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.
With The Last Jedi fast approaching, I think it is important for me to inform you of some specific details of Kylo Ren’s lightsaber. Wonder why its crimson blade crackles and sparks the way it does? This is for two reasons. One, the Kyber Crystal that powers it is cracked and therefore produces unstable energy. The crossguard was in place out of necessity because they filter out the cracked crystal’s excess energy in order to somewhat stabilize it. Two, the overall lightsaber is not properly built. As we learned in the Clone Wars show when a lightsaber is poorly built it eventually explodes. Due to this, Kylo Ren’s lightsaber is not a lightsaber at all but a time bomb. We know it is going to explode, but we don’t know when. Maybe The Last Jedi will be when the lightsaber explodes and takes Kylo Ren’s hand with it. This would be fitting because it has become a tradition for members of the Skywalker bloodline to have a hand chopped off in the middle film of their trilogy. Luke Skywalker had his hand chopped off by Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back while Anakin Skywalker had his hand chopped off by Count Dooku in Attack of the Clones. In Kylo Ren’s case, his hand might not be chopped off but blown to pieces by his exploding lightsaber. I guess we will wait and see this weekend. May the Force be with you. Always.
After much analysis, I have come to like the First Order as a villainous organization for Star Wars. When you consider their origins and history, you would understand why. After Emperor Palpatine died in Return of the Jedi, his protege Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax activated an insurance policy known as The Contingency. The purpose of the Contingency was to make sure the Galactic Empire died with Palpatine if he died prematurely. Apparently, Palpatine was so greedy and capricious that he did not want anyone ruling his Empire but him, not even his own apprentice Darth Vader. After reading the latest Star Wars books and comics, I discovered that the Contingency involved wiping out Imperial commanders that were deemed unworthy and purging prominent Imperial worlds, including Palpatine’s homeworld, Naboo. Eventually, the Contingency wiped out so many Imperial remnants that only a few fragments remained. The largest and most powerful of these remnants was stationed on Jakku and led by Palpatine’s protege, Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax. Eventually, the Contingency culminated to the Battle of Jakku, which resulted in the final defeat of the Galactic Empire and permanent end to the Galactic Civil War. However, even though the Empire was defeated and gone, Gallius Rax arranged for a select few Imperials to flee into the uncharted Unknown Regions onboard Palpatine’s flagship, The Eclipse. Over time, this handful of devout Imperials gave rise to the First Order. In a way, Palpatine’s Contingency was the best thing that could have happened to the Galactic Empire because it allowed Gallius Rax to exterminate all of the weak and useless Imperials and resources, leaving behind only the strongest and most efficient of the bunch. Among these strong Imperials was Commandant Brendol Hux, father of General Hux. Commandant Hux started a new training program for the Stormtrooper Corps in which soldiers are trained and indoctrinated from birth like the clone troopers were. This resulted in the First Order’s stormtroopers to be better trained and more lethal than the Empire’s. By the time of The Force Awakens, the First Order’s military was significantly smaller than the New Republic’s. In order to compensate for this, the First Order established a quality over quantity policy that allowed them to have better-trained soldiers and more technologically advanced weapons and warships. While the Galactic Empire was ruled by a bunch of pompous bureaucrats who felt nothing but arrogance, the First Order is run by determined and relentless zealots who know the odds are stacked against them yet cannot ignore the promise of a war. Because of their highly trained army, advanced arsenal and navy, and their blindly intense devotion to their cause, the First Order is going to be a much tougher enemy to overcome than the Galactic Empire ever was. Plus, if something happens to the First Order, it is likely that they will repeat the Contingency and rise even stronger and harder than before.
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.
Here is a video giving us a behind the scenes look at The Last Jedi. It is exciting and I look forward to seeing the film in its entirety. May the Force be with us all!
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.