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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. Mosley909

    Mosley909 Rebel Official

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    I disagree I don't think they have said as much, i think they have said he is conflicted, but Its a long way between writing a conflicted character and setting out to write him as serious mental issues. Like you say Johnson has very much stuck to his convictions and I can't see him shying away from saying that he wrote it in this way if that was his intention.
    It's also a very long way between people watching and interpreting what they have seen/read. The most famous example of this is with Lord of the rings, their whole books are written about how it is a metaphor against industrialisation. To which Tolkien basically nonsense and said that was never an intention it was just a story, so projecting your interpretation on to a story or character, while interesting and generally fun to read, does not mean it is anywhere near what the author intended.

    But I get the themes and the metaphors behind the story, In fact, they are the one thing in the last Jedi I absolutely love, I think Johnson did an incredible job with that aspect of the film, I just think too often the basic plot points, story and structure let these themes down, and for me this is true with Kylos character.

    No, I feel its vague because the writers want to use Ben to be this kind of character to suit this aspect of the story then ten mins later contradict that to suit this part of the story. Like I said previously they spend most of the last Jedi showing him as weak and misunderstood, then two min later you have to accept him as this ultra strong ultra evil guy the force had to create his equal in.
     
  2. master_shaitan

    master_shaitan Jedi General

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    Privileged to be part of a forum with minds like this.
    --- Double Post Merged, Apr 19, 2018, Original Post Date: Apr 19, 2018 ---
    Putting aside the numerous interviews with the cast and crew who have stated the opposite to what you suggest above, what do the films tell us?

    We explicitly hear how Snoke manipulated him. We have learned how his parents weren’t there for him and sent him away. We saw how Snoke treated him. We saw his own uncle consider striking him down. We see the burden of his power weighing down on him. We see a fragmented galaxy that needs fixing and he, like his grandfather, being seen as the chosen one (as stated by MH) who can fix it - which made his conflict worse no doubt. We hear him admit he loved his father and didn’t kill him out of malice or hate. We see his conflict when confronted by Rey and his lack of ability/tools to manage what he faces.

    The films and new canon go out of their way to tell us that Ren isn’t just some black and white villain but a young man who has made bad choices and who needs help. Let’s face it, post ROTJ the cat was out of the bag. These central “villains” (not the plainly evil ones like Sidious and Snoke), have a more complex story than we are originally presented with. There is no simple answer to their fall. It’s not down to them being bad eggs. It’s down to the choices they make. Yes, the bulk of responsibility lays with them but it would be foolish not to examine the greater reasons why they fell and indeed dismiss their redemption.
     
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  3. FN-3263827

    FN-3263827 First Order CPS
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    we can agree to disagree, but if Kylo Ben Solo Ren isn't expressly coded as suffering from trauma due to psychological abuse, i'll eat my hat. XD
    and yes, of course, no one has ever come out and used the words "mentally ill" because the point is that they also expressly do not want to stigmatize him.

    and to the point of suiting "aspects", Kylo Ren was a fearful villain for about fifteen seconds in TFA when he walked off the shuttle and stopped Poe's blaster bolt.
    he's never been anything but a big hot mess ever after ~ and especially never "ultra strong" nor "ultra evil". strong in the Force, sure absolutely (and so yes, he needs to be countered on that level), but he's completely waffly in his head, emotionally a disaster-boat sinking Titanic-style, and 100% stunted in his ability to reason when he's frightened or angry (which is pretty much most of the time).

    and this has been consistent from the moment Lor San Tekka challenges him on Jakku to the moment Luke psyches him out on Crait.
     
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  4. master_shaitan

    master_shaitan Jedi General

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    Echoes of:

     
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  5. CTrent29

    CTrent29 Rebel Official

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    What character growth?
     
  6. FN-3263827

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    that's a really interesting comparison. i feel like Gladiator never capitalized on the complexity of Commodus' problems and instead just reduced him to a narcissist playboy idiot with a bad case of bloodlust and a silly fixation on Maximus as the "replacement son" whom he could never outstrip. i know others will disagree with me, but i think this reduction basically ruins the movie. it never gets any better than that early scene in which Commodus' father tries to apologize and is killed for his troubles.

    Ben Solo is a completely different animal. he's got all the power and capacity to do all these amazing things (and by all means should be the beloved son), but he can't make his family stop fearing him and he feels utterly rejected and betrayed; as a result he falls under the thrall of an evil manipulator who convinces him to destroy everything he desires in order to "make him stronger" (i.e. to essentially stop the pain of feeling alone and wanting to be loved).

    Ben Solo could easily be a Commodus, but Abrams and Johnson (and the whole of the EU) have worked really hard at making sure he's not.
     
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  7. Mosley909

    Mosley909 Rebel Official

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    yeah, I think we have to agree to disagree on the first bit, I think if it he been designing written as mentally ill character i think that would have come out far more in the interviews when talking about him as a character. I don't really feel they would be too worried about stigmatising a fictional character who has killed his dad, with having mental disorders. But really not trying to take anything away from that theory though I love it, but it is still just an interpretation.

