What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by jakkusun on Sat 10 Jun - 12:17

@guardienne xD oh gosh idk what i'm talking about most of the time. i'm just making this stuff up based on general impressions but im probably wrong. I already disagree with what I said. Ugh I cringe when I re-read things I write. Why do I sound so confident when I have nothing to back it up with?! xD And I don't actually know that many stories with patricide either.

Here is what I was probably thinking...
People talk about an example from game of thrones in which the father was pretty evil, I think? I don't watch or read GOT though.

I also was binge-watching the tv show Merlin... and Morgana indirectly kills her father Uther after trying to kill him many times, and both Morgana and Uther are rather evil and she hated him for really awful stuff he did and she became very one-dimensionally evil by the end of the series. Even Arthur wanted to kill his father Uther at one point when he learned something bad about Uther and hated him for it until Merlin lied and told him it didn't happen and Arther calmed down.

I guess that is where I got the impression that patricide stories often have either the father or child being extremely evil or in the wrong or hating each other. idk if Uranus, Cronus, and Zeus count but in my reading experience, a lot of times Cronus is portrayed as both an evil son and father who technically commits patricide and is technically victim to it (immortals can't really die, so that is why it is technical?). I think I also just felt like there were lots of stories with abusive fathers, so I thought patricide stories must often include that, but that isn't necessarily true, I realize. I looked it up on TV tropes and it appears Once Upon a Time and maybe other stories are more complex actually, though I'm not sure since I haven't read or watched them. Also, the list of patricides is actually shorter than I expected, as well.
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by Armadeus on Sat 10 Jun - 12:26

@jakkusun wrote:@guardienne xD oh gosh idk what i'm talking about most of the time. i'm just making this stuff up based on general impressions but im probably wrong. I already disagree with what I said. Ugh I cringe when I re-read things I write. Why do I sound so confident when I have nothing to back it up with?! xD And I don't actually know that many stories with patricide either.

Here is what I was probably thinking...
People talk about an example from game of thrones in which the father was pretty evil, I think? I don't watch or read GOT though.

I also was binge-watching the tv show Merlin... and Morgana indirectly kills her father Uther after trying to kill him many times, and both Morgana and Uther are rather evil and she hated him for really awful stuff he did and she became very one-dimensionally evil by the end of the series. Even Arthur wanted to kill his father Uther at one point when he learned something bad about Uther and hated him for it until Merlin lied and told him it didn't happen and Arther calmed down.

I guess that is where I got the impression that patricide stories often have either the father or child being extremely evil or in the wrong or hating each other. idk if Uranus, Cronus, and Zeus count but in my reading experience, a lot of times Cronus is portrayed as both an evil son and father who technically commits patricide and is technically victim to it (immortals can't really die, so that is why it is technical?). I think I also just felt like there were lots of stories with abusive fathers, so I thought patricide stories must often include that, but that isn't necessarily true, I realize. I looked it up on TV tropes and it appears Once Upon a Time and maybe other stories are more complex actually, though I'm not sure since I haven't read or watched them. Also, the list of patricides is actually shorter than I expected, as well.
@jakkusun

For what it's worth, the Ancient Greeks had no real concept of 'good' and 'evil' as we understand them today. It's all part of a theme of children murdering their parents that shows up again and again in Greek mythology. Truth be told, Zeus and the other Olympians are no more 'good' or 'moral' than Cronos and the Titans, so it's all a wonderful shade of grey Razz
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by guardienne on Sat 10 Jun - 14:28

@Armadeus wrote:Again I find parallels in Greek mythology. A few years ago, Charlotte Higgins wrote the article The Iliad and what it can still tell us about war for The Guardian.

Not a 1:1 comparison, but I believe it's interesting to consider when one accounts for SW roots in ancient myths.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2010/jan/30/iliad-war-charlotte-higgins

Below is an excerpt:

Charlotte Higgins wrote:At the end of the poem comes the scene between Priam and Achilles, when the frail, grieving father finds it in himself to kiss those "terrible, man-­killing hands / that had slaughtered Priam's many sons in battle", when ­Achilles sees reflected in the face of Priam the likeness of his own beloved father. Weil underestimated the power of this passage. Achilles is not simply an unfeeling "thing", reduced by the unspeakable power of force. The truth may be harder to take. He is at the same time a mass slaughterer and the gentlest of men. Only a few lines of verse stand between the Achilles who wipes away the tears of his beloved Patroclus and the one who piles up hecatombs of the Trojan dead. Find in this comfort, if you can.
@Armadeus

you know, i was thinking about this a lot because i love achilles so much and in the troy movie he actualy shares a line with kylo??!!

