We’re going to need The Force to help us decipher The Walking Dead showrunner Scott Gimple’s tease about Terminus having some kind of philosophical connection to Star Wars.
The Termites were obviously a bunch of scruffy-looking nerf-herders, but we had no idea BBQ queen Mary’s wardrobe was modeled on Star Wars' Aunt Beru. Eulyn Womble, TWD costume designer, told Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick that Scott’s direction to her for Mary’s wardrobe was “Luke Skywalker’s aunt.” Chris noted that Aunt Beru was barbecued (in a way) when stormtroopers attacked Luke’s home and killed Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen.
During the Talking Dead Season 5 Preview Special, Scott added more parallels between the Terminus world and Luke’s own history: "I’m saying something about Terminus but I’m doing it through Star Wars, and that’s it. I will say, there but for the grace of The Force ... Luke wanted to go to the academy. He would be a stormtrooper if not for some things happening. That doesn’t mean Luke is a bad guy, he was going for what he knew. He would’ve been one of those people on the Death Star guarding the garbage compactor… So that might say something about Terminus."
OK, but what might it say about Terminus? Chris tried to translate: “Are you saying that unforeseen circumstances came in and dictated what someone’s ultimate fate would be?”
No real answer on that, but is Gareth Luke? Is he just following what he was led to do to survive? Did he go out on a supply run or something and when he returned, Terminus was attacked and his family burned or something? Is that how he became the leader? Did he plan to do something more noble and kind of get dragged into being the leader of this group? Are they cannibals, as everyone seems to expect? Were they attacked by cannibals, leading to that memorial room and the “Never Forget” signs? What reasonable explanation could lead to stealing people’s stuff and locking them in train cars (and possibly using them for food)?
Andrew J. West, who plays Gareth, had a separate interview with Chris, saying Gareth isn’t really a natural born leader, he grew into that role. Andy said Gareth definitely falls more toward the Rick end of things than The Governor. “The way that they envisioned this character is, he was actually sort of a mirror image of Rick or even Glenn, if they had a different history. A reasonable, normal guy just figuring out a way to survive."
So Glenn is the heroic Luke of The Force, and Gareth is the Luke who never met Obi-Wan and never trained with Yoda? Gareth is stormtrooper Luke? Andy said Gareth is a pragmatist and a survivor. That also describes the Carol of Season 4 so maybe we’ll end up liking him almost as much as we love Carol? Impossible?
Do you have any Star Wars theories to tie into Terminus? Do or do not, there is no try!
The Walking Dead Season 5 premieres in October on AMC.