Shifting Identities and the Force

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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by snufkin on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 7:15 pm

@Sacrebleu wrote:@guardienne

I'm not using the term broken vows that literally.  I meant it more in terms of his beliefs, including his belief in Snoke, being challenged.  I don't think Snoke's way will ultimately be Kylo's way just as Luke's way was not his way.  He has to find his own way?  And that's where Rey comes in.  Discoveries they will make because of each other, discoveries they will make together?  I'm tired too and not explaining myself very well.  

Star Wars has presented the Force as Light vs. Dark.  Yet the official character description of Kylo is of someone who is the embodiment of Light AND Dark.  Therein lies a clue, I think.

@Sacrebleu

Agreed. And this may tie in with Maz's line about "somebody who could come back. Which in the novel is "...with your help."

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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by guardienne on Tue 25 Oct 2016, 2:57 am

@sacrebleu at this stage i'm not sure what the difference between breaking vows literally and figuratively is XD sorry.

i agree with you that i don't think snoke's way is his at all. i think all the aspects of himself that he can discipline in line with snoke's rules or whatever, he's doing that but most of the time i think he is simply functioning pretty viscerally and can't, and that's ok, just not if you've sworn yourself to a life of asceticism.

i think i'm interested where the force bond is going because i'm getting the distinct feeling that she is draining his powers, right?

@snufkin i'm intrigued at these parallels you mentioned. i think my general idea about radicalisation (in any direction) is that it doesn't happen overnight. and i'm drawing a huge blank on luke because luke should have been there for most of these things and apparently he wasn't, for whatever reason? like, what amazing and powerful occult knowledge could snoke be offering apart from a new identity?

i'm headcanoning that snoke was indeed there 'from the beginning' and being upfront about the occult and saying, once you've completed training with luke, you can join the order. i don't know whether han and leia have it right, and at the moment i'm not trusting any of them to be honest, they were deceiving him about vader and his heritage.

and i totally forgot he talks about having been weak and foolish, i'm totally doing this from a kind of projected memory XD thank god i don't have to provide actual evidence!

i'm also wondering how vader fits into the whole new identity thing. because grandfather is very much part of his past, a part he feels very connected to (and i'm beginning to think that ancestral worship might not be the madness that everyone thinks it is, and it may be innocent in its own way) and yet he has to be a different person to feel connected to vader? or did he only discover ancestral worship when with snoke?
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by Sacrebleu on Tue 25 Oct 2016, 4:41 am

@guardienne wrote:@sacrebleu at this stage i'm not sure what the difference between breaking vows literally and figuratively is XD sorry.

i agree with you that i don't think snoke's way is his at all. i think all the aspects of himself that he can discipline in line with snoke's rules or whatever, he's doing that but most of the time i think he is simply functioning pretty viscerally and can't, and that's ok, just not if you've sworn yourself to a life of asceticism.

i think i'm interested where the force bond is going because i'm getting the distinct feeling that she is draining his powers, right?  
@guardienne

I think we just don't know enough about the KOR at this point.  I know I described Kylo as monk-like, but I don't know if that means the KOR literally take vows or swear oaths and what those vows and oaths might be.  The only firm sense I have now is that his current state of being isn't working for him any better than his prior state of being, i.e. "torn apart" and "want to be free of this pain".  He was already not acting like a strictly obedient-to-Snoke knight in TFA, he's volatile and impulsive.  If he attributes his pain to the elements of his past that still reside inside of him ("weak and foolish like his father") and hoped to eradicate that pain by killing his father, it doesn't seem to have worked out that way.  He feels even weaker now.  So to my mind the process of breaking vows, for want of a better term, was taking place perhaps before he even met Rey.  She may be the catalyst for an ultimate breech of his connection to Snoke and the KOR.

I guess maybe I suspect that TPTB won't take the character of Kylo/Ben too far away from the OT characters.  My feeling has always been that because he is a Skywalker, some sort of turning back to the Light will be in his arc.  Where I think they might attempt something new is with delving into a grey area, or a melding of the Light and Dark.  But my ideas are very, very vague.  Somebody with a much better imagination than I could come up with something more specific and compelling.

