Star Wars Episode 9.....The Rise of Skywalker.

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Since people have brought it up, I won't quote anyone, but on the subject of Ben vs. Rey in TFA:

Yes, I'm well aware that Ben has suffered a laser blast to the stomach, emotional trauma, and arguably isn't even giving it his all. However, I would like to make the following points:

-Rey's got no training whatsoever, either in the use of the Force or a lightsaber. Whatever disadvantages Kylo has, she has them of her own.

-That she can overcome these advantages so rapidly is noticable, especially if we confine this to the films, where prior characters (Anakin and Luke) needed to spend great deals of time to hone their skills (if you want another example of this concept, look at DBZ, with the whole "anyone can be a super saiyan" thing post-Namek after it was originally so hard to do - freaking children go super saiyan later on!)

-Those two points aside, it's a big mistake in my mind to have Rey beat Kylo here, because it's undercutting their relationship as protagonist and antagonist. If we have a trilogy, and the protagonist beats the antagonist in the first and second installment, then what reason do we have to fear things being different in the third part? Maybe they'll do something clever, maybe not. But compare this to the Luke vs. Vader dynamic in the OT:

A New Hope: Luke sees Vader 'kill' his mentor, is powerless to stop him, and only survives the trench run because of Han

Empire Strikes Back: After training, Luke faces Vader. He's powerful, but he's completely overwhelmed by Vader at the end.

Return of the Jedi: Luke finally defeats Vader, but at the cost of nearly succumbing to the Dark Side, and is saved by Vader in turn from the Emperor.

Luke and Vader have an arc in the OT, with Luke steadily doing better each time. The Rey/Kylo thing would be if Luke faced Vader in a lightsaber duel in ANH, and won. That doesn't preclude the later films from happening, but it would undercut them a lot if we'd seen Luke beat Vader in the first go.

So, yeah. Even if we cast aside in-universe semantics, it was a big mistake to have Rey beat Ben in TFA, because it basically shoots their narrative arc in the foot.

Gorfias:
Now you have me fantasizing about the Broccolis taking over Star Wars. "The name's Solo. Han Solo."

I'll have a Dilorgian martini - quark accelerated, not tachyon wave disrupted.

Hawki:

So, yeah. Even if we cast aside in-universe semantics, it was a big mistake to have Rey beat Ben in TFA, because it basically shoots their narrative arc in the foot.

I agree that Rey needing no significant training to compete was poor and inconsistent storytelling in terms of previous films, although her ability to equal Kylo is consistent with her implausible pre-packaged abilities. Maybe the force power entered her through the lightsabre - after all, the magical device that empowers its user with skill and knowledge (of previous wielders?) is hardly the rarest fantasy trope.

However, I don't think it doesn't make a blind bit of difference that she came out better in the first encounter. If Rey vs. Kylo is the narrative arc, she will either win in the end, or Kylo will do a Vader (Vader is, after all, his idol) and turn to the light when faced with a resurgent Palpatine/Snoke. There would never be any other way. It's like if they were to announce a new Die Hard movie: you know John McClane's going to get beaten around a lot before painfully pulling through and nailing the bad guy in a showdown at the end. And you know that before they'd even started production.

That said, what if the narrative arc isn't Rey vs. Kylo in a winner-takes-all for the future of the Force? Imagine instead it is two parallel bildungromans - Rey and Kylo - who struggle through in their different ways and maybe end up coming to the same point as allies. Perhaps the vaunted "balance to the force" is ending good Jedi versus evil Sith, and replacing it with new order of Force Users, perhaps more nuanced and neutral. The Jedi are already now gone (Ep 8 was "The Last Jedi", after all) and their texts burned. That just leaves one last returning Sith as a villain (for dramatic satisfaction and to prompt Rey/Kylo alliance) to eliminate, and it's a completely fresh start.

Agema:
The Jedi are already now gone (Ep 8 was "The Last Jedi", after all) and their texts burned. That just leaves one last returning Sith as a villain (for dramatic satisfaction and to prompt Rey/Kylo alliance) to eliminate, and it's a completely fresh start.

The texts didn't burn, only the tree did. Rey has the Jedi texts with her on the Falcon.

