[controversial] did ben have to die?

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Post by Saracene on Sun 22 Dec 2019, 12:38 am

To be fair... it’s the actors’ job to sell the movie during the promotional tour and say nothing but positive stuff about it.

All scorn IMO should be directed squarely at the people in charge of the movie, not its cast.
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Post by Kyla Ren on Sun 22 Dec 2019, 12:47 am

@Saracene wrote:To be fair... it’s the actors’ job to sell the movie during the promotional tour and say nothing but positive stuff about it.

All scorn IMO should be directed squarely at the people in charge of the movie, not its cast.
@Saracene

Yes, I guess that's true.  I guess the cast didn't have much of a choice no matter what they might have personally thought.  But I don't know how TPTB at Disney/Lucasfilm thought that TROS was a satisfying ending to the trilogy and the saga as a whole.  Unless they didn't, but they were running out of time and/or ideas and they had to have something finished by the release date.
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Post by Lily Snape on Sun 22 Dec 2019, 1:30 am

When they dropped that TV spot that had Palpatine saying he’d been every voice Ben ever heard inside his head, I thought the leaks must be wrong. Surely they wouldn’t set up a character as groomed and warped by a powerful evil being and then have him achieve redemption only through dying. So...yeah. Wrong about that. I’m not sure why this mattered to me so much, but I’ve thought about it since Monday’s reveals, and I think it’s because my siblings and I had a pretty painful, messed-up childhood, but I don’t think you’d know that now that we are adults. In my case, it’s been a healing thing to become the kind of parent I never had, and my job involves taking care of a very underserved population. It’s possible to turn a really dark and difficult origin into something good. I guess I thought they were going to give this character that chance— on a much bigger and more dramatic scale, obviously. But....well, back to what they actually did, I guess. Here goes.

In the context of the GFFA, I think Ben’s crimes as Kylo Ren could be forgiven for his role in taking out Palpatine and saving Rey, so I think the issue of tribunals and war crimes and so forth would probably only be a temporary issue— one that the creators of this film conveniently sidestepped by killing him off.

As far as the whole audience response to Reylo as a “toxic relationship” etc.— again, it’s a movie about space wizards, but I think all they had to do was have him turn earlier in the film and show what we saw in the brief time he was Ben Solo again: what he’s like and how he treats Rey (and others, ideally) when not shackled to the Dark Side. This isn’t our world and a guy having a change of heart or going to therapy or something— this is a space wizard who is sort of enslaved to Dark magic. Forever will it dominate your destiny, Yoda said. It’s not easily shaken. But Ben Solo got free of it, and Adam Driver’s acting could have conveyed that. And did. Even with almost no words.

Story-wise, they could have had him take out Palpatine and save the Resistance and the Galaxy, showing that he had a bigger commitment to the greater good, not just a personal commitment to saving the woman he loved. Easy to let him live, then.

There were so many ways they could have made this a better story AND let him live. After Palpatine and “no one is ever really gone,” you’ll never convince me that Ben Solo can’t come back— surely Rey’s Jedi texts might have some ideas— but going back to what we see in the film, I think Vader 2.0 made it a lesser film.
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Post by OrionStars on Sun 22 Dec 2019, 1:44 am

@nickandnora

I guess JB has realized that his character had worse treatment than what he had in TLJ, so he needs time to accept that cold hard truth.

@Kyla Ren
If I was the type of actress like DR, I would genuinely be satisfied too. I mean, the established actors like Adam and Isaac will always care about the reception of critics, while DR/JB care about maintaining their fame (JB even went far to the point that he used his own money to invest in PR 2). And ReyPalwalker means DR's career is secured, her character is the most important character of SW universe. Then she can star in JJ's Ophelia trilogy while waiting for the new Skywalker trilogy.
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Post by snufkin on Sun 22 Dec 2019, 2:39 am

He shouldn't have given details like named after Harrison Ford's oldest son, Kasdan wrote Bridge Scene with one of his sons (yes SW and its Daddy issues, but still) the details in novels like Bloodline/Empire's End (that baby announcement?!)/Last Shot about him being a symbol of hope after a war, him being a character at the theme park, the popularity for Internet search and social media analytics - let alone finding out that Uncle Luke & the other padawans ganged up on him at Bible Camp.

