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SPECULATION Rendemption - Evidence For & Against A Return To Light

Discussion in 'General Sequel Trilogy Discussion' started by Moral Hazard, Oct 6, 2016.

  1. Moral Hazard

    Moral Hazard Force Sensitive

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    There are Cantina threads already discussing the topic but I thought it might be handy to keep a Master_Shaitan-esque running list on the different clues, hints and potential foreshadowing for reference.

    BenRen.png

    I guess redemption and returning to the Light are really two separate concepts so this post will just focus on the clues for and against an embrace of the Light Side. Ideas have been Darth Plagiarised from everywhere - I started with a SWC podcast. The merit of these ideas vary and, although a subjective medium, we know that precious little exists in these films by accident.

    Although our posts sometimes center on what we think the character might deserve in a real life scenario, this list will just attempt to keep tabs on potential evidence within the story and speculation on possible writers' intentions.

    Disclosure
    : I don't feel too strongly about the issue either way (I have faith in the filmmakers) but I currently favour a return to the light at this stage hence the "against" column needing some help!



    For Embracing The Light

    Messiah Kylo2.jpg

    • Many believe a Skywalker offspring deserves a more interesting arc than a dark one dimensional villain or a weak and conflicted antagonist.
    • Blockbusters often have their theme stated directly in the beginning of the film.
    LST comments could be a foreshadowing of a future re-turn.
    • Leia drops a possible Checkov Gun that echoes Padme and Luke's foreshadowing of Vader embracing the Light.
    • Much of Kylo's ideology did not originate from himself. He has been manipulated and groomed by Snoke for a long time.
    The novelization says the scene where Kylo takes off his mask on the bridge is the first time Han has seen his son's face as an adult.
    • Kylo has been deceived into believing he is in the "right" when it comes to the war and that those he kills are dangerous, terrorists, or harbourers and sympathizers of such people.
    • Kylo seems more wannabe imitator than a naturally ruthless darksider.
    His officers didn't presume he wanted Jakku villagers killed and he didn't give the order until pressed by Phasma. He pauses before giving the order, a unnatural hesitation for a evil villain that some interpret as him wondering “what would grandfather do?”

    When Hux pitches the destruction of the Hosnian system Kylo gives him a slow, hesitant look and later distances himself from Hux's speech and ceremony.

    Kylo's patricide does not come easily for him and he expresses pain and turmoil before killing Han.

    • He is always honest and demonstrates some compassion:
    sad ren.gif
    sad mask.gif
    • He tried to offer an alternative to blowing up the Illenium system by getting the map from Rey.
    • Supreme Leader Snoke (who Kylo respects for his wisdom) does not indicate complete confidence in Ren's ability and fortitude to resist the Light.
    • Kylo is not a particularly competent Darksider.
    Hux acts as a foil who repeatedly highlights Kylo's shortcomings. He warns Kylo against letting his personal interests get in the way of his mission yet this happens again and again. Kylo fails the dark side and the dark side fails him – even after passing his difficult test.
    • Han's death gains greater significance if it plays a part in helping Kylo question his resolve, his allegiance or somehow contributes to an embracing of the light.
    • Starkiller base (and the Sun) may be a metaphor for Kylo (the Son?) and it's rebirth may foreshadow his.
    • Rey could be a stimulus for the light in Kylo in a simlar way that Luke inspired evil to pursue good. His creepy gazes and duel banter clearly indicate he finds her captivating.

    gaze.png


    Against Embracing The Light

    Kylo pic.png
    • A Light side seduction could be seen as a predictable, unoriginal or cliché. Some might see any re-turn as a Vader arc re-hash (though their arcs would still differ greatly).
    • Kylo repeatedly demonstrates his embrace of the Dark.
    • He indicates respect, confidence and fealty to Supreme Leader Snoke.
    • On the bridge with his father Kylo demonstrates his conviction and manages to resist the strong temptation to embrace the Light.
    Thanks to all the contributors.
     
