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SPOILER The Ending: Beautiful, but problematic

Discussion in 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' started by NinjaRen, Jan 5, 2020.

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Did you like the ending on Tatooine

  1. Yes

    52 vote(s)
    71.2%
  2. No

    13 vote(s)
    17.8%
  3. I would have preferred... (please post down below)

    8 vote(s)
    11.0%
  1. iostream

    iostream Clone Commander

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    I'd call to remembrance that Luke did initially reject Rey, but because of her persistence he did accept her and he did begin her training. It was Rey who left Luke in her plan to offer herself over to Kylo Ren in order to turn him from the dark side. So Luke is in fact the beginning and ending of Rey's path as a Jedi. And Leia is the middle.

    As being the ending of Rey's journey, Luke had the final lesson to impart upon her return to him at Ach-To. Failure is a theme of TLJ. Remember at the end when Yoda shows up and talks to Luke about the purpose of a teacher. How failure is perhaps the greatest lesson to pass to the student so that student can grow beyond the teacher. One of the first things Luke says to Rey when she returns to Ach-To is, "I was wrong." In recognition of Yoda's wisdom, Luke passes on to Rey the lesson of his previous failure so that she can grow beyond him. And she does.

    This is the pivotal moment of crisis for Rey; her dark night of the soul, as it were. She is following in Luke's previous footsteps of failure - until Luke passes on that final self-learned lesson to her which becomes the keystone of her training, allowing her to "rise" to fulfill her journey.

    Sure, and I'm in no way in disagreement that Leia certainly played a critical role, and her appearance as a force ghost alongside Luke is apt.

    Right, she walked away from the path of the Jedi. But Rey didn't. Rey almost chose the path of Leia, but she chose the path of Luke instead.

    I'd disagree. Rey's lowest has to have been her self-imposed exile. I don't see how anything can be regarded lower than that. She is going to sever herself from both her friends and her path.

    She was initially rejected by Luke, but Luke took her in and began her training. He didn't reject her in the sense that you're suggesting. It was Rey who "rejected" Luke after she found out about what had transpired between Ben and himself. Rey left Ach-To of her own will, lead by her own - I suppose hubris isn't too unreasonable a word to describe her plan.

    Just again saying that I don't disagree at all that Leia is critical to Rey. Our only seeming disagreement is whether or not Luke should also be appearing as a force-ghost at in the final scene.

    I'd propose not only for this trilogy but for the Skywalker saga as a whole. This is why I'm saying of all of the options, "Rey Skywalker" is by far the option with the greatest narrative significance.

    TFA establishes that Luke Skywalker is a legend. So we don't really need the name to be invoked much if at all, because we already know the signficance of the name as legendary knowledge.

    Rey is the "last hope" - she's the seed planted by Luke. And Leia, of course; but in relation to the Jedi; Luke.

    Which was, family - right? She's got no family name.

    Yeah but Leia's "notable disassociation with that name" is invoked in Rey's notable disassociation with the name Palpatine. As Leia said, "Not blood but heart - I'm Organa" Rey said "Not blood but heart - I'm Skywalker" - you see how this is all reprising both the spirit of Luke and of Leia in Rey and the claiming of the family name Skywalker. It's an astonishingly woven finale collecting threads through the entire nine-episode story, then tying them all together with the name Skywalker as the last word in the entire saga.
    --- Double Post Merged, Jan 15, 2020, Original Post Date: Jan 15, 2020 ---
    I'm not sure if Star Wars is saying "redemption equals death" but the story is certainly having the final act of both dark side characters as willingly giving their lives in order to save life. Both characters have taken life and in the end, give their own lives to save life. And it's not a matter of giving their life in order to atone or be redeemed, but because it's in their heart to save life. That change of heart is the redemption itself and that redemption of heart is caused by love for others. So the act of self-sacrifice is the act that seals the redemption of heart - or, that act shows that the redemption has taken place.