With the Force bond, I don't know if Rey was borrowing knowledge from Kylo on how to engage her powers, or actually draining power from him.  Again, not enough information yet.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by guardienne on Tue 25 Oct 2016, 7:43 am

@sacrebleu i agree we are moving on the thin ice of speculation but where's the fun without messing around a little. and we can all eat humble pie in over a year's time Lolilol

i think the KOR would be absolutely nothing without vows. it'd be just a bunch of thugs hunting for artefacts and leading them as their master would mean so little. if they are a small contingent of knights, whatever that means in the GFFA, they'd have sworn allegiance to their master.

this is common to any military really, so it's not much of a stretch. one question arising from ben's recruitment however is whether they are all of noble descent and whether they've all been trained in combat previous ... at this stage i'm wanting the full-on expositional dialogue explaining it all. or maybe cliff notes.

i'm trying not to spend time imagining the actual events because i'm terrified of getting invested in an actual thing. and i'm never really that interested in a story in the events, i'm interested in the manner of the event. so, like, whatever, let them kiss, but let them earn it?

similarly i feel that a 'return to the light' is a pretty nebulous idea at the moment. by all accounts he's destroyed what represents the light in his life. destroyed the jedi order, destroyed his family, destroyed the republic. there's not much to return to.

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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by guardienne on Tue 25 Oct 2016, 8:09 am

this is somewhat fluff but some of it really rings true for me... http://millicentthecat.tumblr.com/post/152116335651/kylo-ren

There’s a cultural conflict, a struggle for supremacy. There are factions that can not and will not coexist peacefully because one has, historically, tried to eradicate the other. It is easy for me to see that in Star Wars, and in Kylo’s story. It is not always easy in life, but today I feel like it will be possible. I will be able to see through persons attacking me to the source of the conflict.

i feel like there's no neutral ground, which is what a lot of us are saying here and i have felt that about star wars watching as an adult for a long time. i understand the need for neutrality.

and i feel like so far what the one new film has done is invest the struggle for supremacy more viscerally and more meaningfully. and i think strangely this is why i'm hoping the people who make the films will carry on investing the battle within the characters and their conflict and the larger political meaning emotionally and intelligently.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by Sacrebleu on Tue 25 Oct 2016, 8:21 am

@guardienne wrote:@sacrebleu i agree we are moving on the thin ice of speculation but where's the fun without messing around a little. and we can all eat humble pie in over a year's time Lolilol

i think the KOR would be absolutely nothing without vows. it'd be just a bunch of thugs hunting for artefacts and leading them as their master would mean so little. if they are a small contingent of knights, whatever that means in the GFFA, they'd have sworn allegiance to their master.

this is common to any military really, so it's not much of a stretch. one question arising from ben's recruitment however is whether they are all of noble descent and whether they've all been trained in combat previous ... at this stage i'm wanting the full-on expositional dialogue explaining it all. or maybe cliff notes.

i'm trying not to spend time imagining the actual events because i'm terrified of getting invested in an actual thing. and i'm never really that interested in a story in the events, i'm interested in the manner of the event. so, like, whatever, let them kiss, but let them earn it?

similarly i feel that a 'return to the light' is a pretty nebulous idea at the moment. by all accounts he's destroyed what represents the light in his life. destroyed the jedi order, destroyed his family, destroyed the republic. there's not much to return to.

@guardienne

I think it makes sense that Kylo has sworn allegiance to Snoke, even to the level of Snoke eradicating the name/identity of Ben Solo.  But I think Kylo is already less than obedient.  That was made clear in the scene where Hux tells Kylo to be careful that his personal interests not interfere with Snoke's orders.  And taking Rey from Takodana while leaving BB-8 behind?  Dumb, dumb, dumb, and I don't say that just because BB-8 is adorable.  Winks Then Kylo, while grievously injured, chases Finn and Rey into a dark forest at night ALONE while the base, i.e. the First Order's biggest weapon, is under attack.  More colossal dumb.  Now I don't believe we're intended to interpret Kylo as stupid.  So when an intelligent character does stupid things, we naturally wonder why.  What is making him behave this way?  If Snoke is as punishing and merciless as he appears, Kylo is so wrought up he doesn't even care if he's gonna get a major a**-whuppin' for all this.

I am frankly skeptical that there will be a kiss in Episode VIII.  If there is a romance I don't envision a traditional romance or a speedy trajectory for it.  I think it will be more mystical and tortured and spiritual in character.  However, if I'm wrong I won't run from the theater screaming.   Pop corn

Kylo may very well have destroyed what represents the Light in his life, but he hasn't destroyed the Light itself.  The Republic and the Jedi Order and his family may pass away, as all people and things do, but the Force and the Light are eternal, are they not?  The Light is still out there and perhaps Rey is a reminder of that?  He may believe he has no way to touch it or access it anymore, but he could be wrong.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by guardienne on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 3:35 pm

@sacrebleu

some scattered observations.

both kylo ren and rey lose their force-virginity in TFA. in kylo ren's case there is some major impotence imagery, which i find super-hard (haha) to ignore. and their, erm, power exchange seems to come up in her favour. that's why i think she's draining him.

crikey, at this stage i'm wondering how much more sexually charged this duel could be.

but i think the sex is used to sell not actual sex between them but the force? i don't know.

and it's interesting that he loses his powers. i don't think that's ever happened and as a novel idea it doesn't seem to bother him.

and i'm interested in drama that takes the trope of a kiss between enemies and sees what the consequences of that are. that i would want to see.

but i don't want to turn this into another will they/won't they thread, i guess.

