Shakespeare Solved ®

Shakespeare Solved ® is a forthcoming series of novels that covers the Bard's entire life and work.

These novels solve the mysteries surrounding Shakespeare by transporting us back in time, to walk in his shoes, and see his world through his eyes.

Only when we see Shakespeare in his original historical context can we understand what his plays and poems really mean.

This blog explains some of my ideas and discoveries, to prepare for this series of novels.

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The University of Oxford's Bodleian Library & The Royal Shakespeare Company

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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Star Wars, Shakespeare and Hamlet

If you have not seen the new Star Wars movie, there are some SPOILERS below. 

Ever since the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, there have been many theories about the characters and the story.

One of the most intriguing theories is that Kylo Ren is actually a good guy!

I like this theory very much, probably because it appeals to my love of Shakespeare, and Hamlet in particular.

Here is the original article I read about this Kylo Ren theory, as it was developed by Letícia Piroutek:

Basically, the idea is that Kylo Ren is a good guy who has to be a bad guy, in order for him to kill Supreme Leader Snoke and save the galaxy.

This makes a lot of sense to me. It would explain why he had to kill Han Solo, his father, in order to prove his worth to Snoke. 

It makes Han’s death a lot more meaningful. Han did not just die, but rather his death was a sacrifice in order to serve a greater purpose — to kill Snoke.

And it adds some subtext to Kylo Ren’s request for Han’s help. Han replies that he would do “anything” for his son. 

Well... “anything” includes sacrificing your life.

This theory would also explain Kylo Ren's "antic disposition" -- why he is so unstable, and acts crazy at times. 

And it would explain why he seems so emotional, and on the verge of crying so often. 

He is so emotional because he is a good man who must do bad things to serve the greater good.

That sounds a lot like Hamlet to me.

Of course, Kylo Ren’s talking to the mask of his dead grandfather Darth Vader is reminiscent of Hamlet with Yorick’s skull.

It is great that this new Star Wars series would borrow some Shakespeare. It certainly adds some depth and emotional complexity.

They certainly chose a great actor, Adam Driver, for Kylo Ren. As the Washington Post puts it: he has “an expressively tortured face worthy of Hamlet.”

In Star Wars episodes 4, 5 and 6 there was always a possibility that Luke would be seduced to the Dark Side and join his father. 

I don’t think anyone seriously ever believed that Luke Skywalker would accept Vader’s invitation, but we the audience were made to believe that it was a possibility. It created dramatic tension.

Well, this is the opposite. We are being shown that Kylo Ren is a bad guy, but there is a real possibility that he is a good guy underneath.

Now the dramatic tension might very well be that he is working for the Light Side.

For all we know, he may indeed want to join forces with Rey in order to defeat Snoke.

I recall correctly, when he faces off with her at the end, he tells her that she needs a teacher, and that he can help her with The Force. He DOES NOT invite her to join him in the Dark Side.

Happy New Year to all of you and May the Force Be With You!


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