The flippant answer is that given how cringe worthy this movie sounds, the actor probably said "Please kill me now" and the producers took him at his word. The more cynical and likely realistic answer is that the production started out with the intention for the character to redeem himself, overcome the Skywalker family baggage, and live on as a Solo forging his own path with his special Jedi lady friend. But that one of the obvious signs of upper management meddling was that he got killed magicked his body away (didn't they also do this to a character on the D+ show) for potential future content where he gets reintroduced in comics. Or they pull a soap opera level plot twist to bring him from the Beyond. The extra cynical answer is that the studio pulled him off stage to not interfere with checking off the one more "yay BFG!" moment before "Rey Skywalker lives!"


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Post by Moonjump05 on Sun 22 Dec 2019, 2:41 am

@Lily Snape wrote:When they dropped that TV spot that had Palpatine saying he’d been every voice Ben ever heard inside his head, I thought the leaks must be wrong. Surely they wouldn’t set up a character as groomed and warped by a powerful evil being and then have him achieve redemption only through dying. So...yeah. Wrong about that. I’m not sure why this mattered to me so much, but I’ve thought about it since Monday’s reveals, and I think it’s because my siblings and I had a pretty painful, messed-up childhood, but I don’t think you’d know that now that we are adults. In my case, it’s been a healing thing to become the kind of parent I never had, and my job involves taking care of a very underserved population. It’s possible to turn a really dark and difficult origin into something good. I guess I thought they were going to give this character that chance— on a much bigger and more dramatic scale, obviously. But....well, back to what they actually did, I guess. Here goes.

In the context of the GFFA, I think Ben’s crimes as Kylo Ren could be forgiven for his role in taking out Palpatine and saving Rey, so I think the issue of tribunals and war crimes and so forth would probably only be a temporary issue— one that the creators of this film conveniently sidestepped by killing him off.

As far as the whole audience response to Reylo as a “toxic relationship” etc.— again, it’s a movie about space wizards, but I think all they had to do was have him turn earlier in the film and show what we saw in the brief time he was Ben Solo again: what he’s like and how he treats Rey (and others, ideally) when not shackled to the Dark Side. This isn’t our world and a guy having a change of heart or going to therapy or something— this is a space wizard who is sort of enslaved to Dark magic. Forever will it dominate your destiny, Yoda said. It’s not easily shaken. But Ben Solo got free of it, and Adam Driver’s acting could have conveyed that. And did. Even with almost no words.

Story-wise, they could have had him take out Palpatine and save the Resistance and the Galaxy, showing that he had a bigger commitment to the greater good, not just a personal commitment to saving the woman he loved. Easy to let him live, then.

There were so many ways they could have made this a better story AND let him live. After Palpatine and “no one is ever really gone,” you’ll never convince me that Ben Solo can’t come back— surely Rey’s Jedi texts might have some ideas— but going back to what we see in the film, I think Vader 2.0 made it a lesser film.
@Lily Snape

At bolded, the blatant truth is that the vast vast majority of the audience doesn't give two fucks about the problematic aspects of a story as long as it is compelling. Seriously, those who have some moral objection are a tiny minority.

I just saw Phantom of the Opera, again, full house and standing ovation and overhearing the other audience members gushing about the Phantom. He 'stole the show's and 'is always the best'. BF who has never seen it loved it. You know what I didn't hear? Hot takes about abusive relationships.

There is no toxic audience response, just a vocal minority shouting into the void.
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Post by cherrylipstick on Sun 22 Dec 2019, 3:15 am

Oh definitely not.
Leaving aside personal preferences and my endless love for the character, there is a huge practical reason why I think his death at end didn't make sense at all: the fact that during the movie there are several hints to his coming back in a positive way.
The movie clearly states (more than once) that there's still hope, that he's not really gone. We saw it with Leia's worries about Ben's fate, the dialogue between Han and his son, what Rey told him when she heals him, when Kylo throws away his lightsaber to be Ben again... All pointed out his redemption and the possibility of a brighter future for him.
I don't think that these we're just our partial hopes, conditioned by our love for the ship. I honestly think that the movie led us there, it basically promised us something, gave it to us in a certain way and, at the very end and in very cruel way, it simply destroyed it.

