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Fan Theory Madness: Rewriting the Rise of Skywalker ending and a Morbius mystery
Welcome to Fan Theory Madness, your guide to what fan theories, good and bad, are taking the internet by storm!
With so many fan theories floating around the web, it can be hard to know which ones to take seriously and which ones are wildly off the mark. Some theories are brilliant breakthroughs that reveal a whole new understanding of what a work of fiction means, or they're spot-on predictions about what's going to happen in the next installment. Others are specious bunk, deeply flawed theories that nevertheless get aggregated by some of the less scrupulous news sites.
It wasn't the busiest week for fan theories, but there were still a couple of theories that made the rounds that are worth noting. First, there's a cockamamie theory about Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Then, we'll address a Spider-Man: Homecoming extra who sparked a Morbius fan theory. Finally, we'll finish with some news that is not a fan theory in the traditional sense, but it was packaged as one because you gotta get that sweet, sweet SEO juice, baby!
LEIA USED THE FORCE TO PROJECT KYLO REN'S BODY TO SAVE REY
This fan theory "solves" a problem that didn't need solving. Essentially, it argues that Kylo Ren actually did die when Palpatine threw him into that pit during The Rise of Skywalker's big final battle. It wasn't actually Kylo who climbed up from the pit to revive Rey after she defeated her grandpa. Instead, the theory posits, that was Leia, Force-projecting herself but altering her appearance to look like her son for Rey's comfort. This is why "Kylo" disappears so quickly after saving Rey, and why Leia's comatose body disappears at the same time — because they were one and the same.
This is insanity. From a narrative perspective, it makes no sense that Leia and Rey would share their final moment, as the entire point of the trilogy seemed to be focused on the relationship between Rey and Kylo. For Leia to swoop in, even if she's essentially wearing her son's skin, misses the point of their relationships — and it means that Kylo's actual last moment on screen was when he got chucked into a hole. That's not fulfilling storytelling.
Also, this theory would make the much-debated Rey-Kylo kiss even weirder, because it would mean that it was actually Leia going in for the smooch. This is one of those theories that's too busy looking for upvotes on Reddit and clues that aren't actually there, and as a result, it totally ignores the fundamentals of storytelling in favor of a nonsensical twist. It's bad.
MORBIUS WAS IN SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING'S POST-CREDITS SCENE
There's actually going to be a Morbius movie, which is still kind of unbelievable. But, it's not as far-fetched as this theory, which is really reaching to draw a connection between the MCU and Sony's Spider-Man franchise. Granted, Michael Keaton's appearance in the Morbius trailer seems to suggest that his Homecoming villain, Vulture, might really be in Morbius, but this theory attempt to retroactively create a cameo in the other direction.
In Homecoming's post-credits scene, a now-imprisoned Vulture encounters another Spider-Man villain (believed to be the MCU's Scorpion). As they talk, other inmates walk by them, including an out-of-focus man with long hair and a short beard. He kind of looks like Jared Leto's Morbius. Does this mean that Morbius was in Homecoming from the very beginning?
No, no, no, no.
Spider-Man: Homecoming came out in July of 2017. The Morbius movie wasn't announced until November of that year, and Jared Leto wasn't cast until June 2018. It seems pretty impossible, then, that Sony and Marvel Studios could have snuck him into the background of a Homecoming scene. It's definitely an extra, not Leto, and almost certainly not intended to be a Morbius cameo. (There's a chance that Sony could retroactively make the cameo canon, as Marvel did with the fan theory that young Peter Parker appeared in Iron Man 2, but that's a whole different beast).
Also, if we want to get too deep into this misguided theory, if Morbius is in jail in Homecoming, that would mean that the events of the upcoming solo film would need to take place in 2017 because Morbius the bold doctor certainly doesn't seem like an ex-con.
DC AND MARVEL AREN'T RIVALS… WAIT THIS ISN'T A FAN THEORY
In a tweet, Guardians of the Galaxy and The Suicide Squad director James Gunn claimed that there isn't actually much of a rivalry between the Marvel movies and the DC movies. This is a worthwhile little news story. Gunn is one of a few directors who has worked for both franchises, as Warner Bros. hired him to direct The Suicide Squad after Disney fired him when a targeted alt-right campaign recirculated some of his old offensive joke tweets. (Disney later re-hired him to direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, although it was delayed because he needed to finish his DC movie first.)
"I can't remember anyone at either Marvel or DC ever condemning the other company," he tweeted. "I think there's probably slightly less competition between Marvel & DC than between Marvel or DC & all other movies. After all, we are in very similar boats, relatively speaking."
While I'm sure both Disney and Warner Bros. would prefer that their superhero movie dominate the box office rather than the competition's, Gunn's probably right that there isn't a fanboy-style rivalry or any real animosity. It's just weird that at least one entertainment news outlet framed Gunn's tweet as debunking a theory. Is it really a fan theory to think that Marvel and DC have a rivalry? Maybe not, but it apparently does make for a more clickable headline.