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The Redemption of Ben Solo: Does it Work?

Discussion in 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' started by Adam812, Sep 2, 2020.

  1. Veronica

    Veronica Rebel Commander

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    Not a bad idea. The film could have been cut right after the kiss (no fade out of of Ben). We then see Rey in the Red 5 (?) flying back to base, cut to her hugging her friends back at the camp.

    At the end she goes to the Skywalker house on Tatooine house and as she bends down to bury the sabers. And it cuts to Ben bending to join her. They both bury the sabers together. Stand . Each say something about making the Galaxy better/righting wrongs. They share a kiss goodbye and walk their separate ways. And cut to end credit. This way it leaves the door open for furthering their story in episode 10. And it doesn't come across like Ben is being re-warded for his misdeeds by walking off with his girlfriend,.
     
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  2. Stormagadon

    Stormagadon Cantina Court Jester
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    Thanks.
    I believe one of the main themes to be taken away from Ben's redemption is that it is the goal we must always aspire and fight for. Always hope and pray for the people we know who've gone astray. And for those who have wandered off, there is still hope and forgiveness for them. No matter the cost of doing the right thing, it is infinitely worth more than doing what is evil. And it's important to know that even when someone is redeemed, the fight doesn't end, but the fight is worthwhile now.
     
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  3. DEKKA129

    DEKKA129 Professional Slinger of Balderdash
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    I started to respond to this a few weeks back, but life sorta got in the way like it so often does.

    I felt the same way going in about the notion of Kylo Ren being redeemed. To my mind, the SOB needed killing and that was that. On top of all of the other blood on his hands, you just don't come back from a patricide - and a sucker-punch one at that.

    Then I saw TROS on opening night and absolutely hated it. None of the emotional moments landed for me, and I couldn't find a rhythm to any of it. BUT... somehow I didn't hate the resolution of Kylo's/Ben's story.

    By the third time I saw it (by which point I teared up three separate times) I realized what had made Ben's redemption work for me. One line was all it took for the rest of it to fall into place:

    "I have been every voice you have ever heard inside your head."

    The implication, which took me a few viewings to really catch, was that Palpatine had been manipulating Ben through the Force all his life, probably from birth. And that was part of the collective "grail wound" that Rey healed along with his lightsaber wound.

    At least that's how it reads for me. The movie still feels undercooked and overblown, which I can understand given the truncated production schedule JJ inherited along with the loss of Carrie and Leia. But I can dig the movie for what it is, flaws and all, and Ben's redemption is one element of it that really does work for me.

    Other folks' mileage will almost certainly vary, possibly a whole helluva lot. :cool:
     
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  4. The Birdwatcher

    The Birdwatcher Rebel General

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    Excuse me for discussing this, but... the interesting thing about that line, is scapegoating guilt from Ben and putting it onto Palpatine. There's little acknowledge that Ben going to the dark side is Ben's choice or fault, except in TFA when he makes the decision to kill Han Solo and has been influenced by Vader's Helmet. I assume at least that because he believes in what the helmet has shown him, not because he was seduced by it. In The Last Jedi, it's even more evident that Kylo Ren's making his own decisions, which I really appreciate, as it echoes the old Vader so much, anyway.

    I still think that The Empire Strikes Back Vader is a lost piece of history, along with A New Hope Vader, simply because their guilt is mainly scapegoated onto Palpatine.

    Even when there's an acknowledgement of Anakin's willingness to choose the dark side in the prequels; we get lines like this:

    Obi-Wan: "You have have allowed this dark lord to twist your mind, until now, you have become that very thing that you swore to destroy.

    Lines like these imply that someone else was at least responsible; Anakin may have permitted Palpatine to do it (I don't know why-yes, there's Padme and dissatisfaction with the Jedi, but still, Palpatine is a stupid, cackling dark lord, despite his varying level of intelligence in the prequels.).

    In the original, Vader was seduced by the dark side in both ANH and Empire; he did not allow a dark lord to twist his mind, if anything, Vader was probably learning more about the dark side through Palpatine, assuming that Palpatine was sensitive to the Force, since Palpatine held an "Obi-Wan-esque" role in Empire.

    Imagine the reverse situation; it'd be like saying Obi-Wan twisted Luke's mind to the light side of the Force. No, Luke chose the way of the light side. It was not Obi-Wan nor Yoda who made him chose; it's still Luke's choice at the end of the day.

    And this so-called "scapegoating" of Vader's decisions towards Palpatine and losing his autonomy and will in the process and an emphasis on Palpatine as the big bad has had consequences- a huge ripple effect on not only Star Wars but also for a large part of popular culture.

    And as the big bad, I'd say that Palpatine is disappointing, especially when he keeps making stupid decisions and laughs for no reason, aside from arrogance and thinking that he's in the clear. If Palpatine is supposed to be the clearest version of evil in Star Wars, then I can't take him seriously. I can take Tarkin and Vader, and even that one council member that Vader choked more seriously than I can the Return of the Jedi emperor. Because Vader does not laugh and is generally intelligence; Tarkin does make an arrogant decision, but is thoughtful about things and does not openly laugh inanely.
     
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  5. DEKKA129

    DEKKA129 Professional Slinger of Balderdash
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    That is an excellent point to raise. Despite being manipulated by Palpatine all of his life, Ben's choices were indeed his own. Both of these factors play into the dark path he ended up walking.

    It's why I feel like the ending to his story works (at least from my own perspective.) Yes Ben gets to briefly come back to himself and help Rey to destroy Palpatine. And then, after one final sacrificial act, he dies - as he absolutely needed to do for the story to have any hope of ringing at least somewhat true.

    Had Ben been allowed to walk off alone into the sunset as some folks wanted to see - or worse yet, to walk off into the sunrise with Rey as others wanted to see - then I'd likely be among those who have written off TROS as an epic fail.

    I've seen this dynamic at work in a few people I've known throughout my life. They made life choices and acted in such a way as to ensure that I wanted nothing to do with them. At the same time, I was aware of horrible things that happened to them from the time they were small children that undoubtedly set them on the path that they later continued to choose to follow. More than a couple of times I've said of people like this, "That poor S.O.B. never had a chance."

    That's a bit of hyperbole of course. We all have a chance each and every moment to make the choice to be more decent, more empathetic and more kind than perhaps we may have been up to now. To snap out of whatever bit of sleepwalking we may be caught up in and help somebody else rather than serving our own egos.

    But I am also aware that there are people whose early experiences were so terrible that it twisted their perspective to the point where they cannot easily recognize the value in making selfless choices like that - even though those choices always remain available to them.

    Anyway, that's a lot deeper dive than the TROS story probably warrants, but... well, there it is. FWIW. :)
     
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