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Kylo Ren and Rey…

It is no secret that since Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens opened in theaters to some of the greatest fanfare known to mankind on December 18th, 2015, a flood of theories about all the new (and even the old) characters have taken over social media. Speculations, opinions, ideas…Star Wars fans all over the world have put together some amazing (and sometimes ridiculous) explanations for all the new plot twists, character introductions, and shocking events in the latest installment of the George Lucas’s brain child and Disney’s latest acquisition. From the force-sensitive Rey being the long lost daughter of either Jedi Master Luke Skywalker or the loveable smuggler/heartthrob Han Solo to the menacing Supreme Leader Snoke actually being Jar Jar Binks in disguise, the Internet is full of the results of not giving Star Wars loyalists another galactic chapter in the Skywalker family saga since the release of Revenge of the Sith in 2005. Actually, the deepest of fans would tell you they haven’t really seen a Star Wars movie since Return of the Jedi…

Perhaps one of the most mysterious characters revealed in The Force Awakens is Rey, a scavenger we first meet on the desert planet of Jakku. By the end of the film, all we really know about her for sure is that she may be one of most force-sensitive characters since, well, Luke Skywalker. She gets behind the controls of the Millennium Falcon and flies it like a pro, all while giving Han Solo a lesson in mechanical engineering. Her climbing talents give the impression that she learned parkour in the womb. She can shoot with perfect aim (without practice), skillfully wield a lightsaber (not an easy task, as was shown by Finn’s inability to hold his own using one to defend himself), communicate fluently in whatever language it is astromech droids speak – the only thing she can’t do is not do something amazing. So by the end of the movie, we all are thinking the same thing (well, after rejoicing to see Jedi-beard wearing Luke Skywalker) – who is this girl?

Strangely enough, Kylo Ren did not pose this question when he heard about her for the first time. He actually asks, “ WHAT GIRL?”, as if the thought of a particular girl on Jakku getting involved is of immense importance all of a sudden. This is one of the points that Redditor SackofLlamas calls attention to in a very interesting megathread on The Force Awakens. In his theory, he speculates that Rey was actually left on Jakku by none other than Kylo Ren himself. These are the main arguments he raises:

 

  • We can presume Luke was not present for the massacre or he would have stopped it.

  • During her force visions, she’s cringing on the ground as a weapon swings towards her…Kylo then kills the wielder (who would have been one of his own Knights of Ren).

  • Kylo feels strongly possessive of all things Skywalker (Vader’s helmet, the Bespin saber) and is known to struggle with strong impulses towards mercy/compassion.

  • The merchant she is left with, Plutt, seems to have a direct communication line with the First Order. He also doesn’t seem like a likely figure for a loving/grieving father to leave someone with.

  • When he interrogates her on Starkiller, he seems very genial/gentle with her. When he uses the Force to touch her mind, he tells her “I feel it too”. In the novelization, what they’re “feeling” in that moment is described as “a connection”.

  • When she escapes, he informs a trooper that she is testing her powers and that “with every moment that passes she grows more dangerous”. That doesn’t sound like he’s talking about an untrained force sensitive.

  • When left on Jakku, Rey is wearing what looks like a Padawan outfit, and the silhouette of the departing ship looks almost identical to a First Order drop ship.

  • Also in the novelization, Kylo whispers “It IS you” when she pulls the Bespin saber from the snow, and she thinks to herself “he seemed to know more about her than she knew about herself”.

  • Kylo persistently shows more interest in capturing/training Rey than in killing her.

The only thing that might NOT support it, also from the novelization, is that as part of Rey’s vision sequence she hears a voice that says “I’ll come back, sweetheart. I promise.” This doesn’t rule OUT Ben Solo entirely (she does see a vision of Kylo Ren during the same sequence)…if he spared her in a moment of compassion he might have genuine warmth of feeling for her, and Kylo Ren might not have totally asserted himself as the dominant personality yet. But it does raise the question of whether a remark like that is tonally appropriate for the character.
The massacre he refers to at the beginning is the one seen in Rey’s vision she receives after touching what turns out to be Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber.

