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Post by Darth Dingbat on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 6:26 am

@Scavengerscum wrote:I feel like it will be a compilation of all those things. As Adam Driver said, his actions come from a feeling of abandonment, of desperately wanting family and not getting it. His relationship with his family and ensuing anger and resentment is very clearly characterised. He also seems to have experienced extreme trauma/manipulation which I think goes hand in hand with whatever beef he holds against his family. Something went down in the past, something awful that will paint Kylo as a very sympathetic character.
But I'm not sure that is enough. I've heard people call Kylo a big man baby and as harsh as it sounds, in a SW movie, if his only reasons for turning to the darkside are sympathetic ones he'll appear to most people as a weak sauce hero/villain, especially to most of the male GA.  
I definitely believe that his motives are something he views as heroic, that originated from a good place. He goes through these moments of crisis; the Vader supplication, the Han on the bridge scene. I could have read this completely wrong but I feel like he does these things because he feels like he is part of something bigger than himself, he has some kind of goal, a Knight of Templar duty and he is constantly seeking validation and strength to stay on this path. And yet, at the same time, he is constantly getting distracted, indulging in himself in his "personal interests" (Rey) and projecting on people because he's self absorbed and can't see past his own pain. I haven't explained myself very well, things always sound better in my head but I really and truly believe his goals (as villainous as they are now) will be something that coincides with the end result of this trilogy. Eg. bringing balance to the force or something. Someone on tumblr is a lot more succinct than I am: Oldastra or something? She writes about agency and moral injury and how this could affect Kylo. Good stuff.
@Scavengerscum

Yes... I'm trying to think what the options are, for how Kylo ended up where he is. For example:

- He was manipulated, mentally broken, victimised since a young age (as has been implied) => certain portions of the audience will think of him as weak-sauce emo no matter what.

- He has an evil goal, with no extenuating circumstances... and yet somehow believes he's right, so he's simply deluded I guess? (doesn't that make him weak?)... but has a change of heart at some point? For the sake of love (doesn't that make him weak too??)? I struggle to understand how this would be "sold" to the audience in a convincing way. Not that it couldn't happen just because I can't imagine it, but...

- He has a heroic goal, and is so single-minded (his fatal flaw, then) that he's willing to sacrifice even his own soul, his father's life and his own for it. That would make him strong, not weak, but also not magically absolve him from everything he's done. Because unbending moral strength can be a flaw, too.

What else are the options? I don't know. Maybe there are a thousand others.

Not that I see any problem with him being weak and vulnerable, if that's the story they decide to tell. Just because some parts of the audience have contempt for "weak sauce" male characters, it doesn't mean that vulnerability is a crime.
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Post by CienaRee on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 6:31 am

@Darth Dingbat wrote:
@Scavengerscum wrote:I feel like it will be a compilation of all those things. As Adam Driver said, his actions come from a feeling of abandonment, of desperately wanting family and not getting it. His relationship with his family and ensuing anger and resentment is very clearly characterised. He also seems to have experienced extreme trauma/manipulation which I think goes hand in hand with whatever beef he holds against his family. Something went down in the past, something awful that will paint Kylo as a very sympathetic character.
But I'm not sure that is enough. I've heard people call Kylo a big man baby and as harsh as it sounds, in a SW movie, if his only reasons for turning to the darkside are sympathetic ones he'll appear to most people as a weak sauce hero/villain, especially to most of the male GA.  
I definitely believe that his motives are something he views as heroic, that originated from a good place. He goes through these moments of crisis; the Vader supplication, the Han on the bridge scene. I could have read this completely wrong but I feel like he does these things because he feels like he is part of something bigger than himself, he has some kind of goal, a Knight of Templar duty and he is constantly seeking validation and strength to stay on this path. And yet, at the same time, he is constantly getting distracted, indulging in himself in his "personal interests" (Rey) and projecting on people because he's self absorbed and can't see past his own pain. I haven't explained myself very well, things always sound better in my head but I really and truly believe his goals (as villainous as they are now) will be something that coincides with the end result of this trilogy. Eg. bringing balance to the force or something. Someone on tumblr is a lot more succinct than I am: Oldastra or something? She writes about agency and moral injury and how this could affect Kylo. Good stuff.
@Scavengerscum

Yes... I'm trying to think what the options are, for how Kylo ended up where he is. For example:

- He was manipulated, mentally broken, victimised since a young age (as has been implied) => certain portions of the audience will think of him as weak-sauce emo no matter what.

- He has an evil goal, with no extenuating circumstances... and yet somehow believes he's right, so he's simply deluded I guess? (doesn't that make him weak?)... but has a change of heart at some point? For the sake of love (doesn't that make him weak too??)? I struggle to understand how this would be "sold" to the audience in a convincing way. Not that it couldn't happen just because I can't imagine it, but...

- He has a heroic goal, and is so single-minded (his fatal flaw, then) that he's willing to sacrifice even his own soul, his father's life and his own for it. That would make him strong, not weak, but also not magically absolve him from everything he's done. Because unbending moral strength can be a flaw, too.

What else are the options? I don't know. Maybe there are a thousand others.

Not that I see any problem with him being weak and vulnerable, if that's the story they decide to tell. Just because some parts of the audience have contempt for "weak sauce" male characters, it doesn't mean that vulnerability is a crime.
@Darth Dingbat

I don't think Kylo has to be absolved in the eyes of all of the fans like you said whatever backstory they come up with some fans will still hate him.Yet again many interesting characters aren't universally loved either.I think sometimes the goal isn't to make a character likable but to have mix reactions from the audience.I mean look what happened with Rey she's universally loved but a lot of people care more about her parentage than about the character.

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Post by Kessel on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 6:32 am

@Saracene wrote:@Darth Dingbat To be honest, I've never looked at Kylo's potential backstory from the point of view of brainwashing or "mental illness" metaphors which seem to resonate strongly with you, so to me it's not a big deal if the canon makes these scenarios unlikely. As for Leia, we still have the canon fact that she sent Ben to train with Luke. I haven't read Bloodline, but I can't remember anyone mention anything that would contradict the idea that she sent him off because, in Han's words, he had too much Vader in him. I also understand that Ben and Leia's relationship is not really the focus of that book.