Hawki:
snip

Except that Kylo Ren isn't really the Darth Vader of TFA. He's clearly depicted as a kid (the same age as Rey) who desperately wants to be Darth Vader. His whole image, with the helmet, the black cloak, and the voice modifier, is a spiel because he's an insecure brat. The purpose of the first movie was to show that he's NOT the intimidating Vader antagonist that Rey (and the audience) might've initially believed he was. Rey even calls him out on it. Kylo being sent home with his tale between his legs by Rey is not undercutting the dynamic, it's establishing the dynamic.

twistedmic:
The texts didn't burn, only the tree did. Rey has the Jedi texts with her on the Falcon.

She does? Don't remember that (mind you, I wasn't entirely engrossed in it).

Agema:

twistedmic:
The texts didn't burn, only the tree did. Rey has the Jedi texts with her on the Falcon.

She does? Don't remember that (mind you, I wasn't entirely engrossed in it).

She did. Another one of my problems with TLJ. Despite being often called a "brave and subversive" twist to SW formula, it likes to have its cake, and eat it.

MrCalavera:

Agema:

twistedmic:
The texts didn't burn, only the tree did. Rey has the Jedi texts with her on the Falcon.

She does? Don't remember that (mind you, I wasn't entirely engrossed in it).

She did. Another one of my problems with TLJ. Despite being often called a "brave and subversive" twist to SW formula, it likes to have its cake, and eat it.

Id agree. I made a list of how many things were apeing Empire and its most of the movie. It might be in a different order but most of it's still there.

Betrayed by new character?
AT-ATs on white?
Almost destroying the Rebels?
Space chase?
Useless hyperdrive?
Characters going on seperate adventures?
Useless side adventures B characters go on?
Jedi training?
Mirror images?
Jedis are made out to be bad?
Family relation relevation?

It copied Empire so much, I'm suprised someone didn't get their hand cut off.

Agema:

twistedmic:
The texts didn't burn, only the tree did. Rey has the Jedi texts with her on the Falcon.

She does? Don't remember that (mind you, I wasn't entirely engrossed in it).

We see them briefly in her bag when Finn goes through them looking for meds for Rose

Chimpzy:

MrCalavera:
Sheev, baby!

I'm only half-joking here. I think i will see the movie. Mostly, because i am morbidly curious what are JJs plans, for what TLJ left him with. But Ian McDiarmid was one of the few good things about the prequels, so i'm hoping he'll be as hammy here as he was in ROTS.

Hell yeah, I'm also totally on board with the Emperor returning. I want Ian McDiarmid to voraciously chew every bit of scenery he's in. Every square centimeter of set that doesn't have teethmarks on it, is one centimeter too much.

Considering half the old EU is "clone of somebody gets up to shenanigans", I'm surprised they've gone 4 movies and a TV show without mentioning them. (Outside Captain Rex and cohorts)

Agema:

However, I don't think it doesn't make a blind bit of difference that she came out better in the first encounter. If Rey vs. Kylo is the narrative arc, she will either win in the end, or Kylo will do a Vader (Vader is, after all, his idol) and turn to the light when faced with a resurgent Palpatine/Snoke.

Neither possibility is overly appealing.

If the first is true, then the arc's already shot itself in the foot, because Rey's beat Kylo once already, arguably twice. Her beating Kylo at the end once and for all isn't going to nearly have as much oomph in it as, say, Luke vs. Vader.

If the second is true, then it's still not that appealing (in general, I'm really not pushing for a Kylo is redeemed arc). Kylo's had his chances - he had it with Han, he had it with Rey, he had it with Luke, and every time, he's embraced the Dark Side. To get redeemed now wouldn't work either from a narrative standpoint or from in-universe justification. I'm not against Kylo having regret for his actions or whatnot, but I'm not fond of the idea of him being full redeemed. Like, even if he dies like Vader, don't bring him back as a Force ghost for some warm and fuzzy feeling.

There would never be any other way. It's like if they were to announce a new Die Hard movie: you know John McClane's going to get beaten around a lot before painfully pulling through and nailing the bad guy in a showdown at the end. And you know that before they'd even started production.

Oh, there could be another way, but I'm not fond of this argument. Yes, of course we know that John McClane will survive a Die Hard movie (unless it does a Logan on us or something), but if a film's presented well enough, then usually one won't be bothered by it. Like, we know on an instinctial level that the hero will win, but seeing them win is still engaging.

