fundamental darkness

the fundamental difference between the dark souls aesthetic and other “japanese video game man in armor with a sword” aesthetics is that in dark souls they know what helmets are

Champion Gundyr is so badass that getting possessed by the Abyss significantly weakened him.

The Abyss diluted the Gundyr’s badassery with weaksauce shit like “all-consuming cosmic corruption” and the “fundamental embodiment of primordial darkness.”

Humans are just pawns in a game of chess.

But who is really moving the pieces?

Do we have freedom to Destroy or change what we have created?

Or are we doomed to be pushed into meaningless battles by our governments in the name of a force which we ourselves created.

God is the lie.

Extremists are the catalyst. 

War is a cause.

Death is the effect.  

Kylo Ren & Rey / The Dark Side & The Light Within

The following long analysis came to my mind after reading the script from the Force Awakens and the canon novelisation by Alan Dean Foster. 
“Rey is the light” “Kylo Ren is the dark side” are two clichés ideas a lot of people that perhaps didn’t pay enough attention to those two characters shared as they went out of the cinema but the distinction between the light and the dark side is far more complex than that.
Indeed both Rey and Kylo Ren carry the Light and the Dark and some of you have depicted them as Yin and Yang embodiments which is an idea that I support.
But throughout this meta, I aim to show you that the amount of light and darkness in each characters is perhaps more important than what we think and that Rey and Kylo Ren are not as Good/Evil as we think and that they strangely mirror each other more than it appears.

Before beginning, and to provide any sort of gratuitous hate,  I am not excusing Kylo Ren’s actions in this meta and I am not trying to make him pass for a nice puppy. I’m clearly aware he is not. And finally, I am not turning Rey into an evil being. Through this analysis, I intend to remain objective and to depict each characters according to the elements given in the different canon sources of the Force Awakens. (And concerning the gif, I give full credit to their owners)

  I/ THE LIGHT

1/ KYLO REN’S LIGHT SIDE

Even though described as the vilain of the Force Awakens, Kylo Ren is the ideal focal point between the dark side and the light according to his master. And indeed, through the novelisation and by taking other canon elements in context, it seems that Kylo Ren has more light in him than what most people think.

a) Compassion for other characters

Compassion is canonically defined by Anakin Skywalker in Attack of the Clones as “unconditional love” and as  “essential to a Jedi’s life.” and throughout the Force Awakens Kylo Ren demonstrates this sentiment for :

  • Rey, as it is clearly mentioned in the novelisation   

You have compassion for her”  Chapter XV p207     

  •  and Finn. During the attack on the Jakku village, Kylo Ren senses Finn’s conflict, probably a conflict similar to his own, but chooses not to denounce him. 

Moreover, the novelisation states Kylo’s light side feelings in an implicit but striking way. Chapter II p25       

 “In response, the figure of Kylo Ren turned and look sideways, directly at the soldier. The Trooper saw only light reflecting a mask and his own fear. He knows. He must know. And I’m … dead” But he wasn’t”  

  • His relationship with his parents.

Though quite controversary and ambiguous, Kylo’s love for Han and Leia still remains, being at the same time a source of pain and a source of light.

“ Your mother misses you.” A strange sensation touched the younger’s man cheeks. Something long forgotten. Dampness. Tears.” Chapter XVII p244

Kylo Ren stills cares for his family and this love can actually bring him back since Ren truly “hesitates” as he faces Han on Starkiller Base. And this is the reason why Snoke wants him to kill Han.
Kylo only accomplishes this test once he is forced to face his father. Indeed, on Takodana, in the novelization, when a stormtrooper tells him they are still looking after Han Solo in the ruins, Kylo goes after BB8 and Rey. He doesn’t want to face his father and Snoke knows it.

We shall see… We shall see

Snoke doubts Kylo Ren so much that he is actually ready to make him face his father. If Kylo doesn’t want to face Han then he will force him to do so.

Stormtrooper to Han, Finn and Chewie : “We’re taking you into custody by order of Supreme Leader Snoke”, the Force Awakens Deleted scenes in Maz’s Castle

b) Use of Jedi philosophy and abilities:

Though Kylo Ren has joined Snoke in the dark side, he still can’t detach himself from his previous teachings thus he still uses the Jedi methods he learns with Luke.

  • Meditation and Contemplation: 

Kylo Ren is depicted several times (especially in the novelisation) being in meditation.
Meditation is used to gain serenity (a key element in the Jedi motto) through the force which is something Kylo Ren craves as he says to Han Solo (“I want to be free of this pain”) and he fights a lot to obtain this inner peace. As we all know he even kills his own father to have it.

But in the novelisation before committing this terrible murder, Kylo Ren first tries to subside his pain by using the Jedi meditation

Kylo Ren regarded it in silence. He had been trained in contemplation, was skilled in deliberation, could remain meditating just so for hours at the time. But he was losing patience” Chapter VII p91.

  • Mind Probe

Though interpreting by many as an abusive and dark side act, the mind probe Kylo Ren uses on both Rey and Poe directly comes from the Jedi training. Indeed in The Clone Wars 2x03 Mace Windu, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker uses a similar technique to compel Cad Bane to take them to the holocron causing him a tremendous pain. Strangely the pirate’s response to that is the same Rey says to Kylo Ren. 

“ Get out of my head!”

Moreover, Kylo Ren, as the three Jedi in Clone Wars, uses this technique as a last choice. Before entering Poe’s and Rey’s mind, the former has already been questioned by the first order through methods Ren even disapproves. And during both interrogations (Rey’s and Poe’s) Kylo Ren first asks them to give him what he wants offering them both the opportunity to prevent any kind of sufferance, stating that he takes no pleasure in inflicting pain contrary to what may be expected from a dark side user.

I would have preferred to avoid this. Despite what you may believe, it gives me no pleasure” Chapter XIV p 199

But those others who have made your acquaintance possess only the most primitive abilities (…) None of this unpleasantness need be necessary” Chapter III p 39* 

  • Defense over attack

Despite being a dark side user, Kylo Ren is rarely the one who attacks first. Defence is always favoured over attack in the Jedi philosophy.

 “A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.” Master Yoda in the Empire Strikes Back.

Kylo Ren seems to share and apply this philosophy several times: first, by only stopping Poe’s blaster shot instead of sending it back to him, second, in interaction with Rey, both on Takodana and on Starkiller base, Rey is always the one that attacks first giving him no other choice than the counterattack and Kylo Ren says it himself. (have a look at Dark Side Rey as well)

“I should be the one who should be scared. You shot first. You speak of the order as if it were barbaric. And yet, it is I who was forced to defend myself against you” Chapter XIII p181

  • Knowledge and Teaching 

Knowledge is a fundamental Jedi principle ; “There is no ignorance, there is knowledge” (Jedi Code); and in the novelisation Kylo Ren attaches a lot of importance to it . He despises ignorance, not only his own but others’ as well especially Rey’s. He wants to open her eyes, teach her what she doesn’t know, what’s right according to him

(about Rey’s opinion on the the First Order) “Simple ignorances are easily remedied” Chapter XIII p181
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You need a teacher! I can show the ways of the force!” 

c) Rejection of some Dark Side fundamentals and figures

  • Rejection of Revenge. 

