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SPECULATION Kylo Ren as The Sequel Trilogy's Protagonist

Discussion in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' started by Jayson, Dec 28, 2017.

  1. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    I don't know if this has been raised before (I couldn't find anything about it).

    The more I think about SW7 & 8, the more I keep noticing that Kylo has the most amount of character growth and dilemmas to face out of all the characters.

    Now, this isn't about a claim that I climbed inside of JJ, Kasdan, and RJ's heads and know what they intend.
    Instead, it's just taking a look at things, sitting back, and applying an education in narrative story telling upon what we have.

    This also doesn't mean Rey doesn't grow, nor does it mean no one else does.
    Clearly every character has pretty substantial growth (except for DJ - who fascinates me for a host of reasons), however, the character who has the most amount is Kylo Ren.

    This has actually happened before in Star Wars' history.
    The character in ANH who has the largest personal growth isn't actually Luke yet; it's Han Solo. If ANH had flopped and SW just sat as a one-film only existence as Lucas expected was pretty possible (but hoped against), then Star Wars would actually be about how a scumbag, self-centered, mercenary who's too afraid to bond with anyone other than one loyal Wookie (his equivalent Star Wars dog; at least, in the mind of Lucas at the time) learns to care about the well being of others and greater causes at the risk of his own life through trying to con a farm boy and an old man, during which, he inadvertently begins to fall for a stonrg woman who challenges his moral and ethical defenses which permit him to accept his deplorable and lonely decisions.

    Now, the series went on, obviously, and so the movie series ended up being squarely about Luke as Han's arc more or less flatlined after ANH and Luke's spiked up.

    Now, look at Kylo Ren.
    An insecure young adult with a very obstinate and independent spirit who looks to his Uncle for guidance, feels betrayed, becomes enraged, finds the world terrifying, seeks stability and the power of control, sees it in the First Order and powerful master (Snoke), tries to live up to the shadow of expectations that is his grandfather's legend and fears not only being incapable of doing so, but also unsure of his choice to attempt to do so.
    He then pushes himself, with the help of his Dad, to take a solid stance and then becomes less certain of his allegiance to his master after repeated ridicule and because he feels a mystical connection to a woman (Rey) who is also confused, and scared, yet powerful and he feels empathy and wants to help her overcome their like turmoils and rule together.
    He further assumes this mystical connection indicates that they are destined to be together and not his master and himself, however he finds out that he has once again been made a fool by his master, and takes his revenge upon his master, but fails at achieving the fullness of his vision because the strong like-emotioned woman will not join him, which enrages him as he feels betrayed by her rejection.
    Having felt accomplishment and power through usurping his master, and still enraged by the betrayal of the strong like-emotioned woman, he becomes far more clear and certain of his agenda to bring absolute order to the chaos of the galaxy through absolute rule - starting with the eradication of any who object to his reign. No longer afraid of commitment, he now only fears power. Failure no longer scares him; it enrages him.
    ....so far.

    Meanwhile, Rey's arc is essentially to go from being untrusting, scared, and confused, yet capable, while longing for family to slightly more trusting, but still scared and confused, yet more capable and satisfied with her mock-family but still wanting more in TFA. In LTJ, she grows from scared and confused and still wanting for her family, and seeing "them" in everyone else (like Kylo, whom she feels empathy for and wishes to save but fails), to accepting herself and letting go of wanting for her family a bit, and again becomes more capable.
    And that's about it, in a nutshell.
    ...so far.

    Based on quantity and weight of the character growths between the two, it's more like we're watching the story revolve around the antagonist (Rey) to the protagonist (Kylo) through a classic heroic positioning of Rey as the narrative's claimed protagonist.

    I suppose it would be like watching Back to the Future by following Doc Brown around instead of Marty, but still having Marty and Doc grow as much as they do in the current real films. At some point, Marty would seem to beg for attention even though he would be second-fiddle to our main story about this inventor's struggles to make a time machine and then fix all of the paradoxes he accidentally creates along the way by relying on this kid who finds his experiments "heavy".

    Now, the whole trilogy doesn't have to end up following this. This doesn't mean the whole trilogy will be about Kylo Ren. It just means, like ANH, that so far, the larger amount of poker chips are in Kylo's seat. That could change in 9, or it could stay the same.