    Meaning, the story is not "you must pay with your life for your sins in order to purchase your legitimate redemption" but "this person has evoked love in your heart where once there was none - your heart is redeemed and by this act of self-sacrifice that redemption is proven legitimate." It's surely the greatest way to prove the reality of a changed heart. Ben working soup kitchens the rest of his life I don't think compares to his last act in the story. Doing good deeds is of course a form of "self-sacrifice" in putting others before yourself, but actual self-sacrifice is surely the greater act in relation to redemption from selfishness to selflessness.


    To me, TROS handles this perfectly, especially in the light of mutual healing (Rey heals/redeems Ben from his "death" into "rebirth" of the figurative kind and in turn Ben heals/redeems Rey from death into rebirth of the literal kind). The mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship first alluded to in TPM comes all the way back around to tie up the saga and the relationship between the two families as one.
     
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  2. eeprom

    eeprom Force Sensitive

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    Too right, there’s a difference. Let’s look at the scenario here. Kylo stalks Rey down an alleyway, threatens her with a weapon, incapacitates her (“hey, does this rag smell like chloroform?”), abducts her, brings her back to his lair, restrains her, denigrates her station, actually says “You know I can take whatever I want”, and then proceeds to forcefully violate her person. When Rey then turns the tables, what do we find is his principle motivating factor? Fear of impotence. That this predatorial dynamic ultimately culminates in super happy kissie time between them is pretty gross to me.
    I do, but not substantially more than the troubling classic Disney heroines whose life ambitions center around finding a rich man to whisk them away. The difference is that the redemption of the beast is the crux to that fable. We’re given the stakes right up front. We know exactly why he’s doing what he’s doing and that it stems from a desperation to regain his humanity. We have reason to sympathize, though not condone.

    When I watch these animated movies with my daughter, I do my best to provide her context to these situations. I explain, to the level she can understand, which parts I feel have values that warrant emulation and which really don’t. I expect I’ll attempt to do the same with Star Wars at some point. But how many parents won’t? How many impressionable little girls, who look up to Rey, will see this relationship and, without noticing, file it away as something aspirational? Not having anyone to help put it in greater perspective. It’s all very yucky to me. But this is pretty far off topic.
     
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  3. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rebel General

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    ^ Just because you perceive there to be an issue here - or with any fairy tale or story - does not mean that there is actually an issue.
     
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  4. KeithF1138

    KeithF1138 Force Sensitive

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    Hate to beat a dead horse, but you have to get past the moment where it shifts from Redemption (saving Rey) to atonement. That moment is the confrontation with the rest of the galaxy. The galaxy punished Leia 25 years after ROTJ when it found out that she was biological daughter or Vader. I dont think Rey simply vouching for Ben will do it. Remember Rey is a much different figure to the galaxy the Luke ever was. Luke was a known hero of the Rebellion far before the acts of ROTJ. Rey's story was a personal journey. The leadership of the Resistance of course knew her and her power, but the galaxy has no clue who she is.

    So they have to get past the moment where the galaxy wants to rip his limbs off. We simply didnt have time for the movie to switch to Law & Order Star Wars and reach a verdict where he is free, but has to do community service.
     
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  5. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Rebel Official

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    And that's meaningful, but it's easy to die for someone when you're already dying/weakened and don't really think there's a way out. It's harder to stand up and live for them as well. Star Wars has never gotten to that point, or even explored that concept. Every character I can think of in this new canon that has gone fully to Dark Side and then back to the Light has died. The only exception is Quinlan Voss and I honestly can't remember how far he fell (and if it was far, his redemption/atonement is off screen, as he's never seen again after Dark Disciple). Star Wars is stuck on that trope, and while it's good in small doses, there are other ways to show redemption and atonement without it feeling cheap.

    Heck, even Arrow has handled it in a more complex way than Star Wars. A certain character's father sacrificed himself so that she may live. This man had manipulated her, emotionally abused her, and trained her to become a weapon* (of which he made great use out of). But he also claimed he loved her and willingly sacrificed himself for her. After that, she admits that she's sure how to feel about this man.

