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Rey and Kylo: Identically Different

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One of the most prominent themes in The Last Jedi is the contrast between the haves and the have-nots. A dichotomy present not only within the city of Canto Bight or in organizations like the First Order and the Resistance, but also between characters.

Emblematic of this idea are Rey and Kylo Ren. Indeed, never in the Star Wars franchise have we seen such a clear distinction between one character who has nothing and everything and another who has everything and nothing.

“Kylo failed you. I won’t.”

This contrast is particularly evident with regard to the theme of betrayal. Whether it is Rey’s parents abandoning her or Luke igniting his lightsaber that night in Ben’s hut, the journeys of both hero and villain begin with an act of familial betrayal. Yet while Kylo answers like with like—one dark side trait (fear) with others (anger, aggression)—Rey’s reaction is markedly different.

In the throne room scene, she has the chance to abandon the Resistance as her parents did to her. Yet even as she reels from both this painful acknowledgement and the recognition that her waiting and harsh upbringing on Jakku were for nothing, Rey refuses.

To have suffered an act of familial betrayal far worse than Ben’s and yet choose to be better than what came before demonstrates that Rey has a strength Kylo could never have. Without even moving, she provides the film with one of its most inspiring, heroic moments. Arguably in the same vein as Luke’s actions on Crait. » Read more..

The Case for The Common Man

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The future of Star Wars is currently a place of vast creative possibilities and storytelling opportunities. To make the most of this new era those who chart the course of the franchise through this undiscovered country must remember the importance of ordinary characters. They form an integral part of Star Wars’ past but can also become an important part of its future.

Enjoyable as the pre-reboot Expanded Universe was, it’s clear to see that in its final days it had become a “Jedi only” club. A place where ordinary characters were pushed to the periphery in favour of Force-sensitive antagonists. Indeed in some cases those without Force powers were seen as utterly incapable of facing let alone defeating the threats being faced by their midi-chlorian-endowed comrades. Now can be the time to change all that and show that ordinary characters can be not only as compelling but as capable in a fight as any Jedi. To see an example of this done well we need only look back to an earlier time in the EU, and to the character of Jagged Fel. » Read more..

Everything Disney Needs to Know, It Can Learn from Greg Keyes

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This is an unprecedented era of change for Star Wars, with whole new vistas of storytelling possibilities opening up in every medium. One author who needs to be at forefront of this brave new world is Greg Keyes.

With the new sequel trilogy and the slew of books, comics and TV shows sure to be produced as a result Disney seeks to tap into a new audience while appealing to the core fan base. They seek to elevate a whole new generation of heroes to the pantheon of our film and ‘legends’ canon favourites. To achieve this Disney need only look to the blueprint set out by Keyes in his Edge of Victory series and The Final Prophecy. » Read more..

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