That said, what if the narrative arc isn't Rey vs. Kylo in a winner-takes-all for the future of the Force? Imagine instead it is two parallel bildungromans - Rey and Kylo - who struggle through in their different ways and maybe end up coming to the same point as allies. Perhaps the vaunted "balance to the force" is ending good Jedi versus evil Sith, and replacing it with new order of Force Users, perhaps more nuanced and neutral. The Jedi are already now gone (Ep 8 was "The Last Jedi", after all) and their texts burned. That just leaves one last returning Sith as a villain (for dramatic satisfaction and to prompt Rey/Kylo alliance) to eliminate, and it's a completely fresh start.

It's technically possible, but how does one reconcile this with Last Jedi? Kylo didn't leave with Rey then. That doesn't preclude him from doing this in Ep. 9. I think some of this will come to pass (e.g. the idea of Force users being called "Skywalkers,"), but I don't think it's a future that Kylo needs to take part in.

Casual Shinji:
Except that Kylo Ren isn't really the Darth Vader of TFA. He's clearly depicted as a kid (the same age as Rey) who desperately wants to be Darth Vader. His whole image, with the helmet, the black cloak, and the voice modifier, is a spiel because he's an insecure brat. The purpose of the first movie was to show that he's NOT the intimidating Vader antagonist that Rey (and the audience) might've initially believed he was. Rey even calls him out on it. Kylo being sent home with his tale between his legs by Rey is not undercutting the dynamic, it's establishing the dynamic.

And is that a good dynamic from a narrative sense?

I actually agree with everything you say in terms of Kylo Ren there. It's actually an idea that I find interesting, that unlike past villians, he's insecure. But by its nature, it undercuts the antagonist-protagonist dynamic. You could keep Kylo's character and still not have him outright lose.

Hawki:

Casual Shinji:
Except that Kylo Ren isn't really the Darth Vader of TFA. He's clearly depicted as a kid (the same age as Rey) who desperately wants to be Darth Vader. His whole image, with the helmet, the black cloak, and the voice modifier, is a spiel because he's an insecure brat. The purpose of the first movie was to show that he's NOT the intimidating Vader antagonist that Rey (and the audience) might've initially believed he was. Rey even calls him out on it. Kylo being sent home with his tale between his legs by Rey is not undercutting the dynamic, it's establishing the dynamic.

And is that a good dynamic from a narrative sense?

I actually agree with everything you say in terms of Kylo Ren there. It's actually an idea that I find interesting, that unlike past villians, he's insecure. But by its nature, it undercuts the antagonist-protagonist dynamic. You could keep Kylo's character and still not have him outright lose.

Yes, if you build off it properly, which TLJ didn't do. The Last Jedi should've functioned as the darker entry that smacked a confident Rey back down to Earth by either a Kylo who has found his own voice, or a totally new villain all together.

Casual Shinji:
Yes, if you build off it properly, which TLJ didn't do. The Last Jedi should've functioned as the darker entry that smacked a confident Rey back down to Earth by either a Kylo who has found his own voice, or a totally new villain all together.

But Rey is smacked down to Earth. She gets a reality check in her belief that "hey, if I just do what Luke did with Vader, Ben'll be a good guy again!" And Kylo does find his own voice in that he charts his own path, his goal being to "burn it all, start again."

Hawki:

Casual Shinji:
Yes, if you build off it properly, which TLJ didn't do. The Last Jedi should've functioned as the darker entry that smacked a confident Rey back down to Earth by either a Kylo who has found his own voice, or a totally new villain all together.

But Rey is smacked down to Earth. She gets a reality check in her belief that "hey, if I just do what Luke did with Vader, Ben'll be a good guy again!" And Kylo does find his own voice in that he charts his own path, his goal being to "burn it all, start again."

Not really. Rey just gets disilusioned in Luke, but then lifts a bunch of rocks to save the Rebelion, and that's the end of her arc in the movie. And Kylo teases breaking off from the Star Wars norm, wanting to leave all this neverending silliness behind to forge his own path, asking Rey to come join him (the most interesting Star Wars has ever dared to get), but then in the end he returns to being typical bad guy man who whats to kill the good guys. Ugh, fuck that movie.

Casual Shinji:

Hawki:

Casual Shinji:
Yes, if you build off it properly, which TLJ didn't do. The Last Jedi should've functioned as the darker entry that smacked a confident Rey back down to Earth by either a Kylo who has found his own voice, or a totally new villain all together.

But Rey is smacked down to Earth. She gets a reality check in her belief that "hey, if I just do what Luke did with Vader, Ben'll be a good guy again!" And Kylo does find his own voice in that he charts his own path, his goal being to "burn it all, start again."

