Fuck BRE. I'm still fried from Olicity overload. Instead of tidbits all season we've been overdosed with it all IN ONE EP!! #deathtoolicityfandom >>---> I do have a question tho, and it's about that last scene. Felicity said she understood why Oliver lied about William, and I know it has to do with Helix, but how does she understand? Felicity didn't lie to Oliver. She trusted him. he doesn't trust her not with Helix and not with William. So still not comprehending that last scene totally
the olicity was so real, girl, so real and intense and amazing wow
This is such a layered question only because it’s a layered issue, one that’s been churning and boiling for years now. It’s something that was set in motion way before Olicity even got together, one that is reflected in both Oliver and Felicity as stand-alone characters.
When Felicity said she understood, it wasn’t about the actual decision that Oliver made. What she understood better after last night was Oliver himself.
She does know now, or at the very least she’s starting to, and it is just that understanding that let her see things oh so differently, that let her look back and see things from how Oliver’s POV. It has finally given her a level of understanding that she never, ever had before.
(god his face, look at him, he’s so vulnerable, but he’s also so cleansed)
It isn’t as simple as trust by itself, that was what last night was about. The problem (and the one that got them to the point where Oliver didn’t tell Felicity about William) is that Oliver doesn’t trust himself, and that was the driving force behind so, so, so many of his past actions.
“Some things mustn’t be forgotten.” “Will this ever end?” “Something is wrong, oh so wrong!” “There is nothing left. Everything is gone.” “Who are you to question me?!” “There’s no denying the things I’ve done.” “You are carrying the shadow with you!” “Is this guilt I’m witnessing, [name]? If so, blame yourself.” “I’m sorry, my friend.” “How do you justify your violence?” “It is curiosity in league with your selfishness that is killing us both.“
“I will grant you another chance to redeem yourself.” “We are so very much the same, you and I.” “You never did finish what you set out to do.” “Good and evil: such comforting concepts. But hardly applicable.” “Are you so blind that you see no good in me?” “Your sacrifice will not be forgotten.” “I’m just like you, [name]. A prisoner of circumstance.” “You killed us! You killed us both!” “Please help him, I know you can.” “We can’t argue now - you need to act.” “You have everything. What are you waiting for?” “I thought I had lost you!” “I realize you doubt my intentions.” “Why would I take such extreme measures to save your life? Maybe, I’m saving mine too.” “As you gain your freedom, will you deny me mine?” “It was my greatest triumph, and I never looked back.”
Having just returned home from Star Wars Celebration: Orlando, I am filled with emotions, excitement and anticipation for the next installment of the Skywalker family saga. I was fortunately enough sit in the The Last Jedi panel, after 20 hours of sitting on a concrete floor, and an additional 10 hours before hand, queueing outside. However, that panel was worth every second of the wait time. And while most people will say the long anticipated teaser trailer stole the show, as an artist and illustrator, for me, the star of the show was the teaser poster, that was also revealed.
My jaw literally dropped as I stood in stunned silence as the crowd cheered around me. In fact, my line buddy, a member of the 501st by the name of Matt, repeatedly asked if I was okay as stood agape at the poster, amazed in it’s brilliant design as well as very clear and intentional use of visual story telling. I was flabbergasted at the bold choices made by Lucasfilm in this teaser poster, and I do believe that this is more of an indicator of the film’s story, rather than the trailer. This poster tells us, the viewer, everything we need to know about the direction of the upcoming movie, as well as helps dispel the rumors that The Last Jedi will be nothing more than a carbon clone of TheEmpire Strikes Back.
Before I go into detail I just want to say that it’s no secret that I ship reylo, however, for the purposes of this discussion, I am setting aside my implicit biases and talking about the facts stated in this poster, rather than fan speculation and conjecture.
First and foremost, what stood out to me is the simplicity in the poster’s design. We see only three characters, Rey, Luke and Kylo Ren. After doing extensive research, I found that this is the ONLY poster with just three characters. All previous Star Wars posters depict the main ensemble of cast members, as far back as 1979’s A New Hope. Never before has a Star Wars poster depicted only three members of the cast, and it is a clear statement that these three characters are the most important in relation to the story. There is also a not so subtle nod to Luke Skywalker in the original promotional theatrical poster for A New Hope. Both Rey and Luke are positioned in almost the same spacial area, in the same pose, with an ignited light saber raised up. For Luke, this symbolized his acceptance of his heroic journey, and the inherent power he possessed. For Rey, however, the meaning is vastly different. The sequel trilogy is very much about passing the torch from the old generation to the new, and unlike in The Force Awakens, Rey is present and accepting of that power, physically and metaphorically, in The Last Jedi, the second installment, rather than the first. Rey is our new hero, now heroine, embarking on her own heroine’s journey.
