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Post #1324764

Broom Kid
Parent topic
Does Kylo really deserve to be redeemed? Did he deserve to be Reys love interest?
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Date created
12-Feb-2020, 3:01 PM

I’m saying Vader’s redemption story being retconned into the PRIMARY story of Star Wars by its creator, informed the notion that Kylo Ren had to be redeemed by the end of the sequel trilogy, because “That’s what Star Wars is.” Retroactively making the villains the main characters is an act that centers the villains in your storytelling as opposed to centering the heroes (which is why the OT is still the most resonant of the three trilogies - it’s the only one remains focused and centered on its hero). So if you’re going to center the villains, and adopt the storytelling ethos that the point of your narrative is to show how and why it’s important above all else that Star Wars represents “Love is so powerful it can save Space Nazis from themselves!” you need to be able to explain why Star Wars should be that, or further, why it needs to be that, and why avoiding that aspect is “antithetical” to the message of “Star Wars” overall.

Yes, you could apply the same sort of interrogation to other aspects of Star Wars, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong in doing that. It’s certainly not a condemnation of those other aspects, just like my interrogation of it here isn’t a condemnation of Kylo Ren’s redemption. But I also don’t think the redemption is all that well-justified as it stands, and there aren’t a lot of good ways TO justify it, in my view. But it’s certainly not impossible. It just takes the kind of work and forethought that a good interrogation would bring out. I don’t think it’s particularly fair to describe my poking at notions of what atonement means, and what it means for the characters embodying that idea in Star Wars, to Dante and Randal talking about contractors on the Death Star in a comedy movie, nor is it all that fair to tell me to “just go watch Star Trek instead.” If you’re going to argue for thoughtfulness in the creation of Star Wars on the part of its creators, these are exactly the sorts of questions you want them (and the audience) to be considering when they’re done watching.

My disagreeing with your more generous appraisal of Kylo’s quality as a character doesn’t mean I don’t understand where you’re coming from, or that you’re wrong for thinking that way. I just don’t agree with it that’s all. It’s not a personal flaw or anything. You liking the character more than I do (and I don’t even know if that’s honestly the case, I like Kylo Ren as a character a LOT, and I think he’s the best villain this series ever had) doesn’t mean you’re WRONG for doing so, and I’m going to show you the light or whatever. But I do think there are a lot of ways a potential story where Kylo lives and just gets to “atone” for his “misdeeds” (which is a pretty light euphemism for the atrocities he committed, really) could really resonate in some unseemly ways if not carefully looked at and considered.

My biggest problem with that is, again, the idea that you can “atone” for what you did wrong while hiding your identity. The first step of atonement is owning what you did fully, and you can’t really do that - at least not helpfully and honestly - if you’re pretending to be someone else, and asking other people to assist you in that fundamental deception.