"The Empire Needs Children"

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"The Empire Needs Children"

Post by snufkin on Tue 12 Jul 2016 - 10:47

Total speculation tangent, but several of you have mentioned this passage from the latest novel release, which is in regards to Hux's backstory. Specifically the creepy line about how "the Empire needs children."


We already have three central characters with backstories that make them Children of War:

1. Son of rebellion leaders and nephew of last Jedi, targeted and seduced by Snoke for his Force powers. Feels alienated and abandoned as a child by adults in his family.

2. Stormtrooper who breaks programming and defects, mentions being taken from his family as a child with no chance of ever knowing them (paraphrasing but doesn't he say something to that effect in his confession to Rey).

3. Scavenger left behind supposedly by family who's spent most of her childhood and adolescence into young adulthood surviving in a hostile environment because of the misguided belief that somebody will come back for her. Bottom of the social food chain but jokes that she's "classified, a Big Secret" and eventually discovers hidden powers that mark her as one of the strongest/if not strongest FS user in that universe.

Several of you have mentioned the original Lebensborn program during WWII as an analogy. Which is interesting because of the Inspiration for the First Order being like if the Nazis who fled to South America at the end of WWII (most prominent being Josef Mengele) had decided instead to regroup their military and political forces for a continued push to power

http://www.superherohype.com/news/351139-j-j-abrams-reveals-inspiration-for-the-first-order-from-star-wars-the-force-awakens#/slide/1

“That all came out of conversations about what would have happened if the Nazis all went to Argentina but then started working together again?’ What could be born of that? Could The First Order exist as a group that actually admired The Empire? Could the work of The Empire be seen as unfulfilled? And could Vader be a martyr? Could there be a need to see through what didn’t get done?”

Reading that original quote and noticing some of the creepiness around Snoke's interest in Ben that Leia mentions made me think of the old Ira Levin novel The Boys from Brazil (he also wrote Rosemary's Baby), which imagines Mengele is running a secret cloning operation in the hopes of creating a new Hitler. And there's even another creepy real life analogy from Argentina. Where during its Dirty War/military dictatorship, the children of political dissidents who were arrested and murdered (they're literally called the Disappeared) were adopted out to families who had connections/were high up in the military dictatorship. I saw a movie for Spanish class (The Official Story) which dramatizes this story, about what happened when many of these children came of age and started to learn that it wasn't that they were adopted, it was that they were stolen by the people who had murdered their parents. I'm not claiming that anybody behind the scenes in TFA is making overt references to the 1970s military dictatorships in Latin America*, but all of this is definitely fodder for speculation. Because what you definitely see is a scenario of young adults coming to terms with how war has shaped and/or stolen their childhood. And one of the creepiest creeper vibes that I get from Snoke is that he deliberately targeted children across the board, not just Ben, as part of his big evil masterplan.

*though comparing Jakku to Chile's Atacama desert, where there were prison camps for those who were disappeared and murdered by General Pinochet's military junta, doesn't help my brain with not going off on this tangent.


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Re: "The Empire Needs Children"

Post by vaderito on Tue 12 Jul 2016 - 11:21

I don't think that they are going in Boys from Brazil direction since boys were clones. This is not about cloning. But encouraging Empire officers to bring their kids with them and groom them for service in the Empire might explain why FO is so full of young people (Kylo, Hux, Mitaka, assorted extras from the command center, Phasma and Finn-age Storm troopers)
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Re: "The Empire Needs Children"

Post by Sylvia Snow on Tue 12 Jul 2016 - 11:49

Reading the passage make me wonder how Maratelle treated Hux seeing that he is the bastard son of her husband? Is it like GoT in term of how noble class regarding bastards?

In my opinion, Hux never learn how to love or to be loved as a family while Kylo on the other hand, Han and Leia did love him very much but they did not spend enough time with him. Snoke manage to brainwashed both of them but the difference is that the bond of family will forever ties with Kylo alongside with all the feelings and emotion, there will come to a point where Kylo will have to take a steps back because he can't never head down to road Snoke design for him.

But Hux, I think Hux will follow Snoke till his death because there are nothing that ties him, no emotions nor conscience. His role may not be significant in episode VIII, but maybe Hux can still be an example of the Empire's remnant and how corrupt it is to a human being, this make me think about the SS during the rule of Hitler, they enlisted young men and turn them into ruthless soldiers.


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Re: "The Empire Needs Children"

Post by Maria Antonietta on Tue 12 Jul 2016 - 11:56

It's creepier than the Empire dirty job. Hux seems like the Bolton bastard lol!
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Re: "The Empire Needs Children"

Post by snufkin on Tue 12 Jul 2016 - 12:45

It won't be just like the Boys from Brazil because cloning is something that's already been done. But Snoke's creepy interest in Ben (besides reminding me of Miss Havisham and Estella) is literally in his bloodline. Which has the slight whiff of some Eugenics.
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Re: "The Empire Needs Children"

Post by nonesuch on Tue 12 Jul 2016 - 13:03

I actually wrote this before any of the Life Debt spoilers came out, but I want to share this:

http://starwarsnonsense.tumblr.com/post/147198843369/dreams-of-empire-or-hux-and-kylo-as-snokes

My theory entails the following (it's pretty long, so these are the Cliff Notes):

