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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. Lylo Ren

    Lylo Ren Rebel General

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    It's no coincidence I prefer TFA, lol.
     
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  2. CTrent29

    CTrent29 Rebel Official

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    If this is true, then I don't even know why I'm bothering with this damn trilogy anymore. I don't know why I'm following this trilogy anyway. So, in your world, our three main protagonists who are portrayed by a young white woman, a young black man and an older man of Latino descent should be there to simply serve the story arc of white male villain, who is supposed to be the real protagonist. At least the ethnic status quo is maintained:rolleyes:.
     
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  3. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Umm. No.

    The point is that Kylo had a huge growth for an antagonist.
    I did not mean Kylo was the only protagonist; instead it is meant that he is a protagonist more than an antagonist if considered by growth.

    Rey outpaces Kylo in TFA by a bit, but I'm not sure of that in TLJ. However, likely they are supposed to grow equally as they are each an echo of a previous protagonist. Kylo is a refrain of Anakin and Rey is a refrain of Luke.

    I don't see where the race even comes into it.
    Strange logic, that.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  4. LarsSkywalker

    LarsSkywalker Rebel Official

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    By the end of TLJ. They basically made Hux the Starscream to Kylo's Megatron. (80s Transformers).

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheStarscream
     
    #84 LarsSkywalker, May 7, 2018
    Last edited: May 7, 2018
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  5. FN-3263827

    FN-3263827 First Order CPS
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    exactly!

    i would even argue that the in-battling has always been there since TFA; TLJ just upped the stakes on it a thousandfold.
     
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  6. RockyRoadHux

    RockyRoadHux Ginger General

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    I like that comparison! Not only because he, just as Hux, tries to overthrow Megatron (his "Supreme Leader"), but because Statscream's arc in general would make up for an interesting story:

    After being defeated and exiled, he'll creates an army of his own and finally (After proving worth in battle) he gets restored to Decepticon ranks.
     
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  7. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Playing catch up here. For some reason, I stopped getting alerts on this thread even though I'm still marked for following.

    Yes. I'm being a bit cheeky in the title and posting on purpose. Obviously Kylo is ultimately the antagonist, but he's not purely a traditional antagonist.
    The focal point here was that the amount of character growth that we see in Kylo is not typical for an antagonist. Usually the antagonist grows little if any at all, and the protagonist is the one who has the character growth.
    However, due to the chiasmus nature of Star Wars, and that Kylo is the reverse motif of Anakin, and Rey the reverse of Luke in motifs, we've ended up with, effectively, two protagonists who happen to be each other's antagonists. It so happens, however, that we're following (and rooting) for Rey from the narrative point of view so she is the primary protagonist; no doubt about that.

    I can't take RJ's comment too deeply about dual protagonists because, well...that's how RJ thinks about all of his antagonists. RJ doesn't really like traditional protagonist/antagonist relationships and tends to examine those roles from a relativist disposition, so if you ask him about any of his antagonists, he's pretty likely to not see them as a traditional antagonist at all.

    I expect that in 9 Rey will out-pace Kylo in growth again; it was more the point that we're at that ANH style moment where a different character other than our primary protagonist has the larger growth quantity (at least, I'm fairly certain of that...I'm still hunting for a TLJ script to work off of to verify that with data analysis; currently working from anecdotal evidence from watching the film...I do know that TFA is very close with Rey taking the lead marginally and Kylo having a higher growth rate per scene count than Rey).

    The main point here that I find interesting is that we have a rather unique position, as typically the antagonist doesn't have a lot of character growth going on.
    Palpatine in the PT doesn't really grow much; he unfolds his villainous plots and lets down his nice-guy act as the story progresses, but his character doesn't really change his disposition, nor is his disposition challenged. Vader in the OT has a fairly tiny growth and it's almost all in ROTJ within a couple of scenes.

    However, here, again because of the chiasmus structure resonance, we have a unique position where it's almost like having two protagonists on opposite sides of the story - almost like an American Civil War story between friends or family on either side of the battle.
    Ultimately Rey is the primary, but Kylo doesn't easily fit into the pure antagonist mold. He doesn't serve as only an obstacle and frustration to the protagonist; the looming threat.
    Instead, he has his own agenda's and motivations; he has his own obstacles and challenges, and interestingly some of those are from Rey.

    The point of saying "he's the protagonist" was a bit provocative, but it's by counting growths. If you count the growths and pick the protagonist by who has more character growth than the other, then Kylo could very well come out in the lead...so far, that is. Again, it's happened before, and it was subsequently shifted in the following films, which could easily occur here.