Now I know not many fans like Kylo Ren, and in fact they perceive him as a whiny emo cry baby, trying his best (and failing) to emulate Grandpa Vader, but his importance in the story cannot be overstated! He is the descendent of Darth Vader, and Leia Organa, and as much as most fans dislike him, that’s just simply a fact! The Star Wars trilogy movies are about the Skywalker family, and he is the new Skywalker of the trilogy. He is important to the cinematic universe as a whole, and characters from the The Force Awakens who easily had double the amount of screen time as him, such as Finn, were purposefully omitted from the poster in lieu of Kylo Ren. Regardless of how much fans like his character, he is going to play a very impactful role in the film to come. I know that he is not the most important character or the focal point of the poster, however, given the overly negative response he solicits from fans, I felt that it is important and necessary to make my position, and the poster’s narrative clear; even if you don’t like his character, Kylo Ren is a key player in the Skywalker family saga, and the cinematic universe as a whole.
When analyzing any piece of artwork, regardless of the the medium, the best jumping off point is the focal point. In The Last Jedi teaser poster, the viewer’s eye is immediately drawn to Rey, brought forth by the strong contrast of the blue halo of light emitting from her lightsaber. In terms of visual hierarchy and storytelling, she is the most important element to not only the poster, but in the movie it represents. Her position, in the lower center of the foreground suggests that she is the most grounded of the three characters, and thus the one that we, as the viewer, is meant to relate to the most. However, she is removed from both Luke and Kylo, positioned below them, which indicates that she was not a initially part of their conflict. And originally, she wasn’t. Rey was just a scavenger, abandoned by her parents on Jakku, struggling each day to survive. At that point, Rey didn’t know or care about the Force, Resistance or the First Order. Her primary goals and motivations were pure and simple, survival.
This coincides with the backstory indicated in not only The Force Awakens but also in Claudia Grey’s novel, Bloodline. There are no indication that either men knew who Rey was or her origins until she found BB-8 and became tangled in fight with the First Order. Luke and Kylo have a contentious and tumultuous past, filled with conflict and anger, as they stand on opposite sides of Rey’s light saber. This is a visual metaphor for the Force, and where Luke and Kylo represent the Light side, and Dark side respectively. Separating them is Rey, and the light of her saber. Although she is removed from their history, Rey has been flung into the foreground of the struggle between opposing sides of the Force. She is part of their present, and thus their future. In short, the resolution of Luke and Kylo’s conflict rests on Rey’s shoulders, both metaphorically and visually in the poster.
The struggle been Kylo Ren and Luke is an interesting and important to the story, but what is more important is what it represents! At its core, Star Wars is a fairy tail, and was intended to tell stories and teach children about the human condition and morality. Understanding every detail of Luke and Kylo’s past is less important as what their struggle represents. It is the timeless struggle of good vs. evil. If the timeline in Bloodline is to be trusted completely, and there are no extra twists and turns in the interum, Kylo Ren turned to the Dark side of the Force approximately six years prior, and has been unable to locate or confront Luke since his disappearance. What has changed in that time? Why will Kylo suddenly be able to locate his former master on Ahch-to? The answer is right in the poster, Rey!
This of course opens the doors to a whole new set of theories, such as a Force Bond, or Snoke obtains a copy of the map and so on. But there is practically no solid evidence to substantiate any of these claims, and at this point, they are pure conjecture.
I also find Rey’s placement in the middle quite interesting in the wider context of the history of the Force itself. One of the central themes Star Wars has always been finding balance. In the prequel trilogy we saw this through Anakin’s development from the heroic Jedi knight, to the Sith Lord, Darth Vader. And yes, Anakin is responsible for choosing his actions and must therefor accept the consequences of such actions, however, the biggest contributing factor to his descent into darkness was the Jedi Order and their absolute refusal to acquiesce to the basic human nature of love and attachment. In fact, one can argue that the Jedi Order is even more barbaric and cruel than the Sith. Companionship and attachment is one of the hallmarks of humanity, and by denying them, they are essentially denying being human. But the Jedi Order in both the prequel and and original trilogy was the personification of the Light side of the Force, while the Sith representing Darkness. Too much of either side’s influence causes the Force to spiral out of balance, and thus the galaxy is thrown into chaos again. This was demonstrated numerous times on both sides, such as Anakin’s betrayal, or the New Republic unknowingly creating the groundwork for the First Order.
In short, the brighter the light, the darker the shadow. Both light and dark must be present in order to achieve balance, and Rey’s placement, directly between the light and dark, makes her the fulcrum, or the point of equilibrium. In essence, it is Rey who is who is going to bring about that balance.