    Just a passing thought.

    Cheers!
    Jayson :)
     
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  2. NinjaRen

    NinjaRen Supreme Leader

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    The sequel trilogy does something quite unique regarding storytelling. It uses two characters (Rey and Kylo Ren) as one protagonist. But I agree I see Kylo Ren more as the protagonist than Rey, mainly because of his development.
     
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  3. HAL'sgal

    HAL'sgal Force Sensitive

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    I definitely agree with this, and am glad that you started this thread, @Jayson . Even in TFA, there were hints that Kylo was going to have a more interesting story, but he didn't get enough screen time to demonstrate that. He really did in TLJ.

    I don't usually care about the baddies in any film, I typically just want them to be defeated with minimal casualties, preferably in a humiliating way. For instance, I just don't understand the fascination with Snoke and/or Plagueis that has been swirling around this trilogy. I also am skeptical that bringing balance to the Force means a balance between dark and light- this gets back to the thought that there's no Aristotlean Golden Mean possible when it comes to evil. The less of it, the better. Of course, that may not be the case in a GFFA for various reasons, but that's my default position.

    However, JJ (whose work I don't consider to be particularly deep or thought-provoking most of the time) gave us an interesting character and Rian ran with it. To actually care to watch, never mind caring about, a parricidal menace is quite a new thing for me.

    It may be that this is also why some fans think that Rey is a Mary Sue. If she's been deliberately written to be a little two-dimensional in comparison to the more fully developed Kylo Ren character, then it all makes sense. As does the lack of a backstory, and the complete absence of an explanation for her ability to channel the Force. These deficiencies in her story have caused a great deal of consternation on these boards, but if Kylo Ren was always meant to be the main character in the ST, it not only makes sense- it's brilliant. They've really managed to pull a fast one on us, which is pretty cool.

    I also have to commend them on the casting. Adam Driver has been terrific in this role. Even his looks add a unique quality- one minute he's a goofy child, the next his a grotesque monster, and then he's transformed into this wildly handsome Heathcliff-like character. He's just fun to watch.
     
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  4. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Great post!

    I snipped this bit as it fascinated me the most.

    I take the balance to have clarified into refraining from attempting to pull the morality control of the galaxy by order to one side or another.
    A balance in terms like that of a proton and electron in a hydrogen atom at the ground state - the most stable form of an atom. Pull heavy to electrons and eraticism increases. Increase the protons and the atom changes, which may be good, or might cause the electron influx to exceed a balanced level by consequence for a while and therefore cause an increase in eraticism.
    Balance is refraining from adding protons or electrons to the system and just letting the inherent constituencies of the system take their natural courses - which will be eratic and unsafe periodically.

    That's just my take, though.

    Cheers!
    Jayson :)
     
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  5. HAL'sgal

    HAL'sgal Force Sensitive

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    That's a really interesting way to look at it- I love any theory of mind or morality that brings in physics, I think in the end all energy, including our own little brain waves, is unified. Kind of like The Force, haha!

    My dilemma with how the Force is portrayed is that certain characteristics of it are classified as Dark side and others are of the Light. But, ultimately, isn't it how these things are utilized that gives them their ultimate meaning? Time and again, the Jedi are told certain things are just not to be used or even felt- anger, hate, jealousy, and even- in a spectacularly bad moment of judgment for Yoda that would go on to have profound repercussions- the feeling of grief. But all of these, in a proper context, can be good. Even Jesus flipped out on the money-changers in the Temple.

    Maybe that's why Kylo Ren is getting at. After all, he's the one being told he can't respond to the Light. Perhaps that's what we'll see going forward with him. He wants to be with Rey, he's drawn to her and didn't want to kill her- or his mother- but these things are a sign of weakness in a Dark lord. SO he can either continue to be terribly conflicted or he can burn it all down and start over. Most people don't get that choice- to create a world of their liking. But he can, with Rey. Who, btw, had no trouble channeling rage and hate in the Throne Room.

    Some fans say this is just a repeat of the Darth Vader redemption story, but perhaps it's more complicated than that. Instead of bringing him into the Light, it's more like bringing the Light to him. He and Rey can shift the moral structure of a GFFA.
     
