What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by Piper Maru on Wed 25 Jan - 21:03

Answering the OP:

I'm 25, I'm an artist, I'm a teacher and I'm a fan of SW. Half of my day I spend as a creative director for an advertising agency and the other half I spend teaching people to create. So, I'm familiar with the creative process and certain "mechanics" used in creative artworks. I'm familiar with tropes and how to use them.

When I first watched TFA I wasn't expecting anything groundbreaking, I just wanted to have a good time and enjoy my favorite franchise. Then Kylo Ren happened. It just blew me away how well built his character is. It's a subversion of so many tropes and narrative devices, and I just loved it how he is this complex character, vulnerable and yet horrible. I can talk about him and his dynamic within the SW universe for hours. And, of course, Adam Driver's acting is phenomenal.

Overall, Kylo Ren is a great character, layered, able to create conflict in many ways during the story and unpredictable. He will never be boring, and this is very compelling.
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by Armadeus on Sat 18 Mar - 5:10

Stumbled on this article:

https://www.reddit.com/r/movies/comments/3zgy8n/star_wars_a_close_analysis_of_kylo_ren_why_kylo/

What we witness in the film is a deliberately flawed individual who overestimates his abilities, whose idea of himself contradicts the reality, and who pays the ultimate price. He is the most three-dimensional, multifaceted, intricate, realistic character that the Star Wars franchise has ever seen.

Brings up Hamlet and Macbeth Very Happy
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by snufkin on Sat 18 Mar - 6:45

Gee this doesn't sound like something I've seen somewhere else on the Internet :roll:

gonesoon7 wrote:I feel like the issue of Kylo Ren and Darth Vader comparisons really highlights a ton of the hypocrisy of Reddit. You go to r/movies and hear people complaining all the time about how movies suck because the characters were shallow and one-dimensional. Then, they complain about George Lucas turning Darth Vader into a whiny teenager and they're mad that he made the scariest villain of their childhood something more than just pure evil. Pure evil... evil for the sake of being evil. Sounds pretty one-dimensional to me. Same issue with Kylo, people are complaining he removed his mask and was a conflicted, angry teen when he should have stayed "bad a**."
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by motherofpearl1 on Sat 18 Mar - 7:57


you're telling me
I mentioned on youtube that Kylo was the 'real' abuse victim and got a reply from someone who said people like me made them sick.

Boring!!!
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by Piper Maru on Sat 18 Mar - 11:45

I love people calling Kylo an "angry teen" when he's actually in his 30s Laughing

The styling/make-up really made him look younger, and people still wonder why.
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by DarthRen on Sat 18 Mar - 11:59

motherofpearl1 wrote:
you're telling me
I mentioned on youtube that Kylo was the 'real' abuse victim and got a reply from someone who said people like me made them sick.

Boring!!!
@motherofpearl1

If you are a fan of Kylo or Reylo you only get abuse and sick comments. This is the reason why this site is so good, where we can debate in depth and offer various views without being nasty to each other.
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by motherofpearl1 on Sat 18 Mar - 12:11

Well, let's hope Reylo ends up being canon!
Ironically they refuse to accept that the actual canon novels are strongly hinting Kylo was Snoke's target from before birth. That's child abuse in my book.
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by SkyStar on Sat 18 Mar - 12:11

To me Kylo is compelling, because I relate to him so much and thinking about that helps to unlock some feelings I have been bottling up inside. It is therapeutic. For that I feel thankful. Sometimes it is hard to understand what you are feeling, until somebody perfectly transforms that into a fictional work. Freud would be so much pleased.

It really feels that they spent some time to give his character nuance. Some people got it, others didn't, because the general reading was that he is an ungrateful brat. Though that was probably what they went for, because Rey is the protagonist and we see the story trough her eyes and she hates him now. Then they also gave other, Leias perspective in the books and that already makes him more sympathetic. Kylo is a mystery - we know more about him then Rey, but he is still the bigger puzzle for me. That is why I loved Wuthering Heights, it was told by an eyewitness narrator, not Cathy or Heathcliff. So much was left for the interpretation.

As for those hateful comments  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Their mind will probably be blown when Kylo shows humanity in TLJ.
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by DarthRen on Sat 18 Mar - 12:22

Many people don't read or don't even know there is a canon material outside of these movies such as Bloodline. Since Kylo does not have the luxury to have 6 movies to develop his character unlike Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. This is a good way to show us what really happened, in his childhood and also a bit of preview for Leia and Kylo in future movies. For that matter Kylo and Snoke/Han. It counts as manipulation, abuse on a child. People hate one dimensional villains but yet when they get very interesting, layered and conflicted villain or antagonist with emotions - thart's terrible.

