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...
 
 
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Young George Lucas. Kinda foxy...?
Being that last weekend's box office was dominated by "Jurassic World" and "Inside Out," it got me thinking about the legacy of George Lucas. Like most people in the world, I've always had a love/hate relationship with the guy. A few have even taken this 'relationship' this to the extreme, as a few years back someone made a documentary on the topic about Lucas called "The People vs. George Lucas."

True, while the prequels weren't what most people wanted, but does that warrant all the things that Lucas has contributed to the world of cinema obsolete? I say no. Why? Because if you look close enough, you'll see his influence is everywhere in modern cinema whether you like it, or not. The first examples, the recent box office champs, Jurassic World and Inside Out both would not exist, without the work of Lucas. You see, Lucas’ special effects company, ILM, created all the dinosaurs in the original Jurassic Park film, way back in the 90s without a company capable of creating such awe-inspiring creatures, we wouldn't have a Jurassic World today. Even Inside Out owes a debt of gratitude to Lucas as Pixar, was a Lucasfilm company as early as the mid-80s. While Lucas didn't found the original incarnation of the Pixar company, he helped to water it, grow it, push its limitations and eventually hand it over to one Steve Jobs and the rest is history.

These aren't the only examples. Lucas' fingerprints can be seen all over the American movie landscape and this week, I'm going to highlight a few to help defend a genius that is now looked upon as a crazy old wizard that lives in a secluded part of Northern California.

Music:

Before the release of his 60s comedy, American Graffiti, popular music wasn't used much in feature films. Usually, films would have a score create for the soundtrack or have songs specially commissioned like in a James Bond movie. Lucas, in an attempt to be different and create a unique soundtrack for Graffiti, opted to use the songs that he used to listen to while crusin' the suburban San Francisco streets. Since no other filmmaker had ever thought of that before, he was able to license the pop songs of the 60s for next to no money. Well, after American Graffiti was a massive hit at the box office, and auteurs from far and wide took note of how pop music could enhance their screen stories, they all began to use pop songs in their films and still do today. Quentin Tarantino is famous of his ability to blend images and pop music, but without Lucas, he'd have no blueprint on how to do it.
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Where was I in '62? Not alive.

Special Effects:

Star Wars. Enough said. Really though when this came out in 1977, people's heads exploded as they had never seen such advanced visual effects used period, but more specifically in an action/adventure movie. With the progress made by Lucas and co. in the special effects world, it soon became possible for filmmakers like Ridley Scott to make Alien, Steven Spielberg to make E.T., and David Lynch to make Dune, just to name a few. More importantly, Lucas created the model of a filmmaker owning their own FX company to have more control in creating their vision. This can be seen today, as Peter Jackson owns WETA Workshop and James Cameron owns Digital Domain companies that were vital in creating the on screen magic we remember from such films as Titanic and The Lord of the Rings.
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Sadly, this scene caused as many as 3 million minds to be blown in 1977.

The Universe:

Marvel gets a lot of credit for creating this 'universe' concept but in reality, an argument can be made that Lucas was there first and was thinking of this concept and applied it while most of the Marvel Entertainment executives were still in short pants. When the original Star Wars was released in 1977, Lucas, whether in a blaintant cash-grab or not (probably, yes) allowed the now infamous Star Wars Christmas Special to be produced for CBS that was meant to be a direct spinoff and official canon. Because it turned out like bantha doo-doo, said idea was abandoned, but my point is that it was attempted. It didn't quite stop there either as many Star Wars universe cartoons (Droids and Ewoks), books (Splinter of the Mind's Eye and the Han Solo Adventures) and event a live action TV movie (Caravan of Courage) were produced through out the 70s and 80s that attempted to expand upon the Star Wars Universe for a public hungry to consume all it could of the galaxy far, far, away.  Oh, there were those other films, too. You know, the ones with the word 'Episode' in front of them that told one 'bigger picture' story. While the spinoffs and smaller media series stories failed to unify a solid state Star Wars story, Lucas did display his ability to show others that he was willing to think beyond the big screen and invented the 'Universe Model' version 1.0 for Marvel and now others, to build upon.
marvel universe timeline
Nope. This isn't getting complicated at all. [Sarcasm]