Revenge is an act a Dark Side user can commit. The title Revenge of the Sith supports this idea. But it is something Kylo Ren considers as childish as he says to Poe Dameron after this one tries to shoot him

“Revealing yourself through your futile attempt on my life was foolish. Revenge is little more than an adolescent concession to personal vanity” Chapter III p 39

  •  Rejection of Chaos

 Chaos is an element cherished by dark side users because chaos is linked to fear and pain. However, Kylo Ren seems to share a Jedi vision on chaos. “Chaos, yet harmony” is part of the altered Jedi code (which is canon according to Wookiepedia) recited by younglings during their trials. And Kylo Ren agrees with this philosophy as he gazes at the galaxy. He sees beauty in chaos and expresses his will to bring back order to the galaxy, to erase the chaos.

“So much beauty among such turmoil. (…) It is the task of the First Order to remove the disorder from our own existence” Chapter VII p92 

  • Rejection of Snoke

Though Kylo Ren’s loyalty for Snoke seems to be unwavering throughout the entire film, it is quite visible that this loyalty is slowly reaching an end. Kylo Ren is, in a way, freeing himself from Snoke and is tempted to follow his own agenda. It is shown four times in the movie and in the novelisation. First, when Hux tells Kylo Ren:       

Hux: ”Careful Ren that your personal interests don’t interfere with orders from leader Snoke 

Kylo Ren: “I want that map. For your sake, I suggest you get it”

Here Kylo Ren refuses Snoke’s order concerning BB8. The First Order must “retrieve the droid intact”.

Later, and it is more explicit in the novelisation, when Snoke asks Hux to destroy the Ileenium System Kylo Ren shows his opposition.

No – Supreme Leader, I can get the map from the girl” Chapter XV p 208

After that, there is the moment of doubt he shares with Han Solo on the platform.       °

“Snoke is using you for your power. When he gets what he wants he’ll crush you. You know it’s true” Kylo hesitates. Somehow he does know it (From the Script of The Force Awakens)

And finally, him asking Rey to become his student, something Snoke never asked. On the contrary, he wants to see Rey in order to punish Ren for his weakness and for his turning away from the dark side because he is sensing the light in him (“The call to the light (…) Supreme Leader senses it”). He wants to put him back on the right track.

Kylo Ren. It appears a reminder is in order. So I will show you the dark side. Bring the girl to me” Chapter XV p210.

Never Snoke mentions his intention of turning Rey to his cause. 

2/ REY’S LIGHT SIDE 

Rey’s light cannot be denied. She fights for the right cause (according to the viewers’ perspective) but it is interesting to see how her light side is strangely similar to Kylo Ren’s and how Kylo’s light mirrors Rey’s (or the opposite, your choice)

a) Compassion for other characters: 

  • BB8

Rey’s feelings for BB8 and their evolution are quite more explicit in the novelisation than in the film and it appears that Rey, before letting herself growing in affection for the droid, was quite indifferent to BB8’s fate (see Dark Side Rey). However, once she realised that BB8 and her have more in common that she thought (the promise of a loved one that he/she would return), she decides to take care of him. This will of protection grows stronger when Rey learns that BB8 carries the map to Luke Skywalker, something that would change the fate of the galaxy.         

“You have to keep going. Stay out of sight. I’ll try to fight them off”

  • Finn 

Rey’s feelings for Finn are also growing during the film. From the “Stop taking my hand” to a kiss on the forehead. But what is very interesting is Rey’s expression of compassion for Finn when she learns he is a stormtrooper and that he was taken away from his parents as a baby, which is something she can relates to. In the movie, Finn’s revelation triggering Rey’s compassion is highlighted by little Rey’s voice calling (presumably) her parents. 

  • Leia Organa

Though she doesn’t know her, Rey sympathises with Leia. They share the same grief.

The two women embraced without embarrassment or hesitation. Then with tears falling, they moved inside” Chapter XVIII p 255

Moreover Rey is also aware of her pain concerning her son’s fate and she doesn’t want to mention it to her.

“But you’re also afraid. In sending me away, you’re - reminded.”
Leia straightened “You won’t share the fate of our son
” Chapter XVIII p258

b)  Use of Jedi philosophy and abilities

Despite her lack of training as a Jedi, Rey follows the Jedi way and methods without knowing them few times in the Force Awakens. 

  • Mind Probe. 

As well as Kylo Ren, Rey manages to enter someone’s mind to seek information. Though she doesn’t do it on purpose, she penetrates Kylo Ren’s head and extracts his fear from it. Later, she compels a stormtrooper to release her the same way as Obi-Wan Kenobi does multiple times in the franchise.

  • Others come first. 

Selflessness is part of the jedi philosophy.

The Jedi are selfless… they only care about others.” Anakin Skywalker in Revenge of the Sith

Though she is tempted to care about herself, Rey takes risks for the persons she cares about. During the rathtars’s attack, Rey risks her life to save Finn. She doesn’t leave him behind and goes after him as he is taken away by a rathtar. Later, and as said earlier, she puts herself in danger in order to protect BB8 and the map. Moreover, on Jakku, Rey saves BB8 from Teedo and she also refuses to sell BB8 to Unkar Plutt in spite of his tempting offer.

  • Meditation and Contemplation. 

Rey enters a mediation/contemplation twice in TFA. The first she does it is after Kylo Ren’s leaves the interrogation room to regain his composure.

 “That she could relax at all was significant in itself. Something of great consequence had just taken place. How and what, she did not know (…) One thing was clear. She was going to be given time to contemplate it” Chapter XIV p201

Then, during her battle with Kylo Ren, she remembers Maz Kanata’s words.       

I know the Force. It moves through and surrounds every living thing. Close your eyes. Feel it

By closing her eyes and feeling the force she enters a state of meditation quite the same way as Qui Gon Jin during his fight with Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace.   

c) Rejection of some Dark Side fundamentals and figures

  • Rejection of Revenge. 

As Kylo Ren and in spite of the temptation (see: Dark Side Rey), Rey chooses to let Kylo Ren live         

She recoiled from it. From the dark side” Chapter XVII p 253

“But she stops. Realizing she stands on a greater edge than even the cliff – the edge of the dark side” from the Script of The Force Awakens.

  • Rejection of the First Order and of Kylo Ren. 

Rey has heard few things about the First Order and has experienced their methods (attack on Nimaa Outpost and on Takodana). She knows the First Order is a entity that rose from the dark side. She labels it “evil” and is ready to fight it especially Kylo Ren and she never hesitates. As soon as she has the chance to fight she does.