    I don't really agree with the fact the story made it feel like he needs s to be countered at the level statement, it felt like that was kind of put in to explain Reys power and reinforce the connection between the two characters, but for me it caused further plot issues as I had just spent an hour + watching the director show him as weak and not really that evil, conflicted but not truly dark and with Snoke saying one minute he's weak, next he needs a rival in the light who the force has made incredibly strong.

    but hey like you say agree to disagree nowt wrong with that, and I love the mental illness idea.
     
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  8. master_shaitan

    master_shaitan Jedi General

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    Oh for sure. They basically turned Commodus into a complete jerk of a villain, rather than exploring the deeper issues that were emotionally touched upon in the scene above. I just feel however that a comparison can be made between some elements of Ren and Commodus' backgrounds in that they feel rejected by their father, are disappointed by them (their POV of power) and that this is partly to blame for their turn to the Dark Side. But you're right and it is something I didn't realise at first - Kylo Ren avoids becoming the annoying jerk of a son. They go to greater pains to provide us with a fuller background that explains his fall and provides more of a desire for us to see his redemption.
     
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  9. FN-3263827

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    he certainly has his moments. i still laugh at his snotty "i'm sure you are!" to Luke on Crait. he's so petulant, it's ridiculous ~ hahahaha

    but yes, they avoid making a terrible caricature out of him.
    even when he's being "bad", we see his suffering.

    that moment when he admits to Rey that he's a monster is one of the most subtle and beautiful moments of the film.
    he owns that he's an abomination, but it hurts so much for him to know it.
    it's the one moment where we can see that he's capable of real self-reflection--and consequently, real change.
     
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  10. Lylo Ren

    Lylo Ren Rebel General

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    I definitely get what you're saying, but in real life people are seldom ever so cut and dry, so I can personally deal with the inconsistencies in Kylo Ren. I can see Hux being pretty sore about his treatment in Episode VIII and rallying against that for power, so I have to disagree that he's been made null and void after Episode VIII. I do agree that the overall plot of the ST might have been better served if some points were done differently; I think it's hard to argue against that.
    --- Double Post Merged, Apr 19, 2018, Original Post Date: Apr 19, 2018 ---
    What other actor could have played Kylo Ren as efficiently? I can't think of one, tbh.
     
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  11. ObiWanKnowsMe

    ObiWanKnowsMe Rebel Official

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    That's a pretty accurate assessment of Han Solo for sure. But let's not make Han out to be a totally rat-bastard because he's not. he has good in him but obviously has had a rough past or misguidance from someone OR ELSE he probably wouldn't be smuggling drugs. You are right that Han is able to stop being irrationally cynical of others due to Leia and his service of the Republic beside her. Plus the fact that Leia showed her true love for Han by risking her life to save him from Jabba also had to help Han see that people care for him, and he should care for others also.

    It's interesting how you assess Han because there's definitely some of his earlier traits showing themselves in Kylo, as he refuses to trust others that don't completely agree with his decisions. Obviously though, its safe to say Kylo is pretty damn evil -- something that his father was not
     
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  12. Mosley909

    Mosley909 Rebel Official

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    of course life isn't cut and dry and i have no issue with been a complexed villian. Life is confusing and messy and some times its great when that is reflected in film. but if we are using real life as a metaphor for this film, with Kylo it feels similar to one of your freinds coming up to you and describing some one as a bit weak but not such a bad guy and then coming back ten mins later coming back and going go he's strong but what an evil git, and what your really seeing in a guy in his 30's acting like an angsty teenager.
    Of course this isn't real life, so audiences have to suspend belief more then you would in real life, but equally story tellers need create more of a through narrative than exists in real life. Its a balance and for me they havn't got that balance right with the way they have presented Kylo Ren to the audience.

    maybe your right null and void is a bit too far. and your right from a simple character point of view he will of course want revenge. I was more talking about from an audience point of view, I just can't imagine we are going to take him him seriously as a threatening villain, after watching poe making your mum jokes at him kylo thowing him around like a rag doll, all the time while domhnall gleeson is pulling silly faces. He was made into such a buffoon like comedy character that going from that point to feeling like any kind of threat is to much of a stretch and would just feel jarring.
    i agree, but equally what they have come up with is pretty great, Like i said a in my orginal post, if some one said to me the plot of this new trilodgy would be the Son of Han and Leia starts to fall to the darkside kill his farther struggles with his concious while sharing a connection even possible love intrest with the female Jedi in training hero of the story, but ultimately decides to go down the darkside route kill his dark side meantor and then run riot terrosing the galaxy I would have bitten their hand off to see that. So I don't want you for me to come accross as somone one who thinks every idea they have come up with is terrible. But the lack of plan from the start and in my eyes dodgy execution of the ideas have have undermined most of those great ideas and for me it has effected my enjoyment of the Kylo/ben character.
    well it depends what you count as efficiently, If you wanted to portary and teenage angst coming of age stoyline which is what a lot of this story has been then yes i can think of actors who where more agree appropriate, Timothée Chalamet comes to mind.
    If your asking me if i like the idea of Adam Driver playing the son of Han and Leia in his 30's and been a conflicted villian, stuggling with many issues, then while of course thier are other actors who could do it, Adam Driver is an excellent choice. I just don't think he has been given the best material to work with.
    But i understand what you saying, people get connected to actors playing parts, obviously before this trilodgy came out you wouldnt be saying it has to be Adam Driver, but once you have seen it and you like it of course you are going to feel that way, Plus Adam Driver is an excellent actor, watch Silence and Loagn Lucky, so im not in any way insulting him as an actor.
     
