Kylo's Mask and the Ashes

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Kylo's Mask and the Ashes

Post by AnneNeville on Sat 26 Mar 2016, 9:20 am

We have seen this moment of the unmasking over and over again:


And no wonder! It's arresting! But perhaps an equally interesting moment is this one, about which there has been little conversation:


The creators thought it worth the time to show Kylo carry his mask over to an unseen box of ashes and then do a closeup of him thunking that monster-mask down, accompanied by a loud thunk and with the dust rising picturesquely around it. What does this moment mean? Why was it worth the screentime?


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Re: Kylo's Mask and the Ashes

Post by guardienne on Sat 26 Mar 2016, 3:20 pm

That is a very strange moment in a plethora of strange moments. And the pit isn't visible in the wide shot of the chamber is it?
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Re: Kylo's Mask and the Ashes

Post by AnneNeville on Sat 26 Mar 2016, 4:05 pm

@guardienne wrote:That is a very strange moment in a plethora of strange moments. And the pit isn't visible in the wide shot of the chamber is it?

No, it isn't in the background. It may be in the next room.
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Re: Kylo's Mask and the Ashes

Post by guardienne on Sat 26 Mar 2016, 4:12 pm

So basically he detoured to slam his helmet into an ash pit??!!

What a strange thing to include... also because it contrasts wuith how he drops it on the bridge. Maybe that's why they stuck this in here.
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Re: Kylo's Mask and the Ashes

Post by ISeeAnIsland on Sat 26 Mar 2016, 4:25 pm

@AnneNeville wrote:
@guardienne wrote:That is a very strange moment in a plethora of strange moments. And the pit isn't visible in the wide shot of the chamber is it?

No, it isn't in the background. It may be in the next room.

If I recall, Pablo Hidalgo had a tweet that implied the ash box was in the next room...which was part of Ren's personal quarters. (I might be interpreting the tweet/conversation wrong, though.)

I do agree that it was a very odd moment.
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Re: Kylo's Mask and the Ashes

Post by Sylvia Snow on Sat 26 Mar 2016, 6:46 pm

The Phoenix said to rises frown its own ashes so I think they want us to see Kylo as someone follows the steps of Darth Vader. But since SKB has been destroyed, I'm pretty sure the ashes and Darth Vader's helmet are also gone.
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Re: Kylo's Mask and the Ashes

Post by guardienne on Sun 27 Mar 2016, 8:16 am

i know you've talked about the phoenix before. that thing about kylo rising from vader's ashes... visually this works but not as part of that scene, i don't think.

it's odd because it's inconsistent with the mise-en-scene.

when i see the gesture as contrasting with what he does with the helmet on the bridge - he drops it, right?, it just thuds onto the bridge - it's more purposeful here, like, he wants to know where it is because he'll pick it up later...

but it's literally a random thing to insert at this stage in the scene. we need to see where it goes and simply dropping it would have been odd thing to do as well. so they introduced this as a pick-up shot?

i guess the ashes could be a nod to the character's morbidity??!!
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Re: Kylo's Mask and the Ashes

Post by Kalianah on Tue 29 Mar 2016, 1:58 pm

Hey guys! Wanted to pop in here and add some of my thoughts, because I've definitely seem some discussion on tumblr about it in particular - though not a lot, you're right.

First off, the stand with the ashes is not in the wide shot of the interrogation room OR the room with the Vader mask that we see.

I haven't seen the Pablo-related tweets, but there DOES seem to be a door within the chamber itself that you can see when Kylo arrives to find Rey gone, on the right side (can't post the pic yet). So with that theory, his room is connected to the interrogation chamber which is just WEIRD. So with that theory, the shots are still completely unconnected (he would have had to walk out and come back, but he approaches from her left and not her right) and the placing of the mask scene was simply added for emphasis regardless of continuity. Emphasis on what, though, is the question - no shot is without purpose in this movie, so I do think it merits discussion.

In thispost on tumblr, she writes:
I’ve read fan theories that it might be Darth Vader’s ashes (if so, why would Kylo keep them in the interrogation room, in an open container?). But perhaps it’s not so important WHAT the ash is: perhaps the symbolism here is the ash itself and its juxtaposition with the helmet. The helmet has metallic stripes on the forehead, just like Shiva wears horizontal stripes of holy ash on his forehead. Ash symbolizes purification of the mind, purging of evil, and asceticism (Shiva smears his body with cremation ash), but the holy ash also offers protection. The stripes of holy ash on the forehead are there to protect the third eye, or the ’Ajna chakra’.
All the other Shiva-related symbolism could be coincidental, because it’s not like fire symbolism and phallic symbolism are anything unusual - but this ash symbolism is something I find especially interesting. There’s the ash, there are the stripes on the forehead of Kylo’s helmet, and there’s the fact that Kylo seems to have an especially powerful ’third eye’ (an active Ajna chakra is supposed to give telepathic and visionary abilities). The interrogation scene is all about the implications of Kylo leaving his third eye unprotected. He takes off the stripes from his forehead and he becomes vulnerable: his one-way occult skill suddenly becomes a two-way bridge.
Moreover, the protective holy ash is named Bhasma. Wait, doesn’t that sound a lot like something in this film, something of an unusual ashy colour…[insert promo pic of Phasma here]