- That Snoke very specifically targeted malleable and vulnerable children, with Armitage Hux and Ben Solo being particularly crucial to his plans.
- That Snoke demands that said children (again, particularly Hux and Kylo) "deny thy father and refuse thy name" in order to pledge absolute loyalty to him.
- You can only have one father. Hux killed his father at Snoke's command, just as Kylo would go on to murder his own father.
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Re: "The Empire Needs Children"

Post by vaderito on Tue 12 Jul 2016 - 13:14

@nonesuch wrote:I actually wrote this before any of the Life Debt spoilers came out, but I want to share this:

http://starwarsnonsense.tumblr.com/post/147198843369/dreams-of-empire-or-hux-and-kylo-as-snokes

My theory entails the following (it's pretty long, so these are the Cliff Notes):

- That Snoke very specifically targeted malleable and vulnerable children, with Armitage Hux and Ben Solo being particularly crucial to his plans.
- That Snoke demands that said children (again, particularly Hux and Kylo) "deny thy father and refuse thy name" in order to pledge absolute loyalty to him.
- You can only have one father. Hux killed his father at Snoke's command, just as Kylo would go on to murder his own father.
@nonesuch

OK, this sounds like Snoke = Rax is a forgone conclusion. Please explain how this reveal will be handled in the movies cause only 0.01% of movie goers reads books. Also, Snoke being just some boy that Palpatine groomed like he did Anakin is a major disappointment. I'm sure that Luke could eat such character for breakfast so his leaving the galaxy to find the answer with the first Jedi temple makes no sense. If Snoke was some ancient evil that only first Jedi knew how to deal with than yes. But this Rax is a recent fellow, since he was a teenager in TP timeline. No need to build Jedi and the Force lore/canon from bottom up for this guy.

I'm just trying to understand why everyone is so in love with this idea cause I think it not only kills any epicness but makes OT characters, who faced worse, look really stupid and weak.
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Re: "The Empire Needs Children"

Post by nonesuch on Tue 12 Jul 2016 - 13:22

@vaderito wrote:
@nonesuch wrote:I actually wrote this before any of the Life Debt spoilers came out, but I want to share this:

http://starwarsnonsense.tumblr.com/post/147198843369/dreams-of-empire-or-hux-and-kylo-as-snokes

My theory entails the following (it's pretty long, so these are the Cliff Notes):

- That Snoke very specifically targeted malleable and vulnerable children, with Armitage Hux and Ben Solo being particularly crucial to his plans.
- That Snoke demands that said children (again, particularly Hux and Kylo) "deny thy father and refuse thy name" in order to pledge absolute loyalty to him.
- You can only have one father. Hux killed his father at Snoke's command, just as Kylo would go on to murder his own father.
@nonesuch

OK, this sounds like Snoke = Rax is forgone conclusion. Please explain how the reveal will be handled in the movies cause only 0.01% of movie goers reads books. Also, Snoke being just some boy that Palpatine groomed like he did Anakin is a major disappointment. I'm sure that Luke could eat such character for breakfast so his leaving the galaxy and going to find the answer with the first Jedi temple makes no sense. If Snoke was some ancient evil that only first Jedi knew how to deal with than yes. But this Rax is a recent fellow, since he was a teenager in TP timeline.

I'm just trying to understand why everyone is so in love with this idea cause I think it not only kills any epicness but makes OT characters, who faced worse, look really stupid and weak.
@vaderito
We're all only speculating, but I'd expect this kind of detail to be conveyed through Hux in VIII. Hux is coming back, and if Rian wants to actually make proper use of him an excellent way to do that would be to present him as a counterpoint to Kylo. If both men killed their fathers at Snoke's bidding, having this come out in VIII could be a very effective way of contrasting how they rationalise their actions and cope with the aftermath of them. And that kind of display is necessary if the film-going audience is to truly understand that murdering Han left Kylo devastated, cracking his faith in the dark side instead of solidifying it.

And Snoke's being ancient isn't necessary for him to be formidable and outpace Luke, Han and Leia. If Snoke is Rax, he had one of the most powerful Sith ever as his teacher and was also in a position to observe and learn from the man's mistakes. Combined with a certain level of innate skill and cunning, it absolutely is possible that he could outmanoeuvre the OT heroes, working quietly to unsettle the foundations they are building and taking advantage of the relative peace to set the board ready for his period as gamemaster to begin. It's all in the execution, so you shouldn't dismiss the idea on the basis of the limited information we have.
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Re: "The Empire Needs Children"

Post by vaderito on Tue 12 Jul 2016 - 13:37

@nonesuch wrote:  
We're all only speculating, but I'd expect this kind of detail to be conveyed through Hux in VIII. Hux is coming back, and if Rian wants to actually make proper use of him an excellent way to do that would be to present him as a counterpoint to Kylo. If both men killed their fathers at Snoke's bidding, having this come out in VIII could be a very effective way of contrasting how they rationalise their actions and cope with the aftermath of them. And that kind of display is necessary if the film-going audience is to truly understand that murdering Han left Kylo devastated, cracking his faith in the dark side instead of solidifying it.

