Hi guys! Long time no visit here…been enjoying the sunny weather down in Florida. But alas, I’m back up in Massachusetts and it’s cold. My favorite (sarcasm).
There have been a lot of mixed reactions on Kylo Ren between Star Wars fans. When I first saw The Force Awakens, I wasn’t sure I liked him much. He was whiney, a tad bratty, at times had complete mastery over the Force, and then got whooped easily by Rey by the end of the movie. I also didn’t think he was as imposing or as threatening as I would have liked a new dark character to be.
I saw the movie two more times since then and I have actually grown to enjoy his character. He is conflicted and I think that comes out in the temper tantrum side that he has. Disney gave us something new and different by presenting a character that openly admits his struggles with the dark and light side of the Force. The light side calls to him and he wants to conquer his pull toward it. We haven’t seen that before in a character. We certainly saw Anakin struggle in AOTC and then more openly in ROTS, but never displaying an open reference to his struggle. Okay, Kylo Ren’s wasn’t necessarily “open” since he was talking to Darth Vader’s helmet in private, but I like that we saw that personal part of his life. With Anakin, his turn to the dark side felt like a means to an end. With Kylo, we still are unsure what drove him to the dark side or if there was a final tipping point like Anakin had. If Mace Windu hadn’t said he was going to kill Palpatine (“he is too dangerous to be left alive!”), Anakin may not have turned to the dark side. Weak argument, but could be true.
Since Kylo’s turn is still open ended, maybe there was no tipping point or means to an end. Perhaps like Leia implied, Snoke seduced him and maybe Snoke’s methods of seduction are not as strong as the manipulation Palpatine did with Anakin.
Because of Kylo Ren’s grey area, are we now supposed to know that by killing his father he is fully entrapped in the dark side? Are we meant to think that there is no more struggle?
If we believe that Kylo has wholly turned to the dark side, but also know how much he struggled in TFA with the complete conversion, then is there a chance he can be redeemed? What would be most interesting to me is if he is redeemed, they choose to have his character continue to live.
Is that even possible? From what we’ve seen, when someone turns back to the light side, usually they die right afterwards which is convenient because can you imagine if Luke brought Vader back to the Rebellion and tried to convince everyone he was good again? But it sounds like Kylo could have grown up with the Resistance and obviously with notable parents. Even Lor San Tekka acknowledged Kylo by his real name Ben, not a knight of Ren possibly implying he was around when he was growing up. So would it be easier for other light side characters to accept a converted Kylo Ren? As an audience, it would also be less complicated to understand his transition back the light side because the foundation for that has already been set in TFA.
It could be an alternate outcome to ROTJ. Luke was a notable Jedi who brought his father back to the light side. Rey could be the notable Jedi who brings her (brother? Cousin?) back to the light side, but this time also brings him back home to his family.
I fully understand the chances of this happening are slim as it’s so much more dramatic and plays out better cinematically to have Kylo either stay completely in the dark side or convert to the light side, sacrificing himself for the noble cause.
But from a storytelling perspective, I like thinking about the possibilities if they decided to have his character live and join Rey to bring about the destruction of Snoke, Hux, and the First Order. (Though, on another note, if wannabe Empires keep forming and getting destroyed, Star Wars would get stale really fast so hopefully they find an alternate storyline.) By uniting with Rey, he could be accepted back if everyone saw his redeeming qualities.
Either way, if Kylo Ren dies unredeemed, or redeems himself and lives, or redeems himself and dies…I definitely enjoy his character and am hoping that we continue to see evolution from him.
TFA will be released digitally on April 1st and DVD on April 5th.
I found this when I was wandering the Internet thinking about Kylo Ren. It’s pretty good for a laugh.