    I don't want to cheapen the action of the self-sacrifice, as it's a beautiful, beautiful thing when done right (as it is in ROTJ, as much as it also annoys me). But I personally don't think Kylo's was done right. Not only because I don't buy into the relationship which is key to understanding how the redemption should work**, but also because we've seen it done before. And then again. And then again.*** For Ben, there were other avenues that this movie could have taken.

    We didn't have time to explore any deeper emotions in scenes also. There wasn't a time for a lot of things in this movie there should have been time for.

    I'm not asking for Law & Order Star Wars. If Ben lived, maybe living a life of solitude on Ach-To would have sufficed, or a journey alone to discover the Galaxy - not for Jedi relics as he did in the past - but for people in need he can help (which in turn would make a relatively nice spin-off, and Star Wars clearly has the time and budget to explore those). He'd move from killing the past to helping the future. No one would have to know that Ben Solo lived, but he doesn't get a "all is forgiven because you saved me," ending either. He gets something more complex than that.

    I'm also not saying that Ben would have to "earn his redemption," but seeing a redeemed lifestyle is also nice, especially for people who don't/aren't forgiven outside of the medium.

    Planted by Leia, hopefully watered and carefully pruned by Luke I'd say. Leia was the one who sent Rey to Luke, and Leia was the one that eventually completely Rey's training.

    That "Not blood but heart" theme is why I now (admittedly belatedly) choose to believe that Rey Organa would have been stronger than Rey Skywalker. Or at least more personal to Rey. Skywalker is a big announcement to the galaxy, but this is Rey's story, so I think Organa works better. The last words of the saga don't have to tie the theme together since it's a movie (and since we know there are more movies down the line). The last shot does that well enough IMO. But alas, it's too late for that now.

    PREACH! As a dude who wants to have children someday (I'd loved to be blessed with a boy and a girl), I try to keep an eye on the themes and messages within the content I love and would love to share with any future children. Reylo is a message a little too murky for me. And as a dude who would also like to adopt, I'm trying to keep an extra eye out for what the theme of this trilogy is, and how it relates to that.

    *Granted, the daughter did asked to be trained. But the training and subsequent use of said training was abusive, and the daughter is in no way responsible for that. That's abuse by the dad, plain and simple.
    **Again, this is a thing where the OT told masterful storytelling and the ST (and PT to a very big degree) didn't know why the twists and beats were so powerful. Vader's redemption worked because we had a clear relationship to work with, father and son, parent and child. It worked because we saw that Vader truly wanted to become good again, even if he thought it was too late.
    Kylo and Rey's relationship is murky. Were they romantic? Siblings? Student and teacher? Cousins? The fact that it was so vague in nature muddles the redemption. Then you have the fact that Rey shut Kylo down, more than once. At the end of TLJ, she shut out their connection. At the beginning of TROS, she openly admits she Kylo is "hard to get rid of" in the sense of "I want you out why do you keep popping up."
    ***When novelty fails, quality shouldn't.
    --- Double Post Merged, Jan 15, 2020, Original Post Date: Jan 15, 2020 ---
    Which is why The Princess and the Frog is grossly underrated lol!
     
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  6. Thretosix

    Thretosix Rebelscum

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    In reference to the Rey, Rey Palpatine bit. I think it's a bit of the opposite. I think Ben knew what he had to do because if he had survived the world already perceived him as the bad guy. Rey was always looking for her family, she found it with the Skywalkers. In years to come people will be like, Palp who?, granddaughter of that bad guy? This could have just as easily been called the Palpatine Saga but the story is about the Skywalker family.
     
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  7. KeithF1138

    KeithF1138 Force Sensitive

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    This is not the HEA that so many want. So basically Ben takes the Tie and flies away never to be heard of again. That is the basically Ben runs off to work in a food kitchen story or self-exile without anyone knowing it.
     