I have to disagree. Hux is not important. never was, never will be. he is just someone who basically makes Kylo look good. No need to go deep into what makes him thick. Classic henchman who's going to get a gory death. Audience doesn't need to know whether he killed his father or not. Also, since Kylo will spend most of time on Ahch-to, there won't be much Kylo and Hux snarkfest or whatever drives Kylux. There won't be any talk about Hux killing his father and if Snoke has any sense of authority, he will kill him at the beginning of the movie for losing SKB. I cnanot imagine that Hux would stay a General after that screw up. That would be terrible writing that panders to Hux fans.

can someone please tweet Pablo about this cause I need this debunk. Rax cannot be Snoke. He must not be Snoke. He must not.


And Snoke's being ancient isn't necessary for him to be formidable and outpace Luke, Han and Leia. If Snoke is Rax, he had one of the most powerful Sith ever as his teacher and was also in a position to observe and learn from the man's mistakes. Combined with a certain level of innate skill and cunning, it absolutely is possible that he could outmanoeuvre the OT heroes, working quietly to unsettle the foundations they are building and taking advantage of the relative peace to set the board ready for his period as gamemaster to begin. It's all in the execution, so you shouldn't dismiss the idea on the basis of the limited information we have.

In short, Palpatine redux. They couldn't see him coming. Zzzzzzzzz. I can't believe that anyone thinks this is good storytelling. It's Cheap redux of Palpatine right down to somehow ending up older than his natural age.

I really hope everyone is wrong and Rax is just someone who resembles Snoke to deceive readers but otherwise is completely different character. And that movies will have enough class to ignore House of Hux classless sexcapades.

someone please ask Pablo.

I cna't believe this. this is a total disaster.
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Re: "The Empire Needs Children"

Post by nonesuch on Tue 12 Jul 2016 - 13:52

@vaderito wrote:
@nonesuch wrote:  
We're all only speculating, but I'd expect this kind of detail to be conveyed through Hux in VIII. Hux is coming back, and if Rian wants to actually make proper use of him an excellent way to do that would be to present him as a counterpoint to Kylo. If both men killed their fathers at Snoke's bidding, having this come out in VIII could be a very effective way of contrasting how they rationalise their actions and cope with the aftermath of them. And that kind of display is necessary if the film-going audience is to truly understand that murdering Han left Kylo devastated, cracking his faith in the dark side instead of solidifying it.

I have to disagree. Hux is not important. never was, never will be. he is just someone who basically makes Kylo look good. No need to go deep into what makes him thick. Classic henchman who's going to get a gory death. Audience doesn't need to know whether he killed his father or not. Also, since Kylo will spend most of time on Ahch-to, there won't be much Kylo and Hux snarkfest or whatever drives Kylux. There won't be any talk about Hux killing his father and if Snoke has any sense of authority, he will kill him at the beginning of the movie for losing SKB. I cnanot imagine that Hux would stay a General after that screw up. That would be terrible writing that panders to Hux fans.

can someone please tweet Pablo about this cause I need this debunk. Rax cannot be Snoke. He must not be Snoke. He must not.


And Snoke's being ancient isn't necessary for him to be formidable and outpace Luke, Han and Leia. If Snoke is Rax, he had one of the most powerful Sith ever as his teacher and was also in a position to observe and learn from the man's mistakes. Combined with a certain level of innate skill and cunning, it absolutely is possible that he could outmanoeuvre the OT heroes, working quietly to unsettle the foundations they are building and taking advantage of the relative peace to set the board ready for his period as gamemaster to begin. It's all in the execution, so you shouldn't dismiss the idea on the basis of the limited information we have.

In short, Palpatine redux. They couldn't see him coming. Zzzzzzzzz. I can't believe that anyone thinks this is good storytelling. It's Cheap redux of Palpatine right down to somehow ending up older than his natural age.

I really hope everyone is wrong and Rax is just someone who resembles Snoke to deceive readers but otherwise is completely different character. And that movies will have enough class to ignore House of Hux classless sexcapades.

someone please ask Pablo.

I cna't believe this. this is a total disaster.
@vaderito

These are your opinions, and while you are certainly entitled to them Rax's being Snoke is not the narrative disaster you insist it to be. We have over a year left to wait for VIII to come out. It's really not worth angsting over this purely because the direction it suggests doesn't adhere to your idea of where the story should have gone.

And you don't know that Hux is unimportant in the greater scheme of things. I would argue the opposite - that he absolutely is important. He is the head of the First Order beneath Snoke. Hux controls the military might of the First Order on Snoke's behalf, just as Kylo (in theory) exercises the dark side of the Force at the behest of his master. They are parallels are counterpoints to each other, and I fully expect that to be expanded upon in VIII and further tie-in materials. You shouldn't let your personal distaste for the character blinker you to the many narrative possibilities that are open to the filmmakers. It takes the fun out of things.

And Pablo isn't going to give straightforward answers if anyone directly asks him 'Is Rax Snoke?' I'm looking forward to some other-level snark on the subject.
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Re: "The Empire Needs Children"

Post by vaderito on Tue 12 Jul 2016 - 13:57

@nonesuch wrote:

These are your opinions, and while you are certainly entitled to them Rax's being Snoke is not the narrative disaster you insist it to be. We have over a year left to wait for VIII to come out. It's really not worth angsting over this purely because the direction it suggests doesn't adhere to your idea of where the story should have gone.

