Xehanort Can’t Resist Trying Shortcuts

Xehanort Can’t Resist Trying Shortcuts

I wasn’t able to post a theory last week, but now I’m back with an extra-long theory to discuss. We’re back to dealing with one of our favorite topics: Xehanort!

All right, so just about every Kingdom Hearts theory deals with Xehanort at least a little bit. This week, though, I’d like to take a look at Xehanort’s behavior, along with the behavior of Ansem (Seeker of Darkness) and Xemnas in light of Dream Drop Distance’s retcons.

Dream Drop Distance suggests that Ansem and Xemnas were working toward the overall goal of gathering 7 lights and 13 darknesses. Ansem gathered the Princesses of Heart, while Xemnas formed Organization XIII to find worthy vessels.

But this presents a problem. If that was their overall goal, they’re terrible at following their own plan. Ansem drops the Princesses of Heart as soon as he opens the way to Kingdom Hearts, and he even tries to kill one of them. Xemnas, meanwhile, doesn’t seem at all disturbed when members of Organization XIII begin dying left and right.

If that’s not bad enough, Ansem even killed one of the potential vessels! (Re: Chain of Memories changed Lexaeus’s death to have Ansem be the one to kill him.)

I like to joke that Master Xehanort yelled at those two for doing such an abysmal job. It certainly doesn’t seem like they were following the plan. And that causes problems for Dream Drop Distance, making it difficult to accept the plot revelations in terms of the previous games.

Or does it?

Let’s revisit Master Xehanort’s monologue in Dream Drop Distance, where he explains his plans.

After explaining the Keyblade War, he says:

I once tried to create my own pure light and darkness to forge the χ-blade, but the attempt ended in failure. In my eagerness, I had lost sight of the correct way to achieve my goal. I acted rashly. I can admit that now.”

This is the game’s justification for why Master Xehanort’s goal in Birth By Sleep doesn’t match up with his overall goal. He tried to make the χ-blade with a single light and darkness (Ventus and Vanitas), because he got hasty and wanted a shortcut.

What if Xehanort does this sort of thing all the time?

It’s easy to think of him as a master strategist, but Dream Drop Distance makes it explicitly clear that when he saw a shorter path to his goal, he became too eager and lost sight of the actual plan.

This fits Ansem and Xemnas perfectly.

In Birth By Sleep, Master Xehanort set his larger plan into motion (stealing Terra’s body and turning Braig into a vessel), but he couldn’t resist the urge to try creating the χ-blade with just Ventus and Vanitas.

His own explanation states that in his eagerness, he had lost sight of the correct way to achieve his goal.

Ansem, Seeker of Darkness, set the next part of the plan into motion (traveling back through time to see his younger self) and began gathering the Princesses of Heart. While he was at it, he decided to attempt a second shortcut: creating an artificial Kingdom Hearts from the hearts of the worlds.

And he succeeded! He had Kingdom Hearts within his grasp! He immediately forgot the rest of the plan and decided he no longer needed seven pure lights.

In his eagerness, he had lost sight of the correct way to achieve his goal.

Meanwhile, Xemnas gathered Nobodies and convinced them they needed Kingdom Hearts in order to get their hearts back, all while planning to turn them into vessels of darkness.

And they could make Kingdom Hearts! Xemnas had his own plan to create an artificial Kingdom Hearts out of people’s hearts. If Kingdom Hearts was within his grasp, there was no need for thirteen vessels, right? He began to ignore everything that went wrong, because all that mattered was getting Kingdom Hearts.

In his eagerness, he had lost sight of the correct way to achieve his goal.

Who knows, maybe this explains one of the big questions about Dream Drop Distance, too. Some fans have wondered why Master Xehanort didn’t already know he wouldn’t successfully claim Sora as his vessel. But despite all his talk about how the 13 of them were destined to gather on this day, he isn’t at all disturbed when Lea saves Sora.

Maybe he did know Sora wasn’t destined to be a Seeker of Darkness… but it would move things along a little quicker, another shortcut, so he couldn’t resist trying anyway.

Xehanort is brilliant, but Dream Drop Distance reminds us that he has an impulsive side. And that impulsiveness might just be what explains the inconsistencies between his other selves’ actions and the plan they were supposedly following.

What do you think? Can Xehanort, in all his incarnations, just not resist trying shortcuts? Could this be part of his downfall? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Tags: ansem, master xehanort, seekers of darkness, xehanort, xemnas
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