish gains when they all definitely have access to better hiding places. And with Luke's background on being stuck on Tatooine, it's doubtful he'd be fine with leaving his kin in the same predicament.

And don't any of you start throwing around even crazier theories about memory losses or mind wipes or any of that. Everybody's memory would have had to have been wiped for any of the 'daughter theories' to make sense. Han's, Leia's, Kylo Ren's, as well as everyone they were close to would have had to have magically forgotten! Plus when you played a huge part in bringing down The Empire, you'd be famous across the galaxy and so would any kid you have! It would only be a matter of time before a Resistance Officer would make a passing remark on Rey being related to them.

So who IS Rey? I can't say for sure but I have some theories of my own. In a past post I talked all about the possibility of Rey being a clone from Darth Vader or Luke and still think that may have some bearing. You can read more about it HERE. Another theory I have is that Rey may have a connection to someone from the Dark Side of the force, it would make more sense for them to leave her on Jakku for good and would explain her connection to the Force. Maybe she plays a part in Supreme Leader Snoke's past?

Something else I noticed that may or may not be a clue to her possible background was a small doll you can see for all of a second in her AT-AT house. It has the likeness of a Rebellion fighter pilot and looks homemade and old. Could this be something she kept after being left on Jakku? Did she make it afterwards from piecing together limited knowledge of the pilots who flew the ships she scavenges? Who the heck knows! Rian Johnson probably does, actually...

Woah! This became much longer than I thought. Know what that means?

Look for a Part 3 for Star Wars theories! Coming Soon!
 
 
Merry late Christmas! Or Happy Holidays, whichever is appropriate for you. Hopefully, you all did some fun and exciting things on your days off like I did. Like, oh, I don't know...

SAW STAR WARS!!!!

That's what I did, anyways. It was the sixth time I'd gone to see it! If you're like my mom and sister were when I talked about my movie plans then you're probably wondering why I would go to Star Wars yet again. I'll answer you the same way I answered them, 'because it's fricking awesome'!

As you may have guessed, this post will be me giving a gushing review of the movie everyone has been waiting for for years, but I understand that not everyone has seen it yet. Whether you want to avoid the crowds, can't afford it yet, or are too cautious after the abominations known only as 'The Prequels', I understand and respect your decision to wait. Which is why this review will be spoiler free! This may be one of the hardest things I've had to do on this blog, but I'll give it my best shot!
The Force Awakens
Does it need a podracer?
The best thing about The Force Awakens was feeling like I was actually watching a Star Wars film. It was saturated with the same spirit and sense of adventure we got from the original trilogy and gave me all the feels in the nostalgia department. Star Wars movies are supposed to take you on the ride of your life and while it may not be quite up to par with the originals, the ride was still entertaining as hell!

The story itself was familiar and took elements from New Hope but threw in enough twists and new material to make it fresh and exciting! I'm not saying that it's scene for the scene the same as New Hope, by the way. The journey is fundamentally the same but the terrain has changed over the years. By the way, the original cast is back and seemed to give a damn!
han and leia
That's always good.
The characters are my favorite part of the new films, probably because I was so ecstatic that they finally got them right! A big part of what made the first Star Wars films so popular and lovable were the engaging characters like the underdog hero, 'Luke Skywalker', or the rogue/thief with a heart of gold, 'Han Solo'. They were relatable and fun to watch on screen and so are the new cast we are introduced to. Now while I liked these new characters, I also have a small nitpick about them. They weren't fleshed out enough for me. Maybe if they had more motivation to start their inevitable journey or were pushed harder? I just felt like I didn't know them as well as I knew Luke, Leia, Han or even C-3PO once the credits rolled in A New Hope. Once again, it's a small nitpick and the only problem I had with the film.

Lastly, the special effects both practical and digital were amazingly well-balanced in this installment. One of the many problem I had with 'The Prequels' was that everything looked too sterile or that the screen was crammed with too many things to look at. While TFA looks great there's also something raw about the shots that just scream original Star Wars and nothing is ever cluttered on screen. We're shown what we need to see, the characters and their drama and the battles from the POV of whomever we're rooting for.

Ho boy, it's taking almost all of my energy not to go into spoiler territory. I think I'll save that for later this week (Yep a part 2 will be coming soon!).

But really, you should go see The Force Awakens. There's a reason why it's broken blockbuster records across the globe, after all. The world of Star Wars is iconic and TFA is a film that goes above and beyond it's recent predecessors and breathes new life into the franchise! Who doesn't want to see a resurrection...with lightsabers!

Did you see it? How many times? 3D? IMAX? Love it? Hate it? Let me know below!

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Millions of fangirls are sharpening their fanfic skills for these two...