And you don't know that Hux is unimportant in the greater scheme of things. I would argue the opposite - that he absolutely is important. He is the head of the First Order beneath Snoke. Hux controls the military might of the First Order on Snoke's behalf, just as Kylo (in theory) exercises the dark side of the Force at the behest of his master. They are parallels are counterpoints to each other, and I fully expect that to be expanded upon in VIII and further tie-in materials. You shouldn't let your personal distaste for the character blinker you to the many narrative possibilities that are open to the filmmakers. It takes the fun out of things.

And Pablo isn't going to give straightforward answers if anyone directly asks him 'Is Rax Snoke?' I'm looking forward to some other-level snark on the subject.
@nonesuch

no, it's an absolute narrative disaster because Rax wa sgathering various Empire officer's kids and that's not how it should be. Kylo should be the only one targeted. That's what JJ said. he is special. Not Hux. So if Rax = Snoke than Kylo isn't special anymore cause Snoke targeted others as well. That's bad. The whole point of his fall that he was targeted since childhood. I don't understand why noone cna see the problem. Also, that he wa stargeted makes him sympathetic. Making Hux sympathetic completely works against that. The point was to contrast them and show that one is a Nazi zealot (who cares how he got there, it isn't his story) and the other one is conflicted misguided young man.

Oh, and lets not pretend that many people cared for Hux until that sappy crap about being illegitimate child. Now everyone on Tumblr wants him to be one of movie heroes. He's not getting more screen time or more importance outside of barking orders to fire this and that weapon. There.
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Re: "The Empire Needs Children"

Post by Rimfaxe96 on Tue 12 Jul 2016 - 13:58

What a disturbing train of thoughts (especially because I'm German and so have been taught in detail about the Lebensborn stuff... yuck).

But I'm also kinda surprised by the 'bastard boy' twist. When would a high ranking official of an Empire-like organization ever find the time to hang around in the kitchens a lot? Shocked
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Re: "The Empire Needs Children"

Post by ZioRen on Tue 12 Jul 2016 - 14:08

@vaderito wrote:
no, it's an absolute narrative disaster because Rax wa sgathering various Empire officer's kids and that's not how it should be. Kylo should be the only one targeted. That's what JJ said. he is special. Not Hux. So if Rax = Snoke than Kylo isn't special anymore cause Snoke targeted others as well. That's bad. The whole point of his fall that he was targeted since childhood. I don't understand why noone cna see the problem. Also, that he wa stargeted makes him sympathetic. Making Hux sympathetic completely works against that. The point was to contrast them and show that one is a Nazi zealot (who cares how he got there, it isn't his story) and the other one is conflicted misguided young man.

Oh, and lets not pretend that many people cared for Hux until that sappy crap about being illegitimate child. Now everyone on Tumblr wants him to be one of movie heroes. He's not getting more screen time or more importance outside of barking orders to fire this and that weapon. There.
@vaderito

I wouldn't be so worried over this, really! I'll admit that my knee-jerk reaction to the details about Hux in Life Debt was also frustration at Hux encroaching on Kylo's narrative territory, and possibly making Kylo look somewhat unsympathetic by comparison with his possibly horrible, basically child soldier past. And I'm already admittedly worried about how sympathetic they present Kylo. I really wasn't happy with this just a couple of days ago, but I'm getting over it.

Keep in mind that this doesn't mean that Kylo "isn't special". Kylo is from a very powerful bloodline and is strong in the Force, which it seems Snoke needs. Heck, for all we know Hux is there not just to lead the First Order, but to specifically bolster Kylo by providing him a rival. I wouldn't put it past Snoke to do that. Snoke is definitely focused most on Kylo from everything we've seen, and that gets doubled if he really is Rax. That means he's connected to Palpatine, which makes it even more obvious that he'd become very focused on Vader's descendant. It would make the idea that Snoke has been waiting for Kylo since before he was born all but certain.

But honestly, Kylo being "special" isn't much of a boon to him. It's a way of Snoke manipulating him. Right now he's just a pawn and he's being used. As I think I've said elsewhere, I wouldn't be entirely surprised if Snoke starts pursuing Rey instead, which would hammer home to Kylo just how disposable he really is and cause a crack in this mentality he's built up of having a bigger destiny under Snoke. And that NEEDS to happen for him to start turning himself around.

I agree with nonesuch that Hux will provide an interesting counterpoint if he's used right. His sad past may even be a way of distinguishing and highlighting Kylo's future path. As in Kylo overcomes, while Hux succumbs. Though I don't think much of Hux's past will make it into the movies, so most people won't know about that.


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Re: "The Empire Needs Children"

Post by nonesuch on Tue 12 Jul 2016 - 14:09

@vaderito wrote:
@nonesuch wrote:

These are your opinions, and while you are certainly entitled to them Rax's being Snoke is not the narrative disaster you insist it to be. We have over a year left to wait for VIII to come out. It's really not worth angsting over this purely because the direction it suggests doesn't adhere to your idea of where the story should have gone.

And you don't know that Hux is unimportant in the greater scheme of things. I would argue the opposite - that he absolutely is important. He is the head of the First Order beneath Snoke. Hux controls the military might of the First Order on Snoke's behalf, just as Kylo (in theory) exercises the dark side of the Force at the behest of his master. They are parallels are counterpoints to each other, and I fully expect that to be expanded upon in VIII and further tie-in materials. You shouldn't let your personal distaste for the character blinker you to the many narrative possibilities that are open to the filmmakers. It takes the fun out of things.