 “Why wouldn’t I kill you? I know about the First Order!” Chapter XIII p181

Moreover, at the end of the movie, she refuses Kylo Ren’s proposal to become his teacher, showing her rejection of the dark side she sees in him.

II/ THE DARK SIDE

1/ KYLO REN’S DARK SIDE

Originally posted by dekabreak101

Even if, as we saw earlier, Kylo Ren possesses some characteristics proper to the light side, he remains primarily associated with the dark side. Indeed, the film depicts him as a rather dark character, a murderer. Here is a reminder of the darkness that lays within the character. This part of the meta will permit us to draw the parallel with Rey’s dark side.

a) The Emotions of the Dark Side

Anger is a feeling that literally can control Kylo Ren.  He is a character that refuses a possible failure or something that goes against his agenda and when it occurs it has disastrous consequences over him as we have noticed through what a lot of people calls ‘his tantrums”.
Kylo Ren is associated with this patchwork of emotions related to anger multiple times in The Force Awakens. Often depicted as “angry” or “enraged” throughout the novelization he is however rarely raising his voice. He doesn’t need to since he is feared by most of the persons he interacts with with good reasons since his emotional state can change dramatically from an incredible calm to a terrible rage making him an unpredictable being.

“Though at the moment he was calm, she (Rey) could not escape the feeling that a wrong, an unsatisfactory response, might set him off. Be very careful with this person, she told herself” Chapter XIV p197 

Kylo Ren is a character that inspires fear. However, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t feel it as well. Though, he hides it quite well, buried in his mind and behind his mask or behind his characteristic stoicism, he is scared.

“You, you’re afraid … That you’ll never as strong as Darth Vader” 

b) The Path of Suffering

  • Conflict is something that tears Kylo Ren apart.

Situated between light and dark, the character is struggling as we said early on to find an inner peace which, in his mind, lays in the dark side of the force. But the struggle is a real source of pain and this pain is apparent in the character’s emotions and physical appearance. 

“Yet everything about him was narrow and stark, as if he had starved himself of nourishment. And his eyes were not the dark brown eyes Han remembered. They were dim and dark and terribly sad.” Michael Kogge -Junior novelisation of The Force Awakens

  • However, Kylo Ren knows that pain can be a source of power as he relentlessly hits himself to draw dark side energy from the suffering that his wounds cause him. This creates a certain ambiguity within the character since he both rejects the pain and embraces it. 

But by causing himself more pain not only he gains strength but he lets himself drown into the dark side and digresses from his morals.
Indeed, as said earlier, Kylo Ren interprets revenge with a Jedi point of view but as soon as he let his inner dark side take control, he forgets this opinion and pays Finn back for his betrayal. 

“(Kylo Ren) resumed in assault with a vengeance” Chapter XVIII p250 

“I’m going to kill you (Finn) for it.” Chapter XVIII p 249

However during his darkest hour, Ren still demonstrates the influence of the light on him. He refuses to avenge himself from Rey who attacked him several times. He is determined to spare her life and to take her under his wing.

“I don’t want to kill you (…) You need a teacher” Junior Novelization of the Force Awakens

c)  Selfishness

“The Sith rely on their passion for their strength. They think inward, only about themselves.” Anakin Skywalker in Revenge of the Sith

Though Kylo Ren is not a Sith, selfishness is something that is part of most dark side ideologies and, moreover, we know how much Kylo Ren idolises Darth Vader who was following the Sith customs . It seems that personal interest is Kylo Ren’s source of motivation. He doesn’t care about anyone or anything unless if it concerns/interests him.

“Careful Ren, that your personal interests don’t interfere with orders from Supreme Leader Snoke”

“And yet, there are larger concerns,” Hux insisted (…)
Not for me
Typical Ren, Hux thought. Self-centered, arrogant, indifferent to the interest of others
” Chapter V, p 69

d) Power and Violence 

  • Vader’s legacy

Kylo Ren believes that he is to rule the weaker beings of the galaxy due to his birthright as stated in the visual dictionary. Idolizing his grandfather, Darth Vader, the will to emulate him is strong (same rank in the hierarchy, clothes and mask).  He takes him as a model and wants “to finish what he started”. Ruling the galaxy was part of Vader’s agenda and it is likely that Kylo Ren was pretty aware of that. Thus he may want to do the same in order to prove that Vader’s blood runs in his veins and to reestablish the power of his bloodline. 

Strength, as derived from power, is craved by Kylo. He doesn’t tolerate any form of weakness. He actually shows himself quite hurt when people sees the weakness he tries so hard to hide.

“It isn’t her strength that is making you fail, it’s your weakness.” The rebuke hurt, but Ren didn’t show it. Chapter XV p 208

“You’re afraid that you’ll never be as strong as Darth Vader” KYLO REN SUDDENLY WITHDRAWS HIS HAND, as if her face were FIRE HOT. TAKES A STEP BACK, CONFUSED, RATTLED.
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“I know what I have to do but I don’t if I have the strength to do it. Will you help me? Han hears his son’s voice again, pained and vulnerable.” from the Script of The Force awakens

Moreover it is very interesting to see that through the film instead of gaining strength Kylo Ren is actually weakening. The strong and impressive character described at the beginning of the novel is slowly reduced to a weakened one. The word “weakness” and all the words derived from it become more and more present to portray him as we keep on reading. 

  • Parents as a weakness 

Han and Leia are Kylo Ren’s weaknesses. He equally loves and hates them. What he feels for them is destabilizing him so much that the unique mention of his parents is enough to emotionally disturb him or to set him off. He doesn’t want to hear about them because he is aware of the effect they have on him, because their mention certainly brings back memories and light and it hurts. 

“You may try, but you cannot deny the truth that is your family.”

Suddenly Kylo Ren raises his LIGHTSABER – IGNITES IT – PERPENDICULAR SMALLER BLADES AT THE HILT, A UNIQUE BUZZ – YELLOW/RED ENERGY, SPITTING SPARKS AND SMOKE –

"You’re so right.”

And as he RIPS IT DOWN ACROSS SAN TEKKA!

Script of the Force Awakens

“And Han Solo, he feels like he’s the father you never had. He would have disappointed you.” (for this line, note how Adam Driver stops before saying “Han Solo” and how his facial expression immediately changes)

Snoke: “Your bond is not just to Skywalker himself. Leia …
Kylo Ren:  “There is no need for concern” Chapter X p140 (he immediately cuts Snoke’s line when his mother is mentioned )

And he doesn’t want to be weak. He craves power and strength. So, to get rid of both weakness and pain and to remain in control of his emotions. he commits patricide hoping also that wiping his father from his life would strengthen him. But it is not what happens. Stunned by his own action, he is even more weakened. Give in to the dark side didn’t offer him the power he expected and I think it would be very interesting to see in Episode VIII his reaction to that and what it may bring to the character’s development. 