Kylo may very well have destroyed what represents the Light in his life, but he hasn't destroyed the Light itself.
yes this is very true. i know this has been done before and i'm finding the addiction analogy rather icky myself, but i'm reminded of how offenders come back to their families. and it makes for an exciting story if nothing else. i think with the added complication that the pull to the light as it exists for kylo ren now, it something he wants to get away from as far as possible.

and with people who are highly indoctrinated, well, i don't know how to solve that problem. if this was a willing transition, i would imagine that the power loss (gee) he's already experienced is maybe enough to shatter his belief in snoke's institution.

i'm pretty unwilling to pull the rug from  under the character by saying that it's all a lie. i think there is a tremendous amount of will towards making the dark side work as well. and i quite like how that conflict plays out.

in the end, this being star wars, i'm not sure about a return to the lgiht per se and i'm not too bothered at the moment. but we're talking abot things like forgiveness and mercy and they don't go away. at least not in my imagination.

i was watching an old documentary on the freemasons (it was always going to be the next logical step Lolilol ) last night and they described the initiation as death and rebirth as well. i'm not entirely sure what the freemasons were about, but i'm liking the implication of secret knowledge that is too much for the majority to share. it's a source of power by itself. and they also choose their members. i have actually been to the big london temple a few years ago entirely by chance.




but anyway, i've not been abe to find out how the knights templar actually recruited. presumably seeing as they were only recruiting from nobility, the choice was a little limited to people who were also then either dedicated to the cause and/or wishing to renounce the world? it strikes me as a very small demographic seeing as the individual person held little power, it was all held in the organisation. i'm guessing that righteously participating in the crusades and being part of a very powerful elite as a group was probably part of the appeal.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by Sacrebleu on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 5:03 pm

@guardienne

I was re-reading a few tumblr metas the other evening and noticed some ideas that hadn't particularly struck me before.  One opined that the "pull to the light" Kylo describes in TFA is a need for love.  Not romantic love specifically.  I can certainly understand how that need can be regarded as a weakness when you've dedicated yourself to a cause that requires extreme discipline and sacrifice.

As to the will they or won't they question, I just don't know if all the sexual metaphors in TFA are meant to be symbolic of the Force or indicative of an actual future physical relationship in addition to the metaphysical one.  I don't think Reylo is a slam dunk at this point, I think it could go either way.

I don't see a turn back toward the Light as saying everything he's experienced up to now is a lie.  I think of a turn back to the Light as an expansion of his understanding and philosophy of the Force, incorporating what he's learned thus far, what he learned in TFA, and what he has yet to learn.

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.”

Did she drain his powers, did she borrow his knowledge, did he not really want to win that duel, did he just run out of gas due to his injury catching up to him, or some combination thereof?  Beats me!  I hope Episode VIII can explain all of this without spending two hours explaining all of this, if you know what I mean.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by snufkin on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 5:30 pm

@Sacrebleu wrote:@guardienne

I was re-reading a few tumblr metas the other evening and noticed some ideas that hadn't particularly struck me before.  One opined that the "pull to the light" Kylo describes in TFA is a need for love.  Not romantic love specifically.  I can certainly understand how that need can be regarded as a weakness when you've dedicated yourself to a cause that requires extreme discipline and sacrifice.

As to the will they or won't they question, I just don't know if all the sexual metaphors in TFA are meant to be symbolic of the Force or indicative of an actual future physical relationship in addition to the metaphysical one.  I don't think Reylo is a slam dunk at this point, I think it could go either way.

I don't see a turn back toward the Light as saying everything he's experienced up to now is a lie.  I think of a turn back to the Light as an expansion of his understanding and philosophy of the Force, incorporating what he's learned thus far, what he learned in TFA, and what he has yet to learn.

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.”

Did she drain his powers, did she borrow his knowledge, did he not really want to win that duel, did he just run out of gas due to his injury catching up to him, or some combination thereof?  Beats me!  I hope Episode VIII can explain all of this without spending two hours explaining all of this, if you know what I mean.

