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Friday, April 22, 2016

Alleged 'Episode VIII' Script Leak Offers Massive Spoilers

Anyone following Star Wars: Episode VIII knows that leaked photos and set details are pretty common (often from Making Star Wars), but it's not too often that we get serious plot spoilers. Last week, a Reddit user claiming to have read the film's script posted a string of plot elements that reveal not only the film's basic storyline, but also the true identity of Rey and the role of new characters played by Benicio Del Toro and Kelly Marie Tran. 
To be clear, there's little evidence that any of this is accurate, but the alleged script details are creative enough that they deserve at least a proper analyzing and debunking. Just in case any of this turns out to be correct, a *SPOILER ALERT* should be assumed. 
"Working title is "Echoes of the Dark Side." It's divided into three equally important plot threads that don't converge until the third act: Rey's, Finn's, and Kylo's. There's not nearly as much action as TFA in the first two acts, but the third act goes full-on crazy."
"Echoes of the Dark Side" is definitely an original title, if not overdramatic. The concept of our heroes splitting up until the final act is reminiscent of The Empire Strikes Back, in which Luke goes to Dagobah while Han, Leia, and Chewie visit Cloud City. 
"The broad structure isn't as similar to ESB as TFA was to ANH, but the parallels are still present. Rey is training in the ways of the Force with an old Jedi master (Luke) on a wild planet while Finn and Poe are in a beautiful city that has a shady, sinister underpinning." 
There's certainly reason why the filmmakers would want to copy the basic structure of ESB, and this "beautiful city" would have been filmed in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Leaked set photos showed that the city is quite glamorous on its exterior, but another report suggested that it's also a gambling hub. Where there's gambling, there's gangsters, and ample opportunity for our heroes to get sold out to the First Order. 