  • Violence

No need to repeat it but patricide is probably the most violent action Kylo Ren ever made. To that you can add as well the slaughter of the Jakku Village, Lor San Tekka’s murder, his attack on poor Mitaka and supposedly the Jedi massacre in Luke’s Temple (“Supposedly” because we still don’t know the extent of Kylo’s involvement in it). Moreover the impressive amount of ashes he gathered suggest he murdered a lot of people. 

2/ REY’S DARK SIDE

Originally posted by leonsringtrick

Rey’s Dark Side is different from Kylo’s in the sense that Rey is still in the process of temptation. Nevertheless, this temptation must not be underestimated. Rey’s flirtation with the dark side is considerably growing throughout the story of The Force Awakens and she carries in herself some characteristics that go with it mainly because she never received training as a Jedi so she doesn’t know where the limit between the light and the dark is situated.

a) The Emotions of the Dark Side

  • “Let the hate flow through you!” Darth Sidious - Revenge of the Sith

Rey is very often described as angry both in the novel and in the script. As a regular girl (meaning not a Jedi), Rey never saw the danger of giving in to anger or even hate and she carries those feelings all along her journey, using it as soon as she can (see Power and Violence)

Unkar Plutt is the first person we meet Rey hates, whether it is justified or not is not the matter here. What matters is that such a powerful feeling as Hatred exists in her and that it is clearly stated in the canon sources

“She hates him.” Script of The Force Awakens

The way Rey perceives Kylo Ren and interacts with him is rather interesting. He appears to be the only character who can give rise to Rey’s dark side since he makes her feel the key emotions of a dark side user: Fear, Anger, Hate and Suffering.

“Rey’s heart skips a beat: she’s even more scared now.”
“Rey is horrified. He TOUCHES HER FACE again: the pain, tears stream. Kylo Ren, taking more from her mind… “
” It’s so fast now, so furious, that Kylo Ren FALLS BACK – She ATTACKS HARDER!” Excerpts from the Script

it is remarkable how this allows us to draw another parallel between both characters: He is the one who tempts her to use the dark side as she is the one who seduces him with the light.

b) The Path of Suffering

Rey has suffered a lot: tough childhood, abandonment, loss of people she loved. There is then no wonder that pain found a home in her.
Attachment, which is forbidden by the Jedi, leads to pain which leads to the dark side. 

  • Her family, which is what Rey cares the most about, is her main source of pain.  Thinking of them is enough to hurt her though she doesn’t want to admit it.

“For my family, they’ll be back. One day” She tried to smile and failed miserably. (…) “What? No! I’m not crying” (…) Just because a little water flows from a human eye doesn’t mean it’s crying” (…) But her eyes continued to water. Chapter III p 41 

“ I see your eyes. You already know the truth. Whomever you’re waiting for on Jakku, they’re never coming back.” Rey cries

Their abandonment is obsessing her. She’s been counting each day since they left. She relentlessly hopes they would come back to get her out of Jakku refusing every opportunity to fly away from the planet. And even if it may considers as a pure form of hope and love it is still a source of sorrow and pain.

  • The loss of Han Solo

When she meets Han Solo Rey immediately grows fond of him, considering him as “the father she never had” so naturally when the smuggler is killed by his own son her heart breaks. His death has a powerful emotional impact on her which leads her to lash out against stormtroopers and Kylo Ren letting anger consume her. 

c) Selflessness

  • BeeBee-Ate

Though she is deeply attached to BB8 ready to sacrifice herself to save him, Rey hasn’t always felt that way for the lovely BB unit. 

She didn’t like it - him” Chapter II p 36

Not really present in the film but explored in the novel and seen in excerpts from the deleted scenes that appear in the “Cinematic Journey” section of the blu-ray, Rey’s lack of concern when it comes to BB8′s fate exists. Indeed, the moments she shares with the droid on Jakku allow us to see other traits of Rey’s personality: distrust, “selfishness”, arrogance and disrespect, all that necessary to survive on Jakku.

“Don’t follow me! You can’t come with me. I don’t want anyone with me. You understand?” (…) She grew angry. “No! And don’t ask me again. I’m not your friend. I don’t have any friend. This is Jakku. Nobody has friends here. Just fellow survivors” Chapter II p 36

Examples of arrogance and disrespect:

 - Verbal disrespect

“Check you info dump.” Chapter III p41

 - Deactivating BB8 so he would shut up

“Quiet” (…) Having little patience with obstreperous mechanisms, she reached over and thumbed a sequence on his head. Immediately, that portion of the droid slid sideways until it made contact with the ground. No further beeps issued from its speaker. Artificial unconsciousness was absent now, and it was just a quiescent piece of machinery, a spherical piece of junk”  Chapter III p43 ( This scene was shot. You can actually see Rey reactivating BB8 in the “cinematic journey”)

- Arrogance and audacity, considered as “a flaw” by Master Yoda in Attack of the Clones

“Yeah yeah. I’m wonderful” Chapter III p43

She drew herself up with as much pride as she could muster “I am an independent operator, scavenger of the metal lands, free of debt and beholden to no one. Least of all to a small-time trader named Plutt” Chapter III p44

Though it doesn’t appear in the film but in the novelisation,  Rey hesitates and bargains BB8 when Unkar Plutt offers her portions in exchange of the droid. First she is definitely ready to sell him perfectly aware that the reward will allow her to survive peacefully on Jakku for a while. When Unkar Plutt tells her he’ll give her 60 portions if she gives the droid she asks for more (”100 portions”). The negotiation lasts until she agrees to sell BB8 to Unkar opening her satchel to receive the bounty. But then she finally realizes that what she’s doing is wrong. 
Temptation was strong and she almost gave in showing that she was close to the limit of the dark side. 

d) Power and Violence 

Rey grew up on Jakku, a planet in which no-one is safe. Therefore she had to learn how to defend herself, how to fight in order to survive. In Before the Awakening we are told that Rey already had to kill to defend herself (if I’m not mistaking). But the thing is that in The Force Awakens her reaction towards Power and Violence and how she feels is quite interesting.

  • Amazement

During the interrogation scene and as she is probing Kylo Ren’s mind, we are told in the novelization that Rey actually is amazed by her abilities.

“A look of amazement replaced the fear in Rey’s mind as she discovered herself in his mind. Stunned at the realization she found herself inexorably drawn to-to …” (p 200 Chapter XIV)

The end of this quotation is rather complex since it prevents us from knowing exactly to what Rey is drawn to. I found out many possibility : 1/ Drawn to Kylo’s feeling and memory, his fear 2/ drawn to the dark side because we are told she is angry (”she just glared”) and she feels pain 3/ drawn to Kylo Ren (force bond theory) due to the use of “You” just after the quotation.
However, whatever the answer is, one thing is sure she is attracted by something that is or belongs to the dark side.