Ring Structure:

I recently stumbled upon this website while cruising for some Ep. 7 news. It's called Star Wars Ring Theory and in great detail, the author expounds upon a theory he's crafted about how all the main 6 Star Wars films are interconnected using an ancient 'ring' storytelling structure. I read the whole thing and the author does present some pretty remarkable evidence that if true, not only gives one more appreciation for the prequels, but also would be the very first time anyone as ever attempted to try this structure in the film medium and if I've proven anything over the past few paragraphs, it's that Lucas is a man that likes to do things first. Please, I encourage you to visit the website and take in all the evidence for yourself. Then, maybe, like me, you too will see the prequels for more than just a jamboree of Jar-Jar. It even leaves room for a sub-theory on why the special editions are now needed with the realization of the prequels. While Lucas didn't invent the storytelling ring, his application of it in cinema may inspire future filmmakers to refine it and perfect it as so many of his other ideas.

Star Wars Ring Theory Website:
http://www.starwarsringtheory.com/
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From: StarWarsRingTheory.com
May times, geniuses are so far beyond the crowd, when they create, the masses don't 'get' their creations. It takes time for everyone to catch up to the ideas and concepts they present. It has happened time after time throughout history to artists from all around the world. Geniuses think outside the box and while Lucas has gotten lucky and been able to speak to the common man at times, he still has had a hard time communicating his ideas when it comes to movies. Maybe future generations will come to revere all his work and truly give him the credit he's due.

What do you think? Have I convinced you that Lucas is worthy to be championed as one of cinema's greatest filmmakers, or is he still a mean old man that ruined your childhood? Comment below.  
 
 
So everyone's seen the trailer for the newest entry into the Star Wars saga, The Force Awakens by now, and either cried their eyes out, shook uncontrollably, got chills, or curled up in a ball as if they were being attacked by a wild rancor.
matthew mcconaughey reacts to star wars
Not even Matthew McConaughey was immune.
Most of those that experienced the aforementioned effects were Generation Xers anxious to return to their childhoods which were apparently 'so great' that they felt the need to complain about them in Grunge music for 10 years.
grunge music
Everything sucks!
Anyway, based on the YouTube view stats for trailers one & two, most people have viewed both trailers multiple amounts of times (me included), and based on internet trends, it seems like with the limited amount of info presented, everyone has started to concoct a theory about what chapter VII is going to give us.

I'll give a kind curtsy to J.J. Abrams & Company for their ability to keep a lot of the details about this film hidden. J.J. Abrams knows as well as anyone, that speculating about what's going to happen in a Star Wars movie is half the fun of its fandom. That speculation seemed to hit a fever pitch a couple weeks ago when the second trailer hit, and started spawning theories around questions like these: Who's behind the Vader-type mask? Where's C-3P0? Why is that stormtrooper is always out of breath? And my personal favorite: How has Chewbacca avoided any grey hairs? 
han and chewie the force awakens
Chewie... we're at the drug store. Get your hair dye and let's go.
But with all the theories flying both good and bad, I noticed that there weren't that many about the young Skywalker-looking girl, named Rey. She's the one being played by newcomer, Daisy Ridley.
rey from star wars
I wish I knew how to use the Force.
Now, this could be due to the fact that everyone has just assumed that she is the daughter of Leia and Han, but it seems that in everyone's euphoria, they forgot to do simple math. Could a girl that's only looks to be about 17-years old really be the daughter of a now elderly Leia and Han? Granddaughter maybe, but even that's a stretch.

So sit back as I present to you a wild Phoebe theory that I've cooked up about this girl named Rey from the two existing TFA trailers (with the backup support of some hard cold official Star Wars canon facts).  Fair warning, everyone, this theory has all my friends thinking I've gone nuts from too many trailer viewings. [I'm only up to about 67 viewings... and counting]
PictureWhat the crap?
Before I get to my theory, let's start out with what we know about the Star Wars movies, shall we? Well, for one, we know that the Star Wars saga is about the Skywalkers, period.  So, could this new trilogy not feature a new generation of Skywalker(s)? I guess, but it'd be breaking away from a huge story element, and geeks around the world would probably be in a bigger uproar than they were about Jared Leto's Joker. To have this new set of movies not be about a new generation of Skywalker(s) would be like the producers of Doctor Who making the Doctor's new persona a robot, just because they felt like it.

