It is fascinating to look at conspiracy theories die — their diehard captains nonetheless clinging to shards of proof because the ship of perception cracks and sinks throughout them.
We’re watching that occur in two areas of the tradition this week. There are the QAnon crazies, whose weird pro-Trump principle is taking up water after lawyer Michael Cohen turned on his former boss. Moderators within the Q boards have began banning mentions of Cohen’s identify.
Alas, a lot this similar reality-denying dynamic is at work in components of Star Wars fandom.
The parentage of Rey (Daisy Ridley) was revealed in The Final Jedi means again in December: her dad and mom had been drunken nobodies. Nonetheless, all these months later, some true believers in discredited theories maintain out hope that this plot level shall be reversed by J.J. Abrams within the upcoming Episode IX — and a few web sites are all too prepared to draw eyeballs by stoking that perception.
However that is simply not how tales work. That is not how any of this works.
Let’s again up, all the best way again to Abrams’ first Star Wars film, The Drive Awakens. Rey was launched as a junkyard orphan on the planet Jakku, promoting scraps of previous Imperial warfare gear in alternate for a pittance paid in self-raising bread. She passes the time by telling herself that her dad and mom are coming again for her.
In the middle of her adventures, Rey meets Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong’o), an historic and smart lady who is ready to inform loads about an individual’s historical past by trying of their eyes. This is what Maz tells Rey, plain as day: “You already know the reality. The belonging you search is just not behind you. It’s forward.”
Nonetheless, elaborate parental theories sprung up within the wake of the film: Rey have to be a Skywalker, as a result of Anakin and Luke’s lightsaber gave her a imaginative and prescient! No wait, she have to be a Solo, as a result of she’s so good at piloting the Millennium Falcon! Or possibly she’s a descendent of Obi-Wan Kenobi, as a result of … causes!
After which there was the fourth possibility, the one many people most popular post-Drive Awakens: she’s a no one. As a result of Drive powers can spring up in anybody, even a Jakku orphan. As a result of if she is associated to any of our heroes, that immediately turns them into assholes for abandoning her. However most of all, as a result of Maz mainly mentioned it already, proper there in Abrams’ movie.
Then author and director Rian Johnson confirmed the “no one” principle in The Final Jedi. “You understand the reality,” Kylo Ren tells Rey, actually echoing Maz. “They had been filthy junk merchants; bought you off for ingesting cash. They’re lifeless in a pauper’s grave within the Jakku desert.”
To underline the truth that the villain of the piece is not mendacity, it’s Rey herself who delivers the essential piece of dialogue in between these two quotes above: “They had been no one,” she admits.
Case closed, proper? There was foreshadowing within the first film. A significant fan principle received it proper. The purpose that each motion pictures had been making in regards to the democratic nature of the Drive is obvious. Johnson even cautioned us upfront to not make an excessive amount of of the Rey’s dad and mom factor. All ought to be proper in Star Wars world.
However in fact it wasn’t. Skywalker, Solo and Kenobi principle purists misplaced their minds. This was all Rian Johnson’s fault, they mentioned. Abrams will reverse it within the subsequent movie, they mentioned. Drunk on fan theories, various film and science fiction web sites garnered clicks by holding out that hope.
Actor and Abrams buddy Simon Pegg added gas to the hearth in a podcast in April. Pegg mentioned that means again earlier than The Drive Awakens there was “some discuss” being “chucked round” about “a type of related lineage for her.” Which is sort of doable, given what number of concepts Abrams and author Lawrence Kasdan threw round of their year-long journey of writing the script. Revealingly, Pegg added: “Actually, I do not know.”
Do you assume the web cared about that nuance? It didn’t. Controversy-seeking articles and (particularly) YouTube movies made hay with Pegg’s quote. They performed phone with it to the purpose the place the revelation got here from Abrams himself. Absolutely, they assumed, he have to be mad at Rian Johnson! Absolutely he’ll reverse course in Episode IX, giving Rey the well-known dad and mom she was at all times meant to have!
Cue hundreds of thousands of headlines giving hope to the hopeless, resembling this week’s piece of fact-free tabloid nonsense from the UK’s Day by day Specific: “Star Wars 9 leak: this new scene reveals each Rey’s PARENTS?”
To avoid wasting you a click on, I am going to level out that the query mark is doing loads of heavy lifting right here.
However even in case you ignore the truth that the pair of administrators have had dozens of conferences in regards to the two motion pictures up to now, and even in case you imagine that J.J. Abrams is quietly seething and determined to offer Rey some well-known dad and mom, allow us to say it clearly once more: that is not how tales work.
This is not a recreation of Whose Line Is It Anyway. Abrams and Johnson aren’t improv antagonists attempting to attain factors by screwing every others’ content material. They’re collectively making a trilogy of movies that may dangle collectively as one full story, in collaboration with the various tremendous storytelling minds of Lucasfilm.
Abrams is not going to exit of his technique to make his movie say “nu uh.” His job is to deliver the trilogy’s story to a satisfying conclusion utilizing logic and emotional beats. That is it.
Ask your self this, true believers: How satisfying would it not have been in 1983 if Return of the Jedi had merely mentioned: “By no means thoughts! Darth Vader was mendacity! Luke’s not his son in spite of everything!”
And but, as a 10-year-old child on the time, that was completely the reply I needed. After Empire Strikes Again, my pals and I merely could not deal with the truth that our hero and the galaxy’s most evil man had been associated. There needed to be another rationalization, proper?
4 a long time later, I am relieved that George Lucas caught to the plot growth that was finest for the story as an entire. I am glad he did not take heed to the world’s 10-year-olds. In the future, followers of Rey Skywalker and Rey Solo and Rey Kenobi, you too will really feel the identical.
I am not holding out that a lot hope for the QAnon people, nevertheless.