If I was to make a stab - and this is just that, I've no idea what the real story will be - I'd say that perhaps it has something to do with the reveal of Ben's true heritage. Maybe Snoke convinced him that his family doesn't give a sith about him, and that the outside world will never accept him because of who his grandfather was and what he's done.

Also, I don't really see the aim of the sympathetic backstory as something that will completely rehabilitate Kylo in the audience's eyes and make them forgive his crimes. I think it's there as a foot-in-the-door sort of thing, to make it clear that he's not just some ungrateful brat who had everything but decided to be evil, while still not making excuses for him or robbing him of agency and responsibility. Kylo will ultimately have to earn his redemption and the audience's goodwill through his future actions and/or remorse, not a sad backstory.

Thing is, telling people about Kylo's motives in the interviews is not the same as actually showing them in a film. It's like, the reason why so many people have trouble really relating to Kylo as a son of their favourite characters is because they're repeatedly told about it in the movie but the only scene that actually shows it is the bridge scene. If, say, TFA included some kind of flashback showing, I don't know, younger Han taking little Ben on a ride on the Millennium Falcon, I guarantee the father/son relationship would have clicked for the audience so, soooooo much more.
@Saracene

Yeah I agree, I think regardless of Kylo's backstory, his actions will be something he'll be held responsible for in the story. I think his redemption will be the result of overcoming his past issues and resulting choices. That comes through future actions, not necessarily sympathy from his backstory. Although, I think his backstory will have sympathetic/tragic aspects (which tie into the weight of his family's legacy), I just can't see him being the total innocent victim of a kidnapping or brainwashing. So, while I think the backstory will make him sympathetic, it won't be to the extent that it excuses his actions. He thinks he's in the right now and that his mission warrants his actions so he's going to be a conflicted character skirting between the light and the dark until he reevaluates his purpose.

I think Kylo's story will explore the issues that revolve around Vader's legacy and how it impacts his descendants and their choices. In that respect, Kylo is a victim of his legacy, but he'll have to come to terms with that and resolve it on his own. This is another reason I just can't see Rey being a Skywalker too because it removes the tension and complexity from Kylo's dilemma. It makes the question of Vader's legacy easily resolved and drama free because Rey can come in and just save it, like some kind of deus ex machina, regardless of what happens to Kylo. I think Rey's purpose and destiny are different (bigger) than that.

I agree that the fact the audience didn't get to really see more of the Han-Kylo relationship probably affected some peoples' ability to relate Kylo to the OT characters. TFA set up this question and dilemma of Kylo, but didn't answer it so I think Episode VIII will explore it more, along of the effect of the Skywalker legacy on Kylo (and Luke, Leia and even Han).

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Post by Scavengerscum on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 6:41 am

@Saracene
lol I can just imagine my brothers reactions to Reylo and an overly sympathetic Kylo.
It does sound contradictory when you put it like that but then we have these moments:
Kylo asking the Vader helmet for strength to finish what Vader started.
Kylo grew up with his mother in a heavily political climate, Leia is very much involved particularly in Bloodlines. It's not a stretch to assume that he has developed (like Anakin and his mother) a keen interest in the galaxy/ideology/politics etc. You see this side of Kylo more in the novelisation but I feel like he needs a broader reason than just teenage rebellion/trauma to do the things he does and still struggle with the pull to the light.
The whole searching for Luke/Jedi Temple thing indicates to me his "personal interests" and goals are something forcey.
Kylo keeping himself apart from the FO, isolated from everyone, tells me he doesn't entirely agree with their actions but being involved with them is what a Snoke wants.
Clearly wanting to go home with Han, but instead committing himself to the darkside...for what? Moar powoar?

There's obviously a lot more but I'm interested to hear what you think of his personal interests etc. and how that fits in with his family issues etc.?

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Post by Helix on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 6:57 am

I'm sure there will be some Ben/Han childhood stuff in extended universe stuff ( that won't have any effect on the GA since they probably won't touch 'em ), but I do kinda agree that the film needed something positive between them. Even if it was just Han briefly seeing an image or hearing the voices.
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Post by motherofpearl1 on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 7:05 am

@Scavengerscum wrote:@motherofpearl1

I don't necessarily think he was abducted or anything but it is really interesting to watch the bridge scene with that idea in mind.
"I've waited for this moment for a long time." - waiting for rescue/feeling abandoned? Not just villainous monologue but was genuinely waiting for Han to...what? Given up hope/disappointed/angry?
"Take off that mask. You don't need it.
"What do you think you'll see if I do?" - does he feel guilty? Disappointed in himself/worried about what Han will think? Putting a brave face on, almost like a kid who knows he's going to be punished and is pretending he doesn't care/isn't remorseful? Blaming Han for his abandonment and is essentially saying, "You thought I was a monster, so what do you think you'll see when I take this mask off?" Almost as though Ben was throwing Hans words back at him.
"The face of my son." - an apology? A declaration of unconditional love: "Doesn't matter what terrible things you've done, what terrible things have happened to you - it's not too late, you're still my son." Guilt, maybe Han never responded in the way Ben needed as a child. Affirmation that whatever had happened to Ben wasn't enough for Han to not still want to claim him as his son? "Something far worse has happened to you." - Lor San Tekka.
"Your son...is gone." It's too late for you to be fatherly now, to come and save me? "[You] mean nothing to me." I'm not you're son anymore. "Han Solo can't save [me]."
@Scavengerscum

Lor San Tekka's words always make me think - not "You've become something worse" but "Something much worse has happened to you."