And Pablo isn't going to give straightforward answers if anyone directly asks him 'Is Rax Snoke?' I'm looking forward to some other-level snark on the subject.
@nonesuch

no, it's an absolute narrative disaster because Rax wa sgathering various Empire officer's kids and that's not how it should be. Kylo should be the only one targeted. That's what JJ said. he is special. Not Hux. So if Rax = Snoke than Kylo isn't special anymore cause Snoke targeted others as well. That's bad. The whole point of his fall that he was targeted since childhood. I don't understand why noone cna see the problem. Also, that he wa stargeted makes him sympathetic. Making Hux sympathetic completely works against that. The point was to contrast them and show that one is a Nazi zealot (who cares how he got there, it isn't his story) and the other one is conflicted misguided young man.

Oh, and lets not pretend that many people cared for Hux until that sappy crap about being illegitimate child. Now everyone on Tumblr wants him to be one of movie heroes. He's not getting more screen time or more importance outside of barking orders to fire this and that weapon. There.
@vaderito

Snoke is meant to be a master manipulator and grand chessmaster of sorts, and you can't play chess with a single piece. His intelligence would be completely undermined if he only focused his attentions on Ben Solo, ignoring the potential usefulness of the children belonging to other factions and in possession of different skills (such as Armitage Hux). The saying 'don't put all your eggs in one basket' would appear to be one that Snoke took to heart.

Having other people be important to Snoke's plan doesn't take away from Kylo Ren's importance in his own right - I'm sure he was Snoke's ultimate prize from the moment of his birth. Kylo is no less important because other children were also factored into Snoke's plans.

And Hux is a fun character - I like him and I'm looking forward to seeing more of him in VIII. There is no need to be quite so aggressive about your distaste for him.
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Re: "The Empire Needs Children"

Post by panki on Tue 12 Jul 2016 - 14:14

@snufkin .... I absolutely love your post on the parallels between the book 'The Boys from Brazil' and the prison comps in the Atacama desert with the child 'recruitment' of the FO. In the novel Before the Awakening, Finn got into trouble because he tried to help his friend Slips and while Phasma did protect him, she did have an issue with his empathy...so it looks like these children were brought in at a young age and made to care for nothing else by the FO. Speaking of the Lebensborn program, I remember reading somewhere about how children were forcibly taken from parents for genetic screening and if they failed, they were sent to camps.... if they cleared, they were sent for indoctrination... younger children were told their parents abandoned them while older children were beaten if they didn't co-operate... finally if those children still did not co-operate, they were sent to camps as well. I wonder if they have adopted some of these things in the SW universe..

The Secret Academy novel has a chilling conversation by Brendol Hux on this subject. He had a group of cadets he deemed better than the others and initiation was killing a weaker fellow cadet at the academy (just shows you how far they're willing to go with this trilogy considering this is a junior novel). He draws an analogy to nerfs who stray to the sea side and get killed by sea creatures. He said that the nerfs should be trained from birth to avoid the sea and those that do not co-operate must be culled. He explained how this principle could be applied to soldiers as well. I can just imagine baby Armitage growing up on a steady diet of this poison from childhood.

There is one more character who we don't discuss much but I feel his backstory is important here- Poe. People assume he had some idyllic childhood but that was not exactly true... his mother (and possibly father) was killed when he was 8 years old and he was brought up by his mother's former squadron leader. His mother was a decorated pilot, a friend of Leia, had a force tree in her backyard and lived on a moon of Yavin (a planet known for ancient sith shrines)... this makes me wonder whether he was the target of a kidnapping attempt by the FO which was foiled but his mother died protecting him (she left the rebels because she wanted to be with her 2 year old son)....again, I don't think we'll see this in a movie.. there is a novel relating to Poe coming out later this year... I won't be surprised if this is discussed there.

Now going back to Kylo... I still feel Leia and Han sent Kylo to Luke not only because he was force sensitive but because he might have been kidnapped at some point as a child and they felt he might be safer with Luke. I am reminded of the movie Salt here... I wont be surprised if they got Ben back but Snoke had already managed to put something into his mind, ready to be activated at the right time and thoughts that his family abandoned him and didn't love him (Han Solo can't save you now)....and the Vader reveal was the right time....even if Kylo doesn't like where he is or what he is doing, he seems to think he has no choice. I'm still inclined to believe Kylo is sticking around with his own plans to kill of Snoke or the bigger bad eventually but he is probably treating it like a suicide mission of sorts because he thinks he has nothing left to live for thanks to Snoke breaking him down over the years.