  • Attack

Jedi’s teachings are based on defense. The attack as I said before is much more used by dark side users. Never in a Star wars Movie has a Jedi attacked first (at least not that I recall).
Rey, though she is not a Jedi (yet) but assimilated to the light side of the force by most people, is the kind of person that will shoot first. She does it when facing Kylo Ren, first on Takodana then on Starkiller base.

“I should be the one who should be scared. You shot first.” Kylo Ren Chapter XIII p181

“Why wouldn’t I kill you?” Rey to Kylo Ren Chapter XIII p181

” Holding it with both hands, SHE IGNITES LUKE’S LIGHTSABER FOR THE FIRST TIME, HER EYES BLAZING. Kylo Ren IGNITES HIS SABER. It’s REY who charges now – Kylo Ren immediately on the defensive.Excerpts from the Script 

Moreover, Finn was also once Rey’s target. When she first sees him she immediately charges him with her staff as he is running away to escape her. And the way the script describes the scene shows exactly how aggressive and terrifying Rey is on that precise moment.

Finn is confused. Rey stands, staring at Finn, defiant. Finn can feel trouble coming – and Rey begins CHARGING AT HIM, quarterstaff in hand.

Realizing he’s the target, Finn begins to RUN – away from her, through the tent marketplace. Rey goes after him – he turns a corner – then another – then BAM! She’s got ahead of him and SLAMS HIM TO THE GROUND WITH HER STAFF!

Finn is on his back, out of breath and freaked out. She holds the staff on him threateningly:

  • Murder attempt

The anger Rey feels for Unkar Plutt and Kylo Ren makes flirt with the limit of being a murderer. A few times in the novelization Rey wants to kill Unkar Plutt and she has the opportunity to do so on Takodana when she sees him in Maz Castle. And she wants him dead. The only reason why Plutt is still alive is because Rey hasn’t unlocked the safety. 

“Whipping out her new blaster, she plonked it right up against his nose. (…)
“I’m seriously thinking about adding another hole to your face.” (…) 
He chuckled unpleasantly (…) grabbed the blaster and wrenched it away from her. Her expression fell. Before he had managed to grab it, she had pulled the trigger - she was certain of that” Chapter XI p165

Moreover, the safety lock thing is shown in the movie when Rey pulls out the blaster towards the stormtroopers in the forest of Takodana. Again she would have killed them without them noticing her if she had unlocked the safety before pulling the trigger.
The sequence is actually very interesting because it actually shows that Rey not only shoots first but also shoots on ennemies who haven’t attacked her. Plus the way she looks after she shoot them, with ferocity and anger in her eyes, as she aims for other stormtrooper located in the ruins (who again didn’t see her since she is hidden in the woods) shows that she is indeed a sort of ruthless fighter. Sniper Rey confirmed ;)

Concerning Kylo Ren, his murder of Han Solo makes her want to avenge him and to kill him to make him pay. And as he lies on the ground, disarmed, she circles him like a predator ready to jump on its prey. The light inside her is what stops her from killing him. Had she let herself to be even more seduced by the dark side she would have certainly killed him.

“she SLASHES AGAIN AND AGAIN AND HITS KYLO REN SQUARE IN THE HEAD AND CHEST. HE GOES DOWN, SUDDENLY A FEARFUL MAN, A LARGE BURN SCAR SLASHED ACROSS HIS FACE! He still reaches for his saber.

And she could kill himright now, with ONE VICIOUS STRIKE!

But she stops.” Excerpt from the Script

+

“One quick, final strike and she could kill him. (…) Kill him, a voice inside her head said” (…) So easy, she told herself. So quick.” Chapter XVIII p253

Originally posted by leialovesdarcy

So we are indeed in the presence of two characters that in a way mirror each others. They both carry the light and the dark, uses similar techniques, have similar opinions and believes and display some similarities in their personalities. The only thing that makes them different is the degree of darkness and light  they have in them, Kylo Ren being closer to the dark side than Rey. They are simply the embodiment of Ying and Yang.

Thank you for reading :-)

And sorry is there are some grammar mistakes. English is not my mother tongue.

anonymous asked:

[2/3] Continuing this twisted trail of speculation with some further fanon (I think I first encountered explored in fic series “Counterfeit of Love” by BrilliantLady). The premise: Harry, like Voldemort, is in fact also a child conceived under love potion influence and therefore just as fundamentally incapable as the Dark Lord (pre-Dark Magic Tom Riddle?) of (romantic/sexual?) ‘Love’. At least by ‘natural’ means.

terezisexbuttpyrope  asked:

Yo this is going be bizarre and specific...but imagine drabble on like the voltron crew and a s/o who will bring up random science trivia just like at all hours. Like how the majority of the universe is made up by dark matter and dark energy, and scientests are trying to see if theres a dark fundamental force. Or, the human brain is the size of a person's two fists together. But theres a lot of surface area cause wrinkles. (Yes this is based on me. Yes i am ashamed. No i wont apologise lol)

You remind me of Dr. Spencer Reid and I’m diggin it, pal!

Shiro

Shiro sat up in his chair, legs crossed, with a good book in his hands. Out of nowhere, (y/n) silently sneaks into the room and looks over his shoulder at the book.

“Hey baby, watcha reading?” they asked, causing him to jump about three feet in the air.

Taking a deep breath, he sat back down, relieved that it was just them.

“Frankenstein.” He said, looking back down at the book.

“Oh, that’s a classic. Hey, did you know that the author, Mary Shelly, was only 18 when she published that book, basically starting the genre of science fiction?” They said, reading the page he was on.

“I did not know that. Interesting…” He said, turning the page.

“Also, in my humble opinion, Victor and Henry should have ended up getting married. They were so perfect for each other.”

Shiro smiled and nodded in agreement, continuing on with his reading.

Lance

Lance and (y/n) had decided that, for a nice change of pace, they were going to take a nice trip and go camping. On a walk through the woods, Lance stumbled and fell into a patch of poison ivy. Groaning, he sat up. As the two walked back to the camp ground to find a place to wash off, (y/n) started spouting facts about poison ivy.

“85% of people get an allergic reaction to poison ivy, you know. Also, animals aren’t allergic. It also can’t spread once all of the Urushiol oils from the plant are washed off, an-” Lance cut them off.

“Yeah, thanks, babe. Can you please spray me with this?” He asked, handing them a hose. They nodded and sprayed him full force with the thing.

Pidge

(Y/n) and Pidge sat side-by-side. (Y/n) was reading a book on planets, while Pidge scrolled through the internet. It was quiet and peaceful for about an hour, before (y/n) couldn’t take it anymore and spoke up.

“Did you know that Saturn was first discovered in 8th century BC?” they asked, looking over.

Pidge nodded. “Mm-hmm,” they said without looking up.