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Post by Saracene on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 7:06 am

@Scavengerscum wrote:@Saracene
lol I can just imagine my brothers reactions to Reylo and an overly sympathetic Kylo.
It does sound contradictory when you put it like that but then we have these moments:
Kylo asking the Vader helmet for strength to finish what Vader started.
Kylo grew up with his mother in a heavily political climate, Leia is very much involved particularly in Bloodlines. It's not a stretch to assume that he has developed (like Anakin and his mother) a keen interest in the galaxy/ideology/politics etc. You see this side of Kylo more in the novelisation but I feel like he needs a broader reason than just teenage rebellion/trauma to do the things he does and still struggle with the pull to the light.
The whole searching for Luke/Jedi Temple thing indicates to me his "personal interests" and goals are something forcey.
Kylo keeping himself apart from the FO, isolated from everyone, tells me he doesn't entirely agree with their actions but being involved with them is what a Snoke wants.
Clearly wanting to go home with Han, but instead committing himself to the darkside...for what? Moar powoar?

There's obviously a lot more but I'm interested to hear what you think of his personal interests etc. and how that fits in with his family issues etc.?
@Scavengerscum

It's just really hard to say because we know so little about Kylo's life as Ben, and his personality and interests before the fall.

For instance, his desire to finish what Vader started could be a part of his fascination/desire to be like his grandfather, rather than actual interest in Vader's goals, as such. He sneers at Han that "his son was weak and foolish", so Vader to him probably represents some sort of ideal of strength, and what Vader does, Kylo does. Which in turn suggests a past wracked with insecurity.

If he was deliberately sent to Luke for training, I wonder how much interest in Force/Jedi stuff he really had. Otherwise wouldn't he have been all, Mum please please please let me train with uncle Luke, rather than having to be sent away. Also, when he's looking for the map to Luke's island, he never actually mentions the Jedi Temple, for him it's a map to Luke himself very much like it is for Leia. So is it about the Jedi Temple or is it about some personal stuff with Luke?
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Post by Scavengerscum on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 7:07 am

Kessel89 wrote:
@Saracene wrote:@Darth Dingbat To be honest, I've never looked at Kylo's potential backstory from the point of view of brainwashing or "mental illness" metaphors which seem to resonate strongly with you, so to me it's not a big deal if the canon makes these scenarios unlikely. As for Leia, we still have the canon fact that she sent Ben to train with Luke. I haven't read Bloodline, but I can't remember anyone mention anything that would contradict the idea that she sent him off because, in Han's words, he had too much Vader in him. I also understand that Ben and Leia's relationship is not really the focus of that book.

If I was to make a stab - and this is just that, I've no idea what the real story will be - I'd say that perhaps it has something to do with the reveal of Ben's true heritage. Maybe Snoke convinced him that his family doesn't give a sith about him, and that the outside world will never accept him because of who his grandfather was and what he's done.

Also, I don't really see the aim of the sympathetic backstory as something that will completely rehabilitate Kylo in the audience's eyes and make them forgive his crimes. I think it's there as a foot-in-the-door sort of thing, to make it clear that he's not just some ungrateful brat who had everything but decided to be evil, while still not making excuses for him or robbing him of agency and responsibility. Kylo will ultimately have to earn his redemption and the audience's goodwill through his future actions and/or remorse, not a sad backstory.

Thing is, telling people about Kylo's motives in the interviews is not the same as actually showing them in a film. It's like, the reason why so many people have trouble really relating to Kylo as a son of their favourite characters is because they're repeatedly told about it in the movie but the only scene that actually shows it is the bridge scene. If, say, TFA included some kind of flashback showing, I don't know, younger Han taking little Ben on a ride on the Millennium Falcon, I guarantee the father/son relationship would have clicked for the audience so, soooooo much more.
@Saracene

Yeah I agree, I think regardless of Kylo's backstory, his actions will be something he'll be held responsible for in the story. I think his redemption will be the result of overcoming his past issues and resulting choices. That comes through future actions, not necessarily sympathy from his backstory. Although, I think his backstory will have sympathetic/tragic aspects (which tie into the weight of his family's legacy), I just can't see him being the total innocent victim of a kidnapping or brainwashing. So, while I think the backstory will make him sympathetic, it won't be to the extent that it excuses his actions. He thinks he's in the right now and that his mission warrants his actions so he's going to be a conflicted character skirting between the light and the dark until he reevaluates his purpose.

I think Kylo's story will explore the issues that revolve around Vader's legacy and how it impacts his descendants and their choices. In that respect, Kylo is a victim of his legacy, but he'll have to come to terms with that and resolve it on his own. This is another reason I just can't see Rey being a Skywalker too because it removes the tension and complexity from Kylo's dilemma. It makes the question of Vader's legacy easily resolved and drama free because Rey can come in and just save it, like some kind of deus ex machina, regardless of what happens to Kylo. I think Rey's purpose and destiny are different (bigger) than that.

I agree that the fact the audience didn't get to really see more of the Han-Kylo relationship probably affected some peoples' ability to relate Kylo to the OT characters. TFA set up this question and dilemma of Kylo, but didn't answer it so I think Episode VIII will explore it more, along of the effect of the Skywalker legacy on Kylo (and Luke, Leia and even Han).
@Kessel89

Really like and agree with the bolded Smile
I think it will hit people that he is the legacy child/Han and Leia's much loved son in the next episode. They really villainised him in TFA and even after I first watched it I didn't fully realise that Kylo Ren was the physical evidence of their love story in the original trilogy. I expect we'll get more of a feel for that in ep 8.

@Darth Dingbat
Yeah, of course, people will hate and love characters regardless of their 'likeableness' so good characterisation and story should come first. Oh yeah, I love that contradictory sense of vulnerability and strength in Kylo. He is so human and compelling because of that vulnerability. I meant that...if his reasons for his most despicable actions are a result of just sympathetic kind of things...I'm not sure how to explain but it just doesn't jive. I have no context, I don't know what he's been through and I don't know how the writers are going to portray him. Any story told well is a story I want to hear. But I guess I like the idea of him having a particular goal, trying to fill them 'legacy' shoes.

