This week has been incredible for KH3, not only do we have a concrete release date, but two world confirmations, a lot of plot content and the return of my favourite character- Luxord. However, I'm writing today about Riku Replica. In particular, what context will he have in KH3.
From the get go. I do not believe that Replica will be a Member of the Darknesses. Yes, people can point out that the eyes could be later corrected as Marluxia's were to show he has been norted, but my idea runs a bit deeper than that.
There seems to be an emphasis on 'helping' someone in need. Sora seems determined to help Roxas become his own person, Mickey was trying to help Aqua (that went well..) and whilst this is speculation I cannot see Lea abandoning Isa either. Now going back to Replica, we have a similar situation to Roxas where both characters were determined to be individuals and their main connections ( Sora and Riku) accept this and do not seem them as fakes or a nobody.
Carrying on, in the D23 trailer, Riku leaves his broken Way to the Dawn keyblade for 'his other me' which was proven to be Replica. My concept is that Replica will mirror Riku's journey from the dark to the light or at least attempt to. Riku as a character can control his darkness and has reached masterhood. Hence, why I believe he will gain his new keyblade after initially being defeated by Dark Aqua. However, I believe Riku will discover a manner to help Replica in the Realm of Darkness and that's why his old Keyblade is left behind. This is because Replica will be starting his own 'Way to Dawn' and I think not only will we see a keyblade break in the game, but also mend.
What would be the point of this? We've seen countless characters go from being Denizens of the Darkness to the light, however I do believe there are two potential aspects important to the story. Firstly, as mentioned above there is the theme of helping others in need and Riku's connection to Replica is no different, also look at the latest trailer- Riku does not seem alarmed to see Replica, but on the contrary seems happy. Secondly, and I admit this is my more radical possibility, but could Replica be needed for the final battle?
If we believe Aqua has been norted, then I believe that Ven has been compromised. Terra's position is still unknown- so leaves the lights needing numbers. Not only does Roxas' return become plot relevant, but so does Riku Replica. Replica could very easily decide to help Riku in the final battle and potentially, we could have a scene where Replica sacrifices himself for Riku too.
Either way, I do not believe Replica will be 'bad' as such and I think he will play an emotional bond in Riku's arc.
I hope you all enjoyed E3 and are well!