ARCHIVE: Can Kylo Be Redeemed? - 1

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Post by AnneNeville on Sat 26 Mar - 12:34

Most Reylo fans expect that Kylo will be redeemed at some point over the next films. Many (edit: amateur online) critics cannot see any signs that point towards his possible redemption. Here is a place to take note of things that Kylo did or didn't do that may point towards him making a heel-face-turn in VIII and IX.

I changed the title on my post to be more inclusive, should anyone wish to discuss non-Redemption arcs for the ST.


Last edited by AnneNeville on Mon 4 Apr - 14:43; edited 2 times in total
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Post by AnneNeville on Sat 26 Mar - 12:40

Here are some of mine:

1. Shows mercy towards FN-2187 does not comply with orders to massacre the villagers on Jakku. This suggests that he may be experiencing empathy for another's unwillingness to kill.

2. Takes his rage and temper out on inanimate objects more often than people.

3. Does not kill Mitaka, though he does choke him. This is a contrast to Darth Vader, who knocks off failures right and left (though to be fair, Mitaka wasn't incompetent just the bearer of bad news).

4. Is shown not to lie except to the Big Bad Guy.

5. Conversely, is shown to tell the truth to Rey, even when it's unpleasant ("You see Han Solo as the father you never had. He would have disappointed you.").

6. In the snow fight, he's vicious towards Finn but twice more misses the chance to kill him outright. Even though it would have been easy to do so.
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Post by Queen Rey on Sat 26 Mar - 13:22

- He could have killed Rey easily in the snow fight (before the "You need a teacher").

- Kylo Ren confesses he still feels the pull to the light.

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Post by MeadowofAshes on Sat 26 Mar - 14:06

- Is honest and emotive with his father, telling him he feels like he's being torn apart. After killing him, his face reflects the "weakness" described by the script and novel.

- During Rey's interrogation is responsive to her embarrassment, a sign of empathy. When she shows embarrassment at his "scavenger" remark, in the movie he looks away with an "oops/I feel bad" face and in the novel it is explicitly stated he perhaps senses her embarrassment and so changes topics.

Almost everything about Rey's interrogation in fact:
- Begins crouched down peering up at the "Rey of Light".
- Removes mask to show human face.
- Asks for her to give him information repeatedly rather than charging full force into her head for extraction. Only uses mind reading powers as last resort and even then goes about it more gently and carefully than with Poe.
- Seeks information about Rey's personal life rather than charging in full force for the map. Speaks softly/tenderly and face looks longing, almost pained in response to her memories, a sign of empathy.
- In the novel, Snoke later calls him out for feeling compassion for her.
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Post by FrolickingFizzgig on Sat 26 Mar - 14:32

I don't know if it's true that most critics can't see the redemption arc coming. When I search around the internet most people (and just about all film reviewers) see this character in a very positive light. It's the hardcore fanboys/skeptics who can't get over themselves who are having trouble here. This is a safe place so I'll just say that they're all in for a seriously rude awakening come 2017 when Kylo is IMPORTANT and when the story revolves at least partly around his redemption as a result of being seduced by the Light within Rey.

The redemption is a forgone conclusion as far as I'm concerned and I quite literally will not be bothering with Episodes VIII and IX if they don't follow the natural progression of the story they've created. Every scene involving Kylo contained redemption foreshadowing/symbolism. There wasn't a single artistic element pointing in any other direction... so unless the writers did all that by accident, the redemption arc has already begun.

I owe Star Wars nothing. If they don't follow through I'm out of here.
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Post by Darth Dingbat on Sat 26 Mar - 15:04

Yeah, I've noticed that some people don't seem to understand how foreshadowing works. I've seen surprisingly many people comment how it would be "clichéd" if Ren were redeemed because that's to be expected. Er, no - it wouldn't be a "cliché", because Ren is already such a unique character. It would take some seriously bad writing to turn him into any kind of a cliché now.

There are clues (and red herrings) and then there's foreshadowing. These function very differently in a story, don't they? You can't pile up this much hopeful foreshadowing only to shock the audience with a character arc that only goes darker and darker and ends on a note of hopeless gloom. Well, you can, but then the genre becomes completely different. Like I said on the other forum, if you have a romantic comedy where everybody dies in the end, that's not a refreshingly surprising romantic comedy. Same applies to epic space fairytales.