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Post by Scavengerscum on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 7:23 am

@Saracene wrote:
@Scavengerscum wrote:@Saracene
lol I can just imagine my brothers reactions to Reylo and an overly sympathetic Kylo.
It does sound contradictory when you put it like that but then we have these moments:
Kylo asking the Vader helmet for strength to finish what Vader started.
Kylo grew up with his mother in a heavily political climate, Leia is very much involved particularly in Bloodlines. It's not a stretch to assume that he has developed (like Anakin and his mother) a keen interest in the galaxy/ideology/politics etc. You see this side of Kylo more in the novelisation but I feel like he needs a broader reason than just teenage rebellion/trauma to do the things he does and still struggle with the pull to the light.
The whole searching for Luke/Jedi Temple thing indicates to me his "personal interests" and goals are something forcey.
Kylo keeping himself apart from the FO, isolated from everyone, tells me he doesn't entirely agree with their actions but being involved with them is what a Snoke wants.
Clearly wanting to go home with Han, but instead committing himself to the darkside...for what? Moar powoar?

There's obviously a lot more but I'm interested to hear what you think of his personal interests etc. and how that fits in with his family issues etc.?
@Scavengerscum

It's just really hard to say because we know so little about Kylo's life as Ben, and his personality and interests before the fall.

For instance, his desire to finish what Vader started could be a part of his fascination/desire to be like his grandfather, rather than actual interest in Vader's goals, as such. He sneers at Han that "his son was weak and foolish", so Vader to him probably represents some sort of ideal of strength, and what Vader does, Kylo does. Which in turn suggests a past wracked with insecurity.

If he was deliberately sent to Luke for training, I wonder how much interest in Force/Jedi stuff he really had. Otherwise wouldn't he have been all, Mum please please please let me train with uncle Luke, rather than having to be sent away. Also, when he's looking for the map to Luke's island, he never actually mentions the Jedi Temple, for him it's a map to Luke himself very much like it is for Leia. So is it about the Jedi Temple or is it about some personal stuff with Luke?
@Saracene

Well, I guess I get the idea of Kylo wanting the Jedi Temple because of the foreshadowing around it in the forceback and Pablo's words about the map being to the first Jedi Temple, not necessarily to Luke (or something). Also, don't the Kylo/Knights of Ren hunt Imperial artifacts? Ben searched for Jedi artifacts with Luke for a good amount of time. I always get the feeling their fallout involved something forcey and I don't just mean darkside seduction.

Definitely agree with the bolded Vader thing, he's an ideal 'cause insecurities. I guess I just feel like there is more going on there. Smile

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Post by Scavengerscum on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 7:49 am

@Darth Dingbat

Of the options you provided.. I'm leaning toward a mixture of the top and bottom. He could be like Leia/Vader with a strong conviction in their own moral standpoint. Some have compared Ben to Han who is more...vulnerable in some ways. Someone said Han Solo has the biggest heart in the galaxy. I'm interested to see if in next episode which of his parents he resembles the most... if the movie will show little moments of Han in him and I wonder how that will effect the audience. Its a way of reminding viewers who exactly Kylo Ren is.

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Post by Darth Dingbat on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 7:52 am

There was one thing that occurred to me earlier, btw, when I read that Phantasm is one of JJ's favourite films and he named Phasma after that film.

I haven't seen that film yet myself (only clips of it), but from the plot description I understood that the protagonist is a young boy who has nightmares and becomes aware of an evil in a small town, but nobody believes him at first. The boy even tries to investigate and confront the evil on his own, and almost gets himself killed in the process, before anyone believes him.

So I wondered if Kylo's backstory might be something vaguely similar. Snoke was there, lurking in the shadows, but that doesn't necessarily mean Snoke was secretly corrupting Ben since childhood. Trying to, perhaps. But it could be young Ben was aware of the evil threat but nobody took his fears seriously enough - or misunderstood them as disturbing signs in his own personality. Perhaps he had visions and nightmares. Perhaps he eventually thought nobody else could understand there was something seriously wrong in the galaxy, and decided to deal with the threat himself, with disastrous consequences.

Anyway, something like that would certainly make an adolescent feel misunderstood and abandoned without making the parents actively neglectful (because they simply didn't understand what was really going on) but also without turning the boy into a bad seed who was tempted by darkness since childhood (because he was actually scared of it and wanted to stop it).

P.S. I see the film is available on Youtube! I might just watch it tonight Wink Not that I think it's a direct influence or anything, but I was curious to hear that JJ admires the film so much that he produced the restored version of it. And if Phasma was named after it, that does at least connect the film to TFA indirectly... Razz

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Post by motherofpearl1 on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 7:54 am

That's a good theory.
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Post by ISeeAnIsland on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 12:57 pm

@Darth Dingbat wrote:There was one thing that occurred to me earlier, btw, when I read that Phantasm is one of JJ's favourite films and he named Phasma after that film.

I haven't seen that film yet myself (only clips of it), but from the plot description I understood that the protagonist is a young boy who has nightmares and becomes aware of an evil in a small town, but nobody believes him at first. The boy even tries to investigate and confront the evil on his own, and almost gets himself killed in the process, before anyone believes him.

So I wondered if Kylo's backstory might be something vaguely similar. Snoke was there, lurking in the shadows, but that doesn't necessarily mean Snoke was secretly corrupting Ben since childhood. Trying to, perhaps. But it could be young Ben was aware of the evil threat but nobody took his fears seriously enough - or misunderstood them as disturbing signs in his own personality. Perhaps he had visions and nightmares. Perhaps he eventually thought nobody else could understand there was something seriously wrong in the galaxy, and decided to deal with the threat himself, with disastrous consequences.

Anyway, something like that would certainly make an adolescent feel misunderstood and abandoned without making the parents actively neglectful (because they simply didn't understand what was really going on) but also without turning the boy into a bad seed who was tempted by darkness since childhood (because he was actually scared of it and wanted to stop it).

P.S. I see the film is available on Youtube! I might just watch it tonight Wink Not that I think it's a direct influence or anything, but I was curious to hear that JJ admires the film so much that he produced the restored version of it. And if Phasma was named after it, that does at least connect the film to TFA indirectly... Razz

@Darth Dingbat

That's a really interesting theory! It could certainly explain a lot about Ben feeling frustrated and rejected by his family if his warnings were repeatedly blown off.