'you're my guest' Sapristi

but the thing about the comparison that strikes me really is that achilles is a king. he knows exatly what he's doing and he is revered by his men and loved. patroclus is his best friend and equal to him. they both are accomplished warriors and healers and as much as i love the comparison i think kylo ren is nowhere near that level of competence. or else we simply don't know enough about him and the few bits don't tell us anything wrt  the other knights or whatever.

kylo ren could get there, though, and i very much hope he does.

achilles is a competent killer but he does have honour and he understands what war is. i get a similar sense of nobility from kylo but also a lot more ambiguity about his role and a lot of unease, so it's really interesting.

maybe the next installment will be all about the wrath of kylo Wink

achilles and the iliad also serve as an excellent model for shay's book on moral injury, which is amazing and i've been thinking about leadership betrayal a lot wrt luke.

@jakkusun

didn't mean to embarrass you!

i found the relevant scene from GoT



(i don't watch it either so i'm not sure there is much we can discuss between us. i'm very tempted to make a separate patricide thread just for kicks Tire langue )

here's the scene from gladiator:



i feel that han/kylo carries a similar vibe and it's really interesting to look at them side by side. marcus aurelius is considered an important stoic philospher and to see him reduced like this and being an incompetent father is really a nice twist.

however, i don't know if you have the stomach to watch these things obviously. what struck me about both of them is how intimate they were and i guess the same can be said for the GoT scene.

i think patricide in itself is pretty rare and taboo which is why i'm guessing it raises people's hackles now and which is why for luke to go and murder his father or fight him or whatever is such a huge step and something he's not willing to do. i think that if you do include it in fiction, it very much and inevitably alludes to oedipus rex (which i can't find a good source for online rn) ... where patricide is an accident. and it also discusses fate and destiny and other good stuff, which aren't exactly present in the other movies. i have a feeling that the greek tragedy angle is more important for star wars, seeing also how the patricide depicted, has been suggested by someone else as well it not leading to an increase in powers or whatever. it's not a personal revenge mission as we have with tyrion and commodus, it's dictated from elsewhere and sort of done in good faith?

consider this from http://www.shmoop.com/oedipus-the-king/
Of course, most of us know "Oedipus" to be synonymous with the desire to kill your father and sleep with your mom. We have Sigmund Freud’s theory of the "Oedipus Complex" to thank for that—Freud's Oedipus complex describes a stage of psychological development in which a child sees their father as a competitor for his or her mother’s attention.

But the really tragic thing about poor Oedipus is that he doesn't want to get his incest on—he's fated to. The gods willed it, and poor Oed has no choice. He even tries to outwit the prophecy that decreed that he'd kill his daddy and wed his mommy—he runs away from the people he thinks are his parents.

makes you wonder about leia's role in all this and how much kylo knew in advance this was going to happen?
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by motherofpearl1 on Sat 10 Jun - 15:03

I absolutely love all these comparisons!
Okay, going out on a limb here but...
'Patricide' is an ugly word...but the situation isn't always black and white. In Game of Thrones especially, Tyrion was horribly treated by his father - he practically tried to get him executed. Tywin was his father by blood but, to quote GoTG 2, 'he wasn't his daddy'.

Han of course is nothing like Tywin Lannister. He genuinely loved his son, but he allowed his son's inheritance of - let's face it, supernatural powers - to colour his judgment. This was his child, not some scary Darth Vader clone. A child who desperately needed his parents' to support him against a vile psychological predator. And sadly they weren't there.

Genetics do not make a good parent. Love and perhaps just as importantly, understanding does. Ironically the lack of the latter turned Kylo into exactly what his parents feared.
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by Armadeus on Sat 10 Jun - 15:15

@guardienne

Yeah, the comparison to Achilles has never been 1:1, nor would I want it to be. I'm just amused by the echoes, shall we say? Razz

RE: Achilles, because I love discussing mythology, so feel free to disagree Very Happy

The way I read it, Achilles' heroic virtues are counterbalanced by his heroic failings. He is immensely selfish and immature, walking off to sulk in his tent, perfectly content to let his fellow Achaeans die under Trojan assaults, all because his pride was slighted. In fact, he outright beseeches the gods to let Achaeans die in great numbers just so the leaders will remember how awesome he is and beg him to come back.