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  13. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Agreed on Han, and I think the primary difference between Han and Kylo is two-fold:
    1) Han didn't idolize
    2) Han found and was rescued by love

    Kylo idolizes to the point of obsession, and hasn't found love to either be destroyed or rescued by.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  14. FN-3263827

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    i'm scared both of and for Hux going forward. i think people underestimate his doggedness ~ his utter determination to rule the galaxy.
    i also don't think that because he had one bad day that he'll ever be any less of a threat.
    five minutes after Ren choked him, he's back in Ren's face; and after Ren trashed him on Crait, he's clearly plotting his next move.
    worse still, Ren didn't kill Hux when he should have, but Ren probably knows he can't control the FO without him.

    all that said, i agree some bad choices were made by Johnson and/or Gleeson in TLJ with regard to Hux, but it's an easy fix for Abrams.

    i've noticed a lot of people who say things like: so and so is dumb/silly/weak and therefore not a credible villain (about both Hux and Ren).
    some of the world's worst villains are also some of the dumbest, silliest, and weakest people in real life. that has not made them any less villainous/treacherous/terrorizing. i get that this is a story in which the audience is looking for black and white broadly brushed (good vs. evil, Darth Vader vs. Luke), but i just don't think that the ST is working with that same palette. it's one of the things that's evolving in Star Wars.

    personally, i like it. it's a fairy tale for the modern age.
     
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  15. Mosley909

    Mosley909 Rebel Official

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    i guess its personal taste for me after seeing gleeason pulling all his silly faces and basicaly every character treating him as a joke, from Kylo and Snoke throwing him around like a Childs toy, Poe mocking him, Adrian Edmondson's character having to tell him that he is been taken the piss out off, they made him into such a baffoonie comic character i don't think it is such an easy fix to go from the to as villain the audience will take seriously.
    I do understand that alot of people want to see more of him becuase the way he has been portrayed in the books and the comics, and will be far more accepting of a change from a comedic character to a more threatening one, but on a film narrative point of view personally i would find it quite jarring that radical a shift. I'd rather them just come up with a new character to threaten and rival Kylo if thats what the story needs, one who doesn't come with all the comedic baggage that Hux does

    But hey as we have all seen since the last Jedi came out different people have radically different views and thats just mine.
     
  16. FN-3263827

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    i guess i'm optimistic that he'll surprise us.

    to me in TFA it was always obvious where Hux was headed.
    with TLJ, Johnson introduced some doubt as to Hux's ability to command.
    maybe the whole point was to make sure the audience underestimates him?

    we shall see! : D
     
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  17. Andrew Waples

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    I would argue so that Kylo Ren can be Supereme Leader.
     
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  18. FN-3263827

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    or to make sure Kylo Ren's stint as Supreme Leader would be absolutely fraught with treachery from the inside.
    and short-lived. very short-lived.
     
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  19. Mosley909

    Mosley909 Rebel Official

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    you do make alot of good points here, I mean i guess a lot of the world see Trump as one of the biggest Villians going and he comes accross as a bit of a joke and a baffoon.

    But im not saying a comedy character can't be a threat, or a complexed conficted character can't be a villian. Im saying you have to keep that chacrter been true to what you have shown them as, not just change them to suit what they story needs in the next scene. Like with Kylo hes weak and not that bad, no now he's super evil and uso strong the force needed to create a rival. Of with Hux if they suddenly made him this super sinister brilliant military leader after portaying him as a comidic baffoon.

    but maybe thats just me who it bothers.
    --- Double Post Merged, Apr 20, 2018, Original Post Date: Apr 20, 2018 ---
    maybe would be great if the pull that off, and i would love it if i end the trilogy going wasn't Hux brilliant god i was an idiot. But at this stage it just feels like an up hill battle there.
    --- Double Post Merged, Apr 20, 2018 ---
    personly think this would be great if they went with some kind of civil war of the first order, treachery on all sides for kylo, the military rebeling, Finn maybe leading a stormtrooper result, maybe a a rival to kylo from the knights of Ren. A first order implosion would be a different way to go while fitting in with what we have seen in the trilogy so far.
     
    #59 Mosley909, Apr 20, 2018
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  20. Lylo Ren

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    You've made some good points here, but oh my goodness, no, Timothee Chalamet, who I also love, I just can't see portraying this character. Adults often play much younger than they are, that's a thing Hollywood has done for a long time. Adam Driver does not LOOK too old to play this character, it seems to me that you are hung up on his age in real life. This is much different than say Leslie Howard portraying Ashley Wilkes in Gone with the Wind, for example, where he physically looked too old to play the character and it was somewhat distracting. Isn't Kylo Ren supposed to be around 29? Or am I mistaken?
     
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