From the points above, I would definitely agree with SackofLlamas about the Kylo Ren/Rey connection. I hope this turns out to be true as the next two films in the new trilogy are released. One theory I’m hoping turns out to be true is the theory of Rey being Luke’s daughter…can someone say ‘Too predictable” with me…?

Here is the link to the full comments on Reddit:  Tell me what YOU think of the theory above, and check out my spoiler-free review of The Force Awakens!

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Supreme Leader Snoke isn’t Darth Plagueis…?

Ok. This is a post for the real Star Wars fans…please don’t feel left out if you just started getting into the epic space opera that has had a hold on the world since 1977. You can run and watch Episode VII in movie theaters now (and add your $9 contribution to the nearly $765 million dollars it’s made in the U.S. so far), and log right back in and read this post. Needless to say, SPOILERS ABOUND, so read at your own risk…

Yesterday I was browsing through the latest info on the Internet about all things Star Wars like I do every morning (after my cup of coffee and my daily reading on my bible app, of course – got to keep those priorities straight) when I came across an particular headline that caught my interest.

See Exclusive New Images of Maz Kanata and Supreme Leader Snoke from Star Wars: The Force Awakens“, it hollered. The article contained photos of these two new members of the Star Wars galaxy, and also excerpts of interviews with actors Lupita Nyong’o and Andy Serkis who give an excellent portrayal of those roles respectively through motion-capture. Maz Kenata, the ever wise and sagacious bar-keep, is one of my favorite new characters in the film. She was the connecting factor between Rey and Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber that we last saw falling through the clouds in Bespin. But it was the comments of Andy Serkis about his role as Supreme Leader Snoke that had the Internet abuzz that morning. According to Entertainment Weekly:

Although there was much speculation about who Snoke might turn out to be (one popular theory was that he’d turn out to be a Sith Lord known from the prequels as Darth Plagueis) he actually turns out to be … just Snoke.

Serkis said the character was aware of the events from the earlier films but was a new addition to the storyline.”

Before I express my disappointment in the murder of a great theory by just a mere statement from the man who gave us the beauty that is Gollum , let me help you out with some background information. First of all, there are so many theories swirling around the Internet about the true identity of Supreme Leader Snoke; some say he is Darth Vader (ok, we all saw his body burn in Return of the Jedi, right?), and some have gone as far to speculate that he is…wait for it…Jar Jar Binks.

Time to step away from the screen, people. Too much speculation, mesa thinks…

Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith who was the master of Darth Sideous (aka Emperor Sheev Palpatine).

Darth plagueis

In Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Emperor Palpatine/Darth Plagueis tells Anakin about his master who was so powerful with the dark side of the Force that he had could manipulate the midichlorians to the point where he could even create life or keep people from dying. It is further revealed that Sideous ends up killing his master in his sleep, therefore fulfilling the ‘Rule of Two’ (there can be only 2 Sith at a time; a master and an apprentice, and at the time Sideous had taken on Darth Maul as his own apprentice, somewhat justifying his actions).

With all that backstory, you may already have a pretty good idea of what the Snoke/Plagueis theory sounds like. Since Darth Plagueis’s powers had grown to the point where he could freely manipulate midichlorians, it would be hypothetically possible that Darth Plagueis anticipated his apprentice’s actions (after all, he knew about the ‘Rule of Two’) and faked his own death. A Sith of his capability would have had no problem extending his own life span, and he could have stayed in hiding until an opportune time when there was a void in the galaxy to be filled. After the defeat of the Empire at the Battle of Endor, this void presented itself, and Plagueis/Snoke used the next 30 years to establish the First Order.

You have to admit, it is a very plausible theory. Right now, from the little we have seen of Supreme Leader Snoke, he could be a two-and-a-half foot little person with the most impressive projector system in the galaxy to make himself look more imposing that he really is. The Plagueis theory would have added a bit more menace to the phantom that he seems to be (pun intended).