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Re: "The Empire Needs Children"

Post by snufkin on Tue 12 Jul 2016 - 14:56

@panki - I swear that this place is the one and only time in my life where being the kid who wasn't allowed to watch much TV and instead read a lot of books and see movies has paid off socially (I always miss the TV references when people have childhood nostalgia conversations).  I'd love to know the full extent of whatever conversation Lawrence Kasdan and JJ Abrams had about comparing the First Order to the Nazis who hid among the wave of European immigrants that came to South America after WWII. After I read those two comments, it stuck in my brain and then I remembered the Boys from Brazil paperback my parents had, plus seeing The Official Story for Spanish class. And another interview where they mentioned the Atacama Desert as the original inspiration for Jakku -  I saw Nostalgia for the Light a couple years back.  Isn't Pablo Hidalgo's background Chilean? He seems about the right age to be part of the generation that fled after Pinochet's coup (I had several classmates growing up who had come here from Chile for that reason). So those two references to Argentina and Chile stuck in my head and then firing around with different movies and books that I've read related to the post war and military dictatorships in that region. I'm thinking way more about this than the filmmakers/writers probably ever did, but it's enough of a mental model to put the First Order into context for me.

And I agree with all of what you're saying. Stolen childhoods seems to be a common theme between the four main characters and also something that's in the fabric of how Snoke pulls together the First Order. Including the very creepy scenario that Ben may have been abducted or turned into some kind of Manchurian Candidate.

Duh - edited to add. I forgot about the whole angle besides referencing the Lebensborn through stolen children is that the Knights of Ren, the quest for Jedi and Sith relics, and Vaders helmet are a reference to Ahnenerbe. Who were the bad guys in Raiders of the Lost Ark, also written by Lawrence Kasdan. And with the title of one tie-in novel being Bloodline, you'd suspect that Ben is treated by Snoke as the biggest relic in his collection, including dressing him up like his grandfather.
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Re: "The Empire Needs Children"

Post by ZioRen on Tue 12 Jul 2016 - 16:08

@snufkin wrote:@panki - I swear that this place is the one and only time in my life where being the kid who wasn't allowed to watch much TV and instead read a lot of books and see movies has paid off socially (I always miss the TV references when people have childhood nostalgia conversations).  I'd love to know the full extent of whatever conversation Lawrence Kasdan and JJ Abrams had about comparing the First Order to the Nazis who hid among the wave of European immigrants that came to South America after WWII. After I read those two comments, it stuck in my brain and then I remembered the Boys from Brazil paperback my parents had, plus seeing The Official Story for Spanish class. And another interview where they mentioned the Atacama Desert as the original inspiration for Jakku -  I saw Nostalgia for the Light a couple years back.  Isn't Pablo Hidalgo's background Chilean? He seems about the right age to be part of the generation that fled after Pinochet's coup (I had several classmates growing up who had come here from Chile for that reason). So those two references to Argentina and Chile stuck in my head and then firing around with different movies and books that I've read related to the post war and military dictatorships in that region. I'm thinking way more about this than the filmmakers/writers probably ever did, but it's enough of a mental model to put the First Order into context for me.

And I agree with all of what you're saying. Stolen childhoods seems to be a common theme between the four main characters and also something that's in the fabric of how Snoke pulls together the First Order. Including the very creepy scenario that Ben may have been abducted or turned into some kind of Manchurian Candidate.

Duh - edited to add. I forgot about the whole angle besides referencing the Lebensborn through stolen children is that the Knights of Ren, the quest for Jedi and Sith relics, and Vaders helmet are a reference to Ahnenerbe. Who were the bad guys in Raiders of the Lost Ark, also written by Lawrence Kasdan. And with the title of one tie-in novel being Bloodline, you'd suspect that Ben is treated by Snoke as the biggest relic in his collection, including dressing him up like his grandfather.
@snufkin

As interesting as this idea is, I doubt it. And why I doubt it actually goes back to the ancient drama surrounding Pablo's tweets about Kylo. The fact that he compares Kylo to Rey's past and says that Kylo being an "awful s***" was a factor in his choices and that he has personal accountability, pretty much negates the idea that he was full on brainwashed. Unless Pablo was trying to throw people off the mark.
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Re: "The Empire Needs Children"

Post by panki on Tue 12 Jul 2016 - 16:28

@ZioRen wrote:
@snufkin wrote:@panki - I swear that this place is the one and only time in my life where being the kid who wasn't allowed to watch much TV and instead read a lot of books and see movies has paid off socially (I always miss the TV references when people have childhood nostalgia conversations).  I'd love to know the full extent of whatever conversation Lawrence Kasdan and JJ Abrams had about comparing the First Order to the Nazis who hid among the wave of European immigrants that came to South America after WWII. After I read those two comments, it stuck in my brain and then I remembered the Boys from Brazil paperback my parents had, plus seeing The Official Story for Spanish class. And another interview where they mentioned the Atacama Desert as the original inspiration for Jakku -  I saw Nostalgia for the Light a couple years back.  Isn't Pablo Hidalgo's background Chilean? He seems about the right age to be part of the generation that fled after Pinochet's coup (I had several classmates growing up who had come here from Chile for that reason). So those two references to Argentina and Chile stuck in my head and then firing around with different movies and books that I've read related to the post war and military dictatorships in that region. I'm thinking way more about this than the filmmakers/writers probably ever did, but it's enough of a mental model to put the First Order into context for me.

And I agree with all of what you're saying. Stolen childhoods seems to be a common theme between the four main characters and also something that's in the fabric of how Snoke pulls together the First Order. Including the very creepy scenario that Ben may have been abducted or turned into some kind of Manchurian Candidate.

