Cool perspective! I definitely agree that if Kylo Ren is not going to be redeemed, then that is the way they’ll go.
I think Kylo Ren and Rey’s dynamic from the perspective of “bad boy that the girl thinks she can change” has been brought up a lot. Some people are really into Reylo while others see it as problematic.
If Kylo is not going to be redeemed in IX, then I agree with you that Rey will have to come to terms with that.
I think there is an approach to it though they might take if Ben will be redeemed. I personally think this is the route they’ll go since redemption, love and family are the big themes of the franchise, but I could be wrong, who knows!
I definitely think Rey was in that “I can change him” mindset in TLJ. She took a big risk thinking that she would be enough to change him, but that didn’t happen. In the end when Rey closed the doors on him, though, I think that is Rey deciding that she can’t be the one to change him herself, and if he is going to change, he must do it on his own. Which I think is a healthier message, you can try to help people, but after a certain point those people also have to make the effort to change themselves as well.
At the end of TLJ, Kylo Ren was the Supreme Leader of the First Order, and by the time IX roles around, he, Ben Solo, will practically be the Emperor of the Galaxy. Kind of cool to think about in the context of the whole saga. But ironically, he doesn’t seem very satisfied. He has everything he thought he wanted, but a piece of him knows that he is completely alone. Because of this, I think Ben is going to regress into his Kylo Ren persona even more, and really project pure evil because that’s all he has left.
I think inside of him he will be desperately clinging onto that persona, though. I could see this bothering some people who feel he is beyond redemption, because the trailers and first act of the movie will portray a pure evil Kylo.
But I’ll admit, I don’t really know how Rey will feel about Kylo in IX. I definitely think she’ll be conflicted, possibly stuck in between duty, philosophy, and possibly love.
At the end of the TLJ commentary, Rian talks about how he wanted to set them up for IX and he says that “they’re enemies, but complicated enemies.”
It is definitely a challenging struggle for the writers. Rey, as a protagonist, needs to have an influence on the direction of the narrative, but also Kylo’s change, if it happens, needs to be on his own to a degree.
I really don’t know what will happen and that is really exciting to me!
I’m sure a lot of people will disagree with me, but if the Sequel Trilogy had been released as 90s or 00s EU novels, where “plot holes” and internal characterization can be explored in more detail, combined with people’s own imaginations, I think fans would’ve eaten them up. I would have as a kid, at least. I can picture myself lying in bed reading the books or listening to audiotapes, freaking out over Han’s death, or Rey pulling the lightsaber in the forest. Kylo killing Snoke, Luke’s Force projection. Makes me want to be a kid again!
EDIT: fmalover, I totally see your POV, and it does worry me that JJ won’t conclude certain character arcs properly, but hopefully he’ll surprise us, or they already have the broad strokes mapped out, or Chris Terrio will help keep it interesting.