Potential Spoilers Ahead
In a sentence: SPECTRE pulls a Star Trek Into Darkness. Franz Oberhauser is, in fact, Ernst Stavro Blofeld. It’s a name Oberhauser took after faking his death when he murdered his father.
Oh, and why did Blofeld kill his father? It turns out, after Bond’s parents died, he was sent to live with the Oberhausers, and Blofeld’s father liked little James more than little Franz.
Yes. Blofeld has daddy issues, and he’s built up a sprawling international criminal organization because his daddy liked James Bond more than him. What’s more frustrating is that the film suggests that Bond just happened to stumble his way across SPECTRE in the previous films. These weren’t necessarily events designed to attack Bond specifically. It’s just a coincidence. Maybe.
I get it: part of any franchise these days is finding ways to establish connections between characters who previously didn’t share one. Sometimes the connections are fun. There are plenty of cases, though, where the connections aren’t necessary. Connecting Blofeld to Bond in this way is ridiculous, and it limits the series now to this specific connection. Try it with other legendary foes. Say, The Joker and Batman. The Joker became The Joker because when he was a boy, Bruce Wayne was sent to live with his family after his parents were murdered, and The Joker’s father liked Bruce more than him. As a fan theory, maybe it’s fun to consider. But by making that official, it would deprive The Joker of so much of his mystery. By making this connection legitimate, they’ve removed some of the mystery surrounding Blofeld and SPECTRE. I don’t know if they’ll be able to use either again.
I do have a theory, though. The final moments of the film have Bond leaving with Madeleine. With the way the past few films, and SPECTRE in particular, have referenced previous Bond films, I can only guess that if Craig returns to play Bond one more time, Madeleine will go the way of Tracy Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.