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  6. TheTruTru

    TheTruTru Rebelscum

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    Great post, and I agree with you that Kylo has been the most developed/interesting character we've seen so far in Star Wars. However, when reading your description of his arc (specifically the part I snipped), I couldn't help but see the similarities of PT Anakin.

    He too is "An insecure young adult with a very obstinate and independent spirit who looks to his Uncle (in this case Obi Wan) for guidance, feels betrayed, becomes enraged, finds the world terrifying, seeks stability and the power of control, sees it in the First Order and powerful master (Snoke) (or Palpatine), tries to live up to the shadow of expectations that is his grandfather's legend (or being the "chosen one") and fears not only being incapable of doing so, but also unsure of his choice to attempt to do so.

    Obviously Adam Driver does a much better job of portraying this struggle than Hayden Christensen did, but I couldn't help but see the similarities.
     
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  7. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    That's because Kylo is written to mirror Anakin, while Rey is written to mirror Luke. Consider Rey's arc and think of Luke; you can slip back and forth pretty well between the two. It's just that both Kylo and Rey take a left turn where their counterparts took a right turn in regards to the motives and moral choices.
    Keeping in mind that Luke was also was in seek of his real unknown family, sought connection in mock-family, and ultimately came to terms with the terrifying (to him) reality of his paternity.

    Which is fascinating because Anakin's story was written to mirror Luke's story, but inverted so that where Luke made good choices ultimately, Anakin would make bad ones, and the themes were inverted - so where Luke hoped to find his family, Anakin, having lost his, hoped to make a family ..... and skip off into happily ever after...but he couldn't so he went all Hitler and threw the paintbrush in anger and decided that the institution of the day was to blame and they all needed to die. Meanwhile, Luke's reaction to not being able to get what he wants is to sit down in existential dread for a while and then pull himself up by his bootstraps and truck on because there was work to do.

    Luke and Rey also deny the offers to reign in a power seat over the galaxy because of their ideals, while Anakin and Kylo embrace it and change their ideals to suit their new wants.

    Which brings me to...

    And that's the whole point of the ST, really: to end the cycle. Which is why we have both an Anakin and a Luke development arcs in the same series instead of only one or the other, as the previous two trilogies had (even though Anakin, as Darth Vader, was in OT, the focus was dominantly on Luke's path, and it's Luke's path that Lucas used to write the origin story of Darth Vader as Anakin in the PT).

    This whole new trilogy is about completing all cycles and ending them all in a "net 0" position, so everyone has to make reversals of the previous incarnations of their roles; not just inversions as the PT did. OT swung right, PT swung left, ST picks up both and turns them upside down.

    It's just interesting that in this pursuit, Rey has kind of gotten second-fiddle quantity of growth while Kylo has taken the lion's share and then some.
    To the point that if Kylo switched to being a good guy in the final act through some turmoil and the act killed him, audiences would actually have plenty of fuel to go along with that ride.
    Whereas if Rey flipped to the dark side in the final act through some turmoil and the act killed her, I think the audience reaction would be one mostly comprised of confusion.

    Cheers!
    Jayson :)
     
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  8. HAL'sgal

    HAL'sgal Force Sensitive

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    That's because they don't really intend for Rey to flip to the Dark side. Your point in this thread is that Kylo is the main character. It follows that the most interesting story will go to him- although it doesn't have to be a zero-sum game between them. But TPTB have also chosen to use a huge cast of characters and some side plots that either don't need to be there at all, or could have been resolved more efficiently. To me that means Rey's evolution isn't critical to the story. That's also why they chose not to give her a backstory to explain her near-instantaneous development of Jedi abilities. In the end, the story is about Kylo.

    TPTB have said all along SW is the Skywalker family saga and that's why most of us initially believed that Rey was a descendant of Anakin, as she seemed to be the protagonist. Now that we know she's not a Skywalker, one has to wonder if she's not the protagonist, either. It's very clever on their part. The answer to the "problem" of her ancestry was right in front of our faces all along, but we didn't see it. Until now.

    And finally, as I've posted elsewhere, with apologies to Tolstoy, good Jedi are all alike- every bad Jedi is bad in her own way. There's just not that much to write about her anymore- she's resolved her identity problem, she's passed her temptation. It's sad to say, but it seems that her main purpose going forward is as a foil to Kylo.
     
