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KYLO REN – The Conflicted Son (A Character Study)

Discussion in 'General Sequel Trilogy Discussion' started by NinjaRen, Apr 30, 2019.

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Do you like Kylo Ren's character?

  1. Yes

  2. No

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  1. NinjaRen

    NinjaRen Supreme Leader

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    Hello fellow Cantina members! I always wanted to post an in-depth-analysis about Kylo Ren's character arc, I’ve never really knew how though. But here I am now… So let’s get started!


    What makes a character and its arc interesting? The conflict he/she has to deal with!

    According to K.M. Weiland’s book „Creating Character Arcs“ there are four aspects which create the conflict and therefore the journey of a character:
    1. the lie your character believes
    2. the thing your character wants
    3. the thing your character needs
    4. your character's ghost
    „The lie your character believes“ is something which the character believes about him-/herself or the world in general. This lie is caused by the „the ghost“.

    ‘Ghost‘ is moviespeak for something in your character's past that haunts him. You may also see it sometimes referred to as the ‚wound‘. - K.M. Weiland
    KM Weiland.jpg
    (If you are interested in how characters work, then I highly recommend this book.)

    So the character’s wound or ghost is deeply connected with the lie he/she believes. The character needs to overcome this to get to the goal of the story.


    Kylo Ren’s/Ben Solo’s ghost is- Luke trying (or at least thinking of) killing his nephew in his sleep.

    Luke trying to kill Ben.gif

    Ben was traumatised by this and it was the final nail for him turning to the dark side. This „wound“ caused Ben to believe in Snoke’s lies, therefore he joined him and the First Order.

    One of Snoke‘s lies would be that Ren needs to be like Vader to save the galaxy. Henceforth he was wearing a mask in TFA and TLJ.

    The mask is a great depiction of Kylo’s mind btw. He needs it for gaining motivation, but at the same time it shows that he’s not fully believing in himself. He’s torn apart in his believes and acting.

    Kylo and mask.jpg
    So, this could be the reason why the mask has its return in The Rise Of Skywalker.

    mask TROS.jpg

    Kylo reforges his helmet to gain confidence. This is probably the lie which he believes in TROS. In TFA’s introduction of Kylo Ren, he comes off as a confident, evil and powerful dark side user. It seems like nothing can stop him.

    Kylo stopping blaster.gif

    However later in the movie we find out he isn’t that badass as he first appeared. He’s conflicted and unsure about his path and future. In TLJ we also learn more about his past and fears.

    He was raised to believe to be a new chosen one:

    [Luke] made a huge mistake in thinking that his nephew was the chosen one, so he invested everything he had in Kylo, much like Obi-Wan did with my character. – Mark Hamill
    After Ben has learned about his heritage, he was made to believe (by Snoke) that he was destined to be a new Vader.

    Snoke.jpg

    However when Rey enters his life, he finds out that this isn't the case. After that the only thing Kylo thinks is worth pursuing is power. That is yet another lie he believes until he kills Snoke.


    Btw Rey: this scavenger girl is designed to also have a conflict with Kylo’s arc. John Truby writes in his book „The Anatomy of Story“:

    As your hero and his opponents fight over the goal, make sure their values come into direct conflict. - John Truby
    John Truby.jpg
    (This is also a great book for understanding stories and their characters.)


    Kylo Ren wants to let the past die, while Rey wants to learn more about her past and her parents. Rey searches for a family <=> Kylo destroys a family.

    The opponent is the character with the ultimate power to deny, destroy, take away, or claim for himself what the protagonist wants. – John Truby

    => Kylo denies who he really is and tries actively to let his past die. This has direct consequences for Rey (losing parental figures like Han and Luke).

    The opponent is the character who most wants to keep the hero from achieving his desire. – John Truby

    => Rey wants a family and belonging, Kylo’s acts prevent this.
    The irony though is that Kylo and Rey are working toward the same goal, but have different ideas of what they think it takes to achieve that goal => bringing peace and freedom to the galaxy and have balance of the force.

    Anakin.jpg

    Both of their lies are in direct conflict and as a result they force each other to change.

    [​IMG]


    But back to the actual topic: Kylo is ruled by fear of loss and destruction. This is his conflict. Only by defeating his wounds and lies, Kylo Ren can fulfil his journey and rise as a character => The Rise Of Skywalker

    TROS.gif


    But what’s my point here? Easy. I just wanted to explain how well Kylo Ren is written as a character. I may not like everything about the ST, but you can’t deny that Kylo Ren is the best character of this trilogy or even the whole saga.
     
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  2. BobaFettNY21

    BobaFettNY21 Force Sensitive

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    He's got a serious case of imposter syndrome, to the point where he'd rather bring the entire galaxy down with him instead of figuring himself out. Rey is the opposite. She's got imposter syndrome which limits her until she's forced to proceed through the threshold - whether by circumstance (BB-8), by her counterpart (Kylo), or by a failed mentor (Luke).
     
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  3. FN-3263827

    FN-3263827 First Order, Then Pie
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    the difference for the moment being that i think Rey is much more self-aware of her own flim-flam, whereas Ben is so entrenched in his wrong thinking he can't see how wrong it is. one of the things i love about what they have done with him so far, is that they are gradually showing his realization of this.

    his final moment on the floor in Crait is really a masterstroke of characterization for me; his physical posture, his expression, the way he's holding the emotion in. what's great about Adam Driver as an actor specifically is that he never plays "throwing a tantrum" or "being angry/upset". he plays "trying NOT to" (i.e. fighting for control) and that makes it so much more powerful because the conflict is palpable. : D
     
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  4. BobaFettNY21

    BobaFettNY21 Force Sensitive

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    I would wager that's the difference for a lot of fans when comparing the sequels to the prequels.
     
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  5. NinjaRen

    NinjaRen Supreme Leader

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    I kinda have to disagree here. She's making as much mistakes as Kylo without realising it. She is a very naive character like Kylo. The difference is she has people who can help her while he doesn't or he doesn't even want any help.

    Adam Driver is defintiely the best actor in the ST. His performance as Kylo Ren should really be honored.
     
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  6. FN-3263827

    FN-3263827 First Order, Then Pie
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    oh, i think she knows when she's bluffing (like with Luke), or when she's in over her head (like with Ben). they both share the same hubris, but i think she's quicker to acknowledge it. and yes, has more help to see herself reflected back, whereas it's like he's literally in the dark about who he is.
     
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  7. Messi

    Messi Force Sensitive

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    Agree.
    And I think there is another reason why he is returning with his mask: he was humiliated by Snoke in TLJ. Snoke said to take that ridiculous thing off (mask) and also said that Kylo is a child in a mask. Bringing the mask back is just another childish move of his part. "Now I'am the Supreme Leader and I can do whatever I want!"

    Kylo Ren is probably my favorite character of the entire saga, after Luke. The character and his motivations are well written and the actor is so good. I wish they had use something like this for Anakin in the prequels.
     
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  8. NinjaRen

    NinjaRen Supreme Leader

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    I wonder if Kylo Ren's mask will be the MacGuffin of TROS. It would be cool if the mask is possessed by Palpatine's spirit and as long Kylo is wearing it, he becomes stronger in the dark side. Yes, it's more likely that Vader's destroyed helmet is the thing which is possessed.

    Kylo Ren is the Anti-Luke. Kylo Ren is the Anakin character done right. Kylo Ren is awesome ;D
     
    #8 NinjaRen, May 16, 2019
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
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