"Finn and Poe are betrayed and captured by Kylo Ren who uses them as bait to draw Rey out of hiding so Kylo and Rey can have a duel in an industrial portion of the city."
We all know that Kylo and Rey's re-match is happening eventually, and this sounds like an intriguing spot for a bout – much different from the snowy forest on the crumbling Starkiller Base at the end of The Force Awakens. Both of them will have received significant training by the time of their second duel; Rey will have learned the ways of the Force from Luke, and Kylo will have presumably finished his training and become a full Sith Lord, if Snoke's words at the end of TFA are any indication.
"The backstory to Luke and his Jedi being wiped out is that Snoke seduced Kylo and a few of the other students to the dark side and tasked them with killing everyone. Luke and a few others survived, including a young Rey who was subsequently dumped on Jakku by Luke. Rey's mom died in the attack."
Most of this had already been guessed by fans; Snoke sent his Knights of Ren to destroy Luke's temple, Rey was present and Luke dropped her on Jakku before retiring to Ahch-To, which explains why Kylo recognizes her in TFA. No one had really considered that Rey's mom had been a casualty of the attack (most assumed that we'd meet her later in the trilogy), but this would suggest that her mother was also a Jedi. Having two Force-sensitive parents rather than just one (like Kylo) would justify Rey's impressive power. 
"Rey is pissed at Luke because she guesses that he was her father and is angry at him for abandoning her. Luke turns to her and says "No, you are my father". Yes, really. Rey is the reincarnation of Anakin Skywalker. Luke went to the first Jedi temple to better understand how the process works. He learned that the spirit of the chosen one is reincarnated by the Force every time the universe is thrown out of balance, which apparently happens on a semi-regular basis (Anakin was hardly the first time the chosen one reincarnated)."
Okay...the idea of Rey being the Chosen One is hardly unfamiliar to fans, and her being the reincarnation of Anakin actually matches up with a lot of what we know about her family. To a certain extent, it makes sense, and it would be much more surprising than learning that Luke is her father or even that Obi-Wan is her grandfather. But only in a YouTube parody would Luke ever utter a line as cheesy and eye-roll-worthy as "No, you are my father." 
"This is why she's so crazy powerful with the Force (remember that Anakin blew up the Trade Federation donut ship by himself when he was like 8 years old). Rey was the product of a virgin birth, but midichlorians aren't mentioned (Luke says "you are a child of the Force")."
Yes, it would be controversial to reveal that Rey is basically Jedi Jesus, but the exact same was implied about Anakin in The Phantom Menace, so it's not like this is a new level of Star Wars outrageousness. Though both Rey and the audience would be disappointed to learn that her mother is dead and her father is just a bunch of Force particles. 
"Luke is hesitant to train her because, according to Jedi history, the chosen one always struggles with staying on the light side of the Force because of the chaotic power running through them. He's afraid that she could become Vader 2.0. If he trains her to fight Kylo, and she turns dark, she would do way more damage to the galaxy than Kylo could ever dream of doing. He ultimately trains her anyway and leaves everything up to the Force. He makes this decision in a scene where he confers with the ghosts of Obi-Wan and Yoda (Ewan MacGregor and Frank Oz come back)."
This actually relates to Luke's expression at the end of The Force Awakens, filled with sorrow, regret, and hesitation. There were rumors that Frank Oz was going to be on the Episode VIII set, and Ewan McGregor proved that he's happy to reprise his character when he contributed to Rey's vision in TFA, so the return of Yoda and Obi-Wan is definitely possible. 
"Rey learns lightsaber skills, Force skills, and has a vision quest thing where she talks with Maz Kanata (unsure if it’s telepathy or just a dream) and Hayden Christenson. The latter tells her that she is him, but different, and there’s a quick scene where we see hundreds of other Force ghosts who are implied to be past chosen ones."
Maz is a great character that deserves some solid screen-time, but a few words of advice during a vision-y cameo still matches up with the wisdom and Force familiarity that she's already demonstrated. As an undeniably wooden actor and one of the most hated things about the Prequel Trilogy, you'd think that the filmmakers would avoid bringing Hayden Christensen back. However, there were reports that he would appear in Episode VIII, so it's not like his return is 100% implausible, even if it'll generate a resounding groan from the audience. 
"Rey feels Finn's distress elsewhere in the galaxy and says she needs to go to him. Luke tells her about the time he felt his friends in distress and Yoda told him to stay and finish his training, and his disobedience led to pain. But then he says he isn't Yoda, and has his own way of doing things, and tags along with her to go help."
This would be a great way to differentiate Luke from Yoda, and allow him to remain at the forefront of the action and hopefully show off some awesome Jedi moves. It would also warm the hearts of many fans to see Luke with the same adventurous energy that he had 30 years ago. 
"Finn wakes up on a Resistance cruiser and is told by Poe that they're already en route to the makeshift Republic homeworld in the wake of the capital planet being blown up by Starkiller Base. Leia wants to lobby them to go to war. The Republic is being led by an interim dictator named Lord Vikram (Benicio Del Toro), who was quickly put into power by the few senators still around to maintain order. Starkiller's destruction of the Republic core worlds caused a galactic communications disruption because everything was routed through those worlds, so Vikram is trying to reestablish contact and ensure the Republic doesn't collapse into anarchy."
