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The Week in Fan Theories: James Bond's new villain, Reylo, and my own Frozen hell
Welcome to The Week in Fan Theories, 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.
After taking a break for Thanksgiving, The Week in Fan Theories is back, and there is a lot to discuss and/or debunk. Let's get back in the swing of things with a James Bond theory that actually looks pretty good, J.J. Abrams euthanizing a Rise of Skywalker theory, and we'll finish with a brief moment of hope before I'm dragged, dead-eyed and without resistance, into hell.
NO TIME TO DIE IS BRINGING BACK DR. NO
The first trailer for the 25th James Bond movie hit the web on Wednesday, and it's sparked a theory about the true identity of Rami Malek's character. Even after the trailer, we don't know much about the new villain, who is supposedly named "Safin" and wears a scary opera mask. But, this theory suggests he's a new take on a classic James Bond villain — Dr. Julius No, the baddie in the very first Sean Connery film.
Bond fans on Reddit noted that some of the sets in the trailer resemble the retro laboratory where Dr. No operated in the 1962 film. Dr. No also has ties with Spectre, and with Christoph Waltz returning as the evil organization's leader, Blofeld, it seems possible Dr. No could make a return as well. Heck, the word "No" is even in the title, No Time to Die. It would be thematically fitting if Craig's Bond career, which began with a modern take on the first Bond book, Casino Royale, ended by bringing back the villain from the first Bond movie, Dr. No.
Of course, if Safin is Dr. No, he will be a different version of the character (Safin doesn't appear to have robotic hands, for instance). In any case, this theory seems at least plausible — and if it starts gathering momentum, be on the lookout for any signs of a repeat of Star Trek Into Darkness' lame PR smokescreen where they claimed that Benedict Cumberbatch wasn't playing Khan even though he 100 percent was.
REYLO'S RED THREAD CUT
Fans who shipped Rey and Kylo Ren who were also fans of East Asian lore (or saw the acclaimed anime Your Name) theorized that a red ribbon Rey has on her hand in a couple of shots from the Rise of Skywalker trailers was a hint that the two would end up together. According to mythology, two people who are destined to be together are connected by an invisible thread of red string. Is Rey's bandage cosmic evidence that Reylo is real?
"No," director J.J. Abrams told Vanity Fair. "That is not something that we incorporated."
BAD FROZEN II THEORIES CANNOT BE KILLED, GOD HELP US ALL
Frozen II finally, officially debunked a few stupidly popular fan theories about Elsa and Anna's parents. The two were revealed to have disappeared and been presumed dead after sailing away during Elsa and Anna's childhood, and popular fan theories posited that the pair were sailing to Finn and Elsa's wedding, that the wreckage of their sunken ship was the drowned ship we see in The Little Mermaid, and/or that their parents survived with their son, Tarzan, until they were later killed by a jaguar. (This last theory came from Frozen's director Chris Buck, who also directed 1999's Tarzan, but the full quote has him include another one of his movies, the non-Disney Surf's Up, into his little shared universe, implying that the statement is not seriously canon.)
Well, as Polygon's Petrana Radulovic notes with a delight and relief that I share, Frozen II explicitly confirms that Elsa and Anna's parents drowned, meaning they're not Tarzan's parents. Finally, this means we can put all the dumb Frozen fan theories to rest.
I thought I'd seen a light but I'm being swallowed by darkness. There's no point in resisting. I give up.