    It's pretty fascinating.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  8. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    I think RJ knew exactly what he was doing, actually.
    Thing is, there wasn't anymore to do with Rey for that portion, and Kylo needs to get his growth arc ramped up and caught up before 9, otherwise 9 will be forced to waste time getting Kylo up to speed. Meanwhile, Rey didn't need more growth; she had reached her zenith of self-worth discovery, but Kylo still had more to finish.

    Both characters are well positioned to head into the 9th film.

    (I'm still frustrated that I can't find a copy of the TLJ script yet...grrr....I can't do a proper character analysis without it!)

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  9. LarsSkywalker

    LarsSkywalker Rebel Official

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    @Jayson Have you seen Avengers: Infinity War?
     
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  10. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    No, and to be honest; I'll probably wait until it hits streaming - that's where I usually catch the Marvel films.
    Aside from a rare occasion, Star Wars is about the only film I go to the theater to watch. I don't really enjoy theaters much. I get a better film experience on my couch with a pause button. :)

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  11. LarsSkywalker

    LarsSkywalker Rebel Official

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    Too bad. Because the villain is the protagonist
     
  12. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Cool, I think it's a great evolution in writing that needs to happen more.
    I look forward to seeing the idea explored more; now if we could also maybe move beyond the stereotypical myth that every story must be the protagonist being frustrated and antagonized through most of the film and only reaches excellence at the final moments; that the character study is the only true means of narrative structure...that would be nice. Personally, I would like to see more stories where the character serves to study something other than the character, but that's just my two cents.

    I'll probably watch it, just not anytime soon. I really don't like the theater setting very often.
    I do it for Star Wars because I like the fan fare interaction with the crowd; the gasps, boos, cheers, laughs, etc... because, for me, that's part of Star Wars and you have a limited time to capture that while it's in theaters. However, it's really only Star Wars that I feel that way about, and to be honest, it's probably rooted in nostalgia and the rarity that a Star Wars film occurring has been.
    Now that Star Wars is ramping up to hit theaters every year, to be honest, after 9, I'll probably attend theatrical releases less and less for Star Wars because it'll stop being as rare, and be just as common as anything else.

    There's literally five films that I physically own: Star Trek 2009, Star Trek Into Darkness, Dr. Strange, The Force Awakens, and The Last Jedi.
    I never saw Dr. Strange in the theaters, and the Star Trek's were seen in the theaters mainly because my wife is a larger Trek fan than I am (don't get me wrong, I love Star Trek, but her philosophies are well in line with Trek, and she only finally clicked with Star Wars when she saw TFA; before that she found Star Wars pretty "meh", as she puts it), and she wanted to see them in the theater in 3D, so we did.
    So far, Dr. Strange is the only Marvel film that I really just loved the hell out of. It just clicked with me; I can't even put my finger on why - it just did.
    The rest were good or great films, but I never really connected with them in a way that causes me to want to watch them more than once...oh...yeah...I should probably mention that I rarely watch a film twice. Once I've seen it, I've seen it. I don't need a refresher as to what it was; I won't forget. If I see a scene, I know the rest of the film, and if I know the rest of the film, it's really rare that I have the patience to sit through what I already know. For that to happen, the film has to be fun.
    TLJ isn't a lot of fun, but it gets a re-watch because there's so much to analyze in its narrative structure; I still haven't finished quantifying everything in the film, but it probably won't get a lot of re-watch after I've accounted for everything. TFA, on the other hand, I'll probably never stop re-watching that film. It's just so much damn fun; just like Star Trek 2009. I think TLJ and Into Darkness strike me the same way - cerebral, while TFA and ST09 strike me the same; just plain fun.
    Dr. Strange is really both for me. It's just a romping good fun, and there's a bunch that it causes me to think about.

    Alright, rambling again...anywho...good to know that IW has a good spin from narrative tradition. :)

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
  13. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    Agreed! But just as an aside, how would you differentiate "main character" and "protagonist" in your mind? Because while I definitely feel where you're coming form with the "Kylo and Rey are each other's antagonists" and it is really fascinating, I kinda disagree.

    A great podcast I follow called Writing Excuses breaks it down a couple of ways, but one definition is:
    The Protagonist: the character or characters who go through the most change
    The Main Character: The character or characters who do the "awesome stuff."

    In TFA, Kylo is a main character and an antagonist, but definitely NOT a protagonist. He gains no true character development in that movie. Contrast with Rey and Finn, who all get development of some kind.

    In TLJ, he does become what TV Tropes would call a Villain Protagonist. But to say that he and Rey are each other's antagonists in this movie is a bit of a stretch to me. Obstacles? Definitely, but not outright antagonists. Or rather, not direct antagonists.