    #1 Moral Hazard, Oct 6, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
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  2. master_shaitan

    master_shaitan Jedi General

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    I think the big thing for me that suggests that Ren will turn back to the light is that if he doesn't, Han Solo died for nothing.
    Now, that could simply be the case. However, I just don't see them writing the story that way. They created a complex villain for a reason - I don't see him just becoming a mindless, evil dude - regardless of how he tries to come across.

    In fact, it has been clearly set up that Ren is a victim in many ways. Here's a Master_Shaitan list for you:
    - He is a victim of his ancestry
    - He is a victim of Snoke who has manipulated him from the beginning
    - He is a victim of having negligent parents
    - He is a victim of his own power
    - He is a victim of Rey who Force rapes him and slashes his face...ok this one is a joke for the ReyLo haters!

    It's very hard to see where this ST is going at the moment - will it be a straight soft reboot of the OT and will Ren then just be redeemed at the last minute? Or will something more original and interesting take place? Will he just turn evil and die evil? Will he turn back to the light sooner and help prevent Rey turning bad? Will he destroy Snoke and become the big bad to be defeated by Rey later on?

    But you make important points in the OP. Leia thinks there is light in him. Do we make Leia out to be a fool? Han died trying to save him - do we render that pointless? Luke has clearly decided against killing him, why is that? Is it a mistake by Luke? And we know Ren is conflicted. We know he doesn't trust Snoke. We know he has his own agenda. And we know that he has compassion for Rey. These things remained at the end of TFA. So for me they aren't looking to turn him into the big scary evil Vader type villain. They have an arc being set up for him. It's just a matter of when it happens, not if.

    I think this trilogy desperately needs a love story. It needs some sexual tension. It needs some originality and excitement. I'd like for Rey to discover early on in VIII that her parents died and Luke or even herself is to blame. I'd like Ren to appeal to Rey further and for him to move towards the light as she does to the dark. I'd like them to meet in the middle and have a complicated love story that separates them from everyone else. I'd like for Rey to see and understand what happened to Ren and sympathise. I think there is a great story in that. Otherwise, as I say we just get a predictable soft reboot.
     
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  3. FN-3263827

    FN-3263827 First Order CPS
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    spit take ~ bwahahaha!

    i think (hope) TFA was our soft reboot. seems like Johnson and others have indicated that the story is going well off the rails from here (no more safety net). i also feel like there's a strong indication out there that what happens next isn't going to make everyone happy. that can be interpreted variously, but what i hope it means is that people who are expecting Ren to come back as the big bad or who want to see Luke avenge Han's death with violence are likely to be surprised.

    @kb93 wrote a great post about why Ben's redemption is so critical to Star Wars from a purely thematic point of view which i strongly (very strongly) agree with.

    we've talked a lot about justice and punishment for Kylo Ren (or Ben, as the case may be) in the aftermath, but i don't think the story is about that. it's about heroes acting heroically. it's about a heroic love. and i ain't talking about romance (that's neither here nor there). i'm talking about love that transcends: like the love Luke had for a father he never knew (and who was so clearly a monster in his external persona). a love that forgives the worst kind of evil in spite of itself, and is concerned more about healing than retribution.

    that's the most powerful thing Star Wars has to teach us. certainly the most powerful thing it taught me when i was 12.
    Kylo Ren's antagonism with Hux seems to me to be a strong indicator how "off the page" he is with the FO. and that's not something that's going to magically improve in the subsequent films. in TFA it's almost literally Kylo Ren vs. everybody, which, if nothing else, assures us that he can still choose to go any of a number of ways.
     
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  4. Moral Hazard

    Moral Hazard Force Sensitive

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    Added. I look forward to reading and poaching from @kb93's post. For what it's worth I still feel Han's actions would still have meaning although maybe little influence if Kylo doesn't change.
     