SkyStar wrote:To me Kylo is compelling, because I relate to him so much and thinking about that helps to unlock some feelings I have been bottling up inside. It is therapeutic. For that I feel thankful. Sometimes it is hard to understand what you are feeling, until somebody perfectly transforms that into a fictional work. Freud would be so much pleased.

It really feels that they spent some time to give his character nuance. Some people got it, others didn't, because the general reading was that he is an ungrateful brat. Though that was probably what they went for, because Rey is the protagonist and we see the story trough her eyes and she hates him now. Then they also gave other, Leias perspective in the books and that already makes him more sympathetic. Kylo is a mystery - we know more about him then Rey, but he is still the bigger puzzle for me. That is why I loved Wuthering Heights, it was told by an eyewitness narrator, not Cathy or Heathcliff. So much was left for the interpretation.

As for those hateful comments  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Their mind will probably be blown when Kylo shows humanity in TLJ.
@SkyStar


Kylo and humanity? That is outrageous, as would antis say. Adam said he'll show some humanity and I bet is either with Leia or Rey.
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by motherofpearl1 on Sat 18 Mar - 12:47

I've just bought the junior comic and what's interesting is it shows that when Rey was looking back before boarding the Falcon she was actually watching Kylo being rescued.
I'm convinced they actually shot that scene and it ended on the cutting room floor, because of how quickly they cut it.
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by DarthRen on Sat 18 Mar - 12:52

It's interesting that she looked if he was being rescued, why would she do that if he was just her enemy? It also adds to the theory that Rey was feeling that Kylo life was on the fence given his injuries in that deleted scene, as some people have pointed out. Even if that woman said that Finn was okay, she was still tense and nervous up until she heard heartbeat. Guilty, feelings for him or that connection? Maybe combination of those things. There is a connection or Force bond if you wanna call it. Alluded by other sources these two have connection and Daisy said they tapped into Force by an accident. It all fits perfectly for it.

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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by motherofpearl1 on Sat 18 Mar - 13:30

I think Rey will have a certain amount of guilt over what she did because she did it in a fit of blind rage. She was, as others have said, not just avenging Han - let's face it, she had barely known him - but taking out all her years of rage and frustration at being abandoned at the mercy of Unkar Plutt on a convenient target.
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by Maria Antonietta on Sat 18 Mar - 14:42

My dad was watching TFA again, some hours ago. The father/son scene was on and I started crying. I'm so much like him... I'm having another bad bad mental breakdown.
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by motherofpearl1 on Sat 18 Mar - 15:25

Don't fret, you're not alone
I identify with him as well by the way
Hang in there
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by SkyStar on Sat 18 Mar - 15:40

Yup. Few days ago I was talking with my therapist and usually I don't show my emotions to others, but then I told her about Kylo and tears were just rolling down my face and I could not stop them
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by motherofpearl1 on Sat 18 Mar - 15:52

That's good - throughout my life I've often gotten tremendous help by empathising with fictional characters.

When I was young I was inspired by the characters of Rogue and Logan in X Men; both had mental health issues.

I actually find Kylo inspiring in that he's suffered but he's a fighter - he fought all his life against Snoke, and even now he's still drawn to the light as represented by Rey.

I hope they'll have the guts to show he was an abuse victim, as it'll help real life victims, especially younger ones.
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by snufkin on Sat 18 Mar - 19:06

Thing is the "he shouldn't have taken his helmet off for Rey blah blah blah emo crybaby wuss" type of viewers have already had the moments of showing humanity sail over their heads. He dropped his guard for her, showed her his face, she's seen inside of his thoughts and emotions to the most vulnerable and secret parts of himself, he's immediately interested and possibly infatuated with her, tries to stop her from leaving to the point of offering to teach her etc. It's already there and they've already missed it. So I'd expect those comments to double down when the next movie really starts to expand on his backstory, character, and motivations.
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by snufkin on Sun 19 Mar - 4:55

motherofpearl1 wrote:I think Rey will have a certain amount of guilt over what she did because she did it in a fit of blind rage. She was, as others have said, not just avenging Han - let's face it, she had barely known him - but taking out all her years of rage and frustration at being abandoned at the mercy of Unkar Plutt on a convenient target.
@motherofpearl1

A big part of their fight is that he got overconfident and had no clue she'd power up on the Force, likely taping into his DS source, and then take him out. But it makes sense to me that she's had to swallow every indignity and humiliation Plutt's dealt her during her life on Jakku because she was at his mercy for survival. Same for stifling any thoughts or emotions when it came to her family leaving her on Jakku and not returning. She starts to get a small taste of the human connection she's been craving by meeting and starting to form friendships with Finn and Han. Except then Kylo comes along and doesn't just try to separate her from her friends, but hurts them and tries to control her. She's not just angry at him for murdering his father and whatever she saw in his mind. She watches him do that in response to the exact scenario she'd spent her entire life wishing for - family member returning to take him away. I figured she just finally snaps at the very end of it and beats the s**t out of him. Because there's finally no dam holding back all of the pent up anger she had and he f**ked up the happiest experience she's had in her miserable life.
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by motherofpearl1 on Sun 19 Mar - 6:37

I'm just curious as to what her reaction will be when she finds out the truth about his life, and that he didn't have the privileged wonderful childhood she assumes him to have.
Han was kind to her, Leia embraced her- but she met the older, wiser versions of them. Not the politician who put her career first or the pilot who couldn't bond with his tortured son.