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  8. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Jedi General

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    Rey would know. The people who would need to know would know.
     
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  9. KeithF1138

    KeithF1138 Force Sensitive

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    That doesnt make it a HEA. The soulmate of Rey as others put it is off by himself and she doesnt have the real freedom to be with him.
     
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  10. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Jedi General

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    But she can be. Which is what people want. Then they can fanfic secret rendezvous on Ach-To for them or whatever.
     
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  11. KeithF1138

    KeithF1138 Force Sensitive

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    So she occasionally sneaks off. Basically hiding a very important part of her friends and her life from the galaxy as a whole. Ben hides on Ach-To with an occasional visit by Rey. Suppose she will also get pregnant one of these times and have to lie to her friends about who the father is.

    I still believe that Ben sacrificing himself for Rey is more emotionally touching film. He is a Force Ghost and can reach out to her. He can commune with his mother, his uncle, his grandfather, etc. Rey can move forward and find someone new and be free to live her life. She can establish a new Jedi Order. Can she really do that if she is sneaking off for weekends with her boyfriend.
     
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  12. Lylo Ren

    Lylo Ren Rebel General

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    You're not sympathetic to Ben Solo at all? Even though he's the son of two of our original heroes and very obviously struggling, as witnessed by the very excellent performance that Adam Driver gives for this character?

    Interesting. I've long chalked some of this up to people not being fans of Adam Driver (my condolences, you poor unfortunate souls), but I'm not saying that's your issue at all, so please don't misunderstand me.

    The first paragraph you typed out is one thing- drama. Without it, what kind of story is there to tell?
     
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  13. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Jedi General

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    If we get to play the hypothetical game, we don't know he is a force ghost. did Luke ever teach him that? At such a young age while already conflicted with the dark side?

    I don't even disagree with you, but you seem to be intentionally boxing the possibilities of Ben living to embolden your point. Ben doesn't have to be stuck on Ach-To. He wore a mask for most of his time as Ren as far as we know. He could easily be traveling the galaxy doing good. Ach-To could just be where they meet.
     
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  14. Lylo Ren

    Lylo Ren Rebel General

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    The part that felt empty for me was not even that Ben died, but it was how that was *handled*. He disappeared like a Jedi in death, but he got no pep talk from his force ghost relatives for help and only had *his own* memory of Han to comfort him. Yes, Rey was there in his last moments and she did love Ben (die mad about it, haters), but then the cut away is abrupt and she's in Luke's X-Wing looking like she's not particularly bothered. The emotional payoff for his sacrifice is muted, period. I'd have been happier if we had actually gotten a few tears from Rey and the movie ended at the Resistance base, tbh.

    Implying that Ben's a force ghost now and all's hunky dory very *obviously* does not do it for a lot of people.
     
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  15. Porco Azzurro

    Porco Azzurro Force Attuned

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    We all make assumptions about the mechanics of how things work in the Star Wars universe. Often I think those assumptions are entirely reasonable based on what we previously knew, they’re just not absolute.

    Ben didn’t get a pep-talk from a Force ghost... you’re right. For me that’s part of the brilliance of what happened... I think Ben figured it out himself once he had all the necessary facts. The light in him that Palpatine deviously tried to eliminate was still there.

    The way I read it, is that Ben, whether intuitively or possibly with some training from Luke before he turned (? to be revealed in future EU possibly?) did what was required to save his soul and become a potential Force ghost - to turn back to the light. In my estimation, it wasn’t that he saved Rey (though that doesn’t hurt), it was that he emptied himself of all selfishness. He genuinely returned to the light, indeed became enlightened in the way Luke did in TLJ. In knowingly sacrificing his own life energy, not only did he repay that debt to Rey, he chose that Rey should live for the betterment of everyone.

    Another part of of why I find it beautiful is that he had spent the last two movies asking Rey to join him on the dark side, but in the end he joined Rey in the light. Paradoxically, as all Jedi are with Rey, so Ben will now always be with Rey, because he made the selfless choice to give up his physical life.

