I think he was a good villain in TFA, and a great villain in TLJ right up until Rey runs away from him and he takes over the First Order. Frankly, once it was clear that he wasn’t going to team up with Rey, I lost a lot of interest in the character. There was a real opportunity to develop Kylo’s character into something we’ve never seen before in having him team up with Rey and become something beyond just a Jedi or a Sith, but it just… didn’t happen. I don’t know if Johnson wasn’t confident enough to bring the story in that direction or what happened, but I definitely feel like it was a missed opportunity. And it’s certainly possible that Johnson never intended to do that with Kylo’s character at all, but I’d argue that if that’s the case, then maybe the idea just shouldn’t have been brought up in the first place. It seems like a really good way to set the audience up for disappointment and not much else.
Well I think the set up is quite necessary for what Johnson is going for. They have a chance to team up and both want to, but the reasons why they can’t is very telling for their characters and the direction they’re going in (not to mention the thematic thrust of the story).
I think you got a lot more out of the scene than I did. I’ll have to keep this in mind for the next time I watch TLJ, see how my perspective changes.
I’d say I’m apprehensive about the future of Kylo’s character. I’m sure he’ll still be an interesting enough character in the next movie, and there’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll be well-acted, but I fear he’ll never reach that height of “depth” again.
I don’t think the depth went anywhere. If anything there’s moreso than before. Kylo has a “resolve” at the end of TLJ and has become the Vader figure he alternately wanted to or didn’t want to be, but it’s all a sham. He still doesn’t know what he wants, he’s still just a tormented soul. At the end he’s essentially got a whole galaxy that’s his, but he’s clearly just as alone as ever and not any happier than before. In my mind, the fact that even after he’s yelled and screamed that he’ll “destroy” Rey he still looks at her hopefully in their final Force time shows that the “depth” in him is very much alive.
Good point, and you’re right, there’s definitely plenty of room for the character to grow. I hadn’t considered the possibility of the next movie exploring Kylo’s dissatisfaction with his newfound power, I kind of assumed he’d turn into just another bad guy. I guess I should have more faith in JJ.
All that said; in a vacuum where there’s no third movie, I still think the idea of Rey and Kylo teaming up could’ve been really interesting to explore.