Note: this piece *hopefully* contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi
We are blessed to live in such times. Sure there's Brexit, Trump, while Boris Johnson, our beloved Foreign Secretary quotes Kipling on state visits to former colonies. But life has its blessings - for one thing, we're among the lucky few in history who are able to speculate about what's going to happen in the next Star Wars film. Imagine if Twitter had existed in the late 70s, I'm sure people would have been all over the theory that Luke and Leia were brother and sister.
I'm sure you enjoyed as much as I did, giving into the dark side, (ignoring both your better, and Rian Johnson's, judgement) by watching the trailer this week. This is a rare moment in history, there were no surprises when (spoiler alert) little Anakin turned to the dark side. There's questions that need answering, and pronto. The mystery of Rey's parentage is (apparently) a done deal, and besides there are larger issues at play here.
Firstly, does Rey dislike sand as much as her grandfather, Darth Vader, did? Has Rey inherited all of her grandfather's special set of skills? And why did Luke turn full absent father, and abandon his daughter on a desert planet despite the fact that his family has a deeply troubled history with sand?
So how will the great "I am your father" moment be revealed? We know the filmmakers' task is a big one. We've already had an identical twist in the original trilogy, so the stakes are high. The sentence will need to be delivered in a different and unique way, despite the fact that it will be the exact same words, just replacing Luke with Rey (Yes okay, I know that is not the actual line!)
I can see how it is going to be play out, (this is what it must feel like to have a force vision.) Perhaps late in Act III;
"Rey, I am your father." (Luke)
"Rey, I am your cousin." (Kylo)
I'm not sure I could cope with the shock of finding out Rey is Kylo Ren's cousin. Although come to think of it, Luke and Leia grew up in different systems and turned out to be brother and sister so perhaps every character in this galaxy are at least distant cousins?
But let's be serious for a moment and discuss what form a possible twist could take. Before anyone goes off on one, quoting emo Kylo Ren at me, he's now carrying a scar (like Harry Potter) which makes him look even more dangerous/attractive.
As much as our villain may resist it, Kylo Ren remains the son of a princess and a penniless nerf herder. (I assume a nerf herder is the equivalent of a stable boy in this galaxy). I know I'm not the only one who noticed his shiny locks, luscious lips and the pout... I could go on. Disney has done wonders with royalty before this, and while Rey may be the chief protagonist of this space opera,it is Kylo Ren who is the Disney Prince in this fairytale.
Besides chances are that Ben Solo not only inherited his parents' good looks but some of their most endearing personality traits too. Are the filmmakers really not going to let us see any of the good in the young Skywalker? And would it really be worth living in a universe where Jar Jar Binks lives but Ben Solo dies?
Besides, and this for me is irrefutable evidence, Rey's grown up sorting out rusty bits of metal, she knows what she's doing here.
The aptly-named Reylo theory* (the theory that Rey and Kylo Ren will have "a relationship" in the saga) is painted by the "antis" (those who think Reylo is evil, woah chill) as something solely created and fuelled by "the girls". This of course feeds the whole narrative around Star Wars and gender. Apparently women cannot watch science fiction/anything without romanticising it, because that's what "girls" do. These gendered assertions inevitably sit comfortably alongside the idea that Star Wars is "not a girl thing".
This debate has a touch of irony to it, in that the (largely male) critics of the theory fail to understand that being a supporter of "Reylo" does not mean that you think Rey and Kylo Ren are going to ride off into the binary sunset together (though if it has to happen, can it be on Ren's TIE silencer please). Basically, these chaps among the "antis" seem to think that a relationship always equals romance, which seems odd. Anyway, a discussion for another time/tumblr.
To the delight of many, the trailer seems to be offering fans hints that this tale will not fit the classic hero/villain trope. Perhaps the fans do indeed need preparation for the moment they realise their beloved Han was slayed not by the villain, but the Byronic hero of this story. And who doesn't love not one, but two Byronic heroes because as has been said before, our two protagonists represent "two halves of the dark and the light".
But the possible hint of what is to come at the end of the trailer that dropped this week, could be a cause for concern. If it's hinted at, it's not really a twist is it? Like Trump, Brexit and Corbyn's electability, have I called it wrong once again? A relationship between them may be a risky strategy when as George Lucas has often said, Star Wars are films for 12 year olds. I guess all we can continue to count on are cryptic tweets from Rian Johnson, who this week teased us with a modern interpretation of Romeo and Juliet. The plot thickens.
People put a lot of effort and faith into history's great theories. I'm beginning to know how Stephen Hawking felt with his work on relativity, and Star Wars exists on an even larger galactic scale. Like General Leia, one can only live in hope.
* I've only posted the #reylo tumblr tag but there is TONNES of evidence out there if you are interested, so all credit to the Reylo community - check out the links in the description of this video.Suggest a correction