If that were the case, I do wonder what happened to make him actually fall and align himself with Snoke.
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Post by ZioRen on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 1:00 pm

I feel like Kylo has to have something decently sad or sympathetic in his backstory. I agree that he'll probably be held responsible for his actions and isn't the victim of full on brainwashing or anything, but the audience is never going to forgive him unless he has very understandable reason for being the way he is. Things might be different if he hadn't killed Han Solo but....he killed Han Solo. I think if he has no tragedy in his past, his redemption isn't going to work in most people's eyes.
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Post by LondonGal555 on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 1:56 pm

maybe Kylo never killed the young Jedi but was blamed for it and taken away from his family and no one rescued him which would make him feel abandoned and alone.

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Post by LondonGal555 on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 1:59 pm

What's the point to have Kylo conflicted and more than likely redeemed if he just gets punished and put to death or jail? Leia still wants her son. She wants him home, she wants him back. I can see him go off with Luke and Rey to do good in the galaxy at the end of the movie. Leia has suffered too much to lose her son too. kylo is the last skywalker and bloodline foreshadows Leia as a grandmother.

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Post by ISeeAnIsland on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 2:09 pm

Lots of really good discussion here on Ben/Kylo's backstory and possible redemption. There are too many posts for me to try to tag everyone for their specific points, but here are my thoughts:


  • Ben's childhood/getting sent to Luke: Just by the way that things have been worded (e.g. "getting sent"), I tend to think that Ben getting sent to Luke wasn't voluntary on Ben's (and possibly even Han's) parts. As others have pointed out here, Han and Leia were probably a bit paranoid about Ben's "darkness" because of Vader, and Leia, perhaps, acted somewhat impulsively to send him away. I wouldn't be surprised if Ben was your typical, petulant teenager, and I'd suspect that he had Leia's temper. Of course, Ben would understandably feel rejected by his immediate family in this case.
  • What happened at Weird Uncle Luke's Charter school: Something happened really bad with Luke six years ago. The whole thing about Luke and Ben being "off the grid" for a while, even before the events of Bloodline, sounds pretty suspicious. What was happening there? Dodgy Force stuff?  Then Bloodline happened, which seems to coincide with Ben's ultimate break/fall. I have to think that the Vader reveal is going to tie into his fall in some way--whether it's Ben being kidnapped by the KoR, or Luke's other students ganging up on Ben....or perhaps due to whatever Luke was doing, his fall had already started (e.g. exposure to dark side stuff), and the Vader reveal finalized it.
  • Finishing what Vader started: I don't think this necessarily has to be ominous. My gut instinct is that it leads back to "balancing the Force". Vader thought he was doing that by eliminating the Jedi. Maybe there's something at that first Jedi temple that could lead to true balance in the Force, and that's what Kylo is after. Regardless, I think that the ultimate goal will be something heroic (or neutral), but that Kylo is going about it in a misguided way.
  • On Kylo siding with Snoke: I think that Kylo has sided with Snoke because he either feels like it's his only option or he feels that he needs to be aligned with Snoke to achieve whatever his ultimate goal is. I think there was plenty of onscreen evidence in TFA that Kylo doesn't fully buy what the FO is selling.


So, yeah, I think we're getting a sympathetic backstory. I think we're getting tangible, relatable (for most people) reasons why Ben felt rejected and for whatever happened with Luke. We've certainly had hints in Life Debt that brainwashing goes on, but I don't think that's the whole story behind what happened here, although I do think there was likely some manipulation/indoctrination.

Kylo is going to have to have the same sort of disillusionment/break with Snoke and the FO that he previously had with his family. I do think that we'll get at least the start of that in VIII (possibly with the attack on Leia). I hope that we're going to get to watch his redemption play out onscreen (as opposed to a last-minute redemption at the end of IX). We'll see him regret what he's done and want to change that. If he lives, we'll be left with some idea of how he's going to atone for his actions, too.
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Post by LondonGal555 on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 2:21 pm

If Kylo doesn't get redeemed and live a decent life than Hans death was for nothing and Leia will have lost everything but her brother.
Han forgave his son but he wished someday his son would forgive him in the book which tells me something big happened that is very sad with Kylos back story. When Kylo does kill his father very low you hear "forgive me".

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Post by reylo1992 on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 3:44 pm

I think that it is safe to assume that Kylo will be redeemed and come home. If I resume the main parallels that we pointed out on this forum, Kylo would be our Star Wars:
- Anakin in reverse
- Prince Adam/Beast
- Romeo
- Severus Snape
- E.T.
and so on...

So it would be really unlogical if the screenwriters would make him go darker and darker until he becomes a typical villain such a la Gaston, Voldemort, and so on...

Rey will be anyway his main motivation to fight back against Snoke. We comment a lot of Reylo moments but I think there is one scene that deserves to be analyzed because I believe this scene to be the real starting point of Reylo:
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One comment a lot the vision scene and what happens after but one talk very few about what happensjust before. I have always asked myself: why does the lightsaber calls to Rey only after this scene? One could answer: it's only a question of timing! The screenwriters needed to have the characters sitting and discussing before serious things begin!

However, I believe that the way the discussion goes and how it ends may have a significance in what happens next. Actually, Rey was certainly the last person who was supposed to be called by the Skywalker lightsaber - assuming that Ben is the last owner - and get involved in this journey to fight against the FO and bring him home.

1) Han

If there's one person in this scene who has personel reason to get involved in the fight against the FO, it's Han! So let's have a look on his behavior in this scene.
1) His first reaction is to ask Maz to do him a favor: to bring the droid to Leia. This means that he had no intention to get involved and that he wanted to go back to his smuggler activities after giving the droid to Leia.
2) Maz refuses and encourages him to go home because he has been away from this fight for too long. Maz is of course talking about the fight agains the FO but she's certainly reffering to the fight for Ben's return too.
3) Han justifies his refusal saying that Leia doesn't wish to see him
4) During the whole scene, he looks tired, broken and resigned. Even when he reunites with Leia, he's very resigned to his son's fate: "There's too much Vader in much!" "We lost our son, forever!"