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  5. Crusifix

    Crusifix Rebel Official

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    I would love to see him turn back to the light by the end of Episode 8. Then have him and Rey both destroying Snoke and beginning a new league of Jedi. I'm not really sure where I would have luke in all of this. Maybe Snoke kills him at the end of Episode 8 and that becomes the catalyst that turns "Ben" against Snoke due to him idolizing the Skywalker legacy that is Luke. Who knows... I just hope that there is some depth to everything and it doesn't get diluted for the sub 15 year old audience.
     
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  6. Choose Light

    Choose Light Mando Maven and Brown Eyes Backer

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    Your list is pretty comprehensive, @Moral Hazard! (At least on the pro-Rendemption side ;))


    I just want to add a bit to the Leia's hope segment. To me Leia's "There is still Light in him" is an obvious Checkov's Gun, but it is especially so since we have a clear precedent for that kind of thing in the PT and OT:

    There's still light3.jpg
     
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  7. Crusifix

    Crusifix Rebel Official

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    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Moral Hazard

    Moral Hazard Force Sensitive

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    I'm sure there will be plenty of depth, and if not we'll invent plenty to read into it!
     
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  9. GingerByte

    GingerByte Guest

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    I can't believe how long it took me to get the joke! Rendemption :D.
    I think you underestimate how much children and teenagers can comprehend.
    :eek: Careful, you're going to trigger someone... ...seriously though, rape probably isn't the smartest word to use.
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. AstromechRecords

    AstromechRecords Jedi General

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    Maybe he is captivated by the fact that he was able to capture her so easily...I think Kylo really is "good" the whole time but is just trying so hard to be evil..
     
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  11. oldbert

    oldbert Guardian of Coffee Breaks

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    Yippieh. My favorite subject and .. great posts .. again.

    @kb93 focused on a very critical point: The willingness of Rey to forgive Ren at the right moment. She already made the first step in that direction by not killing him in the forrest, but it is still a long way to true forgiveness).

    Luke had a strong personal interrest to save his father AND save his own soul at the same time. He had a strong reminder (looking at his cyborg hand, thinking of dagobahs cave..) at the right moment.
    What could trigger Rey to fully forgive Kylo?

    What could lead her to step back from hating Ren? A Force Vision on Ach-To? Lessons from Luke?

    Who if not Rey should be the Key to Kylos future, but its not an easy thing to build up a story arc here, that brings Rey to the right place at the right time.

    I for myself, would not prefer a sw-st with pure revenge action and simple judgements.
    If
    you have kids yourself, you will know that they teach you lessons about strong emotions and the need for forgiveness nearly every day.
    Therefore, I hope Sith fans can forgive me, I always need fresh inspiration, also in SW (thanks Luke so far) :)
     
    #11 oldbert, Oct 7, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2016
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  12. Moral Hazard

    Moral Hazard Force Sensitive

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    That was an important point. I incorporated that and Leia's echoing Luke fro @Choose Light into the list. :)
    This kind of speculation is probably best suited to the character threads [edit: anything goes here - I just don't want to hijack from other threads!] but who can resist a good question they may have an answer to?

    Surely it would require some new information to come to light or some kind of bonding situation.
    Perhaps the kind that is fostered over a time of shared hardship where each requires the other in order to survive?

    vlcsnap-2016-10-07-21h16m34s392.png

    Letter Never Sent (1959) by the great Soviet director Mikhail Kalatozov.
    There was a film that Rian Johnson was rumoured to want the cast and crew to watch that informs my answer a little - hence the tag ↑. For all I know he could have been referencing the cinematography...
     
    #12 Moral Hazard, Oct 7, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2016
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  13. oldbert

    oldbert Guardian of Coffee Breaks

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    Hehe. Thanks for not resisting :). (and for the glimpse in a good sw future).
     
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  14. FN-3263827

    FN-3263827 First Order CPS
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    @Moral Hazard @oldbert, there seem to me to be a lot of very obvious things telegraphed in the ST (leastways i hope they are obvious; they certainly seem to be). sometimes i think the "mystery box" of Rey's parentage is 98% about distracting the audience from what's probably really going to happen.
     