I liked this idea because it incorporates something to the international feel of the movie, the tradition of drawing from more Eastern philosophies, etc. - especially if you believe that Kylo Ren's motives with the First Order (and Snoke brainwashing) has to do with an almost religious purpose - he feels he is in the right, that the Jedi were a corruption that must be purified, etc.

Also taking into account her other post (she's a friend and we talk ALL the time about this stuff, she just happens to write it down for the world, lol) in which she compares Kylo Ren to Shiva, stating:
Shiva is known to have untamed passion, which leads him to extremes in behaviour. Sometimes he is an ascetic, abstaining from all wordly pleasures. At others he is a hedonist.
It is Shiva’s relationship with his wife, Parvati which brings him balance. Their union allows him to be an ascetic and a lover, but within the bounds of marriage.”
Despite his destructive powers, Shiva is worshipped as a benign god. He is good. But it is his wife (of whom later in this post) who teaches him to channel his energy for the good of mankind.

Just some food for thought! I like the simple symbolism angle, because there's no logical explanation for where his helmet goes in the continuity of the scene (of course, things might have been cut) - but we were certainly meant to see and place importance on the helmet placement. Contrast this with the bridge where he drops it and it echoes - very very poignant.
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Re: Kylo's Mask and the Ashes

Post by Kalianah on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 12:39 pm

Hey guys, JJ Abrams finally answered our question!

“The backstory is, that that table has the ashes of the enemies he’s killed,” Abrams says. “That moment was actually shot for, and meant to be used in, the scene where he was talking to the Vader mask.”

from here: http://www.ew.com/article/2016/04/05/star-wars-force-awakens-jj-abrams-kylo-ren-ashes

I'm still processing but LMAO KYLO YOU'RE SO FUCKED UP lol
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Re: Kylo's Mask and the Ashes

Post by AnneNeville on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 12:44 pm

Well, Kylo's redeemability index may have just dropped a notch or two.
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Re: Kylo's Mask and the Ashes

Post by Darth_Awakened on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 12:50 pm

@AnneNeville wrote:Well, Kylo's redeemability index may have just dropped a notch or two.

LOL. Yes.  Very Happy
But we shall see...


...creepy sexy bastard.


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Re: Kylo's Mask and the Ashes

Post by Darth Dingbat on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 12:50 pm

@AnneNeville wrote:Well, Kylo's redeemability index may have just dropped a notch or two.
@AnneNeville

Yeah... that answer was a bit of a downer.

I also can't help but wonder about the logistics of having your enemies cremated...
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Re: Kylo's Mask and the Ashes

Post by AnneNeville on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 12:52 pm

@Darth Dingbat

I have to wonder about the logistics of how they were going to actually communicate "these are the ashes of Kylo's enemies," because that doesn't seem possible outside of a direct, on camera conversation. Its one of those ideas that was better in the production meetings than in reality, which is probably why the scene was so overwhelming as to be cut from that part of the film.
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Re: Kylo's Mask and the Ashes

Post by SanghaRen on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 12:56 pm

@Darth Dingbat wrote:
@AnneNeville wrote:Well, Kylo's redeemability index may have just dropped a notch or two.
@AnneNeville

Yeah... that answer was a bit of a downer.

I also can't help but wonder about the logistics of having your enemies cremated...

I was thinking the same about the logistics. Unless it's some sort of ceremony of respect for the courage they have shown, it is a downer. And even then, why would you keep that in your private quarter? This is really a roller coaster, isn't it? One day, we get happy news and one day, we get news like that which send you into confusion. What was that again about group therapy Very Happy

EDIT: He does look sad in that picture.


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Re: Kylo's Mask and the Ashes

Post by Kalianah on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 12:56 pm

I really really do not think the redemeeability has been affected, he was always this dark, we just didn't see it on screen.

It was all part of building the image of the villain for Abrams.

ALSO I'd like to point out that this was shot in the VERY SAME SCENE that Kylo was beseeching Vader to show him the way to the darkness again. He was being pulled to the Light STILL - after 15 years, surrounded by the ashes of those he has killed.

