Warning: tons of photos! Click here for the photos from the comic con earlier in the year.
A video of the functional R2-D2:
Just what the title says.
Negan (that’s marker stubble on his face), hitting yours truly’s daughter, who is dressed as John Egbert from Homestuck. The fellow on the right said he was Despair, but he has a mask of Glenn from The Walking Dead on.
Not pictured: a great Darth Vader costume, that was as good as the Boba Fett one. It was a bad picture that I accidentally deleted.
7. She cobbled together a computer from crashed ships and found a data chip with a functioning flight simulator program. She used the program in her spare time, like when she was trapped by the storm, and gained experience navigating a number of different ships.
8. She recognized violence was part of living on Jakku and learned to defend herself. She had to participate in so many fights over the years she can’t remember the exact number.
So she didn’t “just learn” how to pilot. On a desert planet with nothing else to do besides scavenge and (barely) eat, anything to break the monotony would be seized upon, hence her learning of mechanics and piloting. It makes sense she would be extra ambitious if she ever wanted to build some sort of ship to leave, right?
She also didn’t “just learn” the Force when she was able to resist Kylo Ren’s Force mind probing during interrogation. Ren is powerful, but Rey didn’t have a pampered disposition, so she had developed the mental fortitude of living in a sandy hell like Jakku to be able to fight back when Ren tried to pry secrets.
With all this, Rey isn’t half the Mary Sue (Marty Stu) Anakin was. A champion podracer at 9 year old?
I mentioned before that I thought Rey could be Luke Skywalker’s daughter, and there are theories that she could be Obi-Wan Kenobi’s granddaughter. There were hints of Obi-Wan being romantically/relationally attached to someone, in the prequels, and in the Expanded Universe (EU), Luke had children with Mara Jade. Since a lot of the EU isn’t canon anymore, anything could happen.
What I do predict is that Rey will bring the prophesied balance to the Force, the balance that Anakin failed to bring in the prequels. But, one possible path Abrams, et al, could take is a Hegelian balance: she will end up being not a Jedi or a Sith, but a synthesis of the two opposing sides.
There was a hint of this Hegelian resolution theory that Mace Windu, one of my favorite Jedis, was the chosen one, and Windu’s death scene in Revenge of the Sith can support this. At that point, Anakin was still a Jedi, and Palpatine was a Sith. Notice how Windu’s willingness to kill a defenseless (seeming) Palpatine would’ve been an action both the Jedi and the Sith would oppose. Windu embodied the balance of the Force by synthesizing both Jedi and Sith, while transcending them both. Windu, both literally and ideologically, was caught between the two, and Anankin’s choice to side against Windu tipped the scales over to the Sith.
Abrams can emphasize this by making Rey a child of a Jedi—a Skywalker or Kenobi—and a Sith. Since Rey looks fully human, the mother would have to be human, which lends a little more credence to the Mara Jade scenario, if Abrams decided to rewrite her as a Sith.
If Rae will be the balance, this brings in another question: the Jedi (Luke and anyone else), and the Sith (Kylo Ren, Snoke, and anyone else), will have to somehow relinquish their use of the Force. If neither side is willing to do that, would Rey need to defeat them both…which means, if Luke is her father, she’d have to defeat him. This would tie up the prophecy plot line from the prequels, as well as end the literal cycle of the Jedi vs. Sith power struggle.
See the original post. As if I need to add even more online commentary about this movie…
I rewatched it the other night, and I paid special attention to the lightsaber fight between Kylo Ren and Rae, and I probably should revise my original thoughts. When they start out, it’s basically Rae trying to get away from Kylo Ren, occasionally fending off one of his attacks or making a clumsy attempt of her own. This is accurate to their characters and situation. Remember that Kylo Ren is injured, and she has no lightsaber or heavy battle training, plus she knows the planet, or at least the general area, may be going to go up in flames very soon.
She starts to rally after Ren corners her and makes a padawan offer, and she refuses. She then starts to really connect with her fighting. Ren gets injured further, but not critically. That last part is something of an unlikely situation, but so was Luke’s. What good is a story where something unusual doesn’t happen? The movie might be subtitled “The Force Awakens” for a good reason.
The only thing I take issue with his Rae’s use of the Force. She stumbles along with it, but for a mature adult with no training at all to suddenly know how to use it like she did it is suspect. She resisted Ren’s mind reading and used mind tricks on the Stormtrooper guarding her. She would have to be astronomically (heh) intuitive with the Force to be able to use it like that, which, again, is unusual, but not impossible. There may be more to her lineage that what’s been revealed so far.
I don’t need to mention that there are spoilers aplenty inside this post, do I?
1. Let’s get the politics out of the way first: director J.J. Abrams made openly racist comments about white people, within the context of casting—and that’s okay. He’s free to cast anyone he wishes for any reason. He’s only beholden to Disney Studios. But don’t be surprised there’s a bit of blowback, even exaggerated, when you openly state your desire for a lessened presence of a certain race.
2. Related to the above, in the context of the Star Wars universe, more diversity is very contextually fitting. There are literally “countless” species in the Star Wars galaxy, and some non-human species have races within them. Abrams’ decision, however antagonizing, is artistically and thematically sound.
3. Rey, though a very likable character, is a borderline complete Mary Sue—but this was expected thematically (see #5 below). Though most of her character dev is believable, she falls into “badass girl warrior” trope so hard it blew out the THX sound system in the theater when I witnessed it. Disney pushes this paradigm everywhere, so no surprise on my end.
4. Related to #3, her lightsaber duel with Kylo Ren was more or less believable. Assuming the actors’ heights are also their characters’: Daisy Ridley as Rae is 5’7″, Adam Driver‘s Kylo Ren is nearly 6’3″. They are both physically formidable, but Ren by nature would probably have more upper body strength. The height and upper body differences would favor Ren heavily, but there were huge mitigating factors. Ren is very impetuous and emotion-driven, especially since he had just killed his father semi-willingly just before the duel. And, not to mention he had taken a direct hit to his ribs from a blaster. Rae is more flexible by nature, which gives her a slight advantage in saber-fighting, and her physical condition was primed by a good few decades of climbing and crawling all day in spartan living conditions. At the time of their duel, she had a bit of a confidence boost from finding out she’s a Force wielder, and because the Resistance had their mission just about wrapped up. So it seems they were fairly evenly matched. It ended in more or less a draw, but I think Ren would have won if geology didn’t disrupt things. That Ren beat Finn was expected.
5. Rey will find out she is Luke Skywalker’s daughter. He had abandoned her on Jakku because he wanted to revive the Jedi order, and having an illegitimate daughter would have discredited him. Her illegitimacy was a further reason Luke exiled himself, besides his failure to train Kylo Ren properly. Luke left a piece of the map to his whereabouts, to Lor San Tekka on Jakku, in the hopes that it might fall into the hands of Rae eventually, if she came into the Force. In this sense, Episode VIII is almost a reboot of Episode IV: Rae is the new Luke, who was the Marty Stu of the original trilogy.
Stefan Molyneux has some interesting observations. The Huffington Post points out a bunch of plotholes. Only maybe 2 or 3 items listed might be plotholes. The rest are just unexplained expository elements. Unexplained things aren’t plotholes.