Open Channel: What's Your Craziest Fan Theory?

Illustration for article titled Open Channel: What's Your Craziest Fan Theory?

It’s time to go a little bit crazy! Tonight, it’s the last call for Westworld surprises in season 1. We’ve got the next season of Game of Thrones coming up, The Walking Dead is still doing its thing. There are lots we can move forward from the expected into the unknown. That is, unless you prefer to keep the mystery, which is totally understandable.


For me, though, I love discussing different ideas about shows moving forward—not because any of them are necessarily right, but because they enhance my understanding of the characters, as well as give me better insight into the thoughts and opinions of others. Plus, sometimes it’s fun to just throw something on the wall and see if it sticks.

Illustration for article titled Open Channel: What's Your Craziest Fan Theory?

Since I’m knee-deep in Westworld, that’s been most of my theories so far, and I’ll tell you, at least half of them so far have been flat wrong. Even though this “technically” could still happen, I was dead-set for weeks that Logan was going to turn out to be Wyatt, after Dr. Ford secretly operated on him, turning him into a half-man, half-machine hybrid. Hence, why Delos was so fascinated with the tech...they wanted to create Dollhouse-style manbots out of real folks. Soylent Green is people! Yeah, pretty sure that’s not going to happen.

Nowadays, the latest theory I’m most psyched about comes from a conversation I had last week with my older sister (we’ve been having weekly Westworld phone chats on Mondays). After I suggested that Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) might be the Man in Black’s daughter, given her stature in the company at such a young age, my sister counteracted that she might actually be Arnold’s daughter. As we all know, Bernard remembered having a son named Charlie, and his death motivated his thoughts and actions. However, what if he was actually a she, and she never died, she was simply altered in his memory?

Arnold’s daughter would naturally be skeptical of Dr. Ford, since she might blame him for her father’s death, and Dr. Ford would do everything he could to make sure Bernard had nothing to do with her. But, since he wanted an Arnold duplicate at his side, not just a host, he wouldn’t be able to simply erase Arnold’s child from his memory. That would remove a key part of his identity.


Of course, the only questions remaining are why Charlotte wouldn’t recognize him, and why Arnold mentioned his son when chatting with Dolores in what may turn out to be 30-year flashbacks. You know what, dammit, I think I just disproved my own theory entirely. Also, shame on me for assuming a young woman needs nepotism to land a dream job.

So what are you hoping to see in tonight’s season finale, what do you think is going to happen next on The Walking Dead? Any other shows with hidden surprises? Let’s chat!


Video Editor and Staff Writer at io9. My doppelganger is that rebelling greeting card from Futurama.


Joel Hruska

My personal theory is that Obi-Wan Kenobi kills himself in Star Wars as a deliberate, last-ditch attempt to save the entire Rebellion from what will happen if Darth Vader realizes who, exactly, is on the Millenium Falcon.

It began as an effort to explain what I viewed as an intensely annoying mistake: Vader repeatedly saying that Obi-Wan had taught Luke well throughout Empire and Jedi. Vader thinks this, obviously, because he believes that Luke was stolen by Obi-Wan and raised as a Padawan Jedi, to fight his father. What Vader doesn’t know, and apparently never figures out, is that Ben Kenobi barely trained Luke at all. (The reasons why are beyond the scope of this theory). Luke has really only known Kenobi for a very short time, and that’s critical to the way things play out.

When Kenobi senses Vader on the Death Star, he knows the entire Rebellion is in mortal peril. All Vader has to do ask Luke Skywalker what his name is, and he will *instantly* know who he is looking at. Luke is the right age, he’s from Tatooine, Kenobi *knew* about Tatooine, and bam — all the pieces fall into place.

Worse, all Vader needs to do is tell Luke his version of the truth: Kenobi stole him from his father, while carving Anakin Skywalker up like a roast. He had Anakin’s lightsaber because he left him for dead. He knew Anakin because he’s the man who betrayed and attempted to murder him (from Vader’s point of view). Luke craves adventure and excitement, Vader is the second-most powerful man in the Empire. Luke wants into the Academy, Vader can guarantee it.

So what does Kenobi do? What he must. Knowing that Vader will sense him, he deliberately slips away to fight him, drawing him away, holding his focus. He fights conservatively because he wants the fight to last as long as possible, and he sacrifices himself at the end hoping that the mystery of his disappearance (and decision to throw the fight) will keep Vader’s attention focused on himself. If he attempts to escape, there’s a chance that Vader will look up and realize that not *all* the usage of the Force is coming from Kenobi. What happens if Luke attempts to reach out and break Kenobi’s fall, if Kenobi tries to leap across the gap separating him and the Millenium Falcon?

So that’s my theory. Kenobi didn’t just randomly decide to die or even to fight Vader one-on-one. He decided to draw him out and keep him occupied, knowing that it was time to pass the greater struggle to Luke.