To put in a nutshell, he's not ready to fight nor for the Resistance as he did in the past neither for Ben himself

2) Finn

As a lot of Reylos, I tend to minimize the importance of Finn in my posts to focus on Kylo and Rey's dynamics. However, I am persuaded that Finn may have some importance not only  in the fight for the Resistance but also  in some way for Ben.

This is at least what Maz seems to think because her attention focuses much more on him than on Rey's and obviously not because he's intrduced himself as the big deal of the Resistance. To me, this is no coincidence that her eyes go bigger to study his face and  look closely at his eyes, which she doesn't do with Rey. Maz is clearly expecting from Finn that he gets involved in the fight and obviously disappointed by his reaction.

And what's Finn reaction? Very similar to Han. He's persuaded that there's no fight to be won against the F.O., which also means by extension there's no hope for Ben's return. So he seems as resigned as Han seems.  

As a result, Maz indicates Finn how to "disappear" by finding a transport for the Outer Rim. I believe  the word "disappear" to be important because this is exactly what Luke did ("Luke Skywalker has vanished") and what Han did in some way. If you think about it, there is this strong idea that the Skywalkers family - at least the Skywalker men - not only abandoned the fight against the FO but also the fight for Ben's return.

3) Rey

Now, let's focus on Rey's behavior in this scene because her attitude is totally different:

1) She  immediately expresses her interest interested in Maz's statement ("What fight?")

2) She protests vigorously when she realizes that Finn is going to give up the fight:
- 1st time" What will happen to BB-8? We're not done yet!"
==> I already pointed out in a previous post that I believe BB-8 to be actually Ben's bot, the one he created when he was a child the same way Anakin created C-3PO
==> Kylo also says "we're not done yet" in the forest while looking at Finn
- 2nd time: "What are you doing?"
- 3rd time: You can't just go! I won't let you"

She's looking at Finn & Han as if she feels:
1) Betrayed
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2) Abandoned
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==> Which is probably what Ben experienced on his own

Only then, this happens:
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There are a lot of explanations about it. My guess is that Rey is called by the lightsaber not only because she experiences the sames feelings as Ben but also because she's not ready to give up contrary to the others. She's the only who seems so determined to fulfill the mission completely. I pointed in so many that her only real motivation at that point is her family coming back but  she also expresses such strong sense of duty and loyalty.

Interestingly, she also expresses a genuine loyalty to BB-8, at least 3 times:
1) She refuses to give him up to Theedo in the desert
2) She refuses to give him up to Unkar Plutt ==> She means that the droid is not for sale, which means by extension - if BB-8 is really Ben's bot - that Ben himself has no price for her
3) She is determined to bring BB-8 back to the base, which means by extension  bring Ben home

I pointed out in my previous the possible parallels with E.T. especially the the parallel between the opening shot of TFA and the "E.T. phone home" scene. Choosing such parrallel for the opening shot is certainly no coincidence because there is this strong idea about coming home in the movie:
- Han to Chewie: "Chewie, we're home!"
- Maz to Han: "Han! Go home!"
- Leia to Han: "If you see our son, bring him home!"
- Han to Ben: "Leave here with me! Come home!"

What if the lightsaber calling to Rey was actually the Star War version of "E.T. phone home", Ben trying voluntarily or not to reach out to someone who could help him to come home?
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"E.T phone home" is literally a sort of message in a bottle, a SOS sent by E.T.,  Elliott playing the role of the messenger. And this is what happens just after Maz, who seems obviously surprised that Rey was chosen by the lightsaber, asks her to take it:
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What if Ben is trying to communicate with Rey through the Force because he knows somehow that she may be his only chance to reach out to home? And why would he introduce himself to her as Ben since he tells Han that Ben is gone?


Then, Rey reacts by refusing to touch the lightsaber again but finally sort of accepts her destiny later...leading to the famous "It is you!" moment:
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One of the post pointed out that Rey may parallel Iris, the messenger of the Gods in the Greek mythology. She carries more or less Ben's "message in the bottle" by bringing the lightsaber to Luke. Meanwhile the lightsaber passed during the whole movie from hand to hand with this idea that touching the lightsaber is accepting to get involved in this fight for Ben.
1. Han did it ==> he touches Ben's red lightsaber but still he sort of accept to play a role in his Ben's redemption even if it means death
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2. Leia did it==> it doesn't appear in the film editing which is finally not so important because Space Mama is the only one to be already involved in the fight from the beginning and believing in her son's redemption
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3. Finn did it ==>which implies that Finn is also supposed to play his part in Ben's redemption in some way so I am looking forward to know how he enters into this scheme
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By tending the lightsaber to Luke, Rey is more or less pleading him to get involved in this fight for Ben's soul because he has disapeared and been away from this fight for too long. It is interesting that the film ended with Luke not touching the lightsaber but only staring at it with shock and conflict on his face and in his eyes:
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So the question are: Why did the screenwriters want Luke to be the final recipient of the message? Why does Luke react so emotionally to the lightsaber (even more emotionally than Han did)? Why Han coming back for Ben wasn't a reason strong enough for him to come home? What are Ben's "personal interests" (that go against Snoke's orders) to go after the map to Luke?
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Post by snufkin on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 4:03 pm

@ISeeAnIsland wrote:Lots of really good discussion here on Ben/Kylo's backstory and possible redemption. There are too many posts for me to try to tag everyone for their specific points, but here are my thoughts:


  • Ben's childhood/getting sent to Luke: Just by the way that things have been worded (e.g. "getting sent"), I tend to think that Ben getting sent to Luke wasn't voluntary on Ben's (and possibly even Han's) parts. As others have pointed out here, Han and Leia were probably a bit paranoid about Ben's "darkness" because of Vader, and Leia, perhaps, acted somewhat impulsively to send him away. I wouldn't be surprised if Ben was your typical, petulant teenager, and I'd suspect that he had Leia's temper. Of course, Ben would understandably feel rejected by his immediate family in this case.
  • What happened at Weird Uncle Luke's Charter school: Something happened really bad with Luke six years ago. The whole thing about Luke and Ben being "off the grid" for a while, even before the events of Bloodline, sounds pretty suspicious. What was happening there? Dodgy Force stuff?  Then Bloodline happened, which seems to coincide with Ben's ultimate break/fall. I have to think that the Vader reveal is going to tie into his fall in some way--whether it's Ben being kidnapped by the KoR, or Luke's other students ganging up on Ben....or perhaps due to whatever Luke was doing, his fall had already started (e.g. exposure to dark side stuff), and the Vader reveal finalized it.
  • Finishing what Vader started: I don't think this necessarily has to be ominous. My gut instinct is that it leads back to "balancing the Force". Vader thought he was doing that by eliminating the Jedi. Maybe there's something at that first Jedi temple that could lead to true balance in the Force, and that's what Kylo is after. Regardless, I think that the ultimate goal will be something heroic (or neutral), but that Kylo is going about it in a misguided way.
  • On Kylo siding with Snoke: I think that Kylo has sided with Snoke because he either feels like it's his only option or he feels that he needs to be aligned with Snoke to achieve whatever his ultimate goal is. I think there was plenty of onscreen evidence in TFA that Kylo doesn't fully buy what the FO is selling.


So, yeah, I think we're getting a sympathetic backstory. I think we're getting tangible, relatable (for most people) reasons why Ben felt rejected and for whatever happened with Luke. We've certainly had hints in Life Debt that brainwashing goes on, but I don't think that's the whole story behind what happened here, although I do think there was likely some manipulation/indoctrination.

Kylo is going to have to have the same sort of disillusionment/break with Snoke and the FO that he previously had with his family. I do think that we'll get at least the start of that in VIII (possibly with the attack on Leia). I hope that we're going to get to watch his redemption play out onscreen (as opposed to a last-minute redemption at the end of IX). We'll see him regret what he's done and want to change that. If he lives, we'll be left with some idea of how he's going to atone for his actions, too.

@ISeeAnIsland

In regards to what happened with Luke, if they keep following the ideas Kasdan had which he scrapped with Lucas about*, then Luke had to have gone slightly bonkers having looked a little too close to the heart of darkness (cue @SoloSideCousin's Colonel Kurtz joke here) in tangling with the Emperor and pulling Vader back over to the right side of things. So Leia may have unwittingly sent her kid off to a brother who was also spiraling himself and needed help. But instead the two of them together in isolation and these rumored acolytes/factions just made things worse. She and Han probably had no clue what was going on with Luke if he'd already gone off the grid and wasn't dropping by for family Thanksgiving.

It also has to parallel a little with Rey, in at least now that she's really facing the "all alone in a hostile universe reality" that she kept denying as a survival mechanism on Jakku. So she's going to be dealing with her own feelings of anger and rejection now that she's going to wonder why she got left there and nobody came back. The whole "nobody understand me so let's be miserable together" vibe is gonna be part of his sales pitch to her.

* Luke goes ronin and wanders off on his own after gotten too close to the DS, Han dies in a heroic self-sacrifice, and Leia is left on her own (maybe pregnant with her and Han's kid) as the leader of a society that's in chaos at the end of war.
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Post by reylo1992 on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 4:55 pm

@LondonGal555 wrote:If Kylo doesn't get redeemed and live a decent life than Hans death was for nothing and Leia will have lost everything but her brother.
Han forgave his son but he wished someday his son would forgive him in the book which tells me something big happened that is very sad with Kylos back story. When Kylo does kill his father very low you hear "forgive me".
@LondonGal555

Really? When exactly? Before or after he says "thank you"? Because I just can't hear it
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Post by snufkin on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 5:01 pm

@reylo1992 wrote:My guess is that Rey is called by the lightsaber not only because she experiences the sames feelings as Ben but also because she's not ready to give up contrary to the others. She's the only who seems so determined to fulfill the mission completely. I pointed in so many that her only real motivation at that point is her family coming back but  she also expresses such strong sense of duty and loyalty.

Interestingly, she also expresses a genuine loyalty to BB-8, at least 3 times:
1) She refuses to give him up to Theedo in the desert
2) She refuses to give him up to Unkar Plutt ==> She means that the droid is not for sale, which means by extension - if BB-8 is really Ben's bot - that Ben himself has no price for her
3) She is determined to bring BB-8 back to the base, which means by extension  bring Ben home

@reylo1992

Great post! To the above, it's interesting how they lay out the scene where Poe tells BB-8 to escape from the village with the map and he's then in turn rescued/protected by Rey. I've wondered if that's meant to set up any kind of parallel or clue about what happened to Rey when she was left behind on Jakku. That she was told that she had to stay behind and wait because it was safer and that it'd be okay/her parents would come back for her (give Oscar Isaac an award for delivering a Last of the Mohicans style "I WILL FIND YOU!" speech to a cute little droid) We definitely can tell that experience is why she takes up the cause of both protecting him and ensuring that he's returned safely to his 'home' with Poe and the Resistance

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In the DVD comments, JJ does say that her confrontation with the Teedo tells you something about her moral code, that she intervenes because Teedo 'has no respect' for BB-8 or any sentient beings and would've stripped him for parts. So that's when I also wonder what's being set up with Ben. That she'll also come to his rescue because we already have heard Han's warning, that Snoke is using Ben and will crush him when he 'gets what he wants.'

Other parallel details that I've wondered about with this is that you have the "You need a pilot" and "this is a rescue mission" for Poe and Finn breaking out of the FO. Ben tells Rey at the climax of their fight "You need a teacher!" Which makes me wonder if ultimately their dynamic is also going to be a "rescue mission" of Rey breaking him out of Snoke's clutches the same way Finn breaks Poe out of the FO.