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  15. Boushhdisguise

    Boushhdisguise Jedi General

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    I watched that, it was on Hulu. Curious to see what elements they use from it, I am sure a lot of it was cinematography and maybe the emotion.
     
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  16. Moral Hazard

    Moral Hazard Force Sensitive

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    Me too. The use of weather elements, composition and framing (particularly with landscapes), location as charcter, and use of natural light all stand out in [edit: that film] and might be useful for 8.

    Mikhail Kalatozov's eye is amazing!
     
    #16 Moral Hazard, Oct 8, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2016
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  17. Fuzzball

    Fuzzball Force Sensitive

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    One of the biggest hints for me (other than the fact he's related to the Skywalkers) is simply the inclusion of Snoke's character. Why include Snoke if Kylo is supposed to be the big villain? Snoke is everything you'd expect, need and want your villain to be.

    Personally, I see Kylo's downfall being his compassion for Rey.

    For Ep8, maybe we have been given a hint as to when Kylo's weakness for Rey will be fully exposed. As part of her vision, Kylo stabs a warrior in the back. I suggest this is signifying Kylo's betrayal of his own Knights to protect Rey.

    [​IMG]

    This scene could be Kylo's Vader moment (when Vader stabbed the Emperor in the back to protect Luke).

    The situation may be that Rey is surrounded by Ren and his Knights. She is injured and not able to escape. Ren will hesitate, one of his knights will step in to execute her, but as Rey is about to be struck down, Kylo will decide to save her. If this happens, i believe it will be the beginning of Kylo's return to the light.
     
    #17 Fuzzball, Oct 8, 2016
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  18. Moral Hazard

    Moral Hazard Force Sensitive

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    Sounds plausable to me. There seems to be some ambiguity around this character...
    clan leader.jpg

    It's open to interpretation whether his look fits in with the other knights...

    knight flashes.gif

    ...but local or knight, if Kylo's protecting Rey it could definitely be a definitive moment.

    It could be even more interesting if Kylo is going rogue and his actions violate orders from Snoke or if they result in a Ren mutiny if the victim turns out to be one of them. Hmmmm. *strokes chin*
    I wouldn't be surprised if that's a contributing factor. If it is a primary factor I'd call it a genius move - as well as a most welcome one for those of us who enjoy speculating and debating!
     
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  19. Fuzzball

    Fuzzball Force Sensitive

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    This was concept design for the Knights of Ren:

    [​IMG]

    The highlighted person above uses a similar helmet + weapon to the man killed by Kylo.

    Also, the actor stabbed by Kylo is listed as a Knight of Ren in the end credits:
    [​IMG]

    Apart from killing his own Knights, I don't really see any other way he can earn the trust of Rey (and the audience) in order for them to work together to defeat Snoke (if that is the direction this story will head towards).

    Maybe in the first act to Ep 8, Snoke will issue Kylo with a final warning or an ultimatum. Something like, "This girl must be destroyed. Do not fail me again." If Kylo disobeys that command by killing his own Knights to protect Rey, it will be the turning point in his relationship with Snoke. They will become enemies. If that happens, then Benicio Del Toro might turn out to be his replacement.
     
    #19 Fuzzball, Oct 9, 2016
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  20. FN-3263827

    FN-3263827 First Order CPS
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    @kb93, @Moral Hazard : i'm not keeping up with the spoilers because i don't want to know, but...

    i'm really wondering if what people are assuming about what's going on in that confrontation with Luke and the KoR won't turn out to be something completely different. the fact that there's allegedly a "crash" and then a fight and also somewhere some conversation between the three that happens in a hut suggests to me the possibility that this isn't necessarily a unified coordinated attack. or possibly becomes less of one?

    also, Ren has likely never had a real peer. Rey is finally that potential soulmate that he's probably always longed for.
    i'm pretty sure Snoke will not be able to compel him to hurt her when it comes down to it.
     
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