His desecration of Hector's body and his threat to eat Hector's flesh raw would have been almost as horrifying to the Ancient Greeks as, say, the murder of Han Solo was to a modern audience. Razz It is the most monstrous thing a Greek soldier - a Greek hero, no less - could do.

But of course, as you pointed out, Homer shows us other sides of Achilles. He recognises the stupidity of the entire conflict - ten years of war and bloodshed because Menelaus' wife ran off with a younger man. His love for Patroclus is deeply moving. And then his greatest moment in the story (as far as I am concerned): his ability to finally empathise with Priam and see, not an enemy king, but a distraught father who, like Achilles, has lost a loved one to the Trojan War.
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by motherofpearl1 on Sat 10 Jun - 16:09

I loved the Troy movie.
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by guardienne on Sat 10 Jun - 17:53


@Armadeus

i really think you are probably more knowledgeable about the source material. i think you would enjoy shay's reading. i can't find any exciting secondary source for you to peruse, so, you'll have to believe me. it's a really good read.

i'm ashamed to admit but i haven't read the iliad by itself.

shay basically posits that achilles' honour was violated by his CO (agamemnon) which was what triggered his berserk rage. remember they kept this in the movie as well, when he confronts hector, he says something about there not being pacts between lions and man? or some other animal? this kind of thinking was very common amongst the vietnam vets that shay was treating, that they were no longer human. he loses all the nobility he has because of how his own value system has been violated. so, basically the homeric poets present him as a hero, as someone who absolutely looks after his troops and his people, and then after the injury, as someone who doesn't care about anything anymore. and you are right, leaving hector to rot like this is a major violation.

here's a short paper explaining the concept of moral injury. https://www.law.upenn.edu/live/files/4602-moralinjuryshayexcerptpdf
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by Armadeus on Sat 10 Jun - 18:25

@guardienne

I'd heard of Shay's book, but have never had the chance to read it. Think I just might now Very Happy

Losing one's humanity in the fog of war is an interesting interpretation of Achilles' wrath. There are stories from the trenches of WWI about soldiers who were so traumatised by the death and despair around them that 'punishing' the enemy became something of an obsession... all that mattered was killing the enemy in as horrible a manner as could be imagined.

Just as fascinating is the idea that a people who lived 2000 years ago were grappling with similar themes.
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by guardienne on Sat 10 Jun - 18:55

@armadeus it's really good. he followed it up with 'odysseus in america' which i think is a less convincing reading of the odyssee but the stories he tells of the vietnam vets are particularly tragic and personally i think it's good to kow this? you know, i don't know that much about the vietnam war to begin with, so ... the warfare itself was different from WW2 and possibly also korea? but in the achilles book he cites so many vets who started questioning their values and whose understanding of what their mission was, got turned upside down and sideways and who suffered greatly for having served their own country.

it should be fairly cheap to get hold of actually, i bought a paperback copy for very little money from the US.

shay spends quite a lot of time telling how the enemy was dehumanised to the US military personnel and then also telling us how in ancient greece valueing the enemy and honouring them was very important. so, yeah. i'll stop waxing about it, it's a really good book and i think not enough is being said about it.
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by jakkusun on Sat 10 Jun - 19:53

@Armadeus wrote:
@jakkusun wrote:@guardienne xD oh gosh idk what i'm talking about most of the time. i'm just making this stuff up based on general impressions but im probably wrong. I already disagree with what I said. Ugh I cringe when I re-read things I write. Why do I sound so confident when I have nothing to back it up with?! xD And I don't actually know that many stories with patricide either.

Here is what I was probably thinking...
People talk about an example from game of thrones in which the father was pretty evil, I think? I don't watch or read GOT though.

I also was binge-watching the tv show Merlin... and Morgana indirectly kills her father Uther after trying to kill him many times, and both Morgana and Uther are rather evil and she hated him for really awful stuff he did and she became very one-dimensionally evil by the end of the series. Even Arthur wanted to kill his father Uther at one point when he learned something bad about Uther and hated him for it until Merlin lied and told him it didn't happen and Arther calmed down.

