I saw Solo: A Star Wars Story and I was pleasantly surprised to see the return of a fan favorite, Darth Maul. It was revealed that during the reign of the Galactic Empire, Darth Maul was the head of the crime syndicate known as Crimson Dawn. During the Clone Wars, Darth Maul recruited multiple crime syndicates to form the Shadow Collective until his army was dismantled by Darth Sidious. Apparently, Darth Maul managed to salvage some degree of his criminal empire, but not enough to challenge Vader or Sidious. Darth Maul looked just as he did in Rebels, which meant that this took place between Revenge of the Sith and Rebels. To make Darth Maul’s reappearance even more of a treat, Ray Park reprised the physical role of Maul while Sam Witwer who voiced Maul in both Clone Wars and Rebels returned as the voice. I was also surprised to find that one of my favorite actresses, Emilia Clarke, was under Darth Maul’s thumb. This goes to show that it is easy to be enslaved by the dark side of the Force yet hard to break free even for a Mother of Dragons. Emilia Clarke showed skill in a martial art known as Teras Kasi, which is a martial art specifically made to counter armed Jedi. She learned this fighting style from Dryden Vos, second-in-command of Crimson Dawn. I think I know where they learned that martial art. Darth Maul was an infamous practitioner of Teras Kasi and was known to combine it with his lightsaber skills to make himself twice as deadly.
After looking over the trailer for The Last Jedi, I discovered some details that I would like to talk about Kylo Ren and Rey. Apparently, their connection to the Force is more complicated than we originally thought. Supreme Leader Snoke described Kylo Ren’s connection to the Force as “raw, untamed power” and “something special”. Luke Skywalker said the same thing about Rey having “raw strength” and that it frightened him. This indicates that both Kylo Ren and Rey have a connection to the Force that is so deep and profound that their Force potential rivals or even surpasses Luke Skywalker himself. Because both of these characters have raw Force power, it could be argued that Kylo Ren and Rey could be physical representations of both the light and the dark sides of the Force. Also, it looks like these characters are going to do unexpected things in this next film. With Kylo Ren, patricide was not enough so it looks like he will commit matricide as well. If this happens, we might see Kylo Ren be pushed even deeper into the dark side. With Rey, it looks like she is going to turn to the dark side. If this happens, it could be seen as a representation of what might have happened if Luke Skywalker joined Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back. Overall, I am looking forward to seeing how these characters will develop in The Last Jedi.
I had an interesting thought about Darth Vader. We all know how he sounds when he breathes, but how does he sound when he sneezes in that helmet? What do you think?
I found an interesting picture that I believe will show Rey’s new look at the end of The Last Jedi. In this picture, Rey has a significant scar above her left eye, a cybernetic left arm, and a hardened look on her face. This could mean that when she faces Kylo Ren again, he will severely hurt her both physically and psychologically at the end of their rematch. This is kind of reminiscent of when Luke Skywalker was physically and spiritually wounded by Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back. If this is what happens to Rey at the end of the film, it could be an interestingly dark development in her character as well as a faithful homage to The Empire Strikes Back.
The more I write my upcoming fantasy book, the more I realize that what started as a mere fantasy tale is transforming into a dark fantasy tale. Personally, I like dark fantasy because it ventures into the more complex and morally ambiguous aspects of how we perceive the world. It will not be dark fantasy as in black magic or evil monsters, but will be dark to the point in which you cannot tell if the characters are fundamentally good or evil. Even the main protagonist can be seen as morally ambiguous because of the intense character development he endures at the start of the story. There will be more than just brutal battles and cutthroat politics. There will also be things ranging from cannibalism to corpse robbing. The darkness and glimpses of light in human nature is what it means to live in a medieval world and I incorporate it into my fantasy book. It is like I am reaching deep into my darkest fantasies and manifesting them into my writing. This must be how writers such as Stephen King feels when they write. I feel like a puzzle master constructing the most complex puzzle I can think of with each step I take. I will keep you updated on how much further this story progresses.
In Rogue One, we got to see Darth Vader’s personal residence. Shortly after the film was released, it was confirmed that the castle was on Mustafar, which was the volcanic planet where Darth Vader was maimed and burned alive after fighting Obi-Wan Kenobi in Revenge of the Sith. It makes perfect sense that this is where Vader would live. The reason for this is because Mustafar is where Vader’s pain and hatred was born and where he truly became Darth Vader. In addition, Star Wars Rebels revealed that Mustafar was where Jedi go to die, which made it the ideal fortress against potential Jedi attacks. I have a strong feeling that we will see more of this castle in future stories. The Knights of Ren such as Kylo Ren were devout Darth Vader fanatics so it would make sense that Vader’s castle would be their headquarters. This could also be where Supreme Leader Snoke resides. Who knows? We may get to see it more detail in either Episode VIII or IX.