Not really. Rey just gets disilusioned in Luke, but then lifts a bunch of rocks to save the Rebelion, and that's the end of her arc in the movie. And Kylo teases breaking off from the Star Wars norm, wanting to leave all this neverending silliness behind to forge his own path, asking Rey to come join him (the most interesting Star Wars has ever dared to get), but then in the end he returns to being typical bad guy man who whats to kill the good guys. Ugh, fuck that movie.

While I really liked TLJ (particularly as someone who thought that Luke's arc in it bordered on perfect, and as someone who actually likes some of the more main-stream portions of the EU, notably the Old Republic lore), I think there's an interesting alternative plot towards the end where Rey, instead of refusing to join him, instead agrees to go with him, not as a apprentice to a master, but as a partner, each learning from the other as they discover that neither light nor dark is fundamentally the way towards balance. She does this demanding that Kylo and the First Order break off their attack and leave the Resistance to fight another day "because if I'm wrong about you, then they will finish this" or something like that.

That said, that would probably be one step too far for even Star Wars, which tends to value heroism over inquisitiveness and compromise, which is fine. The last scene at Krayt still works, even if it feels a bit too much like the Hoth attack (which works with another theme of Star Wars: cyclical history), as it wraps up other key areas such as Luke's, Rose's (ish) and Finn's.

But I think the biggest and arguably the most important thing that TLJ did was open the door for something beyond the millennia-old conflict between the Jedi and the Sith. The Sith, barely alive even when they controlled the Galactic Empire, are all but extinguished due to their constant hunger and quest for power, with Snoke effectively being the last real practitioner and Kylo, who has not earned the title Darth as of yet, seemingly uninterested in pursuing it himself. Meanwhile, the Jedi, once one of the most powerful organizations in the galaxy, fell due to their arrogance, insular community, stagnancy, and corruption, with even Luke, in the brief moment of weakness, discovering the folly of such an approach to the Force.

Herein, the title is appropriate: Luke is the Last Jedi, and now it is time for someone new to replace the order that has failed the galaxy time and again with one better suited to leading it forward.

Feel like they're gonna throw in something more threatening than just Kylo. Snoke kinda felt like he was that up until he got murdered. Not entirely sure how that would work out in the third movie tho. They had Palpatine's laugh at the end of the trailer but hard to smoothly fit him in for that.

Because of all their interactions so far I do think Kylo as like the big main threat falls flat and they need something more tho.

Casual Shinji:
Not really. Rey just gets disilusioned in Luke, but then lifts a bunch of rocks to save the Rebelion, and that's the end of her arc in the movie. And Kylo teases breaking off from the Star Wars norm, wanting to leave all this neverending silliness behind to forge his own path, asking Rey to come join him (the most interesting Star Wars has ever dared to get), but then in the end he returns to being typical bad guy man who whats to kill the good guys. Ugh, fuck that movie.

That's really underselling the arc Rey has - her arc is based around, broadly put, not to overly rely on legends, and coming to terms with her parent issues. This is seen with her disappointment with Luke, her refusal to accept the truth about her parents right up till Kylo tells her, and her attempt to redeem him under the premise that because it worked once, it'll work again. Kylo arguably doesn't have an arc, but that's kind of the point, or rather...

Okay, the theme of TLJ is "failure," and how we learn from it. It's a theme that's baked into the arcs of Rey, Finn, Poe, and Luke. Kylo arguably doesn't learn anything from failure, but I don't think that's an oversight.

The Decapitated Centaur:
Feel like they're gonna throw in something more threatening than just Kylo. Snoke kinda felt like he was that up until he got murdered. Not entirely sure how that would work out in the third movie tho. They had Palpatine's laugh at the end of the trailer but hard to smoothly fit him in for that.

Because of all their interactions so far I do think Kylo as like the big main threat falls flat and they need something more tho.

One Ghost Palpatine coming right up.

Johnny Novgorod:

The Decapitated Centaur:
Feel like they're gonna throw in something more threatening than just Kylo. Snoke kinda felt like he was that up until he got murdered. Not entirely sure how that would work out in the third movie tho. They had Palpatine's laugh at the end of the trailer but hard to smoothly fit him in for that.

Because of all their interactions so far I do think Kylo as like the big main threat falls flat and they need something more tho.

One Ghost Palpatine coming right up.

