Kingdom Hearts 3 D23 2018 Trailers Analysis & Theories

Kingdom Hearts 3 D23 2018 Trailers Analysis & Theories

D23 Expo Japan 2018 gave us not one, but two Kingdom Hearts III trailers, and there is so much here to unpack. Let’s start by taking a look at the main new trailer.

First up, we see someone we’ve been anticipating for quite a while now: Marluxia.

And yes, he calls himself Marluxia. Does this mean he’s still a Nobody, or has he simply chosen not to use the name Lauriam? It’s possible he is a time travel, taken to the future immediately ahead of his defeat like Ansem and Xemnas, but it’s also possible that he’s human again.

Just like Saix in Dream Drop Distance might be Isa, this Marluxia might be Lauriam. The “X” in their names marks them with the Recusant’s Sigil, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Xehanort prefers to have the new Organization XIII continue to use those names.

The biggest surprise for me is that Marluxia is a part of the new Organization. I expected him to belong to a third faction, since he betrayed the Organization in Chain of Memories.

(Does Xehanort go out of his way to recruit people of dubious loyalty?)

It’s also worth noting that Marluxia has blue eyes.

He is the first member of the true Organization we’ve seen without yellow eyes. Does this mean Marluxia is a member without being a vessel for Xehanort? Or is it just a delayed process that has yet to kick in?

Marluxia remembers Sora, but of course Sora doesn’t remember him, since his memories from that time were removed.

Moving on, after a short Toy Story clip, we get confirmation that Monsters Inc. leak was correct!

This is the main focus of the trailer. It shows us Sully, Mike, and Boo, along with the monster forms for Sora, Donald, and Goofy.

We see some more gameplay from various worlds, and then another popular theory is confirmed.

Yes, Vanitas is back!

Vanitas remains masked and appears to be searching for Ventus so he can be complete again, but the best thing about this exchange is that Sora shouts “Vanitas!” and then reacts with confusion. Sora doesn’t know Vanitas, but Ventus’s heart inside of him does, and apparently reacts through him.

It’s a very exciting trailer, and we now have Marluxia and Vanitas confirmed as Seekers of Darkness.

But there’s more! They also revealed “Don’t Think Twice,” the new theme song by Utada Hikaru, with a new trailer, and that trailer also contains some intriguing story details. Let’s take a look.

At first, the visuals are just pieces we’ve seen in previous trailers, although it’s clear there have been some improvements to the character models for Young Xehanort and Xemnas… and wait, what’s this?

Let’s take another look at Young Xehanort.

He has pointy ears!

The last time we saw this scene, Young Xehanort’s ears were rounded. In fact, he’s always had rounded ears (in Dream Drop Distance, the Re:coded secret ending, and the chess scene), despite the other Xehanorts having pointy ears.

So why did they change his Kingdom Hearts III character model? Is it a retcon and he was supposed to have pointy ears all along? (The sole full body shot of him in the chess scene clips used here is too far away to make out his ear shape.)

Or have his ears changed due to the passage of time? If so, could this mean he really is a slightly older Young Xehanort, which my favorite Kingdom Hearts III theory depends on? I hope so.

(It also good just be the graphics, but when I compare him to his DDD model, he does look older here.)

And after a few more scenes, including additional Vanitas footage, we get an all-new scene of Riku and Mickey in the Realm of Darkness. Riku leaves his seemingly-broken Keyblade on the beach and says:

“Can’t use this Keyblade anymore. Might as well leave it here… in case the other me needs it.”


How did Riku’s Keyblade break? And what “other me” is he leaving it for?!

Since Riku shouldn’t have a Nobody or any other traditional “other” him, a popular theory right now is that the Riku Replica from Chain of Memories will return.

There is so much to analyze here that I’m sure there are details and plausible theories I’ve missed. There are also some new gameplay details revealed here. What are your thoughts on the two new Kingdom Hearts III trailers and the latest revelations? Let me know in the comments.

Tags: lauriam/marluxia, riku replica, seekers of darkness, vanitas, xehanort, young xehanort
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