    #8 HAL'sgal, Dec 29, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
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  9. zazeron

    zazeron Rebelscum

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    we have 3 star wars movies that center on a non skywalker....phantom menace, force awakens, and last jedi
     
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  10. DailyPlunge

    DailyPlunge Coramoor

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    The Last Jedi is centered on Luke/Rey/Kylo.
     
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  11. Darth Basin The Greatest

    Darth Basin The Greatest Rebel Official

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    Centered on Luke? No, he was a support character.

    2003 was the last year we had a Skywalker protagonist as the lead. Anakin became the antagonist in ROTS & it's bin all downhill 4 the chosen family since then.
     
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  12. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Well, just to be clear, I'm more positing a pondering than claiming the story is actually centered around Kylo Ren.
    It's hard to tell without having IX on hand, as the final act of a story can radically shift the perspective and recontextualize everything before it.
    It just depends on what IX does, but if it holds like VII and VIII, then I would definitely say the ST is about the antagonist more than the protagonist.

    I'm also a bit hesitant to take up a final position regarding Rey's lineage, because when Vader told Luke that he was his Father, there was a lot of disbelief flying around which is why they had to have Yoda say it flatly without double-speak (i.e. Kenobi's style) in the next film to finalize the confirmation.
    Now, the reason I hesitate is that normally I'd say yep; she's a nobody if the films were exactly following the same motifs as OT, but they're also flipping things upside down as they go through them - for example, Kylo damns himself further, rather than redeems himself, by killing the big overlord leader who is about to kill the protagonist the antagonist now cares about.

    So they COULD be doing an exact copy of the motif of the antagonist telling the protagonist their worst fear in lineage, but due to their design structure of the chiasmus treatment, they could also flip it and have him lying for real this time instead of just fans thinking that he's lying like fans did back when Vader did the same to Luke.
    It's hard to say which way they'll go with this, even further, because by technicality, VIII accounted for all chiasmus requirements that remained to get soaked up by both the 2nd and 3rd acts in one 2nd act, which leaves IX free to either cherry pick its chiasmus parallels, do nothing with any chiasmus and be the first SW since ESB to carve out its own narrative path, or it could mix both options together (my guess is it will echo some things while add entirely new things, but that's just a guess).

    So, Rey may not be a Skywalker, and there are great poetic allegories that can be made if she isn't, or she could be related after all and there would be great poetic allegories that could be made if she was...it's really to much a 50/50 atm.

    With TFA and TLJ, I basically knew the gist of what was coming due to the SW chiasmus structure obligations, but IX really is a wild card at this point.

    You could be right, and Rey could be a 'Luke-made-up-to-be-a-wall-for-the-Kylo-racket ball-to-bounce-off-of'; I'm not sure. We shall see!

    Good post!

    Cheers!
    Jayson :)
    --- Double Post Merged, Dec 29, 2017, Original Post Date: Dec 29, 2017 ---
    I don't know about that.
    TPM is squarely about Anakin's call to adventure - the start of his adventure. Typically, during Act 1, the protagonist doesn't grow a whole lot. It's Act 2 and 3 where all of the growth happens.

    What stood out was that TLJ's growth was heavily still in favor of Kylo, so it's not that TFA didn't have a lot of Rey growth that's terribly odd, as that's normal for the introductory act. It's more about the second act also having about as much growth for Rey as act one, and quite a lot of growth for Kylo Ren.
    Now, this could be for a host of reasons.

    For example, since we're now cramming the Anakin and the Luke analogues into one trilogy, it could be that Kylo needed to get to his growth first in the 2nd act so that there's room for Rey's bigger growth in the 3rd act, since you can't really very easily pull off both Anakin and Luke's levels of character growth both in the same 2 acts and make enough room for neither to suffocate the other without making three and half hour movies out of both TFA and TLJ.

    It's a damned dicey juggle, and I greatly respect their talent for even being able to tell a story given all of the baggage and tangled weaves they have to attend to both technically and in narrative before they even get to what they want to do as a single film story.

