Saturday, December 19, 2015

The mandatory attempt to tie a pop culture thing to Holmes Canon.

Viewing the world from the perspective of a particular fandom, when done with a properly fanatic intensity (which is why we're called "fan," of course), means looking for ties to said fandom in even the most unlikely of places. And while I've already done one blog on Sherlock Holmes and Star Wars, the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is just taking off in theaters, so I'm going to bore you with one more.

Three new main characters in the world of Star Wars, Poe, Finn, and Rey -- how many of them are mentioned in the original sixty tales of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle?

Well, none, of course. Doyle did talk to the spirits a bit, occasionally about the future, but even Pheneas of Doyle's wild and wacky spirit communication work Pheneas Speaks never saw Luke Skywalker coming. But the names are these, as either a well-studied Sherlockian or a search program can tell you.

"Poe" reminds one of Edgar Allen Poe, the one mystery writer whom Sherlock Holmes actually talks about.

"Finn" takes one to the Finns who crewed the barque Lone Star, along with some Germans, a fact Holmes cites in "The Five Orange Pips."

And "Rey?" Not a common Victorian word or phrase, but I'd call it short for "Reynolds," the artist mentioned in The Hound of the Baskervilles. (And if you want a complete geek-out moment, just theorize that "Rey" in Star Wars is short for "Reynolds," and that she shares the bloodline of Firefly's Malcom Reynolds.)

Unlike Star Trek, where Benedict Cumberbatch shows up and Spock has alluded to having Sherlock Holmes in his ancestry more than once, Star Wars just isn't too eager to be connected to an Earthly detective. (Although a very bad attempt at pastichery could set up R2D2 and C3PO as Holmes and Watson, inevitably insulting whichever one got assigned C3PO, the English dandy of a droid.)

And if you want to spend all day trying to tie one of the actors in Star Wars: The Force Awakens to a Sherlock Holmes movie, I wish you luck. The best I could do there was Andrew Jack, a dialect coach from the Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes. I don't remember if his character, Major Ematt, had any lines, but you'll definitely recognize him from the resistance base planning sessions.

But that's all the Canonical blood I can squeeze out of this particular pop culture stone for the moment. Anybody able to squeeze it any harder?


  1. There is a connection with "Rey" -- it's another one of those names that means, in one language or another, "king" -- and that bring us to "Roy," the dog in "Creeping Man" There's *always* a connection, it seems; it's only a matter of how tenuous a link we'll accept.

  2. Haven't checked out new Star Wars yet, waiting for the dust to settle. I'd hope we will find a better connection than Andrew Jack when we do. After all some major Holmes actors appeared in the earlier versions, i.e. Christopher Lee was Count Dooku, Michael Pennington was Moff Tiaan Jerjerrod, and of course Peter Cushing was Grand Moff Tarkin, commander of the first Death Star.