Sunday, 3 January 2016

Nerdversity Discussion: A Dissection of Kylo Ren *Spoilers*

Kylo Ren, played by Adam Driver in Star Wars: The Force Awakens has drawn a lot of interesting criticisms over the last few weeks. He's been called an emo, a cry baby, a wuss and many other things, so we'll dissect the character and see if he is what the critics say. I will also note, this post WILL be filled with spoilers, so if you haven't seen the movie and don't want it spoiled, then look away now.

In a condensed version of his origins: he was born to Han and Leia sometime after Return of the Jedi. He was a skilled force user and was sent to Luke's Jedi Academy where he trained. However, this is where the fall of Ben started. He learned about his grandfather, Darth Vader and became obsessed with him, wanting to fulfill his legacy. Ben believed he couldn't complete his task as a Jedi and then turned to the Dark Side. He was lured by a mysterious Sith lord by the name of Snoke who started his training. He got revenge on his former Master by killing his apprentices. He took command of the First Order and went on a search for Luke Skywalker in an attempt to finish off his former master so he could prevent the return of the New Jedi Order.

Kylo Ren is what we called the flawed villain. He's not perfect at all. He wants to be as great and as legendary as Darth Vader. He's already surpassed that level, but Snoke has put words into his head that he's not. Within the early parts of the movie, he proved that he'd surpassed Vader. He was shown to stop a blaster bolt in midair, which Vader could only deflect. He was also shown to freeze a person in place, something which even The Emperor was unable to do. He was shown to have incredible mental powers, able to probe into the depths of a person's brain and torture them at the same time. He's also shown to have incredible tolerance to pain, able to handle himself against Rey and Finn, despite being wounded and bleeding out.

He's a conflicted character mentally. He wants to be the next Vader and finish what he started, however in his final discussion with Han, he KNOWS what he's doing is wrong and he feels remorse for what he's done to get here. He wants to make amends and he loves his parents. However, the words of Snoke and the call of the Dark Side is just too strong. 

Is he a wimp? certainly not. Is he flawed, yes he is and that's what makes him a brilliant villain. He's young, impressionable, naive, Yet shows that he does still remember his old life and he yearns for the balance he once had. We'll have to wait and see where the future lies for Kylo Ren and whether he makes the full transition into a villain that we can fear or if he eventually redeems himself.