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Kylo Ren – A Jedi Like His Grandfather Before Him?
There seem to be two options in every Star Wars fan’s mind as to how the Skywalker story ends in ‘Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker’.
Option One involves the defeat of Kylo Ren at the hands of Rey – the no frills, bargain basement child of junk traders.
This leaves a very unsatisfying end to the tale of our Skywalker heroes though, doesn’t it?
After all, what would we be looking at here – Anakin become a Sith lord that murdered children, massacred his fellow Jedi, and participated in the greatest genocide that the galaxy had ever seen in the destruction of Alderaan.
I mean, sure he redeemed himself by throwing Emperor Palpatine down a hole, except now it’s like...”But did you even kill him, bro?”
And the answer to that is ‘No!‘.
Anakin Skywalker is now a total asshole who failed at the one gesture that maybe redeems him in the face of all of the atrocities he committed – if we’re feeling especially forgiving that day.
That brings us to Luke Skywalker.
Sure, Luke blew up the Death Star, and he resisted the highly lucrative job offer with Palpatine Inc., but then he took his ball and went home.
He ran away to his Gilligan’s Island, where he could pout about how he ‘Can’t even right now’! with the Jedi, as he suckled at the teet of some jacked up version of a cow.
Then, when the time came to act like he still had the pair he was born with…he figuratively Skyped it in.
This leaves us two people remaining with the Skywalker bloodline.
Leia and her son Kylo Ben the angsty Hot Topic preferred shopper.
Now sure, Leia has, in the words of George W. Bush…stayed the course.
She doesn’t whine. She’s not tempted by job offers from the competitor, and even when things look their worst, she just pushes her chips all in and bluffs if she has to.
Leia is your ‘ride or die’ Skywalker.
But unfortunately, Carrie Fisher is gone. And even with all the mojo that Luscasfilm’s editors and CGI artisans could muster, I think the logical amongst us know that there’s simply no way to conclude this story with her as the focal point.
So that leaves us with Ben Solo.
Now, if we have moment where Kylo realizes that Hot Topic might have seemed like a great place to shop when he was 15, but isn’t such a great look at 30, and tells the Emperor to take his club card and shove it, this won’t be satisfying to anyone, will it?
This will feel like nothing more than a repeat of the story we’ve seen before, and all the fanboys will be like…
“J.J. is a bigger hack than Rian!!! At least when Rian fucked everything up, he did it his own way! He didn’t just copy and paste! FUCK YOU, ABRAMS! YOU PIECE OF BANTHA SHIT! YOU RAPED MY CHILDHOOD!”
What’s that? Oh it will TOTALLY read like that. Have you even been paying attention?
Anyway, what if there were a third option?
What if, we’ve been being ‘rope a doped‘ this whole time?
Let’s work backwards for a moment.
Oh, and trust me…I know some of this is a stretch, but hear me out…
It now seems that Emperor Palpatine never died at the end of ‘Return of The Jedi’ in 1983; that all these years, he was out there plottin’ on motherfuckers.
We know that Ben Solo was not only Luke’s nephew, but his ‘Padawan’ of sorts, and that Luke sensed when a ‘dark force’ was reaching out to Ben.
We know that Luke has learned how to project convincing imagery across the galaxy using the force.
AND we’ve learned that Luke found it necessary to ‘disconnect’ from the force so that he couldn’t be located.
But was it just about location…or was it so that thoughts couldn’t be intercepted too?
What if, all this time, Ben is doing just what Luke told him to do?
What if his job was to completely convince Palpatine that in Anakin Skywalker’s grandson, he’d found Darth Vader’s successor?
Kylo Ren has had a few opportunities to kill Rey now…if that was what he wanted to do.
But all he ever did was try to get her to stay close to him – to join him.
Now we assume this was for evil purposes, but what if it were just so he could keep an eye on her?
In ‘The Force Awakens’ upon meeting her he says “The girl I’ve heard so much about.”.
And if she’s just a trailer park chick from a no name town…why?
But he never tries to kill her. He never tries to eliminate this huge threat to his master plan.
For some reason, he’s protecting this ‘nothing’ instead.