If you'll concede to me the fact that the Star Wars Saga is about the Skywalkers, then maybe you'll agree with me when I take things a step further, and say that the Star Wars saga at it's core, is really about Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. So now when I ask, could they make a new trilogy without Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader involved somehow? You may be forced to say, "Well, I guess, no."
little ani and vader
This sand sure is interesting.
Anakin and Vader
It's all about ME!
This line of thinking was what I used to form my theory about this mysterious Rey girl, and my theory is this:
What if, the new trilogy is about a set of twins cloned from the DNA of Anakin Skywalker and this Rey girl is one of them?
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Dun, dun, dun...
Search your feelings fans, you know it to be... maybe true?

If you buy in to my theory, then all the clues are in the trailer, although it could just be conformational bias. Either way, let's break down select parts of the most recent trailer, and maybe I'll convince you to turn you to my dark side.  

Clue #1: This girl is apparently a scavenger on a desert planet. Sound familiar? This was the starting point for both Anakin and Luke. Also, it seems like she's quite good at driving fast machinery also a Skywalker trait.
Rey and Finn
I want off this desert planet!
luke on tattoine
Join the club, sister.
Clue #2: The lightsaber being handed to what many suspect is Leia due to the voiceover. Many fans were excited to see the weapon they remember being lost in ESB, but seem to have forgotten that it's not actually Luke's lightsaber, it's Anakin's. I blame this massive oversight by Starwoids on what I call 'Prequel Amnesia.' Could it be possible that in a round about way, the lightsaber is going back to its original owner?
skywalker lightsaber
Hand and batteries not included.
Clue #3: Darth Vader's burned helmet on a platform. It seems someone went to a lot of trouble to obtain such a relic. For what purpose? Cloning. Could it be that a cult of Vader recovered such an artifact to recreate the most midichlorian rich being ever in the universe?
vader helmet
Did the Emperor only make one helmet? That thing must have stunk.
Clue #4: Luke's voiceover. I think everything is intentional when it comes to film, and the strange duplicate echo seems to imply some kind of copying (or cloning if you will.) You also have to consider the subtext of what he says, "My father has is it, my sister has it, I have it... and you have that power too." Hmmm... Now if she were in fact a clone of Luke's father, how would she fit into the family tree? Niece? Mom? Grandma? Cousin? It seems like Luke just disregarded titles, and just went with, you.
Luke and R2D2
Bad robot?
Clue #5: The girl herself. Anyone else get the feeling she looked like someone we've seen before? I think J.J. Abrams & Company went to a lot of trouble to find someone that had a 'look' before a name for a very specific reason.
rey anakin clone
Hmm....
Now let me reach into some deep Star Wars lore and present further evidence for my theory using Star Wars facts.

Fact #1: George Lucas originally planned for Luke Skywalker to be a girl in the first Star Wars. If this girl were an Anakin clone of sorts, he'd be getting his wish in a round about kind of way as this series would feature a strong female Skywalker lead.
girl luke skywalker
Lady Luke Skywalker concept art.
Fact #2: Like it or not, clones are a part of the Star Wars saga and have been since they were first mentioned by Princess Leia in "A New Hope." Now, if suddenly in the world of Game of Thrones, a King Joffery clone appeared, many fans of GOT would scoff at it as ridiculous and unbelievable, but in the world of Star Wars, clones are pretty commonplace, so to me, an Anakin clone isn't out of the question. After all, Boba Fett is a clone, no?
king joffery
Maybe I should clone myself, just in case. Nah, I'll do it after my wedding.
Fact #3: George Lucas has always stated that the Star Wars movies are like poetry and that they sort of 'rhyme.' So taking that into account, I think it's within reason to think that this new trilogy will also feature twins or siblings one good, one bad thus the ever-present balance of the force theme that runs though all the films.  So far, we have similar Skywalker themes with this Rey character.
luke and leia
Hopefully Episodes VII -IX features less sibling kissing.
In closing, I really think that with this new trilogy, Disney is really going to unite fans of the original trilogy and the prequel trilogy. So don't expect any of the new films to completely ignore Episodes I-III. As much as you may hate them, believe it of not, there are a lot of people under 35 that like the prequels (Jar Jar included), as they grew up with them, as well. Star Wars belongs to new fans just as much as it does to the old ones and with a clone angle, I think it's their best way to unite the trilogies.