This is one of the thing I hate the most about this movie. It's not really about what the character deserved or what we wanted, but the fact that they deliberately promised something during the movie and then they simply decided to forget/ignore it.
It usually doesn't work like that with stories, at least not with good ones.
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Post by Kyla Ren on Sun 22 Dec 2019, 3:20 am

@cherrylipstick wrote:Oh definitely not.
Leaving aside personal preferences and my endless love for the character, there is a huge practical reason why I think his death at end didn't make sense at all: the fact that during the movie there are several hints to his coming back in a positive way.
The movie clearly states (more than once) that there's still hope, that he's not really gone. We saw it with Leia's worries about Ben's fate, the dialogue between Han and his son, what Rey told him when she heals him, when Kylo throws away his lightsaber to be Ben again... All pointed out his redemption and the possibility of a brighter future for him.
I don't think that these we're just our partial hopes, conditioned by our love for the ship. I honestly think that the movie led us there, it basically promised us something, gave it to us in a certain way and, at the very end and in very cruel way, it simply destroyed it.

This is one of the thing I hate the most about this movie. It's not really about what the character deserved or what we wanted, but the fact that they deliberately promised something during the movie and then they simply decided to forget/ignore it.
It usually doesn't work like that with stories, at least not with good ones.
@cherrylipstick

Exactly.  And the fact that they had so many "fake" deaths but then Ben's turned out to be real was just like an extremely cruel twist. Sad  I am so bitter about this movie on so many levels. Mad
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Post by cherrylipstick on Sun 22 Dec 2019, 3:26 am

@Kyla Ren wrote:
@cherrylipstick wrote:Oh definitely not.
Leaving aside personal preferences and my endless love for the character, there is a huge practical reason why I think his death at end didn't make sense at all: the fact that during the movie there are several hints to his coming back in a positive way.
The movie clearly states (more than once) that there's still hope, that he's not really gone. We saw it with Leia's worries about Ben's fate, the dialogue between Han and his son, what Rey told him when she heals him, when Kylo throws away his lightsaber to be Ben again... All pointed out his redemption and the possibility of a brighter future for him.
I don't think that these we're just our partial hopes, conditioned by our love for the ship. I honestly think that the movie led us there, it basically promised us something, gave it to us in a certain way and, at the very end and in very cruel way, it simply destroyed it.

This is one of the thing I hate the most about this movie. It's not really about what the character deserved or what we wanted, but the fact that they deliberately promised something during the movie and then they simply decided to forget/ignore it.
It usually doesn't work like that with stories, at least not with good ones.
@cherrylipstick

Exactly.  And the fact that they had so many "fake" deaths but then Ben's turned out to be real was just like an extremely cruel twist. Sad  I am so bitter about this movie on so many levels. Mad
@Kyla Ren

Yeah! That makes the situation even worse.
Not only several characters seem to die just to come back 5 minutes later without a scratch, but Ben himself almost dies three times before dying for real Laughing This is total madness.
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Post by Saracene on Sun 22 Dec 2019, 3:27 am

Han Solo: “Kylo Ren is dead. My son lives.”
(Later in the movie)
Han Solo: “Oh I guess my son is dead too. But that’s ok, redemption through death is what any parent would wish for their child.”
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Post by Kyla Ren on Sun 22 Dec 2019, 3:37 am

@cherrylipstick wrote:
@Kyla Ren wrote:
@cherrylipstick wrote:Oh definitely not.
Leaving aside personal preferences and my endless love for the character, there is a huge practical reason why I think his death at end didn't make sense at all: the fact that during the movie there are several hints to his coming back in a positive way.
The movie clearly states (more than once) that there's still hope, that he's not really gone. We saw it with Leia's worries about Ben's fate, the dialogue between Han and his son, what Rey told him when she heals him, when Kylo throws away his lightsaber to be Ben again... All pointed out his redemption and the possibility of a brighter future for him.
I don't think that these we're just our partial hopes, conditioned by our love for the ship. I honestly think that the movie led us there, it basically promised us something, gave it to us in a certain way and, at the very end and in very cruel way, it simply destroyed it.

This is one of the thing I hate the most about this movie. It's not really about what the character deserved or what we wanted, but the fact that they deliberately promised something during the movie and then they simply decided to forget/ignore it.
It usually doesn't work like that with stories, at least not with good ones.
@cherrylipstick

Exactly.  And the fact that they had so many "fake" deaths but then Ben's turned out to be real was just like an extremely cruel twist. Sad  I am so bitter about this movie on so many levels. Mad
@Kyla Ren

Yeah! That makes the situation even worse.
Not only several characters seem to die just to come back 5 minutes later without a scratch, but Ben himself almost dies three times before dying for real Laughing This is total madness.
@cherrylipstick

It really is insane. Sad  You know, I have to say that I think it's a good thing that I read all the spoilers before i actually saw the movie, because if I had gone in completely unspoiled, I really think I would have just been devastated that Ben died for real.  I probably would have sat to the end of the closing credits hoping they would show a scene of him on Tatooine or something. Sad  What they did was really cruel.  I wonder if that ever occurred to them or if they just didn't care.
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Post by Kyla Ren on Sun 22 Dec 2019, 3:40 am

@Saracene wrote:Han Solo: “Kylo Ren is dead. My son lives.”
(Later in the movie)
Han Solo: “Oh I guess my son is dead too. But that’s ok, redemption through death is what any parent would wish for their child.”
@Saracene

That was a big reason that I thought Ben would get to live at the end, or at least have a child with Rey even if he didn't survive.