Duh - edited to add. I forgot about the whole angle besides referencing the Lebensborn through stolen children is that the Knights of Ren, the quest for Jedi and Sith relics, and Vaders helmet are a reference to Ahnenerbe. Who were the bad guys in Raiders of the Lost Ark, also written by Lawrence Kasdan. And with the title of one tie-in novel being Bloodline, you'd suspect that Ben is treated by Snoke as the biggest relic in his collection, including dressing him up like his grandfather.
@snufkin

As interesting as this idea is, I doubt it. And why I doubt it actually goes back to the ancient drama surrounding Pablo's tweets about Kylo. The fact that he compares Kylo to Rey's past and says that Kylo being an "awful s***" was a factor in his choices and that he has personal accountability, pretty much negates the idea that he was full on brainwashed. Unless Pablo was trying to throw people off the mark.
@ZioRen

Based on what they've been showing us in canon, it can actually go either way.... we have stories where people have the choice between the light and the dark side ...and we have stories of manchurian candidate characters as well (getting possessed by ancient sith artifacts)..... so Kylo's story could go either way here....sometimes I wonder if they've left it open ended to check audience response and they'll take a direction accordingly.

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Re: "The Empire Needs Children"

Post by vaderito on Tue 12 Jul 2016 - 18:45

Bullet point by bullet point why Life Debt contradicts TFA and should be ignored in VIII and IX:


"Perhaps Supreme Leader should use clone Army" - implies that Snoke isn't sold on Hux's program. Likewise, Hux taking offense shows loyalty to his father's work (now that we know Brendol was the mastermind). Both things clash with the book. If Snoke = Rax than why would be think about clone army? If Brendol was a jerk to Hux who ended up killing him, why is Hux fiercely defensive of daddy's work?

"Jakku? Who wants to go back to Jakku? It's a junkyard!" "Thank you!" "a scavenger from inconsequential Jakku" - the whole point is that Jakku is a backwater, a junkyard! Not a place of special importance. Rey's life was threatened to be like that old woman's if she stayed. So getting off Jakku was the best thing ever. Yet this stupid book spoonfed us that Jakku is important, heck, most important thing ever. They aren't filming on jakku anymore! So what the heck?

"Even you, the master of Knights of Ren has never faced such a test". Even you. Means that patricide is too big a deal for ordinary people and Kylo isn't ordinary yet Snoke isn't sure if he'd go through with it. If he made Hux do it than why make such big deal that "even master of knights of Ren" has never faced such a test?

TFA absolutely 100% did NOT try to make Hux look better and more sympathetic than Kylo. Never. I don't know why Life Debt is doing it but movies will ignore it no matter how much Tumblrinas demand a Hux movie. Nobody's gonna re-shoot VIII or change plans for IX to shoe-horn sympathetic, 3 dimensional Hux. Not after this:



Once you go full crack you never go back. Wendig took a real cheap shot at Kylo with this pathetic attempt to humanize Space Adolf by giving him the same tragic event except that Hux hated his evil dad while Kylo loved his good dad which takes away from Kylo's tragedy, and, worse, makes Hux look better cause can you blame him for snuffing Brendol? It's absolutely unacceptable to give a marginal character the same big thing given to a major character. They could've had him kill his half brother out of jealousy but not father. I cannot fathom why LF allowed this to be canon! probably because nobody but 0.0001% of movie goers read this POS.



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Re: "The Empire Needs Children"

Post by Search Your Feelings on Tue 12 Jul 2016 - 19:11

What was interesting about Hux is that, in addition to his sneery, sycophantic character, he was a terrible general when it came down to it.

SKB was imploding, his men were panicking ("Stay at your stations!" "Even Hux is gone!"), no one knew where he was. Hux, as their general, should've been telling his men to save themselves and then run to Snoke, not abandon them.

I really enjoy Hux and Kylo's rivalry and bickering, however. Laughing
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Re: "The Empire Needs Children"

Post by vaderito on Tue 12 Jul 2016 - 19:38

@Search Your Feelings wrote:What was interesting about Hux is that, in addition to his sneery, sycophantic character,  he was a terrible general when it came down to it.

SKB was imploding, his men were panicking ("Stay at your stations!" "Even Hux is gone!"), no one knew where he was.  Hux, as their general, should've been telling his men to save themselves and then run to Snoke, not abandon them.

I really enjoy Hux and Kylo's rivalry and bickering, however. Laughing
@Search Your Feelings

He's a type of character that shouldn't be killed by one designated person but simply left behind by his men due to poor leadership skills. "Even Hux is gone" says it all. Captain should never leave the ship first.
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Re: "The Empire Needs Children"

Post by Sylvia Snow on Tue 12 Jul 2016 - 20:58

@vaderito wrote:
@Search Your Feelings wrote:What was interesting about Hux is that, in addition to his sneery, sycophantic character,  he was a terrible general when it came down to it.

SKB was imploding, his men were panicking ("Stay at your stations!" "Even Hux is gone!"), no one knew where he was.  Hux, as their general, should've been telling his men to save themselves and then run to Snoke, not abandon them.