Around this time, we see him speaking to the melted helmet of his grandfather like some lunatic with an imaginary friend, as well as his attempting to get into Rey’s head in the interrogation room.
To his grandfather’s helmet he says “I will finish what you started.”.
When Rey reverses the mind hack on him she says “You. You’re afraid. That you will never be as strong as Darth Vader.”
At face value, both of these things are designed to make us believe that he thinks he’ll never be the evil Sith lord that Vader was.
But Vader turned against the Sith.
Vader, as we are to understand, recognized the error of his ways and attempted to correct it by killing Palpatine and ending the Sith reign.
But we now know that Vader failed.
So if Kylo were to now ‘finish what Vader started’, it wouldn’t be the completion of the Sith being the ultimate power in the galaxy, because Vader had abandoned that idea.
It would be ending the Sith…the ending of Palpatine. That is what Vader started and didn’t finish.
And if you were tasked with this by Luke, if you were about to go up against the greatest Sith of all time, you might just be worried that you ‘weren’t as strong as Vader’, no?
Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking….”But he killed his dad!! And he tried to kill Luke too, you stupid piece of shit!”, and you’re right, it does appear that he killed Han Solo and tried to kill Luke.
Or did he?
Here’s where I said things were going to be a stretch, and everything that follow hinges on you taking this leap of faith.
But isn’t that what we’re doing with this whole franchise anyway?
Or did you think there really were Tauntauns?
We know that Luke can project imagery from across the galaxy now.
We know that it needed to appear that Kylo killed his own father to complete his path to the Darkside.
So what if Kylo never really killed Han, but it just appeared he did?
What if, as it’s been suspected, Mark Hamill’s comments about never having shared time on screen with Harrison Ford in this new trilogy, ARE nothing more than misdirection because they will share screen time in Episode IX? Han can’t be a force ghost because he never was a Jedi, so the only way that could happen is if Han is still alive.
Consider this also, if Kylo knew that Luke was never really on Crait…did he really try to kill him?
So he didn’t kill Luke, he didn’t kill Rey, and he didn’t kill Leia when he had the chance. He maybe killed Han, and he definitely killed Snoke. And of Snoke’s death, think about this…
He kills Snoke because Snoke is trying to kill Rey. And Snoke tells us he can feel Kylo’s thoughts. That he he feels him “…turning the lightsaber to strike true! And now, foolish child, he ignites it and KILLS HIS TRUE ENEMY!”
His true enemy.
Hmm...I think they call this ‘hiding in plain sight’.
Again I acknowledge, this hinges on Kylo not really having killed his own father.
But hell, let’s play devil’s advocate…what if he did?
As Cassian Andor showed us in ‘Rogue One’, what if Kylo did take out his own for the greater good?
Could we accept that?
What if his “I know what I have to do, but I don’t know if I have the strength to do it.” wasn’t about his final step towards the Darkside, but instead was about the most difficult act of the ruse that would allow him access to Palpatine, in order to kill who is now the most powerful Sith to ever live?
And what if the killing of Snoke was the final act in becoming a true Sith in the eyes of Palpatine?
The ‘Rule of Two’ being carried out where the apprentice kills his master, and now Palpatine believes he can fully trust that Kylo is fit to rule by his side?
What if…ALL OF THIS…were our childhood hero Luke Skywalker’s master plan to sacrifice everything to save…everyone?
Now this is no longer the redemption of Kylo Ren, it’s the completion of his mission where he gave everything.
It’s the final act of his grandfather’s, his uncle’s, and his attempt to bring balance to the force.
To let the Skywalker name ‘rise’ through unimaginable sacrifice…with the help of a female descendant of Obi Wan Kenobi or the creation of Sheev Palpatine.
This wouldn’t be a repeat of what we’ve seen before.
It wouldn’t leave the heroes we grew up with as simple set pieces in the new story.
“A thousand generations live in you now…but this is your fight.
We’ll always be with you. No one’s ever really gone.”
What if those words were being said by Luke to Ben Solo at the outset of everything?
What if Kylo Ren is the greatest hero we’ve ever seen, and we missed it the whole time?
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