“Alright, well, did you know that has 62 moons?”

“Yep, I sure did.”

“What about this: it’s average temperature is -139 degrees Celsius?”

“Yes, (y/n), I knew that.”

“Well, do you know that I love you?”

They smiled, looking up from their computer and kissing their cheek. “Of course I knew that one.”

Keith

Keith loved to drink coffee. However, he would make it extremely sweet and sugary. There was no such thing as ‘too much’ sugar in his coffee. That is, until it just wouldn’t dissolve anymore. He had no idea why! He decided to take the problem to his significant other, (y/n). They would know. They knew practically everything!

When he explained what had happened, they giggled. “Oh, you precious bean. That’s what we call saturation. Your drink is already saturated with sugar, and when you add more, it becomes super saturated, meaning that no more can dissolve into it.” they explained.

He nodded. “Oh. … Please don’t call me a precious bean anymore.”

They shook their head. “No, you’re a precious beany boy. Now go drink your coffee.”

Hunk

“We are officially entering the Milky Way galaxy, everyone!” Allura announced, excited to be able to bring her crew back to their home planet for a quick visit. Upon hearing this, (y/n) shot up, excitedly turning to their boyfriend, Hunk.

“Babe! Did you know that the Milky Way galaxy is about 100,000 to 180,000 light years in diameter and got that big by taking stars and other material from other galaxies? And right now, it’s getting the most stars from a teeny tiny little bit of a thing called the  Sagittarius Dwarf Spheroidal! Cool, right?” They grinned, excited about the space facts.

He smiled, glad to see them excited. “Wow, (y/n). That’s super interesting. What else?”

The others groaned, not excited to hear them go on and on about the Milky Way. But, Hunk just sat there, smiling and listening to them talk about the universe.

@hymnandher
  1. a wolf at the door is every ugly gutted feeling you ever had at 3 am when everything is shameful and small and you’re not equipped to handle any of it;  his dull defeated frantic voice, the beleaguered slogging rhythm, the increasing distress of “don’t you fucker dance you fucker don’t you dare don’t you dare”, the abject buzzing misery of this song.
  2. the slow deliberate outraged build of sit down stand up that raises the hairs on the back of your neck and makes you feel dangerous and watchful and ready and angry, the way this song just kind of floats up out of the deep to sink its teeth into your calf muscle, “walk into the jaws of hell, walk into the jaws of hell anytime.” “sit down stand up, we can wipe you out, we can wipe you out anytime.” like this is a calm song this is a song about calm ready present anger and how good it’s gonna feel to finally use it.
  3. where i end and you begin, hail to the thief is a monster album, it’s an album about monsters, but the drums rattling out that rushed breezy beat with thom’s breezy regretful vocals, and how this song just, sets itself apart, sets itself above the listener, but just then just utterly dissolves at the end into that deadly serious voice intoning over and over and over again “i will eat you alive i will eat you alive i will eat you alive”
  4. there there is, me, that’s the me song, that’s what i’m aiming to walk into the wilderness to when all of this gets to be too much to handle. why is it so beautiful, why is it so swinging and cocky and assured and blisteringly lonely, why is this a thing?? i don’t
  5. weird fishes is as far as you can get from the emotional spectrum of hail to the thief, it is such a warm warm loving cheerful song, it is layers and layers of tree rings, it just gets deeper and lovelier and more wonderful the longer it goes, it is a kaleidoscope of faithfulness and joy.
  6. reckoner is the most beautiful perfect ship in a bottle fabrege egg in existence, there is nothing wrong with it, it is a pure wonderful sincere gift to you personally, the angels wish they could sound this unaffectedly sweet and knowing and good. And i know you’re in for a world of hurt if you every try to translate radiohead lyrics into simple human english but to me, this song is wrapped around the idea that there is nothing so awful that could ever happen to cancel out this tenderness, that tenderness can result and should result from awfulness, that no ground is too barren for what this song has to give to you.
  7. jigsaw falling into place is perfect in its form and build and construction, this is a well built brick shithouse of a song.
  8. videotape is a wound bestowed upon the world by thom yorke that will never heal and never go away and frankly i don’t think any of us should forgive him for it. (the debilitating loving softness of “No matter what happens next, I shouldn’t be afraid, because today has been the greatest day I’ve ever seen.”)
  9. codex is thom yorke laying his hand very gently on your shoulder (if you allow it) and telling you that you can let go (if you want to) and that you can float for as long as you need to in dark waters that hold you as closely as any mother to her breast.
  10. give up the ghost is just something where you’re going to have to read the lyrics for and then sit as you are comforted and made whole again by the fact that there can be love stories like this, and that thom thinks the world can work like this and you should join him in thinking that because honestly it’s going to save you both.
This Black Ribbon

 

A.J. Bayes’ 1889 illustration for Hans Christian Andersen’s “Little Match Girl”.

My father recently dug out a box of old home videos—recordings I remember being made but which I had never seen. They spanned from 1988 to about 1995. They are all of our family’s video records, these five or six tapes, and in them it is always Christmas.

Christmas envelops us (at least, those of us in the U.S.) like a blanket. The songs are in your supermarket, the lights in your neighborhood, the specials on your TV, the tree in your office lobby. There is no escaping its reach if you spend any portion of your time interacting with the outside world, regardless of the religion you were (or were not) raised in, of what faith you do (or do not) practice now. If there ever was a war on Christmas, let it be noted that Christmas won.

In the videos, my brothers and I look like we’re attached to some kind of electrical current, our eyes wide and fists clenched, legs bouncing up and down. We are not allowed to see the tree, or our presents, until the filming ritual is finished. We sit on the steps of our DC home with our mother (our father operates the camera) and speak, year after year, almost in song: “Merry Christmas 1990,” “1991,” “1992”—a childhood measured in holiday.

According to my local Rite-Aid, Christmas starts sometime in late September and ends in early January. It is neither an event nor a day but in fact a season, as legitimate in this Christianity-steeped country as autumn or winter, even as it overlaps both. And how do you grapple with a month? Two months? Or, by Rite-Aid’s figures, around four? No holiday is as pervasive or long lasting: one does not so much celebrate Christmas as live through it. The train will come regardless of what you or I will do.

The sheer number of Christmas symbols staggers the mind. From religious (an infant, a manger, a star) to pagan (a Yule log, a Christmas tree), horticultural (holly, mistletoe, poinsettia) to animal (turtle doves, reindeer), meteorological (snow) to geographical (the North Pole, Bethlehem), decorative (wreaths, lights, bells, stockings) to culinary (fruitcake, candy canes, gingerbread, goose), active (sleigh rides, ice skating, caroling) to passive (chestnuts roasting, children sleeping), not to mention all the music, poetry, plays, movies, ballets, TV specials dedicated to the subject, much less Santa Claus and his retinue of iconography—this motely, gargantuan, and still growing body of symbols speaks to the broad range of influences this winter celebration has drawn from. There is a Christmas for every taste—from medieval polyphony to Die Hard—and it is hard to take the measure of it.