In my opinion, it would be pretty cool if the theory turned out to be true. It would give some legitimacy to the widely-panned prequels that starred Hayden ‘I don’t like sand’ Christensen and Natalie ‘Anakin, you’re breaking my heart’ Portman (I just CAN’T forgive them for the AWFUL dialogue and everything else). It could also give a little validity to ‘the force is made up of midichlorians’ idea (I said ‘a little’).

Further more, it would help me understand why Kylo Ren is trying so hard to prove himself to his master (then again, he could be an over-achiever like his grandfather). If he knows Snoke is really Plagueis, he would have more than enough reason to have such a strong desire to prove that he could be more loyal than Sideous, and even stronger than Vader.

Call me a doubting Thomas, but I must admit I don’t totally believe Andy Serkis and his new character statement. Star Wars movie plots have a history of being shrouded in absolute secrecy – so much so that even the cast members playing key roles in the films don’t know all the ins and outs of the story until it is absolutely necessary let them know. During the making of the original trilogy, cast members were said to have be given false scripts that kept them from knowing plot twists until it was actually time to film them. I’m sure the minds behind ‘The Force Awakens’  would carry on the tradition of plot points being on a ‘need to know’ basis. So I’m not giving up on the theory just yet.

Guess we’ll have to wait for Episode VIII and see won’t we? Five hundred and four days to go…

 

Here’s my spoiler free review of The Force Awakens (Just saw the movie again, so I’ll have a new review full of spoilers in a few days!)

#blogging101

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Blogging…why?

Hi everyone! I’m Nimi and I am taking this opportunity to start my blogging adventure again…I have started and stopped so many times, but I think I’m ready to commit now (thank goodness this character flaw hasn’t spilled into my romantic life – been married for 10 years :-))

I have always loved to write. It is the only medium that I’ve found that gives me the freedom to say exactly what I mean. To me, keeping a journal is the equivalent of having a trustworthy friend whom I can always rely on to keep my secrets and never reject or misunderstand me. So for a long time, writing was a very private, therapeutic exercise for me.

So, how did I make the transition from personal journaling to blogging? Actually, I don’t feel I ever made a total transition to it – the idea of sharing my innermost opinions and thoughts with the world is one that I have constantly struggled with. The only thing that has brought me back to blogging time and time again is the sense that it would do me good to learn to freely express myself without fear of ridicule or fear of just making no sense in my writing. I am very comfortable speaking publicly, but showcasing my writing to others has always seemed too daunting a task.  Blogging has been an experiment that I have cautiously dabbled in from time to time – dangling my toes in the water, but never diving in to swim. But right now I think i have built up enough courage to make blogging more of a integral part of my life instead of an occasional pastime.

Fear has not been the only thing holding me back. I have had a big issue with my content. Because I had been writing sporadically, my content became rather random (hence, the title of my blog page). My content has ranged from the World Cup, all the way to my personal experiences as a mom. I have, however, now made the decision to narrow my content choices down somewhat. After a lot of careful consideration, I have decided to commit to writing about… all things Star Wars.

Star Wars? I know this may seem random, but when I thought back through things that have impacted my life, my fandom of Star Wars ranked pretty high on the list. I know A LOT about the Star Wars galaxy…why not share my opinions, insights, and general knowledge with the millions of others who have grown up loving this exciting franchise? I would also have the chance to connect with all the other fans around the world.

It is my plan to blog throughout this year – and if I do this successfully, I would love to be able to say that I have connected with other bloggers all over the world. I may also start a separate blog dedicated to the random musings that constantly cross my mind that are sometimes too good not to share! Overall, I believe my biggest sense of accomplishment would come from knowing that for once, I started something, stuck with it, and saw it through without any regret.

@rootjosh @samjhamdy @bruceallen @sonyca @2020hinessight

 

 

 

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To grow up, or not to grow up…is that the question….?

I was one of those kids that could not wait to grow up. Ok, I guess that probably made me like every other kid in the world. I knew that when that time came, when I was old enough to go to the store and buy as much candy as I wanted, I would get what I always wanted: freedom, freedom, and more freedom!