Another interesting observation I made was that all three characters, Luke, Rey and Kylo Ren are all colored in red. I cannot stress this enough, the psychology of color is important! Specific colors invoke particular and subconscious imagery and responses. Color theory and its use in marketing and illustration is a universal language. In fact, color tells just as much, if not more, of a story as the composition! There are two primary colors in the poster, red and blue. Red is the color of darkness, evil and passion. Blue on the other hand conveys serenity and tranquility. Why is Kylo’s lightsaber red? Not because he uses the Dark side of the Force, but because the color red has a strong visual impact and the human brain automatically associates red with darkness and power. It’s no coincidence that the color red is associated with the Sith, while blue is attributed to the Jedi! Everything you see on screen or in print was designed to create a specific response from the viewer and convey as much information as possible with no words.
Further more, in both The Force Awakens and the teaser trailer for The Last Jedi, it’s made quite clear that our heroes and villain are all experiencing a crisis of faith in the Force. Rey had her entire existence turned up on its head looking for guidance and training. Luke, it is suggested, fell into despair and solitude after the death of his acolytes because his teachings and philosophies failed to save his own nephew. Kylo, who just recently murdered his own father in hopes of committing himself entirely to the darkness, felt more weak and confused than ever before (this is said nearly word for work in The Force Awakens novelization). Because the color red is frequently associated with the dark side of the Force, and I find it quite compelling that all three figures are bathed in red. To me, this suggests that the trio are all going to be struggling with their inner demons, which often implies the temptation of the dark side. In fact, the only beacon of light and hope comes from Rey’s light saber. Some have argued that the light comes from Rey herself, but when you compare her upper body to her lower body, you can observe that just like the figures above her, Rey’s form is red, and the blue reflected in her face is emanating from the lightsaber, rather than Rey herself. This coincides with Rian Johnson’s choice to make the Episode VIII title font red, and maintains visual continuity. The most logical conclusion one can extrapolate is in The Last Jedi is going to delve into much deeper and darker overtones and story lines than it’s predecessors.
The positioning of Luke and Kylo in relation to each other is another aspect to this poster that I find intriguing. Luke and Kylo’s heads are above Rey; in this poster they are literally watching over her, and her choice to accept the Skywalker lightsaber. However, they are on opposing sides of the saber, as described above, representing the light and the dark. As a viewer, this design illustrates a sense of tension and conflict in both Luke and Kylo, but also in how they view Rey, and her choices. This image is clearly setting up the overtone that Rey has to struggle between choosing accepting either Luke or Kylo. In other words, it’s another iteration of the never ending struggle between the light and the dark.
Looking back in The Force Awakens for a moment, we remember that Kylo Ren extended the offer to teach Rey, “You need a teacher. I can show you the ways of the Force!” We all know the choice Rey makes at the end of the movie, but what about Luke? Will Luke even want to teach Rey after his previous failings at reviving the old Jedi Order? The following does begin to tread into the territory of conjecture and theorizing, however I do believe there is solid evidence to back up what I am about to speculate, or else I would have omitted it form this analysis. At The Last Jedi panel, Daisy Ridley, under the watchful eye and ear of Kathleen Kennedy, did reveal some very interesting information. We, as the audience were MEANT to know this information prior to viewing the poster, or else the CEO of Lucasfilm would never have permitted that information be divulged (like the Rogue One mishap at Celebration Europe 2016). Summarized, Daisy stated that Rey indeed does meet her hero, Luke Skywalker, and like in real life, how we (Rey) envision our heroes does not always coincide with the reality of our heroes. This very clearly sets up the idea that Rey and Luke are going to have a less than harmonious relationship in The Last Jedi. This is also backed up by some previous leaks and spoilers from MakingStarWars.net, however until we know the veracity of those rumors, I do not treat them as fact, like I do the things said directly from the people at Lucasfilm. The statements from Daisy Ridley at the panel, however, were purposeful in sparking ideas and igniting the flame of this idea that Luke and Rey will not have a peaceful mentor/mentee relationship in the same light as Yoda and Luke’s relationship.
Mentorship has always been another key themes throughout the Star Wars saga, from Anakin’s tutelage under Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn, to Luke studying with Yoda. There is every indication that those reoccurring themes will continue, but in a different fashion. It’s been made pretty clear that Rey is going to struggle with Luke’s training, and we already know of Kylo Ren’s unrelenting conflict within himself, stemming from the teachings of Supreme Leader Snoke. Snoke ordered Kylo to kill his own father, an act that he did follow through with, but the novelization has proven that that act made him more conflicted than ever before. Where it should have brought him strength, instead he found weakness and doubt.