I have more theories and speculations, but I'll stop here for now. I think in all the excitement that surrounded the newest trailer, people missed a lot, and if J.J. Abrams' Lost taught us anything, it's that the man sure loves his clues.

What do you think? Am I on to something or have I gone completely insane? 
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He's canon, folks. Deal with it.
 
 
During the recent New Years Eve, I did what I always do: indulge in a massive movie marathon into the midnight hour with my girls. This year, core member, Margaret, decided to attend a swanky party with her new beau, Dustin, at some downtown hipster joint. LAME! So, Tiffany and I invited our new friend, Lisa, to join us for the "reel good time."

This go round of our yearly tradition, it was Margaret's turn to pick the movie series. But since she wasn't there to attend, we gave the honors to little Lisa. She's the youngest in our group at 20-years-old.  Due to her excitement surrounding the new Star Wars movie, "The Force Awakens," she decided to select the Star Wars Saga. Tiffany and I rolled our collective eyes, and were immediately regretting our act of good will to our full-of-fandom friend. As a way to alleviate our annoyance, we demanded that we at least watch the unaltered editions of Episodes IV-VI, to which Lisa agreed, under protest.  Kids these days...

As we were watching, "The Empire Strikes Back," there was as scene that caught my attention for the first time ever. Maybe this was due to the fact that I have never taken in the Star Wars Saga in secession before.  It's the last scene on Dagobah. Luke is in his X-Wing preparing to take off for Bespin in the hopes of saving Han and Leia. The spirit of Obi-Wan appears, and tries to talk Luke into completing his Jedi training, but in Obi-Wan fashion, fails miserably at trying to convince a Skywalker do something. As Luke takes off into the atmosphere, Obi-Wan states to Yoda: "That boy was last hope" [Jedi kind]. To which Yoda retorts, "No, there is another..." Nowadays, due to "Return of the Jedi" we know that since Leia is Luke's sister, Yoda was referring to her, but at the time [1983], people must have been confused as all heck.

What struck me as this scene played out? Well, keep on reading as I present to you a shocking theory about your beloved Jedi, Yoda and Obi-Wan.

Now that we have the benefit of Episode III and know that Yoda and Obi-Wan knew about both Luke and Leia (as they were present during their respective births); the scene I just recapped, made me wonder, 'Why was Leia plan B, Yoda?' This then made me ponder: 'Wouldn't it have been a better plan to have Leia be trained as a Jedi, as she was the adopted daughter of royalty?' After thinking about these questions for quite some time, I yelled out at some point during, "Return of the Jedi:" "Hey, Leia was way better equipped to be trained as a Jedi instead of Luke!" This garnered some strange looks from Tiffany and Lisa, as they weren't privy to my internal monologue (sometimes I forget).  After crashing back into reality, I explained to the gals what I was thinking about since about the Lando punch. My diatribe to them went on until about 3am.

The first thing I did, was lay out to them my evidence as to why Leia was more qualified for Jedi training, and I will present it to you here:

Based on skills that were important to the way of the Jedi as portrayed in Episodes I-III, let's see how Leia does at the start of Episode IV:
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Pretty solid. There's a lot to work with there. Put a lightsaber in her hand, have her jump around a swamp, and you got yourself a Jedi that's ready to rebuild the Order.  

Now let's look at how farmboy, Luke 'Whineypants' Skywalker stacks up in comparison:
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Hmmm. Not a whole lot to work with there.  I'd say I'd be like training a semi-truck driver to be an MI-6 agent. It'd be a lot easier to train James Bond how to drive a semi-truck, which is essentially, all you have to do if you go with Leia.  