Funny how much freedom I had then and did not realize it. I lived by one motto, tried and true, faithful throughout the ages….”Let’s play!”. I played my life depended on it. Some kids lived to play, I played to live. That was all I knew to do. This, of course, thrilled my parents to no end (did I ever tell you one of my favorite literary weapons is sarcasm….). They did all they could to redirect my energy in any way they could to make sure they still had a place to live, because I played like the Tasmanian Devil. The day I didn’t break something or write on a wall was a great day…and they were few and far between.

“Read this to me.” My dad would say. He would pick up a newspaper or a magazine and select a ‘child-friendly’ article and have me read it out loud to him. If there was a Christmas/Easter/Mother’s Day/anything program in church, my mother made sure the speech I had memorized was the longest one she could find. People marveled at my ability to recite these long speeches and my seemingly endless knowledge about politics (my dad read Time Magazine and The Economist, so I had reliable sources). Pretty soon I was that half-American, half-Nigerian girl who could read so fast and so clearly they wanted me to read at every program, no matter what it was….not only was this getting overwhelming, it was NOT FUN! Ok, the attention was, but suddenly I felt pressured to always know the right way to pronounce a word, or to know the details of presidential campaigns in America when I still lived in Nigeria. I was really pressuring myself, because I felt like I had to live up to some standard that I think I had created in my own mind.

I needed to play. Now I really needed to grow up so that I could….play?

Now, I don’t want to sound ungrateful about my parents grooming me to be a genius….I really am a prolific reader, and I have never lost my interest in world events. I was also raised with Star Wars in my life (episodes IV, V, and VI, thank God), and for that I am eternally grateful. But I started counting down the days till the time I could call the shots, and do WHATEVER I wanted WHENEVER I wanted. I thought that this would happen when I got to high school….nope. But college….yup.

In college I got up when I wanted to. Went to bed when I wanted to. Partied if I felt like it. Did whatever I wanted with whoever I wanted. I was in full control of this cruise, baby…….and nearly flunked out of college.

Ok….reality check. All those years I focused on trying to play as much as I could……you mean growing up means no playing? When I finally sobered up enough to save my own life and successfully graduate (finally!) I came to a not-so-exciting conclusion. Apparently you can’t play all the time as an adult. My childhood was dying a slow and painful death. This was going to ruin everything! I had to find some way to survive in this new and alien ‘adult world’ I had found myself in.

Bills. Getting a job. Getting married. Having kids. Moving to America. So much going on, moving to our first home….being an adult. The only way I would survive would be if I could redefine what I knew as ‘play’. As long as I could play, I would be fine. But recreating what the concept of ‘play’ meant to me was going to be the challenge.

My husband is a nut and I love him madly: Play.

My kids are wild (talk about coming full circle): Play.

We can pay our bills, we have a roof over our heads, and I can watch Star Wars anytime I want on Netflix (episodes IV, V, and VI anyway): Play.

I think the biggest thing that I had wrong about growing up was the definition of fun. Fun and responsibility can go hand in hand, it’s just the balance that is the challenge. And that is the most fun of all.

 

Aside
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So I’m at work today. Flipping through the files on my desk and also wondering if I remembered to tell Andrew our little girl’s almost out of pull-ups.

She needs to perfect potty training ASAP. Diapers aren’t cheap (have you noticed that the larger the diaper sizes, the fewer the diapers in the pack?). I think she just enjoys not having to go through the stress of pulling down her pants. What else could it be? Unlike many kids, my little girl has perfected the art of ‘pooping in the potty’, but only wants to go when it’s a number 2 visit. She thinks the toilet is purely for poop. Everything else is for the pull up. Everything.

I’ll let your imagination roam for a moment.

My son’s at summer school (God bless the teachers who give up part of their summer to give me a breath of sanity, if only for a few weeks!). Sometimes people wonder why I make my kids sound like they terrorize my home. Well, that’s because they do. I only have two, but I promise, most time it feels like I have five….

I did manage to have some alone time when I came home for lunch. She and her dad were napping, and I took a little time to pray. man, did I feel better after that. Funny how reluctant I was at first, and how good I felt afterwards.

Well, back to work…..see you later.