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The good And Bad Of Kylo Ren

Warning: This piece comprises several main spoilers for Star Wars: The Power Awakens.
At present, I saw the brand new Star Wars for the second time since its launch. The Power Awakens is a really pleasant addition to the pop-cultural supernova, raking in over $247 million in the U.S and Canada opening weekend.

Whereas I used to be extraordinarily excited to see what characters like Finn and Rey had in store, some of the anticipated new characters to the collection was the villain Kylo Ren. On the Star Wars web site, Ren is described as:

A darkish facet warrior with a mysterious past, Kylo Ren was neither Jedi nor Sith, however a product of each sides’ teachings. Once an apprentice of Luke Skywalker’s, he killed his fellow students and drove Skywalker into exile, turning into a first Order warlord and servant of Supreme Leader Snoke. Kylo was decided to destroy the final remnants of the Jedi, fulfilling the legacy of Darth Vader.

Kylo Ren’s first look within the film is simply epic. He’s cold, stoic, witty and intensely highly effective. He speaks with a robotic, but silky voice, wields a wicked, crackling new lightsaber, and has prodigious management of the drive (the scene the place he stops the blast from Poe Dameron is probably the greatest scenes from a Star Wars villain in my view. And the visual static and distortion that occurs when Ren freezes people was a superb particular effect).

While most would agree that Ren might never fill Darth Vader’s black boots, he seems to be an acceptable successor for this and subsequent sequels. However though Kylo Ren is a superb new heir to the darkish facet, I do have some critiques about his characterization (or lack thereof).

My first one is the actor choice. No offense to Adam Driver, however when Ren took off his mask, I was expecting someone extra… evil wanting (maybe monstrous, or at the least more rugged), not someone with boyish, clean-shaven good looks.

Usually villains’ appearance and stature match their powers (muscular construct, rugged features represent strength, older villains symbolize control and mastery of their powers, slender construct signifies pace and preventing prowess, larger/fatter construct represents energy and gluttony, grotesque face matches their internal ugliness, and so forth.), so it was off-placing to see the primary villain’s intimidation issue plummet so laborious.

Ren appeared young, which may have symbolized that he was nonetheless learning the power, impetuous, made rookie errors, and was at a crossroads on what side he would choose. But it’s arduous to take him as severe once you realized the man providing you with the death grip is just too sexy for himself.

I also think the writers had Ren reveal himself approach too quickly. Instead of unveiling himself to Rey close to the middle of the movie, it could have been great if didn’t happen till the final reuniting between him and his father, Han Solo. That might have constructed the suspense over his identification and their reunion. Doing it early rendered what was suppose to be a very climactic scene begin in an anti-climactic.

But I do understand why the mask came off. Normally when villains unmask, it both reveals key connections to different characters (“Luke, I’m your father”) or symbolically (sometimes literally) reveals their tragic flaw. Ren’s mask was a manner for him to thor t shirt design cover his emotions (weakness in the eyes of followers of the darkish facet), to shield himself from his true identity, and to paradoxically each repress and embrace the horrors he has dedicated for the first Order.

When the mask was on, Ren was the formidable villain Star Wars fans are used to seeing. He was in control, coldly calm (with an often outburst do to his cronies’ incompetence), and exuded arcane energy. But when the mask got here off, Ren’s character grew to become unfocused, frail and regarded as if he was about to cry at any moment; “weak” feelings that lead to his defeat. The unmasking makes Kylo Ren extra of a self-defeating villain than one whose weakness was found and exploited by the heroes.

Also, audiences are purported to see Ren’s wrestle between the polar ends of the power. We discover it when Ren and Snoke mention the “awakening” they feel in the force (assuming this implies the sunshine is turning into stronger).

Later, Ren prays to grandpa Vader for guidance in how to pull away from the light and be fully subsumed by the dark aspect. However all through the story, I am not sure the writers have been successful at conveying his ambivalence.

So as to indicate Ren’s inside turmoil, there should have been an occasion where he exhibited some “goodness” that hinted at internal conflict (in a battle between good and evil, we need to see a few of his good, since we already saw loads of his evil).

One could argue that an instance of kindness was when he locked on to Finn (possibly Ren sensed that Finn was afraid and presumably might develop into a traitor, however he decided to spare thor t shirt design him). But this speculation isn’t confirmed anyplace in the rest of the movie. We do not even get a flashback of younger Ben Solo as a padawan and not Kylo Ren. That may have no less than hinted at the idea that he was as soon as good. But throughout the film, Kylo Ren’s latent goodness is just advised, not shown.

I believe the writers’ foremost effort to convey Ren’s inside turmoil was in the emotional reuniting with Solo. The teary-eyed Ren confesses that he is being “torn apart” and that he knows what he should do, but doesn’t know if he has “the power to do it.”

We are suppose to see a flicker of light within the catacombs of Kylo Ren, and infer that he is asking his father to pry him from dark aspect’s pull. Nevertheless it appears as if Ren had already determined he was going to kill Solo, and we can infer this from what we already find out about Ren.

It isn’t plausible that Ren might (earlier) sense his father as soon as he acquired on the Starkiller base, but could not sense Solo simply yards behind him in the identical room. Ren knew he was hiding, that is why he ordered the stormtroopers to go discover the Resistance crew, and why he walked over the bridge. He pulls the strings of Solo’s paternal instincts, a trap that works.

When Ren asks for “help” then drives his lightsaber into Solo’s heart, Ren wished his father to undergo the betrayal that he had felt (additionally projecting the guilt he feels for betraying the Jedi, murdering the rest of the students, and embracing the dark side).

This act of pure hate coincides with Sith doctrine. While pure hate is a recipe for flat characters, it isn’t at all times ineffectual characterization. The only downside is Ren is suppose to be empathized with in a rounder style, but the plot parts of the story don’t necessarily give him a lot three-dimensionally.

But one factor director J.J. Abrams did masterfully was use the truly setting to convey totally different tropes, themes and premonitions for Kylo Ren throughout the story. When Ren first appears in the movie, it is at night. This darkness coincides with Ren being a follower of the darkish facet.

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Additionally, when the primary Order fired their photo voltaic-powered weapon, Ren stands and calmly watches the eerily beautiful show. Watching the purple blasts of light journey via area is essentially the most calm we see our anti-hero. This signifies that Ren admires the beauty of death and destruction; this is the place he’s at peace the most.

And the moment before Ren kills Solo, the Starkiller had simply absorbed the entire sun’s vitality, and darkness descends over them. This was a masterful strategy to convey the impending doom and demise of Solo, and the moment the place all the sunshine inside of Ren was extinguished.

All in all, I appreciated Kylo Ren, however for me, his characterization left a lot to be desired. Granted it is difficult to create a captivating, multi-dimensional villain, in any narrative artwork kind, lead alone one after Darth Vader. Abrams even admits this in an interview with Yahoo.

“Star Wars had the best villain in cinema historical past. So, how you carry a brand new villain into that world is a very tricky thing,” mentioned Abrams. “We knew we needed to do something f***ing daring.”

We are able to agree he hit the nail on the top with the primary statement, however did he obtain the later Nicely, it is up to audiences around the globe to decide. Ren had his share of roundness like all good villains do, however at occasions his characterization fell flat.

I have other small critiques of the movie (looks as if Rey simply grew to become a Jedi all-of-a-sudden, and why does Ren have jet-black hair with both parents having brown hair ), however all in all, I nonetheless thoroughly enjoyed the expertise, and I do know thousands share this sentiment. If you have not try the film yet, you’re slippin’. Go watch it and…