Gotta agree with Dom. I think after TFA, a lot of us felt that Kylo, after killing Han, would be transformed into a fully-realized villain. But TLJ just hammered down the fact that killing Han did not have the effect he was hoping for. Kylo is broken, just like his new mask illustrates. I personally think the Kintsugi-vibe with the red lacquer looks badass. Kylo is exactly where he thought he wanted to be this whole time, but he is not happy. He’s just doubling down on his mistakes like a sunken cost fallacy.
I just think that if they really wanted to bring home the idea that TLJ picked up directly where TFA left off, they could have had Kylo meet Snoke without the mask, simply because it had been lost, and then he would have the opportunity in Ep 9 to make that more badass mask for himself and double down on his mistakes some more. It felt like a natural way to keep the mask off for a movie while still keeping his need for it.
With Finn, his character arc has gone like this:
TFA: Wants to save himself —> wants to save Rey
TLJ: Wants to save Rey —> wants to save the Resistance
IX?: Wants to save the Resistance —> wants to save the Resistance AND the soldiers of the First Order (save the good guys and the “bad guys”)
I feel like that’s a bit overly literal and a bit cynical of his character, since he clearly wants to save Rey from the moment he meets her. I hope that 9 goes the route you suggest, but everyone was hoping for this in 8 and instead we got the ‘Needs to learn to help the good guys’ thing which many people felt was unnecessary or a given.
Regarding Rey, in TFA, she was under the delusion that her parents would come back for her. In TLJ, she understood that they weren’t coming back, but she now was wondering why they weren’t coming back? Why did they abandon her? Did something happen to them? That, to me, is why she wanted to see her parents, and why it hurt so much to accept they didn’t actually care about her. Like Dom said, I think she had this fixed idea of who she was supposed to be in TFA, but she realized that wasn’t who she was meant to be. In TLJ, she is lost and trying to figure that out, and asking questions about her identity, like what is it that is awakening in her, and why her parents left her, are apart of that self-actualization.
I feel like people take Hux’s abuse so personally! It is really interesting. I felt that Hux actually had an iverse arc to that of Poe. Poe gets slapped, thrown across a room, and shot. Hux gets smacked to the floor, choked, and thrown against a wall. Hux is young and a little overconfident in his abilities, but by the end of TLJ you can see that he might be aware of his mistakes, like Poe, when he tries to stop Kylo Ren from taking Luke’s bait, and that might translate to him growing into a more competent enemy in IX. I mean, just look at the face he gives Kylo Ren at the end. I can’t really say too much about him, but if in IX Hux is eager to betray Kylo, then TLJ really helped set that resentment up.
Haha, Snoke being “half the character he used to be”! That is true literally, but to me Snoke was who he always was meant to be. Him being a red herring, a stepping stone for Kylo’s growth, is the best way they could have used him. The son of Han Solo and Princess Leia being the new Emperor of the Galaxy is such a great set up, and also being the head of a war against his own mother.
I honestly think some, not all of course, but some of people’s disappointments honestly come from expectation, as much as we don’t want to admit it. 10 years from now, when kids watch these movies back to back an don’t have to speculate for a year and a half who Snoke is, or what Luke is doing on that island, they won’t digest these films the same way a lot of people are now. I think it is the same reason why people seem to be coming around to the prequels now, in my opinion.
Just because we think a character’s arc is supposed to go a certain way doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be open minded about the direction they are deciding to take these characters, don’t you think? We can try to understand them and what the filmmakers are trying to say.
I mean, I hate that some people don’t enjoy these films. Not saying people are wrong for their own opinions. Just sharing my own because I want people to enjoy them like I do! That’s all.
I go back and forth with TLJ. Some days I really appreciate it, others the flaws and missed opportunities are all I can see. Yesterday was the latter, clearly. I think the thing that most bothered me is feeling that Rian believed in the characters less than I did, which is why so many have to spend time in remedial character-building exercises.