    As for TFA and TLJ, so far the weight has landed heavily in Kylo's lap for character growth, so even if Rey turns out to be a non-Skywalker, then the trilogy still ends up being about the Skywalker line through Kylo's large volume of screen time and character growth, and if Rey turns out to be a Skywalker related lineage of some kind, then the whole trilogy of course is about a Skywalker on both sides of the table.

    About the only film that I can squarely say isn't much about a Skywalker is ANH. Yeah, Luke fires the saving shot, but really you could plop Biggs in there, and offer Han any given monetary motive for smuggling Leia off the Death Star. For example, her "Dad" payed Han to rescue her, as in Spaceballs.
    Luke is only truly essential to ANH in getting the message to Ben, but that would be replaced by Han being paid by Leia's "Dad" and Leia plopping the plans on droids that went to her "Dad" instead of some old mystic on a desert planet.
    Point being, in ANH, as a stand alone, you need to do very little to write Luke entirely out of the story, but you have to do a lot of foot work to remove Han Solo, even though the trilogy as a whole becomes impossible to pull off without Luke once you get into act 2 and 3.

    Though TPM doesn't have a lot of Anakin growth, he's pretty central to the story. You have to do a lot of re-writing to remove him from the film since his specialness is the motivator for the entire movie.

    Cheers,
    Jayson :)
     
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  13. HAL'sgal

    HAL'sgal Force Sensitive

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    I agree it's definitely not clear where this is going to go in IX. Sometimes I think the protagonist might not be either one of them.

    It seems that the writers were working through a set of characters- VII was predominantly Han/Rey. VIII seemed more focused on Kylo/Luke. Next might have been Leia/??. With Carrie gone that whole progression has perhaps come to an end.

    One aspect of this theory is that the writing of Rey's character seems a little less frustrating. If she's really meant to share the stage all of these unanswered questions about her seem much less urgent.
     
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  14. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    I like the idea that neither are the protagonist. I doubt that's going to be the case (just because American heroism culture doesn't really "popcorn appreciate" that sort of motif...just like it would piss a lot of people off if Kylo and Rey Hamlet style killed each other in the final act), but I like that idea.

    There's a twisted side of myself that, upon reading your idea there, jumped up and snickered like the Grinch and said, "Make the final protagonist DJ, muahahaha!", because he's the only character that I'm aware of in all of SW who has entirely escaped any obligation to moral debt even once. But that's just the troll in my head who I smack and tell to go back and wait for the next John Oliver show.

    For some reason, I don't think the final act was going to lean towards Leia. Maybe it would, but the impression that I was getting, based on chiasmus relations and the fact that we have both an Anakin and a Luke analogue in this trilogy, is that we have to have the Han/Rey as we had the Ben/Luke, and then we have to flip around and have the Kylo/Luke so that we have the Ben/Anakin (friggen Kenobi...swear to god man...that man should've just sat in the desert his whole life and never tried to do anything because really...if he hadn't, neither the PT or OT would've happened...lol...anyway, off tangent), which means we still need our Vader/Luke which is Kylo/Rey - which we got a bit of via the reprise of ROTJ in chiasmus parallel in TLJ, but it's clear we're not finished between those two, so I always took it to be the third film focusing on those two as a relationship.

    Leia, as a whole, going into the third act - even without Carrie Fisher's death, was always a pickle because...well...Lucas um...see...he uh...well...he's not very female oriented, let me put it that way. So there's no real bouncing off of anything for a strong lead to be except for Leia herself in the OT and a tad of Padme...which was a bouncing off of Leia, so...it's just a wall of feedback from the amplifier with Leia going into the third act, so I was always a little confused how in the heck they would work that one out in any direction that doesn't just back shelf her in the third act to just sit around and give pep talks once in a while.
    I mean...you can't repeat Kylo killing his parent again because there's no protocol requiring another Ben/Vader, Qui-Gon/Maul scene with someone on the side screaming, "NOOOOOOO!"

    So I don't know. Maybe Leia was some rough sketch in their minds before that was the opening to the path out of the loop of chiasmus obligations in the final act - that would be about the only thing I could figure. However, as you noted...whatever the plans were, they're off the table now, and we'll just have to see how they wrap that up...(good luck JJ!; seriously!)