I think Han and Leia would want Ben to live and have happiness and a family with Rey. Sad  What they did to Ben and his whole family makes me feel so sad. Sad
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Post by SanghaRen on Sun 22 Dec 2019, 4:36 am

What can I say except “NO!!!” Not much to add to what has been already said, but I’ll add anyway some personal view.

There was a message of real hope here to be sent to all the young people struggling and doing sith. Ben could have imparted his experience to force sensitive kids because he knows the Dark Side. He’s been there and came out of it. He could have been like a former drug addict who supports addicts to find their way out too. Vader dying is one thing, he’s old. Ben dying is a reflection of something wrong in our current society: a lack of compassion for the young people. I have the feeling some will more than agree with his death. I am surrounded by comfortable middle aged + people (I am middle aged myself  Crying or Very sad ) who pass a very harsh judgment on younger people even when said young people grew up in sith conditions. That just marginalizes more the younger generation. That ending to me validates this behavior. I guess, we should be happy he got 5 seconds of happiness because that’s more than some would have wished! I remember Lawrence Kasdan, when talking about the OT characters, saying something like when you get old, you think you will be wiser, but then you realize you are just older and still making mistakes. There was humility in that. A humility that disappeared in TRoS.

As for the impact on the Skywalker itself, it’s as sickening to me. The end is pretty much wiping the Skywalker family, leaving the 2 worthier ones as FG (they look ridiculous, btw), ignoring the 2 problematic ones (Anakin, Ben) and rebooting it with someone else who isn’t devoid of her own issues. It’s a very Hollywood thing. Who knows JJ will direct another trilogy focusing on the rebooted Skywalker family. It’s going to be glorious. He can copy paste the whole OT and the old geeks will massively go to the cinema with lightsabers and Han / Luke t-shirts. Hey, maybe Ian McDiarmid and Mark Hamill will still be available. Hurry up, JJ & Co.

I wonder how my own mom will see it. My complicated relationship with my parents is what made me relate to Ben Solo. That and the fact I struggle with anxieties all the time and am trying to not plunge again in the hole of depression. It took ages for my mom to understand that her daughter is different and cannot do these “normal” things people do because fighting her anxieties on her own is sucking up already all the energy she has. And I think when she saw how much I like the character, it clicked even more for her. My dad doesn’t have the same sensitivity to this kind of things but I guess he tries sometimes (Han Solo, anyone?). So I really wonder, as a parent of a troubled adult, how she will react to the whole thing being solved by death.

And yes, the baiting for him surviving was there. Shock effect. Try telling a good story first.
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Post by Gemini on Sun 22 Dec 2019, 5:04 am

@Saracene wrote:To be fair... it’s the actors’ job to sell the movie during the promotional tour and say nothing but positive stuff about it.

All scorn IMO should be directed squarely at the people in charge of the movie, not its cast.
@Saracene

I wonder if there were any moments from the cast and crew where they were like, trying to warn us with their eyes and shade.. like the GoT cast.

The "reaction to 9" face pulling one maybe? The way JJ was looking at them like  Suspect

I agree, with not blaming the actors for what they had to do in a movie. They also need to say positive things.

I think a telling thing was how their statements seemed to contradict each other all the time. Even their own statements would contradict their own statements.
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Post by MaddieDove on Sun 22 Dec 2019, 5:47 am

Reading this thread just broke my heart. I was ok yesterday, dismissing the movie as a bad dream, but just to think that there was an alternative ending that someone decided against is really, really hurting.

If all of this is true, I can easily see that Adam Driver will never ever sign up for a corporate blockbuster again.

Leaving on a jet plane. That was the ending and he knew it.

Ugh.
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Post by motherofpearl1 on Sun 22 Dec 2019, 6:07 am

I'm just baffled that they save Threepio but not Ben.
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Post by Socialnole on Sun 22 Dec 2019, 6:12 am

No and Rey’s mood from his death on is why I think he survived and was “killed” on editing floor or by weird studio decisions.