I guess that is where I got the impression that patricide stories often have either the father or child being extremely evil or in the wrong or hating each other. idk if Uranus, Cronus, and Zeus count but in my reading experience, a lot of times Cronus is portrayed as both an evil son and father who technically commits patricide and is technically victim to it (immortals can't really die, so that is why it is technical?). I think I also just felt like there were lots of stories with abusive fathers, so I thought patricide stories must often include that, but that isn't necessarily true, I realize. I looked it up on TV tropes and it appears Once Upon a Time and maybe other stories are more complex actually, though I'm not sure since I haven't read or watched them. Also, the list of patricides is actually shorter than I expected, as well.
@jakkusun

For what it's worth, the Ancient Greeks had no real concept of 'good' and 'evil' as we understand them today. It's all part of a theme of children murdering their parents that shows up again and again in Greek mythology. Truth be told, Zeus and the other Olympians are no more 'good' or 'moral' than Cronos and the Titans, so it's all a wonderful shade of grey Razz
@Armadeus

Sorry, yeah, I'm sure that is correct. I should have been more clear that I was talking about cruddy Americanized moralized portrayals of the myths...stuff that i'd experienced as a kid like Myth-O-Mania or Percy Jackson or the Age of Mythology game campaigns...that all kind of make him out to be the "bad guy" even though there is still quite a bit of grey in the storytelling at times...they still need to have their "big bad" that must be taken down.

(At least i'm pretty sure the end of AOM requires you to awaken Gaia and use her to beat the big villain of the game, Kronos, back into tartarus...it's been a while. Same with Myth-O-Mania...im pretty sure it makes kronos out to be the evil jerk dad who eats his own kids that the protagonist hades and his annoying brother zeus have to get rid of lol. Though I'm 100% on kronos being the big bad in percy jackson...i've read those too many times...and that is what i meant by kronos usually being evil in my experience i guess)

Though obviously american retellings of the myths can really pick anyone to be the "bad guy"...sometimes it's hades and i guess aries, too apparently (whatever fits the idea of a "villain" in the american mind i suppose)..it is all just a shadow of the real myths, which I actually know very little about since I've been exposed to too many warped retellings I can barely remember...so none of what I say has any credibility of course...all my impressions of the stories have essentially been shaped by random childish sources...which I guess are interesting in their own right...they must say something about american society or morals or something.

@guardienne haha don't worry I really just embarrass myself. xD And I'm still trying to backtrack on this. I'll go to the new patricide thread to discuss this more, but I felt like I had to address this for some reason...cause I didn't want anyone to think I was trying to pretend to be any sort of authority on greek mythology I guess. hahaha
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by adamdrivershair on Tue 13 Jun - 16:41

There are a lot of reasons why Kylo is compelling, but for me, his main appeal is relating to him personally, and getting to share in his triumph as he is redeemed. I imagine it will be really cathartic to see.

I've heard people say that Kylo is coded as mentally ill. As someone who struggles with that, I see Kylo as a rare example of representation in a mainstream film.

This is the main appeal of Reylo for me as well. I believe Rey will be instrumental in helping him struggle out of the darkness - how, exactly, I don't know. But the idea of someone meeting you in the depths of your pain and lighting the way out is really powerful to me. That destiny, love and personal strength comes through in the end.

Can anyone else relate to this?
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Re: What makes Kylo Ren so compelling?

Post by motherofpearl1 on Tue 13 Jun - 17:10

@adamdrivershair wrote:There are a lot of reasons why Kylo is compelling, but for me, his main appeal is relating to him personally, and getting to share in his triumph as he is redeemed. I imagine it will be really cathartic to see.

I've heard people say that Kylo is coded as mentally ill. As someone who struggles with that, I see Kylo as a rare example of representation in a mainstream film.

This is the main appeal of Reylo for me as well. I believe Rey will be instrumental in helping him struggle out of the darkness - how, exactly, I don't know. But the idea of someone meeting you in the depths of your pain and lighting the way out is really powerful to me. That destiny, love and personal strength comes through in the end.

Can anyone else relate to this?
@adamdrivershair

Yes.
As a sufferer of mental illness since I was about 12 - which makes it the better part of 40 years - I really want to see this character redeemed through love and understanding. Because when you're mentally ill it's worth all the therapy in the world. Speaking as someone who knows first hand.
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