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Post by ISeeAnIsland on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 5:08 pm

@snufkin wrote:
@ISeeAnIsland wrote:Lots of really good discussion here on Ben/Kylo's backstory and possible redemption. There are too many posts for me to try to tag everyone for their specific points, but here are my thoughts:


  • Ben's childhood/getting sent to Luke: Just by the way that things have been worded (e.g. "getting sent"), I tend to think that Ben getting sent to Luke wasn't voluntary on Ben's (and possibly even Han's) parts. As others have pointed out here, Han and Leia were probably a bit paranoid about Ben's "darkness" because of Vader, and Leia, perhaps, acted somewhat impulsively to send him away. I wouldn't be surprised if Ben was your typical, petulant teenager, and I'd suspect that he had Leia's temper. Of course, Ben would understandably feel rejected by his immediate family in this case.
  • What happened at Weird Uncle Luke's Charter school: Something happened really bad with Luke six years ago. The whole thing about Luke and Ben being "off the grid" for a while, even before the events of Bloodline, sounds pretty suspicious. What was happening there? Dodgy Force stuff?  Then Bloodline happened, which seems to coincide with Ben's ultimate break/fall. I have to think that the Vader reveal is going to tie into his fall in some way--whether it's Ben being kidnapped by the KoR, or Luke's other students ganging up on Ben....or perhaps due to whatever Luke was doing, his fall had already started (e.g. exposure to dark side stuff), and the Vader reveal finalized it.
  • Finishing what Vader started: I don't think this necessarily has to be ominous. My gut instinct is that it leads back to "balancing the Force". Vader thought he was doing that by eliminating the Jedi. Maybe there's something at that first Jedi temple that could lead to true balance in the Force, and that's what Kylo is after. Regardless, I think that the ultimate goal will be something heroic (or neutral), but that Kylo is going about it in a misguided way.
  • On Kylo siding with Snoke: I think that Kylo has sided with Snoke because he either feels like it's his only option or he feels that he needs to be aligned with Snoke to achieve whatever his ultimate goal is. I think there was plenty of onscreen evidence in TFA that Kylo doesn't fully buy what the FO is selling.


So, yeah, I think we're getting a sympathetic backstory. I think we're getting tangible, relatable (for most people) reasons why Ben felt rejected and for whatever happened with Luke. We've certainly had hints in Life Debt that brainwashing goes on, but I don't think that's the whole story behind what happened here, although I do think there was likely some manipulation/indoctrination.

Kylo is going to have to have the same sort of disillusionment/break with Snoke and the FO that he previously had with his family. I do think that we'll get at least the start of that in VIII (possibly with the attack on Leia). I hope that we're going to get to watch his redemption play out onscreen (as opposed to a last-minute redemption at the end of IX). We'll see him regret what he's done and want to change that. If he lives, we'll be left with some idea of how he's going to atone for his actions, too.

@ISeeAnIsland

In regards to what happened with Luke, if they keep following the ideas Kasdan had which he scrapped with Lucas about*, then Luke had to have gone slightly bonkers having looked a little too close to the heart of darkness (cue @SoloSideCousin's Colonel Kurtz joke here) in tangling with the Emperor and pulling Vader back over to the right side of things. So Leia may have unwittingly sent her kid off to a brother who was also spiraling himself and needed help. But instead the two of them together in isolation and these rumored acolytes/factions just made things worse. She and Han probably had no clue what was going on with Luke if he'd already gone off the grid and wasn't dropping by for family Thanksgiving.

It also has to parallel a little with Rey, in at least now that she's really facing the "all alone in a hostile universe reality" that she kept denying as a survival mechanism on Jakku. So she's going to be dealing with her own feelings of anger and rejection now that she's going to wonder why she got left there and nobody came back. The whole "nobody understand me so let's be miserable together" vibe is gonna be part of his sales pitch to her.

* Luke goes ronin and wanders off on his own after gotten too close to the DS, Han dies in a heroic self-sacrifice, and Leia is left on her own (maybe pregnant with her and Han's kid) as the leader of a society that's in chaos at the end of war.
@snufkin

Yup. If the rumors about Luke are true, I have to think that Leia was being a bit overly optimistic AND didn't realize what she was sending her son to.

The bold is a big part of why I think we'll begin to see the start of two-sided Reylo in VIII. If Luke is a bit nuts, it's likely going to drive Rey and Kylo together. On top of the larger abandonment issues, they're both going to be likely siding with each other where Luke is involved. So, assuming that they get some time where Luke isn't watching them like a hawk, I expect there to be quite a bit bonding between the two of them--especially over past trauma.
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Post by snufkin on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 5:18 pm

@ISeeanIsland - Instead of the heartwarming Daddy-Daughter LS reunion a lot of people imagine, the rumors of the 3 of them together, Luke being weird/frustrating, and the two of them actually having conversations, I've wondered if there's going to be anything where Ben feels like he has to stand between her and Luke to protect her. Because he knows how bonkers/powerful Luke is capable of being - besides still being a jerk and trying to sway her to his side, that he's started to feel more sympathetic/protective towards her. And if they swap stories, he's going to have situation thrown into relief because he can't ever compete with her in the "my childhood was terrible" competition and she'll understand how he ended up with Snoke.
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Post by ISeeAnIsland on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 5:27 pm

@snufkin wrote:@ISeeanIsland - Instead of the heartwarming Daddy-Daughter LS reunion a lot of people imagine, the rumors of the 3 of them together, Luke being weird/frustrating, and the two of them actually having conversations, I've wondered if there's going to be anything where Ben feels like he has to stand between her and Luke to protect her. Because he knows how bonkers/powerful Luke is capable of being - besides still being a jerk and trying to sway her to his side, that he's started to feel more sympathetic/protective towards her. And if they swap stories, he's going to have situation thrown into relief because he can't ever compete with her in the "my childhood was terrible" competition and she'll understand how he ended up with Snoke.
@snufkin

Right. I kind of wonder if that's where the exploding hut rumor might come in.

Depending on the context and what happens when the hut blows, it could be played for comedy. (Admittedly, on paper the way it was described, it sounded like it could be comedic.)

BUT if they're not going the comedy route, and it really is Luke blowing up the hut because he's enraged about the conversation that Rey and Kylo are having, we could definitely be getting a situation where Kylo feels like he needs to protect Rey from Luke.

I don't necessarily buy into the popular headcanon that Rey falls off the cliff during the lightsaber fight, and Kylo dives in to save her from drowning. BUT further along in the movie, if they've had a chance to bond a bit and understand each other, I'd almost kind of expect for him to save her life from something.
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