Some of the scenes on Tatooine look and feel like someone else was there with her. The old lady at the end looks lazily thrown in there to just have Rey say the last name.

Also Adam’s lack of press appearances for this installment I think is now telling.
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Post by Moonjump05 on Sun 22 Dec 2019, 6:16 am

@motherofpearl1 wrote:I'm just baffled that they save Threepio but not Ben.
Is it allowed to post links to othe people's Tumblr?
@motherofpearl1

Not just 3PO, but Chewie and Zorii and Rey herself. All these rando takeout deaths, not to mention raising Palpy.

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Post by Saracene on Sun 22 Dec 2019, 6:24 am

@Socialnole wrote:No and Rey’s mood from his death on is why I think he survived and was “killed” on editing floor or by weird studio decisions.

Some of the scenes on Tatooine look and feel like someone else was there with her. The old lady at the end looks lazily thrown in there to just have Rey say the last name.

Also Adam’s lack of press appearances for this installment I think is now telling.
@Socialnole

I don’t know, we’ve had some poor transitions from scene to scene for Rey before. Throne room to “Wooo I like this!” is a prime example.
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Post by Sacrebleu on Sun 22 Dec 2019, 7:10 am

When I heard the leak that Rey takes the Skywalker name, I felt that the odds of Ben dying had increased. I do believe that they were hedging their bets and keeping their options open by not showing him as a Force ghost, which appears to be the only definitive indicator of death in the Star Wars galaxy. Great idea for them, but not so great for fans. If you wanted him to die and they bring him back, you're disappointed. If you wanted him to live, you have to wait around hoping he's brought back but never knowing for sure.
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Post by guardienne on Sun 22 Dec 2019, 7:36 am

i have always struggled with the concept of 'redemption' i'm never quite sure what it means (not a native speaker here) so i keep wondering whether it's his death that achieved it or his choice to be ben (i have a lot of opinion just about that bit alone).

i guess i understand atonement but not redemption. if anyon wants to shed light on how they differ, that'd be awesome.

as i was unspoiled i thought that him throwing away his sabre (i understand it's meant to be a symbolical gesture but that thing was still functional, dammit!) put an end to ... what exactly? pursuing the dark side? is movie so naive to think that he can undo it all by choosing to be ben?

anyway, ... somehow i feel even more confused now WTH

basically i feel that 'ben' returning was teased for a solid 3 movies but without any real idea of what that would mean to the story. just that it's a token star wars moment?

thanks for everyone's input.
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Post by motherofpearl1 on Sun 22 Dec 2019, 7:46 am

Another poster here pointed out quite rightly that Ben would always have a part of Kylo Ren in his character, because Kylo was the shield he built around himself to protect Ben against the terrible things he'd been through.
It was sweet when Rey said she wanted to take Ben's hand, but love is acceptance, and she needed to accept that part of him in order for them to be together. Healing physical scars is one thing, but emotional scars are forever.
Ironically that is one thing that could have made Rey Palpatine work - that Ben could love Rey for who she was if in return she loved Kylo as well as Ben.
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Post by guardienne on Sun 22 Dec 2019, 8:23 am

but not to derail my own thread or anything, rey palpatine has a few visions or some such of being on the dark side and then neatly just stays heroically good and that's the end of that. I DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW SHE IS NEVER CHALLENGED BY ANY OBSTACLE. i mean, to an extent it's cool, she just always finds a way etc, but it's just really boring. i did feel that finn had not got the memo yet seeing as how much he keeps wanting to save her from harm AT ALL TIMES. how does he not simply sit back and relax, woman NEVER needs help.
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Post by motherofpearl1 on Sun 22 Dec 2019, 9:00 am

And it continues
https://medium.com/@nettlefish/the-rise-of-skywalker-memorabilia-without-memory-a-misunderstanding-of-hope-8b4976f41df1

I honestly think the furore over this film is going to make GoT look like a tiddler pond beside the Pacific.
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Post by MaddieDove on Sun 22 Dec 2019, 9:11 am

Does anybody think the journalists and dissatisfied LF people are in some kind of communication, ensuring that the message against a complete lack of artistic integrity of a director bowing to corporate demands is heard loudly?

My daughter tried to calm me when I fretted over the possibility of Ben dying that it would be against the rules of basic good storytelling to abandon the optimistic story of his redemption and survival in the last moment. Like, they're not that stupid.

However, putting the Imperial march over the credits is the next level of sinister.
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