Though the holiday is irrevocably, irreducibly a religious one (even the shortened Xmas seems to ominously nod towards the cross), its secular manifestations first began to emerge with the cult of Santa Claus in the early 19th century and Dickens’s near irreligious A Christmas Carol a few decades later. “Jingle Bells,” what’s considered the first secular Christmas song—though it was originally intended to be sung at Thanksgiving—was published in 1857. Today one could, if one wished, go full throttle Christmas without one mention of the Christ child: all Rudolphs and elves, sleigh bells and silver bells, Nutcrackers and Wonderful Lives, Frosties and Grinches.

The holiday’s emphasis on family and generosity also has young roots: born from Scrooge’s redemption and Clement Clarke Moore’s “Visit from Saint Nicholas” and even Queen Victoria’s adoption of the Germanic Christmas tree. Large, rowdy groups of singers going door to door demanding food and drink (not unlike SantaCon) had dominated earlier celebrations in England, so it’s little wonder that both England and Boston had separately banned the holiday during parts of the 1600s. Many New Englanders only began to celebrate the holiday after its fashionable Victorian makeover; the U.S. government didn’t make it federal holiday until 1870. Though Christ’s birthday was celebrated as early as the 4th century CE, and perhaps even before then, the practices and cultural objects we know as the Christmas tradition were, by and large, introduced within the past 200 years.

At once very old and very new, Christmas resists generalizations. What it always is, however, is a feast, one held during the Northern Hemisphere’s darkest hour. And perhaps because of the annual onslaught of night, the fundamental reality of darkness we all grapple with this time of year, Christmas, throughout its permutations, has carried with it a disturbing but persistent current of tragedy.

Death hovers above so many Christmas songs and stories. Though Wenceslas’s page is saved by his liege’s miraculously warm footprints in the 1853 carol, by the forth stanza of the song he is near death: “I can go no longer.” In “We Three Kings” (1863), the third magi describes his gift of myrrh—an embalming oil—to baby Jesus, who has a “life of gathering gloom,” born as he is for death: “sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying / sealed in the stone-cold tomb.” The 16th century “Coventry Carol” carries with it none of the joy or hope that characterizes so many acclamatory Christmas songs. In it, a mother sings a lullaby to her dead child, murdered by Herod during the Massacre of the Innocents: the song is all despair. 

Keep reading

I will not apologize for who I am

Yesterday someone very dear to me broke my heart. She attacked my character, morals & mission.

Today, I spent quite some time in front of my Gohonzon trying to understand why someone I love would tear me down so brutally. I could think of nothing but I decided to turn her venom into vitamins.

I will not apologize for putting my visions, time and heart into urban farming. Yes, I do truly love farming in North Philadelphia. I do so much more than growing vegetables - my impact is substantial, recognized, award-winning & appreciated. Far larger a concept then she can conceptualize (combating social injustice, food deserts, providing opportunities for commUNITY, inclusivity, safe spaces, business models, partnerships, reintegration programs, several secured paid contracts - etcetera). No, I will not apologize for skipping the “turn up” to finish my final edits to my grant proposals.

No, I will not apologize for preferring small, intimate gatherings to parties and endless drinking & smoking. I am an introvert. I recharge by having time alone, meditating & chanting, reading, jotting down ideas, cleansing & struggling with my music. I’m not hiding a secret party life - I do not desire the scene, the hype, the company or the lack of good-intentioned energies. I am content with my dinners with my team & celebrating significant victories.

I will not apologize for being Black & lesbian or Black & Buddhist. For some reason you think my Blackness limits me from expanding my knowledge, image & understandings. As if my Blackness prevents me from reaching enlightenment, enjoying reading or being a delightful individual. Fuck your couch. I live & love in each of my identities & idiosyncrasies flawlessly. Completely independent Black educated lesbian Buddhist, hippie, healer, urban farmer that enjoys nature, organic/clean eating, has OCPD and makes far too big of a deal about details and perfectionism. I am multifaceted & your perceptions of me can never keep up or come close to my continuously evolving being.

I have had people call me hurtful things… But to attack my character, attack who I am, trying to say I’m not genuine - that truly hurts. Not quite sure why I allow people to treat/speak to me other than I deserve but I believe I’ve finally had enough.
As others have attacked my spirit & character this past year, I’ve become more in harmony with who I am and who I aspire to be. I know I’m on the right path - where there are positive causes being made, it’s only natural for others’ fundamental darkness to surface to try to discourage or distract me. As always, I’ll remain undefeated.

I’ll leave that nasty energy behind with this post to take advantage, appreciate & enjoy the victories I had today. (Abroad locations confirmed, settled in my new spot & Nick Cannon just threw $10,000 to my org [can you say pay raise?!]) Yeah adversity, you provide me the best opportunities ;)

💛

HEAR, SEE, SPEAK

Hearing, seeing, and speaking of love, light, compassion, and all the beauty and good in life will certainly aid us in our ascension to higher vibrations and the positive transformation we seek in the world. But, this does not mean that we should shut our eyes, ears or mouths to the suffering masses of people, especially when that suffering can be increased or mitigated by our behaviors and choices.

Our silence, or refusal to acknowledge the darkness in our world will not make it go away. If we want good vibrations, we must also DO good. Open our ears and eyes to the plight of our fellow human beings and speak out about injustice, human rights violations and the decimation of our planet.

If you were a man, woman or child, hungry, abused, or living in a war-torn society, whether in Syria, South Sudan, or some town in the US, wouldn’t you want someone to pay attention? We must learn to see what’s going on in the world and STILL have hope in the beauty and goodness of life. Then, we must do our part, whatever we can to MAKE it beautiful. Don’t ignore evil, rise above it, bring light, love and hope to someone else.

kimnrowdy  asked:

Dude. It's like, tough coming up with intelligent things to ask you for this 4k video you are making. But I am wondering about your thoughts on the writers replacing Alison and/or Cosima as part of the 3 main clones. Would the show still work if it was Sarah, Helena, and Rachel; and Cosima and Alison became side story? And this is totally calmorrison's idea. But it's an interesting idea I've been mulling over and I'm curious as to what you think about it.

Hey friends! Look who’s finally back on the analysis train!

It’s me!

Friendly reminder to everyone that I made my video, but didn’t have time for all the analysis and so I’m doing separate write-ups, of which this is the first of many. 

As for the topic at hand here though…

Well, well, well. This is a topic both myself and Jacq and I’m sure other people have addressed before and it’s something that’s always relevant so I’m going to let myself ramble here. I can’t go and dig up every writeup someone’s done on the topic, so I’m just going to summarize my own thoughts in combination with what feels like the general consensus on this idea here.