    (also...and this is a tiny nitpick...but I can't help thinking that the whole Leia thing could've been fixed up a bit here and there by recutting a few things and having Leai drive the ship into Snoke's, leaving Holdo to continue on as the new "Leia" by baton. With some editing that's well possible today, you could take her shots on Crait and flip them so that they're on the ship, and cut it so that Luke talks to her like Rey and Kylo do, but he breaks the distance wall like Rey and Kylo did to hand her the dice and hug as he says goodbye as his Sister zooms to her suicidal death. Then that big and brilliantly outstanding Snoke explosion scene silence would include a moment of silence for Leia implicitly. It wouldn't've reshaped anything negatively for the story, and it would be rather easy to edit that with today's digital tools without requiring any digital actor segments...........but that's just a small pick; I'm not bothered at all by how they did it, though)

    Cheers,
    Jayson :)
     
    #14 Jayson, Dec 29, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
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  15. CnlSandersdeKFC

    CnlSandersdeKFC Rebel Official

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    Um... Anikan is still very much the protagonist of ROTS. He's the character all of the events center around. He's the character that PROgresses the story. His antagonist are Obi-Wan, Mace, and Palpatine, the characters who are all opposed to Anikan in one form or another. Just because a character is morally bad, doesn't make them the antagonist. The events of the story, and the structure of it determines that. The structure of ROTS still centers on Anikan, and so he's still the protagonist. In fact, I'd say he's much more the protagonist of ROTS than in either of the other two PT films, where the protagonist role is shared with Obi-Wan, and Padme.
    --- Double Post Merged, Dec 29, 2017, Original Post Date: Dec 29, 2017 ---
    I don't think I quite agree with you on you're assertion that Luke is inconsequential to the story. I feel like the story very much is about his call to adventure, and centers on Luke more than any other character. Without Luke the droids would have never reached Obi-Wan, as they would have fallen into the hands of the Stormtroopers who attacked the Sandcrawler. Without Luke, Obi-Wan would have never been in the Jungland waste to rescue the droids (and Luke) from the Sand people. Without Luke Han would have never saved the princess, and would have been content to sit in the control room while Obi-Wan reprogrammed the tractor beam. Without Luke firing the shot the Death Star wouldn't be destroy.

    In fact, I find your description of Han being the main character of ANH to be somewhat absurd. He is in every sense a secondary character to Luke. Luke is the hero. Han is nothing more than the sidekick, whose introduced almost and hour into the film. While it's true Han undergoes the most growth, I don't think that the only metric you can measure a character's importance to the plot by. Luke has the most personal influence on the plot, and he's the character through which the primary story is being projected. Luke is the one making the most decisions and perpetrating the actions that have the biggest influence on the film's plot.

    On TPM, I actually feel the story involves Anikan very little. The protagonist of TPM is mainly Obi-Wan, followed by Padme as he struggles to protect her. Anikan only shows up as a tangential side story about a kid whose a slave child with some funny mystical skills, who helps save the day at the end. Again, the main choices are made by Obi-Wan, and Padme as they try to protect Naboo. Anikan has no stakes in that fight, nor does he really have any choice in whether he wants to partake or not. He's just along for the ride for his entire presence in the film.
     
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  16. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    All I know is that when I did one of my re-writes of ANH, not the current one I'm tinkering with, which explored the removal of Luke and refocus upon Han Solo as the central protagonist, I was rather alarmed how incredibly easy it is to remove Luke from ANH.

    I can't very easily remove Anakin since he's the Jesus the wise men have been looking for, so even if he's a lug of potatoes the rest of the film, he has to actually exist, but Luke can literally be wiped out and it makes no difference to the principle points of the ANH story because none of the familial things have kicked off just yet.