Now, like my girlfriends, you may say: "But Luke was more 'Force sensitive' than Leia." To which I reply, "Quiet you!" Since Luke and Leia are twins, it's fair to assume that each of their collection of midi-chlorians were the exact same, and thus, would both be equally qualified to be trained into successful Jedi.

After I presented my infallible evidence, I next unfolded my theory to the ladies and now to you:

Seeing as Leia was far more qualified than Luke to be trained to be a Jedi, the only logical conclusion as to why Obi-Wan and Yoda picked Luke was because he's a man. Take notice of the line by Obi-Wan: "That BOY was our last hope.." Then Yoda says: "No there is another..." Oh, you mean Leia, Yoda? The one you were okay with letting die not 10 seconds prior, if Luke 'honored what she was fought for?' Jerk.
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They probably thought that only a big strong man like Luke, could take down the likes of Darth Vader.  Search your feelings, fans; you know it to be true. I did offer my friends the opportunity to present a counter argument, but they couldn't. They ended up giving up and fell asleep sometime around 4am. Maybe you all have some thoughts to counter this theory?

Now I realize it's just a movie and that a lot of things don't make sense with the existence of the Prequels, but I just thought the theory was something interesting to explore.  Let's hope that future storytellers will consider that sometimes you just gotta send a woman in to do a man's job.

Interestingly enough, there is a comic book series, published by Dark Horse, titled "Star Wars: Infinities," that explores different story possibilities in the Star Wars universe.  It's the equivalent to Marvel's popular "What If?" title.

In one of the "Infinities" runs, "A New Hope," the creative team explores what would happen if Leia was trained as a Sith by Darth Vader. Leave it to the bad guys to recognize talent. Geez...

I've read the "A New Hope" run and the other two in the series: "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi" as they have been collected in an Omnibus edition and highly recommend it. All the runs are fun reads that explore everything from a Jedi Han Solo, to a good Darth Vader.  You can find it here:

You can find out more about the book on Amazon. Use either link.
 
 
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A young George Lucas on the set of 'A New Hope' eyeing up how to simultaneously create and ruin your childhood.
Congratulations, Fanboys and Fangirls, you all got what you've all wanted since 1983. George Lucas is completely removed from the Star Wars saga.  I know what you'll all say, "But he's a creative consultant on The Force Awakens.  I know; I've seen the IMDB listing as well. But fear not, as this recent Page Six article proves, he has nothing to do with the newest episode entry, stating:

         “I plan to see it when it’s released."

In fact, he didn't even watch the trailer, which is almost impossible to do, if you spend any time online, as it seems every fraking website has a 'clickbait' article about the trailer.  On the subject of the trailer he admits:

        “I don’t know anything about it. I haven’t seen it yet.”

So there you go, he's completely hands-off.  You'll have a 100% Lucas-free experience when you watch Episode VII.

I for one, think this is sad.  Say what you will about the prequel trilogy (and a lot has been said), but at the end of it, Lucas made what he wanted to make with his own money.  As a creator myself, I respect that.  While I didn't enjoy all of the prequels, the parts I did like, I know were the thrills that only Lucas could provide.   

Also, I think a lot of people seem to forget that back in the '70s, he single-handedly invented. "Star Wars" from nothing.  As today, he is treated like an old man that destroyed whiney  "Generation Xers'" childhoods (go listen to Nirvana and cry about it!).  They also forget that he was very hands-on in the beloved "Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi."  Without him there, there's no way those films would be so beloved, IMO (admit it, you all loved Ewoks as kids).  

Maybe that's why he sold Star Wars to Disney.  Perhaps he just had enough of the bashing and naysayers.  I could see him finally throwing his hands up and saying, "Fine, you have it." and now you do.

In a world of 'Hate Watching' maybe giving it up was the smartest thing he's ever done. But for me, when I walk into that theater next Christmastime, there will be a little less magic when the words "STAR WARS" fly into the screen, because I'll know that Mr. Lucas is there in name only.

Agree? Disagree?