And all of this ties back to Kylo Ren’s original offer to Rey to teach her. It is my belief, based on the evidence above, that Rey is going to struggle between the teachings of Kylo Ren and Luke. You may ask “how will Rey learn from Kylo? They aren’t on the same planet?” Well even that is partially answered in Episode VII, and confirmed in tweets made by Pablo Hidalgo. Pablo definitively said that Rey learned so much so quickly at Starkiller Base because she extracted the information from Kylo Ren’s mind during the infamous interrogation scene. So in a way, Kylo has already become her first mentor.
Both the Light and the Dark are justified in their beliefs and teachings. Adam Driver previously stated in an interview that Kylo Ren vehemently believes he is and was justified in his actions, and it’s quite clear that Luke fully intended to disappear into the galaxy as a frizzled old hermit. What will happen if Luke does not agree to initially train Rey? She has all of these newly awakens powers, and no way to control them. Just like Kylo stated, she really does need a teacher. But which teacher? The Light or the Dark? Or, at what this poster suggests, something in the middle!
By placing both of Rey’s mentors above her, two Force users who are much more skilled and honed than she is, it indicates that both mentors are going to be fighting within Rey’s psyche. Luke will be teaching her one method, while Kylo and his Dark side influence will be pulling Rey in the opposite direction. This is wiring and character growth done right! The setting and characters have been established in the first film of the sequel trilogy, while the second installment places challenges and obstacles in their path. Without those challenges, characters will not grow or develop. Even more evidence for this is Rian Johnson’s prior statements that the characters in The Last Jedi are going to be tested and pushed beyond their limits. What would challenge Rey more than knowing she is can identify and relate to the person she hates the most, Kylo Ren? That would force the characters into a position where they have no choice but to adapt and evolve into something that spans beyond the juxtaposition of the Light and Dark side of the Force.
In other words, Grey Jedi!
Most likely it won’t be in so many words, but the concept behind it will remain the same. A world of Force users that are not bound by the narrow dogmatic codes of the Jedi or Sith! And while I do find both of their ideologies absolutely fascinating an an integral part of the Star Wars canonical universe, by constricting Force sensitives to Jedi/Sith, Good/Evil, Light/Dark is extremely limiting and grossly inhibits the idea of character depth, subtlety, progression and nuance. Maz Kanata and Ahsoka Tano are prime examples of Force sensitive individuals in the Star Wars universe who are canon and are Force sensitive, but do not fall into the dichotomy of Jedi and Sith. There has never been a main hero character in the films (which are the primary story telling means in the entire franchise that reaches the most viewers and has the biggest impact on mainstream pop culture). Luke Skywalker was seen as universal good, the epitome of the Joseph Campbell’s hero, who embarks on heroic journey on behalf of goodness and justice. The passing of the torch from Luke to Rey indicates a paradigm shift in the understanding of the Force for not only the characters but the viewers and fans as well.
The light saber in the poster is another piece of evidence for this! There is no partition between red (Darkness) and blue (Light). Instead there is a gradient emanating from both ends of the lightsaber, further emphasizing that this story will not be so simply as “kill the monster, save the world” but instead of dimensionality and gradation. There is middle ground to be found in the Force between the Light and the Dark, and Rey is the key to unlocking it. Or as Rey quite simply puts it in the trailer “balance.”
On a personal side note, I do believe this teaser poster does further add fuel to the Reylo fire, and it makes be believe even more fervently that Reylo will eventually become canon in some iteration, but I wanted to keep my personal biases and theories out of this analysis. If anyone enjoyed reading this and would like to read my views on The Last Jedi teaser trailer and how it relates to Reylo, I’d be more than happy to comply. But I wanted and needed to get this poster off my chest first. My mind has been boiling over, wanted to put these thoughts down in some sort of organized fashion because as someone who is fluent in the language of illustrations as a medium for visual story telling, this poster blew my mind. I stood just flabbergasted at how blatantly the story implications were, but when I asked people about their thoughts they all came to different conclusions. And yes, that is the point of this poster, to get people talking and theorizing about what it all means, however visual story telling generally complies with a set of rules that are universally, albeit often subconsciously, understood by the viewer.
Whew! I wrote this entire analysis in a single sitting. I apologize if there are any immediate grammatical errors, but I proof read this a number of times, so I am pretty sure that it’s correct.
EDIT: Thank you to @sleemo who helped me fix the grammatical errors in this!
Just catching up on some old finished art I had lying around! Here’s a family portrait of my character Serena da Silva (the short one) with her mother, Magdalena da Silva (in the chair), and two older sisters, Angelina (the blonde) and Catharina (way to the right). This is not my colouring method any more, and the only characters on this who turned out nice are Magdalena and Catharina… But oh well lol, I wanted to share it anyway, so here you go!