    His essential plot points are:
    Receives droids
    Delivers to Ben
    Recognizes Leia's name on the Death Star
    Fires winning torpedo shot

    All I had to do to remove Luke was have another pilot drop the torpedo after being rescued by the returning Solo - didn't matter who it was - remove Obi Wan because he's just not needed in all honesty either as he only serves to tell Luke a few things and if we're removing Luke then...well...no real use for Ben either...anyway, beyond the torpedo bit, I just had to have Leia's "Dad" hire Han and have Leia route the droids to her "Dad" instead of Ben Kenobi.
    It's basically a Forceless show, which isn't as cool because the Force and Jedi yada yada is fun stuff, but it functions just as well without Luke for the primary plot regarding the Rebels resistance against the Empire, and pretty much all of Han and Leia's arcs remain intact.
    The only tricky part was the whole Vader/Kenobi fight - you have to replace that with something of equal weight, and I shuffled that around to Leia running into Vader using the "got turned around and separated in the halls" trope, and then had Han and Chewie save her in a sort of Indiana Jones sort of manner fit to Solo (surprise and crudeness in plan, barely squeak out, etc...), which actually aided the dynamics between the spitting contests between Han and Leia.

    Luke had a much bigger growth arc in Lucas' original script, but when Fox told him to cut it down, all that work with the flyboys went out the window and what was left for Luke was no where near as much as what growth there was for Han.

    For fun, I've been tinkering with an ANH rewrite that removes Ben and shuffles more of Ben's weights over to Luke and sees what happens if we push Luke forward a bit more instead of having so little for him to do most of the time. Basically...reduce the cast of capable options so that Luke becomes more of the only option.

    I do these things for fun because it's interesting to take and see how much work it takes to bend a script to something else; you learn a lot about the craft, as well as the extant story, in doing so.

    Also, I'm not seriously saying that ANH is garbage, nor that it needs to be looked at as not a Skywalker film.
    I just mean that it's the only film that contains the least growth for our primary focal-point character (Luke, in this case) compared to another character in the same story, to the point that he's not - in and of that film itself - crucially irreplaceable.
    I can't remove Rey from TFA very well, and I can't remove Anakin from TPM either, but I can remove Luke from ANH (it would just ruin everything for ESB and ROTJ to do so, but in and of itself ANH wouldn't be phased much).

    Anyway...it was just the closest comparison to another film in the series which has a protagonist who has the lesser of growth by considerable margins to another character - and true, we can make a similar comparison with Anakin to a degree in contrast to Ben in TPM regarding growth.

    However, in both cases, unlike the current trilogy, the second act radically shifts the weight to Anakin and Luke. In the current trilogy, it remained roughly about the same; leaning toward Kylo as the character with the higher quantity of growth.

    So either I expect we're going to just hyper-focus on Kylo through the whole thing from the perspective of Rey as our hero, or Rey's turn to grow is coming up and Kylo just took an early lead to get it done.

    Cheers!
    Jayson :)
     
    #16 Jayson, Dec 29, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
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  17. Ammianus Marcellinus

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    What I find tremendously intriguing and different about Kylo from all the other villains in Star Wars is not only how the writers tried to raise pathos for Kylo in their audience, but also how Kylo, in this movie especially is portrayed as an empathetic figure. Whether his empathy is instrumental or genuine is up to the audience to decide. I do believe that what he says to Rey "you're not alone" and "you're no one, you're nothing...but not for me" is genuine, so was his attempt to save Rey from Snoke. Whereas Vader saw Luke as just a tool, like Palpatine saw Vader and Snoke sees Kylo Ren, Kylo...Ben... sees Rey as someone to whom he is genuinely attrackted. Not in a sexual sense, but in a more spiritual and empathetic sense. He pities her. And what better way of destroying the conflict between light and dark, the sith, the jedi, the resistance, the first order, then having the two opposites who rose in strength opposing one another, join hands.

    This is something Kylo had to learn from his confrontation and dialogues with Rey, but also from the traumatic experience of killing Han. It was both these things: Han warning Kylo of Snoke's motives, and Kylo's empathy for Rey, which caused him to revolt against Snoke.

    Perhaps more interestingly, that moment where Kylo has a chance to kill his mother, he refrains from doing so. Just as Luke refrained from killing Ben. For a split second, it crosses their minds. But then they realize that it would be a bad decision. Just like Luke, Kylo 'throws away the sabre'.
     
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  18. master_shaitan

    master_shaitan Jedi General

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    I just personally think it is clear that Rey and Ren are the two sides of the protagonist.
    Rey is the moral, rational side, that does the right thing and helps others. She's the Luke that throws down the saber.
    Ren is the selfish, irrational side that makes mistakes. He's the Luke that kills Vader and rules the galaxy.
    At the same time, Rey's conflict will lead her towards Ren's side and Ren's conflict will lead him to her's.
    In IX, they will come together at some point and the "whole protagonist" will have to make their choice.