Slots in nicely with ghost Luke and most likely ghost Yoda. We know Luke will be in the movie and he clearly mentions a "We" in the trailer.

twistedmic:

Johnny Novgorod:

The Decapitated Centaur:
Feel like they're gonna throw in something more threatening than just Kylo. Snoke kinda felt like he was that up until he got murdered. Not entirely sure how that would work out in the third movie tho. They had Palpatine's laugh at the end of the trailer but hard to smoothly fit him in for that.

Because of all their interactions so far I do think Kylo as like the big main threat falls flat and they need something more tho.

One Ghost Palpatine coming right up.

Slots in nicely with ghost Luke and most likely ghost Yoda. We know Luke will be in the movie and he clearly mentions a ?We? in the trailer.

I don't really mind Palpatine ghosting his way into the movie so long as that doesn't make him the ultimate bad guy again. Otherwise we're just running in circles ala Kingdom Hearts where they have to kill the same villain over and over.

Hawki:

Neither possibility is overly appealing.

If the first is true, then the arc's already shot itself in the foot, because Rey's beat Kylo once already, arguably twice. Her beating Kylo at the end once and for all isn't going to nearly have as much oomph in it as, say, Luke vs. Vader.

I think what I'm sort of trying to say is that a narrative arc which starts with the hero beaten, going away and learning and then triumphing later is a very standard cliche, but not a required one.

Of course, if Palpy's got some sort of return as the trailer hints, Kylo could potentially be possessed by Palpatine's ghost (perhaps even invites it, because he knows he cannot beat Rey), thus Rey would be de facto beating the emperor at the end even if in Kylo's body.

If the second is true, then it's still not that appealing (in general, I'm really not pushing for a Kylo is redeemed arc). Kylo's had his chances - he had it with Han, he had it with Rey, he had it with Luke, and every time, he's embraced the Dark Side. To get redeemed now wouldn't work either from a narrative standpoint or from in-universe justification. I'm not against Kylo having regret for his actions or whatnot, but I'm not fond of the idea of him being full redeemed. Like, even if he dies like Vader, don't bring him back as a Force ghost for some warm and fuzzy feeling.

I'd agree that he's done so much wrong by now that redemption could be problematic. But then, Vader did a lot worse.

Oh, there could be another way, but I'm not fond of this argument. Yes, of course we know that John McClane will survive a Die Hard movie (unless it does a Logan on us or something), but if a film's presented well enough, then usually one won't be bothered by it. Like, we know on an instinctial level that the hero will win, but seeing them win is still engaging.

Yes, but that's the point. It's the execution of what we know is going to happen that matters, not that something happens.

Agema:

I'd agree that he's done so much wrong by now that redemption could be problematic. But then, Vader did a lot worse.

Vader did, but in the context of the OT by itself, the possibility of redemption doesn't even come up until the final film. Kylo's arguably not done as heinous acts as Vader, but in the context of the trilogy itself, he's turned down hands of forgiveness too many times for me to feel sorry for him at this point - least not sorry enough that I'm rooting for sunshines and rainbows at the end for him.

Hawki:

Agema:

I'd agree that he's done so much wrong by now that redemption could be problematic. But then, Vader did a lot worse.

Vader did, but in the context of the OT by itself, the possibility of redemption doesn't even come up until the final film. Kylo's arguably not done as heinous acts as Vader, but in the context of the trilogy itself, he's turned down hands of forgiveness too many times for me to feel sorry for him at this point - least not sorry enough that I'm rooting for sunshines and rainbows at the end for him.

He killed Han and also Luke (kinda). He's not getting a happy ending.
Then again NO ONE'S EVER REALLY GONE. What the fuck do I know.

Johnny Novgorod:
\
Then again NO ONE'S EVER REALLY GONE. What the fuck do I know.

Don't know what you know, but what I know (or believe) is that the line is being overanalyzed. Yes, Palpatine's coming back apparently, but I saw it more as a statement akin to "X will always be with you." Like, you have memories of loved ones and family, and they're never really gone in that context. That can apply to Rey at least, since she's lost people like Luke, Han, and Leia, all of whom she formed a bond with.

Hawki:

Vader did, but in the context of the OT by itself, the possibility of redemption doesn't even come up until the final film. Kylo's arguably not done as heinous acts as Vader, but in the context of the trilogy itself, he's turned down hands of forgiveness too many times for me to feel sorry for him at this point - least not sorry enough that I'm rooting for sunshines and rainbows at the end for him.