I'm confident, like FrolickingFizzgig, that Ren's redemption has already begun. (I'm personally also confident that he'll be on the "good" side sooner than expected, but that's just me.) But we have no idea how this story is going to happen. That's the real surprise here.
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Post by Darth Dingbat on Sat 26 Mar - 15:06

And, that's exactly what I've said before, too - we owe SW nothing. We're under no obligation to like this story no matter what happens. If it disappoints, we have a right to be disappointed.

As do the antis, of course.
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Post by AnneNeville on Sat 26 Mar - 15:46

@FrolickingFizzgig wrote:I don't know if it's true that most critics can't see the redemption arc coming. When I search around the internet most people (and just about all film reviewers) see this character in a very positive light. It's the hardcore fanboys/skeptics who can't get over themselves who are having trouble here. This is a safe place so I'll just say that they're all in for a seriously rude awakening come 2017 when Kylo is IMPORTANT and when the story revolves at least partly around his redemption as a result of being seduced by the Light within Rey.

The redemption is a forgone conclusion as far as I'm concerned and I quite literally will not be bothering with Episodes VIII and IX if they don't follow the natural progression of the story they've created. Every scene involving Kylo contained redemption foreshadowing/symbolism. There wasn't a single artistic element pointing in any other direction... so unless the writers did all that by accident, the redemption arc has already begun.

I owe Star Wars nothing. If they don't follow through I'm out of here.

LOL, I edited the original post to specify "amateur online critics" since I do think that the redemption arc is well established. I got in the habit of softpedaling my opinions.
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Post by guardienne on Sat 26 Mar - 19:56

I didn't think about redemption it was only through hanging out the boards that i contemplated it at all...

I know that i WANT redemption becuase that is how i respond to the story. I'm not sure what the clues are to be honest. I saw the film in german the first time arojnd and i think it simply moves too fast to really stay with you. I don't like that much, i wish it lingered more...

But anyway, i think it's the character's pervasive melancholy and loneliness. I think that is where he is most like hamlet, who i used to also adore, that i'm desperate for things to be ok. I think it's a mood thing rather than a bit of dialogue or image. However, seeing him speak to the mask is like, dude, you gotta find a proper person to talk to.

It's a visceral thing.

But it also makes sense with the immaturity. When people advocate for his death, that really hits me, because he is not alive. Like, in a spiritual sense. He comes alive in the movie and that is beautiful to me. So, killing him is like confining the character to a nether world of zombiedom, if that makes any sense.

Also, it would hurt me. Viscerally.

And i honestly believe that killing his father whilst awful, is something that actually lends sense to redemption. Like, otherwise he would be redeemed from a couple of rather anonymous crimes. It wouldn't carry weight.
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Post by ISeeAnIsland on Sat 26 Mar - 20:23

I think that they had to do something shocking, otherwise Kylo Ren wouldn't have come across as much of a villain in TFA. And if he's not really a villain, who cares about redemption?

What could be more shocking than killing his own father, Han Solo?
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Post by Mana on Sat 26 Mar - 22:09

People who are anti-redemption often refer to this list that they keep of Kylo Ren's crimes, that they think mean he wont be redeemed ... I guess they don't know how 'redemption' works
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Post by Maria Antonietta on Sat 26 Mar - 22:19

For me the redemption started on the SKB with finn and rey. It's like Mustafar, Rey is basically extinguish his light saber in the snow and the SKB turns into a sun, so yeah. I hope he won't die, I don't want to see another :tell mama she was right about me, or I'll scream
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Post by MoonFyre on Sat 26 Mar - 23:57

In addition to the points that have been mentioned, the fact that Kylo didn't agree with Snoke and Hux Starkiller base operation speaks volumes. It would have been obvious if he's unmasked and the audience see his reaction while the planets are being blown up.
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Post by Kylo Ren's 8-Pack on Sun 27 Mar - 0:16

I would say one of the biggest signs that Kylo will be redeemed is the touch Han made to his sons' face before falling to his death.
That gesture alone carried tremendous meaning.

With that tender touch, Han forgave his son for what he was doing, and what wrongs he may have done in the past.
Han also hoped his son would forgive him for whatever 'wrongs' he may have done as a Father as well.
It was a touching moment...described beautifully in the Junior Novelization of the film.
Really added a additional emotional punch in an already very intense scene.