I really enjoy Hux and Kylo's rivalry and bickering, however. Laughing
@Search Your Feelings

He's a type of character that shouldn't be killed by one designated person but simply left behind by his men due to poor leadership skills. "Even Hux is gone" says it all. Captain should never leave the ship first.
@vaderito

I don't think Hux know how to be a General nor does he have any opinions but things that Snoke taught or told him to do. He even don't have a sense that he need to take responsibility for those men who serve under him, Phasma even take times to remember all the names of her Troopers, that is dedication and on a certain level, she did care for them. But Hux possibly only see those people as replaceable tools for the wealthfare of the FO.

Kylo point out all the fault in his programs but Hux immediately become offended, Hux is so arrogant on how perfect his "successful programs". He abandoned his men during a crisis, to go look for guidance from Snoke, risking his own life while doing just to know what the Supreme Leader wanted. This show how mindless Hux have become. One of the finest puppet, sadly
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Re: "The Empire Needs Children"

Post by motherofpearl1 on Wed 13 Jul 2016 - 4:16

I don't think they're trying to make Hux too sympathetic, I think what they are trying to do is show that the 'baddies' are three dimensional, rather than one note villains so to speak - even Hux was a kid once!
You only have to look at Kylo and Hux to see how different they are - both fanatics in their own way, but Kylo's unstable behaviour is very obviously a sign of mental illness while Hux behaves more like someone with 100% faith in his own convictions.

What is more worrying to me is if Rian decides to go with a theory that Kylo simply chose his path due to political belief rather than any kind of childhood trauma; I can accept both but Kylo's behaviour is so much like that of an abuse victim that I would find it a betrayal of the character so to speak. Hux is the one who I can see making a decision based on politics, his icy control and firm belief in the 'glory' of the First Order shows that.

Kylo seems to be trying to emulate him in this conviction and somewhat failing.
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Re: "The Empire Needs Children"

Post by Blackcanary on Wed 13 Jul 2016 - 4:38

@vaderito wrote:Bullet point by bullet point why Life Debt contradicts TFA and should be ignored in VIII and IX:


"Perhaps Supreme Leader should use clone Army" - implies that Snoke isn't sold on Hux's program. Likewise, Hux taking offense shows loyalty to his father's work (now that we know Brendol was the mastermind). Both things clash with the book. If Snoke = Rax than why would be think about clone army? If Brendol was a jerk to Hux who ended up killing him, why is Hux fiercely defensive of daddy's work?

"Jakku? Who wants to go back to Jakku? It's a junkyard!" "Thank you!" "a scavenger from inconsequential Jakku" - the whole point is that Jakku is a backwater, a junkyard! Not a place of special importance. Rey's life was threatened to be like that old woman's if she stayed. So getting off Jakku was the best thing ever. Yet this stupid book spoonfed us that Jakku is important, heck, most important thing ever. They aren't filming on jakku anymore! So what the heck?

"Even you, the master of Knights of Ren has never faced such a test". Even you. Means that patricide is too big a deal for ordinary people and Kylo isn't ordinary yet Snoke isn't sure if he'd go through with it. If he made Hux do it than why make such big deal that "even master of knights of Ren" has never faced such a test?

TFA absolutely 100% did NOT try to make Hux look better and more sympathetic than Kylo. Never. I don't know why Life Debt is doing it but movies will ignore it no matter how much Tumblrinas demand a Hux movie. Nobody's gonna re-shoot VIII or change plans for IX to shoe-horn sympathetic, 3 dimensional Hux. Not after this:

Once you go full crack you never go back. Wendig took a real cheap shot at Kylo with this pathetic attempt to humanize Space Adolf by giving him the same tragic event except that Hux hated his evil dad while Kylo loved his good dad which takes away from Kylo's tragedy, and, worse, makes Hux look better cause can you blame him for snuffing Brendol? It's absolutely unacceptable to give a marginal character the same big thing given to a major character. They could've had him kill his half brother out of jealousy but not father. I cannot fathom why LF allowed this to be canon! probably because nobody but 0.0001% of movie goers read this POS.



@vaderito

The 'maybe the supreme leader should consider using a clone army' line is Kylo needling Hux. It doesn't tell us anything about Snoke's position on it.

Jakku isn't important to our main characters yet. They weren't around for the events of 'Life Debt' after all. To them it's just a dull ocean of sand. They get to uncover its secrets at a later date.

We have no idea how Hux felt about his dad or indeed what happened to Hux Senior. It may be that his humble beginnings and his father's scorn made him desperate to please and work to be the man he thought his father wanted - turning him into the man we see in TFA.

Will that matter in the long-run in the films? Probably not. But it's the duty of tie-in novels like this to provide us with information that fleshes out and complements what we see on screen. Giving Hux motivations and backstory beyond 'angry space Nazi' does just that, without needing to woobify him.

There is a story group. They develop canon together. This book is canon. Throwing a tantrum doesn't make it any less canon.

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Re: "The Empire Needs Children"

Post by motherofpearl1 on Wed 13 Jul 2016 - 5:10

I have the feeling we are going to find out something really juicy regarding Kylo in Episode VIII.
Why? Because none of these tie in novels have so far revealed anything about his backstory, or what turned him. Bloodline simply mentions that he was 23, and that Leia believed him to be 'happy' - something Adam and JJ have refuted on film.

Life Debt gives us some more history regarding Poe and Hux, but again, nothing about Kylo - or Rey.
Which gives me the impression that they are waiting for the movies to spring the big reveal! And that it's going to be big!
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