    The healing/kiss scene is wonderful to me because it’s about Ben’s unconditional love. It’s visually telling us so much more than a 5-minute conversation would have. It’s telling us, yes, it really is Ben now (his name the only word spoken), not Kylo Ren. It’s telling us that it’s ok, that he is happy. He knows what he is doing and did it gladly for Rey. He doesn’t know she will call herself Skywalker, or anything more than Rey. And it doesn’t matter. Rey was never no-one to him, regardless of lineage or genetics... he is his true self, unburdened. He knows what he wants to do, and he is certain he has the strength to do it.

    Rey wasn’t really sad when Luke died either when you think about it. She felt it was with peace and purpose. I think here we can postulate that she felt Ben and Leia at rest in a similar way, perhaps.
     
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  16. KeithF1138

    KeithF1138 Force Sensitive

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    Isnt it better that he didnt need a pep talk to encourage him to return to the light?

    I really disagree when Ben dies Rey's face changes to crying until she realizes he has become 1 with the force and was granted ever lasting life. I mean you must think Leia is a cold heartless B since she didnt mourn at all when her mother, father and whole planet was destroyed. Tons of emotions would be pouring through Rey. She has just defeated Palpatine after contacting all the Jedi, she has died, she was risen, she saw the turned Ben, she saw him become one with the force, she saw that the Resistance has won and her friends are saved. Its not all about her blubbering over Ben's death especially since she immediately saw that he became one with the force.
     
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  17. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Rebel Official

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    Ben works on himself and then maybe later comes back. It doesn't need to be a HEA. I don't want a HEA because one without feeling earned feels cheap. The point wouldn't be that the galaxy knows he's out atoning. The point is that we would have a chance to see Kylo face the consequences of his actions, if not in the movie, then maybe in a different medium. It brings back that western feel, that wandering samurai DNA that Star Wars has in a different way. And then, at the end of all that, he can settle down and have his little HEA.

    Or if he went to Ach-To, it'd feel, if not cathartic then at least ironic, as his place of isolation is the place he'd been looking for most of the trilogy.

    Or...you know...say that she loves him but isn't in love with him and move on regardless...or, you know...NOT get with him...or simply not have kids.

    Which she can also do with him alive and determined to self-improve. She doesn't need to see Ben after she forgives him.
     
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  18. KeithF1138

    KeithF1138 Force Sensitive

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    ^ Really need an emoji to indicate that this just confuses me.
     
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  19. Lylo Ren

    Lylo Ren Rebel General

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    Very well said, tbh.

    This is generally how I feel as well, but I'm also here to say that immediately after watching the movie, I felt a bit sick because of the "rushing" nature of it, which I maybe didn't articulate well previously.
    --- Double Post Merged, Jan 15, 2020, Original Post Date: Jan 15, 2020 ---
    It gave the impression of abandonment, is all.
     
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  20. eeprom

    eeprom Force Sensitive

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    I feel my previous post to @cawatrooper stated very much the opposite. Although tragically little time is dedicated to his personal journey - how he was manipulated and perverted toward Snoke’s (Palpatine’s) ends - what he had to deal with in regard to perceived abandonment and betrayal by his parental figures - how that manifests as fear and anger and fostered hate - I absolutely sympathize. He’s a pitiable creature . . . as well as a mass murderer.

    That he and Rey were able to form a commiserate bond and kindred understanding was a terrific development in my opinion. I really appreciated that portrayal in TLJ as commendable, evolved and entirely new to the franchise. When that dynamic though progressed beyond kinship to explicit romance, that’s when I had to drop out. It’s a bridge too far for me - compassion morphing into straight passion. There’s a way to make that work, but it has to be properly earned. I don’t personally feel TROS did the work and it’s fairly irresponsible.
    One where the victim and her assailant don’t become lovers? Where they just remain profound friends? That’s allowed too.
     
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