So Kylo MUST be redeemed, or Han's death will truly have been in vain.
Kylo must turn back to the Light in the end, as then Han will have succeeded in what Leia had so longingly asked him to do : " Bring our son back home..."


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Post by MeadowofAshes on Sun 27 Mar - 9:19

This is a speculation about redemption rather than an Ep 7 sign but... in EU, specifically KotOR the Force can be used to heal those near death. In the case of Revan/Bastila this created a Force Bond. Suppose in Ep 9 Kylo saves Rey and comes close to death and she heals him, infinitely strengthening the FB we already assume they have. So he redeems himself with a near/symbolic death and then they're even more strongly bonded. Oh the possibilities...
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Post by Saracene on Sun 27 Mar - 11:11

I figured that Kylo was set for redemption when the scene of him talking to Darth  Vader's mask happened.

Until then, his portrayal is pretty much Bad Guy 101. But that goes out of the window when they suddenly show a very private scene of him, essentially talking to himself about how conflicted he feels. Because he's by himself, there's absolutely no room for manipulation, lying etc., what you see is what you get.

Now when you set up a character with an inner conflict, and you already have plans for two more episodes, there's no way this conflict is getting resolved in the very first film. It's going to play out across an entire trilogy. Which means that, if your character commits something terrible in the first act that's supposed to solve the conflict for good, it's nothing of the kind. People who claim that redemption for Kylo is impossible because he doesn't do anything redeeming in the first act miss the point. This is not the point in the story when he's supposed to act in a redeeming manner.
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Post by vaderito on Sun 27 Mar - 15:46

Remove brackets around http when pasting this link to this magnificent Redemption Meta that should give everyone some food for thought:

(http)://frolickingfizzgig.tumblr.com/
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Post by BastilaBey on Sun 27 Mar - 16:38

Fizz's meta is so good and I hope it gets more traction on tumblr. There's no way the 'rebirth of a sun' thing couldn't be about Kylo, that is already an existing metaphor - JJ didn't create a new one.
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Post by Rimfaxe96 on Sun 27 Mar - 21:28

Just my impression of course, but I sensed the redemption arc coming since his 2nd appearance in the movie. He's continuously - although just mildly of course - displayed as a somewhat sympathetic character. In the intro scene he's basically Vader 2.0; merciless and deadly. Yet for the rest of the movie we see him as a dry-humored, conflicted and even emotional character. I think the only bad trait that remains throughout the movie is selfishness, but quite frankly - that's not enough. He just isn't evil enough.

The only goal he really works full-heartedly for is finding Luke, and we don't even know for sure what he's gonna do when he finds him. But he doesn't give a f!ck about the FO, and his relationship with Snoke seems to be more like cat-and-mouse-stuff, unlike Vader and Sidious' lord-and-servant respects. Of course, that could be because Kylo knows Snoke uses him - the big question left is why he's knowingly playing into his own destruction.

But, whatever the writers decide, they better not kill him. Unless they want to cause the greatest shitstorm ever. Evil or Very Mad
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Post by Reynak on Sun 27 Mar - 23:53

@vaderito wrote:Remove brackets around http when pasting this link to this magnificent Redemption Meta that should give everyone some food for thought:

(http)://frolickingfizzgig.tumblr.com/

I wrote the following after reading @frolickingfizzgig's, which is fantastic and you can't miss. It is also about Kylo's redeption arc and related to what she explains in hers.

Beautiful and so well expressed. Thanks @frolickingfizzgig for sharing this insightful essay with all of us.

I especially love the part about this fallen son/sun’s rebirth and how the old SK weapon turned into a new star containg Han’s body as the ultimate resting place fpr a hero. This couldn’t be any more poetic and meaningful.

At the Resistance base, Leia told Han he had only been able to help when he aided to destroy Death Star (in ANH), which is not exactly true, he did much more than that to help her and Luke, but probably, he was no use to help their son when he needed them, when Ben needed him. So these words work as a beautiful example of foreshadowing as Han will save the day once more by helping destroy another DS, now called Star Killer.

And not only does he become the Resistance hero once again but this time he is also able to, in some mysterious way, save his wayward son. He approached Ben, which mean “son”, by the way, willing to do anything for him, ANYTHING. That felt like a sacrifice on his part and meant the beginning of Kylo/Ben’s redemption.