Here’s the thing about our clones — they represent three very important worlds. I’ve heard Jacq call them Street, Science and Suburbia, and that is important. These three worlds all have their assets.

  • From the Science we get exposition dump, we get foundation to our mystery, we get conspiracy theories, we get organizations, we get labs and white-coats and everything you would expect from a clone show. We get your classic sci-fi elements.

  • From the Suburbia we get dark humour, we get to relate, we get stark contrast to everything else, we get this hyper-realized world that hits close to home for many viewers, we get very real “ordinary” life and we get very real “ordinary” human fears.

  • From the Street we get our indy tone, we get dark, we get gritty, we get danger, we get fast-pace and we get our story. We get something interesting that the everyday viewer likely doesn’t experience every day. We get action, and we get excitement.

These three worlds combine so beautifully to create such a unique tone that ultimately makes Orphan Black successful. Let’s all consider what would happen if we lost one of these clones (and by extension) these worlds:

  • Street: Nope. Sarah Manning dies, we all die. Case closed.

  • Science: If Cosima fades too far into the background, we’ll lose essential information. As much as I love Cosima, her primary role is giving us all of the information we need to know in order to draw our own conclusions as viewers. “But Melanie!” someone out there says “We could still get occasional information from Cosima if she’s in the background and only in an episode every now and then!” Well dear reader, I do realize that. I raise the counter point though that we are all already frustrated with the lack of time for Cosima character development and experience. If we stuff her into the background only to show up every third episode and exposition dump…well her entire value as a character goes down the toilet. And I don’t know about you, but Cosima’s a very interesting character that I would like to know more about. We can have characters like Rachel on the side, because her arc is primarily concerning with her character as opposed to exposition dumping for the audience and other characters. When we see Rachel Duncan, we’re learning more about Rachel Duncan. If we relegate Cosima to the background, we’ll just see a lot of her explaining things and then leaving. Also, less Cosima means less Delphine. And none of us want that. (A much better worded — and always relevant — explanation of why Cosima can’t die right here)

  • Suburbia: I am a fervent defender of Alison Hendrix’s life and screentime on this show, that is no secret. My support extends beyond the bang-sisterhood and mutual love of white wine though. I would argue that it is the Suburbia that truly separates Orphan Black from the pack and makes it such a unique and fascinating show and story. We’ve had sci-fi shows with big corporations and white labcoats. We’ve also had sci-fi shows with street-wise thugs and shoot-outs in diners and running from cops. It is very rare though, that we have a sci-fi show with a suburban soccermom who tortures people with a gluegun. There is a reason that Alison was named one of the top 25 characters by EW this year. There is a reason that Variations Under Domestication won a whole host of the writing awards last year. There is a reason that Alison’s character has been met by almost universal acclaim — and that is because the Suburbia world as portrayed in contrast to the Street and the Science…that’s something that’s never really been done before. It’s fresh, it’s exciting, it’s unpredictable, and it’s relatable.  Anyways, my point is that if we lose Alison, we lose a key part of why this weird little show is so appealing. We lose that unique edge, we lose the black comedy, and we lose the reality. If we fall too far down the street or science rabbit holes, we risk descending into cliche sci-fi/crime tropes. With the Suburbia element, we can keep on having plot points like the potluck or the musical or rehab…and those plot points are what makes this show so gosh darn fun. 

Now, in my imagination I’m speaking to a big group of people right now and somebody just raised their hand in the back. “What about if one of those worlds is replaced by Helena or Rachel? Wouldn’t each of them bring something equally important to the table?” 

Thank you listener, you raise a valid point.

I ask you all this very important question, can Rachel Duncan exist without Sarah Manning? 

Think for a second. Of course literally, she is a person separate from Sarah. But can you really consider any elements of her storyline that are completely unrelated to Sarah Manning? Banging Paul — Sarah. Taking Kira — Sarah. Emotional breakdown — can’t bring Sarah to terms. All of that shit with Ethan — well guess who reintroduced Ethan into Rachel’s life. 

My point is, Rachel is a subset of Sarah’s story. 

Rachel can’t exist in her own world as a character at this current point, because everything she does is tied to Sarah. Rachel is too interconnected to Sarah’s world— and Cosima’s to an extent. Nothing is really entirely her own. At least not enough of her own at this point to justify an entire third of our main storyline. Alison on the other hand has a completely unrelated musical, ice skating lessons, neighbourhood potlucks, accidental stranglings of neighbours….things like that. Cosima brings that essential science exposition, as well as our token romance element with Delphine. These are things that, theoretically, would and could exist without the presence of Sarah Manning (but as I’ll get to later, still can’t in reality.)

I’m not saying that Rachel doesn’t have the potential to get to that point, but it is going to take some work and a lot of development of her as a character separate from Sarah. And I’m not sure we have time for that.

Now, that development is the kind of thing we saw from Helena in season 2. We started to see Helena have adventures separate from Sarah — everything with Jesse and with the Proletheans and…yeah there was a lot of distance in a good way. My issue with Helena being a so called “main clone” ultimately comes with what we would lose if we lose Alison or Cosima. At the end of the day, we are still going to get the needed dose of Helena’s world — especially with the upcoming assumed prominence of Mark/Gracie in s3 — with Helena in the role she is in currently. If we sacrifice our Science or Suburbia for just more Helena…I feel strongly that we would lose a whole lot more than we would gain. 

If we were to trade in Helena for say, Alison, our tone would shift dramatically. Things would be a lot more serious. Yes, Helena does bring humourous moments to the show, but they aren’t funny in the same way Alison Hendrix burying a body in her garage is. Helena is fundamentally dark, and not in a “bang my husband on top of a freezer in our dark garage” way.

We also have to remember that to an extent Helena, and definitely Rachel, are kind of antagonists. Again, I know Helena made progress towards redemption and all that in s2, but at the end of the day she’s not a “good guy” in the same way that Alison and Cosima are. There’s something thematically and structurally nice about having these three main protagonists, the conflicted hero-villain on the side, and then the batshit crazy evil one. Having those two side clones, Helena and Rachel, be intimately connected to Sarah feels so symmetrical and nice. It just feels balanced and right.

Now, ultimately I’m not saying we can never kill off one of our main three clones. There may come a point in the story where that is necessary. We’re going to require some significant tone shifts and setups before that point however in order to maintain some semblance of what the show is, or it’ll have to happen within the final stretch of episode where everything is just going down in flames. I am adamant on how we can’t kill Sarah with any narrative left in the story though — much in the same way that Rachel’s story can’t exist on the level that Alison and Cosima’s do, Alison and Cosima’s can’t exist on the same level as Sarah’s.

Sarah manning is our hero, through and through.

So yeah, that’s a lot of long rambles on character analysis and development. I think it’s important though, because as much as I want to see more of Rachel Duncan and Helena, I’m not willing to sacrifice the important things that Alison and/or Cosima bring to our story.