    The question is, which side will win?
    Personally, I see Rey and Ren uniting their power, selflessly, at the end of IX - for the good side.
    The surprise will be how they get to that point - and what the enemy is that they face together - a new villain, Hux, the Dark Side itself or some disaster that threatens the destruction of the entire galaxy....
     
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  19. Mosley909

    Mosley909 Rebel Official

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    If people had told me at the start of this trilogy that we are going to build up the son of Leia and Han to be this trilogies main villain, who is obsessed with killing the past, and kills his farther and the character everyone assumed would be the trilogies biggest villain(Snoke) i would have been jumping for joy with excitement becuase that is an incredible and brilliant idea.

    So i throughly support the plot, its the execution that i'm so disappointed with. I mean going back to the force awakens you had him kill his father, becuase in the eyes of the audience this is the first time we had seen them together, so their is no connection strong connection between them from a view point-of view, so what should of been an incredibly powerful scene loses a lot of its impact. Then you have Kylo duelling Finn who manages to get a blow on him and then kylos loses in a fight to Rey who has never held a lightsaber before. It didn't do a great job of making Kylo Ren seem threatening. Yes he was injured but in no way did i walk away from that film thinking he's a fierce villain.

    At the start of The Last Jedi, Snoke agrees with me, mocking kyllo for been been bested by a girl who had never held a lightsaber, Snoke then even tells the audience that Kylo isnt as strong as he thought he would be. We then get him showing his conscience again in the seen where he can't shoot the bridge with his mum on. Then we have all the scenes between him and Rey, where you further see the conflict in Kylo and the film spends alot of time making him seem like not such a bad guy. The film did not set up this guy in anyway for him to be a big enough threat fo the heroes of the story to over come.

    Plus their is the actual killing of Snoke. like i said the twist of killing the supposed main villain so early on is a great idea, but you have to make Snoke into a real fleshed out character first so his death means something. I mean he was basically just a plot device whose back story will likely get filled in in books, so offing him without really explaining how this guy became so incredibly powerful in the force, or where he came from how he got so scared, why he has built the new order to be exactly like the empire even down to the imperial guards, it felt unfulfilling, like a a character been written out of a tv show halfway through a story. All of which took away from Kylos ascension to supreme leader status, instead of going wow that cool, it was more like Huh? Plus its not like the made him seen particularly strong or wise after that scene, he can't tell lukes an illusion he has the tactical prowess of a child and the temper to match.

    Then their are Kylos constant tantrums, this guy is meant to be a threatening villain and he acts like my 5 year old nephew half the time.

    So while i love the ideas behind the plot, but the way they have handled it has been terrible, they have made him look weak, conflicted like a kid who secretly just wants his mum. The bottom line is going in t episode 9 it doesn't feel like Kylo Ren is much of a threat to the galaxy at all.
     
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  20. HAL'sgal

    HAL'sgal Force Sensitive

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    I think there is a lot of truth in what you've said here. There's another thread somewhere in the forum that talks about how SW seems scaled down- nothing is quite what it was at the start of TPM- including the villains.

    In TFA they tried to show Kylo as being exceptionally strong by highlighting how the crossbow Chewie used on him would kill anyone else. At several points Han mentions how awesomely destructive it is- but that's rather subtle, I didn't pick up on that until my second viewing. One might even forget it's the same weapon used by both Han and Chewie. We don't actually see much damage done to Kylo, either.

    Another missing piece is not showing us any of the terrible things Kylo was supposed to have done as a child. Luke vaguely mentions some things but nothing is ever shown. Honestly, it would also significantly elevate my opinion of Luke in this movie if they had taken two minutes to show us what would make him want to kill his own nephew?! Kind of a big omission, in my book.

    You known they've got some footage of that, though- some of it was in Rey's Force vision from TFA. I guess I am hoping we still see what that is all about- maybe that revelation in 9 will shed a little light- or rather dark- on his character.
     
    #20 HAL'sgal, Dec 29, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
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