Kylo said to his father when he approahed him:

“Han Solo, I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time."
What did he mean? The most obvious take would be that he’s wanted to confront and kill his father for a long time, but the first and most obvious reading is never the right one with Kylo. I think he is hurt, deeply hurt, because for years he hoped Han Solo, the hero, his father, would come and save him, from his fears, his loneliness, his pain and finally the Dark Side. But Han never came for him until now. Now he tells him to go home with him, that he is missed, but now it’s too late for Kylo, or is it?

"It’s too late”
But Han saves the day again, SK is destroyed . What’s more, he also gives his life to change his son’s fate. It’s as if he exchanged his life for his son’s now that he has become a creature of Darkness who denies himself any semblablance of a life.

A new sun is reborn from that SK weapon , and a former source of death (SK) becomes the opposite, a source of life, a sun. This is what will happen to Kylo, we knew him first as a killer in the Jakku village but Han opened up the way back for him.

He feels weakened because he no longer feels empowered by the Dark. When he killed him, his father payed him back with love and forgiveness instead of resentment and hate, so he runs away towards the Light, embodied in the person of Ray.

I agree that he is like a medieval warrior monk who’s denied himself any form of positive feeling or pleasure for years, but he craves love and a life, also joy and company, so he can only chase Rey as he can’t restrain his emotions and deny his needs any more. He will have to find his way out of the Dark Side, and it won’t be easy but hard and painful.

However, the seeds are already there. He needs help, though, and I think Leia, Luke and Rey will be willing to help him in his struggle. Nobody was able to help him as a kid and this is a family friendly franchise. It would’t make sense to show kids there’s no hope for those who have fallen. Redemption is always possible if one gives up one’s old ways, regrets the wrongs made to others and oneself and really wants to come back to the Light/ right path.

I also love where Han will rest for ever, at the heart of sun, a burning resting place that resembles a burning Viking ship. It suits an old pirate /smuggler that was also a hero, not a perfect hero but more endearing , with his human flaws and loads of charm.

I want to believe this mirrors where he’ll always have a place, inside another sun(his son)’s heart, in Ben’s heart. He will feel like a burning wound now in his son’s heart, but one day the wound will hurt less and love will have won the battle.

How many real Han’s fans would want him to have died for nothing ? It’s only fair life and this saga bestowes him his ultimate wish, bringing his son back. This is anther reason why Kylo/Ben’s Redemption must happen and will happen. Han and Leia deserve it and Luke deserves it. The last Skywalker, the man they couldn’t protect or save as a kid , can’t die alone, desperate and lost in the the Dark.
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Post by Rogue Rey on Mon 28 Mar - 2:21

He didn't use the Force during the SKB snow fight, other than to launch Rey into a tree (ahhh the tree, the poor tree).

If he was really an irredeemable evil master villain then given what we'd seen of his Force abilities up to that point wouldn't he have swatted Finn like a fly with a sure flick of the wrist - injured or not, and froze Rey as he did previously and carried her off to Snoke like a good little dark sider boy villain.

I know not really relevant to this particular thread Embarassed
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Post by ISeeAnIsland on Mon 28 Mar - 2:28

@Rogue Rey wrote:He didn't use the Force during the SKB snow fight, other than to launch Rey into a tree (ahhh the tree, the poor tree).  

If he was really an irredeemable evil master villain then given what we'd seen of his Force abilities up to that point wouldn't he have swatted Finn like a fly with a sure flick of the wrist - injured or not, and froze Rey as he did previously and carried her off to Snoke like a good little dark sider boy villain.

I know not really relevant to this particular thread Embarassed

I nearly chose "TheTree" as my username. Especially after reading all of the hate the past few days over on The Other Forum.
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Post by YoloKylo on Mon 28 Mar - 3:00

I was just looking at Mara Jade's bio on wookiepedia and she started out being an assassin for palatine and killing rebels and the OT fanboys looove her. So if the fans can accept her redemption then they can redeem Kylo.
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Post by MeadowofAshes on Mon 28 Mar - 3:04

@YoloKylo I've said if before, I'll say it again: it's a sexist double standard. Hero/villainess pairings are totally a thing in comics and no one cares. But suggest a heroine should go for the bad guy and suddenly legions of dudebros and feminazis unite to slaughter your firstborn.
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