I wasn’t super crazy about them bringing back Kylo Ren’s helmet in this film (although I really dig the cracked look), it actually might end up being a godsend for us to play with Kylo’s dialogue and chracter motivation for the first two acts of the film.
I still am not 100% sure what will be doable until the home release, but I am curious about how far we can change Kylo Ren’s motivations in TROS. Kylo’s whole, “We both have darkness, join me on the dark side” is arguably pretty basic and not really a fresh idea, and I wonder if we can make it more interesting.
What if, instead of just wanting Rey to join him on the dark side of the Force, he wants to prevent Rey from finding Exogol and trying to kill Palpatine? After realizing how Palpatine has been manipulating him all these years, he wants to prevent Rey from having the same fate. Kylo may have also seen this vision of Dark Rey, but instead of it appealing to him like he thought, he realizes he doesn’t want Rey to share his fate.
For example, maybe we can change the line, “You can’t go back to her [Leia], just like I can’t” to, “You can go back to her, but I can’t” (This is an unmasked line but maybe it could still be altered naturally)
So the dilemma for Rey is that she feels that her role as the last Jedi means she has to face Palpatine, the last Sith, and kill him. But Kylo Ren is preventing that, so he is another obstacle that she must face to fulfill her destiny. Maybe Palpatine’s motivation could be changed to, “Bring me the last Jedi, and I will give you the fleet.” Maybe Palpatine’s plan from the beginning is to get them both in front of them to drain their life force. But instead of bringing Rey to him, Kylo tries to prevent her from finding a way there.
I think this might also help make Kylo seem a little more intelligent than he is in the theatrical. Even though Kylo doesn’t want to kill Rey, like Palpatine told him, it appears like he is still doing what Palpatine wants. In this version, it might seem like Kylo Ren is already suspicious of the extent of Palpatine’s power and him potentially being able to possess others, which is why he doesn’t immediately kill him when they meet. He wants to figure out how he can outsmart Palpatine, but if Rey finds the other Wayfinder she would be falling into his trap. So instead of saying, “The only way you’ll reach Palpatine is through me”, he just destroys the Wayfinder.
I guess part of my motivation to pursue this idea is that some people felt Kylo’s turn to the light felt rather sudden. Even ROTJ makes Vader appear rather sad and regretful when speaking to Luke, “It is too late for me, son”, which sets up his turn later in the film. Having Kylo not wanting Rey to follow the same fate as he did might help make his character more sympathetic and three-dimensional, as well as make their final kiss more natural, since Kylo/Ben was trying to protect her the whole film.
Bonus thought: I found an Adam Driver line from This is Where I Leave You where he says to Tina Fey’s character, “You’re the voice in my head.” I feel like this would be an interesting thing for him to say to Rey, since it would play well against Palpatine telling him he has been every voice he’s ever heard inside his head. Him saying something like this would be like him rejecting the destiny the Emperor’s has tried make him for one that involves Rey, which would parallel Rey’s own journey to forge her own destiny. I guess what I’m trying to say is that all this would help make Kylo/Ben more actively pursuing his own motivations instead of anyone else’s.