Agreed - Vader could work because he's saving his son's life; the product of him and the woman he loved, the woman he turned to the dark side thinking to save. Until that point, hoping his son would join him, we can argue he'd never had so deep a personal challenge to reconsider his actions.

I thought killing Han Solo made Kylo wobble more towards the light rather than the dark side of the force - he thought it would turn him fully to the dark and resolve his nagging guilt, fear and insecurity but it did the opposite. Although by the end of TLJ and his dealings with Rey it looks like he's back to the bad ways, and it would make a comeback harder to be convincing. It would probably make more sense for him to self-destruct in some way.

Agema:

I thought killing Han Solo made Kylo wobble more towards the light rather than the dark side of the force - he thought it would turn him fully to the dark and resolve his nagging guilt, fear and insecurity but it did the opposite. Although by the end of TLJ and his dealings with Rey it looks like he's back to the bad ways, and it would make a comeback harder to be convincing. It would probably make more sense for him to self-destruct in some way.

I'd argue that Kylo's actions in TLJ were all driven by a desire to not fall to the dark side completely. What he does is undeniably dark side, but in his own mind he's tearing down the old and false dichotomy between light and dark when he murders Snoke. He offers Rey a chance to be on his side, which she turns down despite his best efforts to make her realize he's not really a bad guy. In the end what he does is destructive, but not necessarily irredeemably so and even after he kills Snoke there's still signs of his struggle between the dark and the light. I'd be surprised if Kylo is firmly in the dark side camp in RoS, since his larger arc so far is that of someone who instinctively pulls towards the light but who's rash actions pushes him towards the dark side. That's not to say that he'll get a redemption, but rather that I think that Kylo's moral quandaries aren't over.

Gethsemani:

I'd argue that Kylo's actions in TLJ were all driven by a desire to not fall to the dark side completely. What he does is undeniably dark side, but in his own mind he's tearing down the old and false dichotomy between light and dark when he murders Snoke. He offers Rey a chance to be on his side, which she turns down despite his best efforts to make her realize he's not really a bad guy. In the end what he does is destructive, but not necessarily irredeemably so and even after he kills Snoke there's still signs of his struggle between the dark and the light. I'd be surprised if Kylo is firmly in the dark side camp in RoS, since his larger arc so far is that of someone who instinctively pulls towards the light but who's rash actions pushes him towards the dark side. That's not to say that he'll get a redemption, but rather that I think that Kylo's moral quandaries aren't over.

I can agree with most of that bar the first statement. I don't think Kylo has any desire to not fall to the Dark Side compeltely, at least not in of itself. I actually think he's not even really thinking of the dichotomy between the two - he's not a Sith. He's arguably a Dark Jedi. But his stated goal is more "burn it all, let's start over."

Now, that's not the most original motivation in the world (how many villains in fiction operate under the premise of "the world can't be saved, it needs a do-over?), but I will give credit to the trilogy in that it's strongly hinted at in TFA via Maz that there's a constant cycle of Light and Dark that keeps manifesting itself. I'm guessing that Rise of Skywalker will actually solidify this in some way, but I don't think Kylo's thinking of that per se. He just wants to start again, damn the consequences of making that happen.

Gethsemani:
He offers Rey a chance to be on his side, which she turns down despite his best efforts to make her realize he's not really a bad guy.

Well, nor should she think that, because he is.

He kills Snoke, offers a shitty sales pitch about starting anew (without any elaboration or explanation about what that means), and then promptly begins ruling the First Order in precisely the same blindly militaristic fashion Snoke did.

His betrayal of Snoke was meaningless in terms of representing a new direction for him or the First Order. There's no reason she should place any trust in it or in him.

Hawki:

Johnny Novgorod:
\
Then again NO ONE'S EVER REALLY GONE. What the fuck do I know.

Don't know what you know, but what I know (or believe) is that the line is being overanalyzed. Yes, Palpatine's coming back apparently, but I saw it more as a statement akin to "X will always be with you." Like, you have memories of loved ones and family, and they're never really gone in that context. That can apply to Rey at least, since she's lost people like Luke, Han, and Leia, all of whom she formed a bond with.

That's probably true but it can just as easily apply to force ghosts.
Actually I just had a vision of ghost Luke, Leia and Han overlooking the good guys' victory party ala Anakin, Yoda and Obi-Wan at the end of Return of the Jedi. Ten bucks says those hacks go for it.