I have a feeling Rey will have an epiphany.
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by SkyStar on Sun 19 Mar - 9:28

It is interesting. From one point of view she had the rights to beat him up. He really did screw up and brought the fight on himself. He pursued them and got punished for his recklessness. And I agree - Rey was mad that Kylo could have gone home, but instead killed his father. The point could be in waiting for something to happen in your life and then receiving it and just ruining you chance.
Though she also took out her issues on him. His actions were a trigger for her to serve as a reminder. It is like not receiving a present on you birthday and hear somebody complain that they had presents but they did not ask to. Or hear somebody complain about their relative, when you don't have one. In some way you can say that the person is just ungrateful. Though you are just projecting your own insecurities, because you don't know how the other person feels. It will be interesting to see what happens when she learns the truth about her family. One thing is to wait for something and imagine how it will happen, but other is for the moment to actually come in an unexpected time and form. If it is going to be ugly, how can she be sure, that she will react correctly and not do something stupid like Kylo did.
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by motherofpearl1 on Sun 19 Mar - 12:26

Rey is much more like him than she'd want to believe to be honest.

What I always find sad, rewatching the film, is when Han tells Kylo they miss him....yet they sent him away. I'm absolutely sure he thought they didn't want him, and gravitated towards Snoke who he thought did want him, but of course is only using him - something he's very likely starting to realise now. The way Kylo spoke to Poe, who saw Leia as a surrogate mum, showed a personal dislike which of course would probably go straight over Poe's head as he would have no idea Kylo Ren was the lost Ben Solo.

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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by SkyStar on Sun 19 Mar - 13:21

True, Kylo haven't seen his father for God knows how long and then he suddenly shows up asking to drop everything he was working for. We, as an audience know Han and Leia as heroes etc, but for him they are parents who once sent him away. He has only Hans words to consider at that moment and he didn't trust them enough to return.
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by Piper Maru on Sun 19 Mar - 13:33

I'm loving this conversation, guys.

I agree with Rey projecting her own insecurities and abandonment issues onto Kylo and beating the s**t out of him because of it. It's going to be interesting when she finally finds the truth about her parents: what if she reacts the same way Kylo did back then? What if she rejects her lineage and tries to stay away from them?

I also agree with her disappointment at him. He had a chance to come back to his family and he refused it. It's no coincidence that this is Rey's biggest dream and she watched Han and Kylo's conversation from the front row.
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by motherofpearl1 on Sun 19 Mar - 13:37

I think that might be the real reason that it'll be Rey who redeems him - not so much romantic love triumphs over familial love,but that what he needs most is understanding. Han, Leia, Luke....they couldn't understand. Han was orphaned, Luke and Leia had warm, comfortable childhoods. They didn't know what it was like to feel unwanted and abandoned. Rey does, even more so after Maz's revelation.

And let's face it she has more in common there with Kylo than Finn, because Finn was stolen, not abandoned.
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by IoJovi on Sun 19 Mar - 13:46

motherofpearl1 wrote:I think that might be the real reason that it'll be Rey who redeems him - not so much romantic love triumphs over familial love,but that what he needs most is understanding. Han, Leia, Luke....they couldn't understand. Han was orphaned, Luke and Leia had warm, comfortable childhoods. They didn't know what it was like to feel unwanted and abandoned. Rey does, even more so after Maz's revelation.

And let's face it she has more in common there with Kylo than Finn, because Finn was stolen, not abandoned.
@motherofpearl1

His story is the reverse of Anakin's in every single way.  The love for a woman and the thought of losing her drove him to the Darkside.  It was a selfish kind of love and he only wanted to avoid the pain of losing Padme.  In the end it was his love for his son that saved him, and therefore redemption was linked to the discovery of his family.  

This time around, it's clear family can't save Kylo.  I do think Han touching his face even in death sparked the light in him (hence why he had to pound his wound to channel the Darkside), but it won't be enough.  It will be his romantic love for Rey, conveyed most likely through an unselfish act that will redeem him in the end.   I do hope he lives through it!

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