Don't get too down about it guys, if anything it just makes the conflict we see in TFA WAY more compelling and important.
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Re: Kylo's Mask and the Ashes

Post by Guest on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 12:57 pm

The ashes of his victims? Blimey, that is dark! Shocked

I don't know how I feel about that. It's definitely not a plus point on the redemption scale. The only upside, if you can call it that, is it isn't a huge pile of ashes. There's only a few urn fulls there. But seriously, not cool Kylo! No Qst

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Re: Kylo's Mask and the Ashes

Post by AnneNeville on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 12:59 pm



For the purpose of admiration.
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Re: Kylo's Mask and the Ashes

Post by BastilaBey on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 1:00 pm

He does seem to need an awful lot of relics to anchor himself to the darkside though. It's almost a case of protesting too much? I thought the same when he killed the villagers, it's like ok we get it Kylo, you're a terrible person and everyone's afraid of you. Are you happy? And the answer is very clearly no, he's absolutely miserable.
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Re: Kylo's Mask and the Ashes

Post by AnneNeville on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 1:04 pm

Its kind of weird that he stores his helmet, that he puts on his head, in cremains. Seriously, Kylo? That's gonna mess up your shiny locks.
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Re: Kylo's Mask and the Ashes

Post by Darth Dingbat on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 1:05 pm

@SanghaRen wrote:
@Darth Dingbat wrote:
@AnneNeville wrote:Well, Kylo's redeemability index may have just dropped a notch or two.
@AnneNeville

Yeah... that answer was a bit of a downer.

I also can't help but wonder about the logistics of having your enemies cremated...

I was thinking the same about the logistics. Unless it's some sort of ceremony of respect for the courage they have shown, it is a downer. And even then, why would you keep that in your private quarter? This is really a roller coaster, isn't it? One day, we get happy news and one day, we get news like that which send you into confusion. What was that again about group therapy Very Happy

EDIT: He does look sad in that picture.
@SanghaRen

Group therapy FTW Very Happy

But I keep getting the impression from JJ that he says all sorts of things and seems to have all sorts of "cool" ideas without actually thinking how they fit into the bigger picture. Darkness, sure, I get the darkness of this - I also get that it could be interpreted either as some kind of a warped knightly gesture of homage to your enemies (like a mediaeval knight praying for the souls of his enemies) or else as surrounding himself with mementoes of death to make himself darker...

But how it actually works out in terms of the story is something that puzzles me. I know I always overthink details, though.
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Re: Kylo's Mask and the Ashes

Post by AnneNeville on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 1:09 pm

Well, it clearly didn't work out in storytelling since JJ called the moment underwhelming . . .
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Re: Kylo's Mask and the Ashes

Post by Guest on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 1:13 pm

@AnneNeville wrote:Its kind of weird that he stores his helmet, that he puts on his head, in cremains. Seriously, Kylo? That's gonna mess up your shiny locks.
@AnneNeville

Maybe all that ash is the secret to his glorious dark-side mane... Well, people do sprinkle ashes on rose bushes and such! Lolilol

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Re: Kylo's Mask and the Ashes

Post by SanghaRen on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 1:18 pm

Mrs Ben Solo wrote:The ashes of his victims? Blimey, that is dark! Shocked

I don't know how I feel about that. It's definitely not a plus point on the redemption scale. The only upside, if you can call it that, is it isn't a huge pile of ashes. There's only a few urn fulls there. But seriously, not cool Kylo! No Qst

Maybe he's got several piles of ashes or he recycles them once in a while. Sorry, I was thinking about the movie "The Last Supper" where the main protagonists were burrying the corpses in their garden and ended up with a lot of beautiful tomatoes. I am being creepy here.

This confirms that the guy has blood on his hands. But again, he looks very sad in this picture. I agree with @BastilaBey. That guy just surrounds himself with dark stuff. Like some teenagers when they go through rebellious phases and they just want everything in black.

@Darth Dingbat: I also wonder how it fits with the rest. These are the kind of things, that if not explained properly, will lead to heated debates again. Oh man, JJ, why are you doing this to us? Well, we have to get used to the fact that we will still have surprises and not always nice ones.

EDIT: Just saw that @Mrs Ben Solo is also thinking about recycling Smile


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Re: Kylo's Mask and the Ashes

Post by rey09 on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 1:22 pm

Yea I get down when I here bits of "irredeemable" Kylo but let's not forget that he's already done the worst of the worst --- killing is own father. He ordered the kill for the villagers, he put Finn into a coma, and I'm sure there's a huge list. There is no denying he is bad to the bone. We can only hope that after the events of TFA, he will change. Ashes of his enemies vs rebirth of a sun? Come on now.

Also, it also seemed like JJ just wanted him to slam down the helmet in something cool and it seemed like a dark plot point.
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