Gethsemani:

I'd argue that Kylo's actions in TLJ were all driven by a desire to not fall to the dark side completely. What he does is undeniably dark side, but in his own mind he's tearing down the old and false dichotomy between light and dark when he murders Snoke. He offers Rey a chance to be on his side, which she turns down despite his best efforts to make her realize he's not really a bad guy. In the end what he does is destructive, but not necessarily irredeemably so and even after he kills Snoke there's still signs of his struggle between the dark and the light. I'd be surprised if Kylo is firmly in the dark side camp in RoS, since his larger arc so far is that of someone who instinctively pulls towards the light but who's rash actions pushes him towards the dark side. That's not to say that he'll get a redemption, but rather that I think that Kylo's moral quandaries aren't over.

I think that deciding to stay on as Supreme Leader and wage war on the galaxy is kind of a bad sign. Rey offered him an out - someone like himself (in ways at least) to make a new start with, but his rejection of that and going straight back into tyrant mode I believe makes it difficult to reverse. Maybe it just needs Leia to give him a big hug like he's been missing all those years.

MrCalavera:

She does? Don't remember that (mind you, I wasn't entirely engrossed in it).

She did. Another one of my problems with TLJ. Despite being often called a "brave and subversive" twist to SW formula, it likes to have its cake, and eat it.[/quote]\
It really came close to ending the light/dark dichotomy. Kylo offers to be with Rey and do something new. She declines. How different 9 would have been had she accepted. Would she become relatively evil and need a redemption arc? What would Kylo's path be like? We'll never know because they balked and went back to light dark. Nothing new.

Gorfias:

MrCalavera:

She did. Another one of my problems with TLJ. Despite being often called a "brave and subversive" twist to SW formula, it likes to have its cake, and eat it.

It really came close to ending the light/dark dichotomy. Kylo offers to be with Rey and do something new. She declines. How different 9 would have been had she accepted. Would she become relatively evil and need a redemption arc? What would Kylo's path be like? We'll never know because they balked and went back to light dark. Nothing new.

I don't think they've quite eliminated that possibility yet. Like I mentioned above, something fundamental about the Jedi/Sith divide has changed as a result of TLJ, one that I think is for the better. Kylo clearly harbors some light-side tenancies, while Rey is not fearful of the dark in the way traditional Jedi are (the darkside cave in TLJ was not the fearful vision of Luke's potential future in ESB, but something truly illuminating about who she was; her first contact with the darkside has no hesitation to pursue down that path; etc.). They also seem to still be connected by the force at the end, which could open the door to more of a change of the light/dark dynamics as well (ala the Ancient One in Doctor Strange).

And as a side-note, the force-connection and a fairly critical view of the Jedi/Sith paradigm kind of calls back to easily one of the best EU stories even written: KotOR II: The Sith Lords. The galaxy is in a similar state of chaos and dread, but neither the Republic, Jedi, nor the Sith[1] are in any position to do much more than take swipes at each other corpses, if that. But most importantly was Kreia's critical view of the force, particularly those who adhere to the Jedi and Sith codes, that elevated the narrative beyond a feel-good tale of good and evil. TLJ has that criticism baked into its plot and I remain very curious about where it will end.

[1] TOR MMO retcons the KotOR Sith into more of an isolated group lead by Revan, rather than the actual Sith Empire that was sequestered and hidden on Dromund Kaas. By The Sith Lords, the Revan Sith are as shattered as everyone else and led by a pair of Sith Lords who might as well be treating them like thralls or cultists; while the handful of Jedi masters who remain are in hiding across the galaxy more wallowing in their failure than any fear on their part.

Gethsemani:
What he does is undeniably dark side, but in his own mind he's tearing down the old and false dichotomy between light and dark when he murders Snoke.

Hmm. Killing your master is an ancient Sith tradition, though it seems to catch them remarkably off-guard each time it inevitably happens. I wonder if the Knights of Ren know about that, or have their own tradition in that regard? As an organization they just aren't really discussed.

Pyrian:

Gethsemani:
What he does is undeniably dark side, but in his own mind he's tearing down the old and false dichotomy between light and dark when he murders Snoke.

Hmm. Killing your master is an ancient Sith tradition, though it seems to catch them remarkably off-guard each time it inevitably happens. I wonder if the Knights of Ren know about that, or have their own tradition in that regard? As an organization they just aren't really discussed.

I mean catching them off-guard is just good practice. I feel you've not understood Sith morality if you go in trying to make it a fair fight

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