This is believable if you consider logical galactic politics; the Republic needs some serious reorganization after their capital was blown up, Leia wants to push them to all-out war against the First Order. And it lines up with the old reports that Benicio Del Toro would be playing a villainous character – no one called "Lord" in the Star Wars universe can be a good guy. Both the Republic and the Resistance's relationship with them weren't properly explained in The Force Awakens, so it would be nice to have that fully fleshed out. 
"Leia and Vikram butt heads. Vikram agrees that the Republic has to go to war with the First Order, but wants to wait for communications to come back online so they can muster up a sizable force (all they have right now is a single small fleet). Leia disagrees, and wants to take the war to the First Order now while Snoke is still reeling from Starkiller's destruction. She says both sides are in chaos, which makes this an opportune time to strike. Vikram counters by telling her she's letting her personal emotions over Han's death get in the way, and Leia throws it back at him by telling him he was always a little snake of a politician when they would argue back in her senate days, etc, etc, they have old bad blood or whatever."
Leia didn't have much to do in TFA (pretty much all she did was express varying emotions about Han, Luke, and Kylo), so fans were hoping that she'd get some more action in Episode VIII. Leia's stubbornness and passion for her cause are what define her, and they're what makes her such an important and likable character. Vikram criticizing her of being clouded by her emotions after her soulmate's death would allow the film to appropriately address Han's demise without letting it weigh down the plot. 
"The Republic planet is safe because it's protected by a heavy duty shield that can repel any invasion or bombardment from the First Order. Finn and Poe are tasked by Leia to investigate the city because one of Leia's contacts informed her that the First Order have spies embedded in the Republic. Leia suspects Vikram."
It makes sense that the Republic would finally build a safeguard against superweapons. But anyone who's watched Star Wars knows that there's no such thing as a shield that can't be penetrated or otherwise sabotaged...
"Finn quickly becomes enamored by Leia's contact, Chala (Kelly Marie Tran), who tags along with him and Poe through the underbelly of the city to gather information. Finn and Chala have a flirty romance subplot that involves a nighttime adventure through the rustic old city (this is the second entry in the trilogy after all, and poetry demands it)."
Han and Leia's relationship died the moment he did, so it stands to reason that Episode VIII needs to continue the trend of its predecessors and feature a new romance. The "nighttime adventure through a rustic old city" completely matches up with the below set photo of John Boyega's stunt double riding a strange creature with Kelly Marie Tran in Dubrovnik. 
"Finn, Poe and Chala all corner the culprit: Vikram's aide, who has evidence of contact between Vikram and the First Order. Leia and some Resistance fighters confront Vikram and throw him in jail for treason. He denies everything, and the rest of the Republic officials are horrified because Leia basically just coup-de-etat'd the **** out of their leadership. Leia assumes control of the planet's defenses and absentmindedly puts Finn in charge of the shield codes."
Well, there's a lesson for you: call Leia overly emotional about Han's death and she'll throw you in jail and take over your government. This would finally satisfy anyone waiting for Leia to once again become the strong, fearless leader that we've known and loved since 1977. 
"Finn and Chala have a moment and Finn mentions his confusion about why Vikram didn't just lower the shields for the First Order. They walk into a room and Phasma is standing there and Chala draws a gun on Finn and forcibly takes the codes for disarming the shield from him. She says she planted the evidence, used Finn to get the codes, and basically that she thinks he's a dirty traitor to the First Order. In a moment of pure pottery, Phasma makes Finn lower the shields."
This would definitely make Finn feel stupid, although the "traitor" insult probably wouldn't hurt too much the third time. Ignoring the hilarious, incomprehensible misuse of the word "pottery", Phasma forcing Finn to lower the shields would be quite ironic since he made her do the same in The Force Awakens, and it might just redeem her as the confident, efficient commander that we originally thought she was. However, unlike Phasma, it's doubtful that Finn would endanger his friends when threatened with a laser to the chest, even if Chala had the codes and the shields would be lowered no matter what.
"The First Order fleet jumps out of hyperspace and invades the planet, quickly capturing Finn, Poe and Leia. Kylo starts to torture Finn using the Force, knowing that it will draw Rey out of hiding and into his trap."
We all know that Kylo isn't above some old-fashioned Force torture (Poe can attest to that). This would give the opportunity for Rey to stomp in with her new Jedi powers and save the day, and for Luke to finally reunite with his sister. 
In conclusion, these plot details may not be entirely satisfying, and they conflict with some of the rumors about Episode VIII (including details involving Laura Dern's role and Leia getting injured), but they align with the popular theory that the Sequel Trilogy is copying the structure of the Originals. In the likely event that this turns out to be fake, one can at least discern that whoever wrote this paid sharp attention to what we already know about Episode VIII and tied it together in the fashion of Empire Strikes Back with some serious creativity. Reading "leaks" like this is an entertaining way to pass the time until December 2017, even the information itself probably isn't accurate. 

What do you think of these plot details? Tell me in the comments or tweet to @SithObserver, and may the Force be with you all. 

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