I’m not sure how the Mrs. feels about this so these thoughts are my own. We will do a podcast eventually, and I’ll bring this up as a topic.
The three most important lines in The Last Jedi:
Luke Skywalker : I came to face him, Leia. And I can’t save him.
Leia Organa : I held out hope for so long, but I know my son is gone.
Luke Skywalker : No one’s ever really gone.
I emphasized the I because I think that’s the issue. Luke can’t save him. Maybe he can’t because he helped create him. Maybe he can’t save him, because he doesn’t sense any good in him as he did with Vader.
But when you get to that last line, we have a new hope for Kylo. Maybe someone else can.
But does he deserve it? He led a massacre on Jakku, and it probably wasn’t his first one (I’m behind on all my Star Wars reading so I’m going off just the two movies). He nearly killed his mother. He killed his father.
I’m not sure if he deserves it. He is a very problematic character which is what makes him such a captivating character. We don’t fully understand his motivations as to why he was so drawn to the dark side, but there is plenty of darkness there. Luke could sense the smallest amount of good in Vader, but can’t sense it Kylo Ren. This in turn lead us to the question was Kylo destined to join the dark side or does he have free will?
What I find interesting is how much the dark side is Kylo Ren choosing it and how much is the force inside of him making him do this. If you think about it, the force created Anakin and the Skywalker line. Four people in the line have the ability to be force users. Two have chosen the light; two have chosen the dark. But did Kylo? What happened to him? Or is the force an imposing and interventionist source.
It’s so hard to say you want him to be redeemed when you don’t know why he fell from the light. Anakin had is reasons even if they were flimsy. He fully believed he was saving the woman he loved by joining the dark side. He definately was manipulated by Sidious, but it was by choice.
We don’t know this about Ren. Was he always evil? Did he show all the markers in our universe that makes up a psychopath, but lives in one where he is powerful with force. When we first meet Kylo Ren, he is talking to Lor San Tekka:
Kylo Ren : Look how old you’ve become.
Lor San Tekka : Something far worse has happened to you.
Kylo Ren : You know what I’ve come for.
Lor San Tekka : I know where you come from, before you called yourself “Kylo Ren”.
Kylo Ren : The map to Skywalker. We know you found it. And now you’re going to give it to the First Order.
Lor San Tekka : The First Order rose from the Dark Side. You did not.
Kylo Ren : I’ll show you the Dark Side.
Lor San Tekka : You may try. But you cannot the truth that is your family.
Kylo Ren : You’re so right.
Tekka is trying to bring up the past to Kylo Ren and Kylo acknowledges the dark side of his family only. This exchange, from Tekka’s point of view, leads us to believe that Ben was a good person and his free will led him to the Dark Side. Personally, this is where I belong, because I don’t believe the force manipulates people.
Does this make Kylo Ren a more evil character? If the force made him evil, then the force is more complex than we ever thought. If he chooses evil, then why. Anakin was desparate. What was Kylo Ren’s motivation? What was so horrible in his past that he choose this? Will it change how we feel about his parents? Or was it all Snoke manipulating the family?
Kylo Ren is simply put the most fascinating character in the Star Wars universe right now. He has the lineage and a backstory clouded in mystery. The little bit we know we have found out Roshamon style.
To me, for there to be any chance for redemption, we have to know why he fell from the light. If we don’t it will feel tacked on. I just hope we find out more about him in the next movie.