    Kylo's goal to kill Luke is blocked by Rey, but she isn't going out of her way to actively stop him from killing Luke. She simply does the Jedi thing of passive denial. Likewise, Kylo doesn't go out of his way to stop Rey from finding her place in the world...until the end. He disillusions her, much like she pleads for him to be a better man. But I think corruption and purification are a different thing than antagonizing.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that I agree with the idea that Kylo is this series' protagonist. I think he shares that with Rey. But I think that really started in the third act of TLJ more than anything.

    He is most definitely a Villain Protagonist and a great one at that! TBH I like him better than Kylo...

    To each his or her own! But I gotta be honest, of the recent MCU movies, Dr. Strange was my least favorite. I love the actors and they did their roles well, but something felt...flat about it to me. But I love the love it gets!
     
  14. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    I define the protagonists as those who grow the most, and the main character as the one with the most screen time, and whom the narrative focus chooses to follow.
    In American films, these two tend to be the same character, but obviously that doesn't always end up being the case.

    I define the antagonist as the character who serves as the obstacle to the protagonist, and a good antagonist isn't simply an opposition, but is a provocation for the protagonists growth.

    I have to disagree here.
    I was going to hold off on this until I could analyze TLJ from the script, but it's fitting to show it here, otherwise it's a bit difficult to explain.
    The main character of TFA is definitely Rey, as that's who we're following the most; she has 43 minutes of screen time, while Kylo has 19 minutes.
    Finn also has a good amount of growth, though I didn't do an analysis on Finn at this point, so I'm not exactly sure how much he has - though anecdotally, I don't think that there's actually a lot.
    Anyway, so here's a charting and tabling of character growth in TFA between Rey and Kylo.
    The way this works is that I broke growth down into two classifications: choices and emotionally charged moments which related to growth.
    I used a point system where choices are worth 1 point, and emotional moments are worth 2. The reason for this is that a straight count isn't really that good because not all growth moments are of equal weight. A simple choice may be a growth moment, but it may not have weight of emotion put on it. An example of this is Rey choosing to hold Finn's hand. There's not an emotional weight pressed on it, but it is important.
    Conversely, you might have moments that are impactful for growth but don't have a choice involved. An example of this is when Rey opens the box, and the subsequent affects it has upon her.

    How I counted moments was basically the way they're counted in multiple choice character driven games, as one way to think of it.
    When a character makes a move away from their starting disposition, either by choice or by an emotionally impacting moment that charges change, then it is counted.
    When a character falls back or remains unmoved, even if by choice, then it is not counted.

    For example, I don't count the moment when Rey turns down Han's offer to become one of his team because she is falling back to her old ways here and choosing to not grow.
    Conversely, even though it's not on screen (which is an odd thing, actually, and I assume it was a time thing that caused it to get edited out), I counted Rey's choice (and the emotional charge that went with it - as evidenced by the scene we do see between Leia and Rey) to go to Ahch-To.

    I don't claim to be 100% bullet proof here, but I think this is pretty accurate.

    (I did also supply the raw count at the bottom, using the right axis)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Kylo, in TFA, is almost on par with Rey for growth; he has a much more restricted range of time for his growth, but he really packs in a high rate of change when he's on the screen.
    If you take the points to screen time ratio, then the rate for Rey is about 0.67 points per minute average, while Kylo's is about 1 point per minute average.

    So what I mean here is based on the antagonist being what pushes someone to grow, and Rey and Kylo Ren do that to each other.
    They are drawn to each other, and fuel each other.
    They're the best kind of opponents because they each really want the other to join them; earnestly. Yet, neither is willing to accept the position of the other, but in so being this way, they constantly push on the other and that causes them to struggle internally and grow. They make each other stronger.

    Yeah, I don't have any good reason. It's just one of those things. Most of the time I can put a finger on what makes me like something to some degree, but with Dr. Strange...I don't know. I think it might have something to do with the way the magic is represented, to some extent, as it's almost like a realm of physics instead of mysticism, and that is really cool to me. I love physics. :)
    It also felt rather Myst-like, so that's also a win for me. :p

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #94 Jayson, May 8, 2018
    Last edited: May 8, 2018
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  15. ObiWanKnowsMe

    ObiWanKnowsMe Rebel Official

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    It's not strange logic. It's no logic. Just identity politics mumbojumbo
     
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  16. Jack_Forest

    Jack_Forest Force Sensitive

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    You know, Kylo Ren started as a crazy-obsessed fan of the (Darth Vader's) glorious past, killed Han Solo and, in blinding hatred, threw himself at Luke Skywalker's image, spilling the doom for the cause he was supposingly fighting for. This kinda reminds me of something...
     
    #96 Jack_Forest, May 28, 2018
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
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