“You still haven’t explained how Kylo being redeemed comes at the expense of Rey and Finn’s stories.”
Because time is finite and spending time, energy, and effort on focusing both Rey and Kylo’s arcs on “Saving Kylo” as the primary goal takes time away from better, more interesting, more worthwhile storytelling endeavors for both of those characters. I don’t think my argument above is in any way “antithetical” to “what Star Wars has built up” because I’m not arguing that Star Wars can’t ever be what you’re arguing for. I’m simply saying it would have been worthwhile to pursue something else BESIDE that, too, and suggesting that Star Wars can’t do that is limiting and somewhat shortsighted. It also isn’t borne out by the history of multiple artistically successful Star Wars stories, the majority of which don’t take as read the idea that the bad guy is going to be redeemed somehow in the end.
I’m also not misunderstanding your point. I’m not saying Kylo isn’t redeemable. He CAN be redeemed. He DOESN’T WANT TO BE, though. And that’s where the compelling aspect of his character really kicks in, and where the tragedy of him is most resonant. And that’s the story of the first two movies. That’s different. That’s the point at which a lesson can be learned, and lessons in fiction can (and have been and will be) learned by taking relatable aspects and showing what happens when you behave in a certain way. You say it’s boring to follow that to a different conclusion, I say rejecting all other storytelling possibilities for the sake of ensuring some kids projecting themselves into him to the point where they’re not paying attention to THE REST OF THE STORY or its context AT ALL is shortsighted and limited. There are other ways to speak to those kids, and I think there’s worth in considering those options. You don’t have to “abandon” themes in order to play with them differently. All of that just reinforces the idea that there’s some weird dogmatic adherence to “the rules of Star Wars” that I don’t necessarily agree with very much, if at all.
I understand that you and I have fundamental disagreements on this specific issue, and despite the fact that we’re probably not going to bridge that divide ever because of the way we look at the story, the story’s possibilities, and other key factors, I do want to say that while I disagree, I DO understand where you’re coming from, and I appreciate the level of thought and time you put into the conversation, and that you’ve never gotten angry, impatient, or mean-spirited about that disagreement. It’s very much appreciated.