@Sacrebleu

I think that they will, but that it'll be more complicated than just romantic love. Or at least how the PT could've been about the seriousness of taking vows and then breaking them, but instead never showed that at all. Lucas tried to write on scene about how they had responsibilities that they couldn't let down, but it was as badly written and unconvincing as everything else. And Han and Leia were more about clashing social classes/personalities. 3rd movie he was pretty much her sidekick/boyfriend, no real tension. With these two, they'll tease it the whole way, where you can see the potential and the evolution of their feelings. But that the larger mess the entire galaxy is in (plus complications and the Big Bad) means that the story will drag it out as Star Crossed, potentially tragic. Which means anything going on between the two of them for a long time will have the subtext, but won't be as overtly romantic as it's been in the past trilogies. Maybe like Chow Yun Fat and Michelle Yow in Crouching Tiger (hopefully without the tragic ending). And the situation that brings them together has to be complicated enough that they're enmeshed together, so that working together and coming to respect/care for one another brings into play the discipline/sacrifice he's given himself over to.

Also I'll say it's going to happen but not in a cheesy or standard Hollywood way just based on gut instinct. When some friends saw the PT and told me the basic story, I was like "Of course it turns out that it all happened because of a love affair." Which seemed like just the easiest way to go about it in terms of storytelling. What's been set up here strikes me as being more sophisticated and thoughtful, but also in trying to re-do some of those elements from the PT in a way that it could have been done well. Including these two characters and the potential fall out of their developing feelings for each other.

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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by Sacrebleu on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 6:28 pm

@snufkin wrote:I think that they will, but that it'll be more complicated than just romantic love. Or at least how the PT could've been about the seriousness of taking vows and then breaking them, but instead never showed that at all. Lucas tried to write on scene about how they had responsibilities that they couldn't let down, but it was as badly written and unconvincing as everything else. And Han and Leia were more about clashing social classes/personalities. 3rd movie he was pretty much her sidekick/boyfriend, no real tension. With these two, they'll tease it the whole way, where you can see the potential and the evolution of their feelings. But that the larger mess the entire galaxy is in (plus complications and the Big Bad) means that the story will drag it out as Star Crossed, potentially tragic.  Which means anything going on between the two of them for a long time will have the subtext, but won't be as overtly romantic as it's been in the past trilogies. Maybe like Chow Yun Fat and Michelle Yow in Crouching Tiger (hopefully without the tragic ending). And the situation that brings them together has to be complicated enough that they're enmeshed together, so that working together and coming to respect/care for one another brings into play the discipline/sacrifice he's given himself over to.

Also I'll say it's going to happen but not in a cheesy or standard Hollywood way just based on gut instinct. When some friends saw the PT and told me the basic story, I was like "Of course it turns out that it all happened because of a love affair." Which seemed like just the easiest way to go about it in terms of storytelling. What's been set up here strikes me as being more sophisticated and thoughtful, but also in trying to re-do some of those elements from the PT in a way that it could have been done well. Including these two characters and the potential fall out of their developing feelings for each other.

@snufkin
Agreed.  Star crossed, angst, tension, and conflict are elements I would like to see.  I wouldn't mind a little snark; he is, after all, Han and Leia's kid.  But traditional Hollywood rom com, no, I hope not, and definitely not a repeat of Anakin's mooning after Padme like a lovestruck calf.

I didn't care for ROTJ for several reasons, one of which being that Han and Leia became much less interesting to watch.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by snufkin on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 7:02 pm

@Sacrebleu wrote:
@snufkin
Agreed.  Star crossed, angst, tension, and conflict are elements I would like to see.  I wouldn't mind a little snark; he is, after all, Han and Leia's kid.  But traditional Hollywood rom com, no, I hope not, and definitely not a repeat of Anakin's mooning after Padme like a lovestruck calf.

I didn't care for ROTJ for several reasons, one of which being that Han and Leia became much less interesting to watch.

@Sacrebleu

Han only came back instead of dying in deep freeze because of toy sales,. Otherwise the plot line they gave to him and Leia was boring once she'd strangled Jabba and set him free. There wasn't even any of the tension, dialogue, or working together that made them fleeing the Imperial forces together in ESB so memorable. There will most definitely be snark from him and a couple of eyerolls in response from her.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by guardienne on Thu 27 Oct 2016, 11:02 am

@Sacrebleu
@Sacrebleu wrote:@guardienne

I was re-reading a few tumblr metas the other evening and noticed some ideas that hadn't particularly struck me before.  One opined that the "pull to the light" Kylo describes in TFA is a need for love.  Not romantic love specifically.  I can certainly understand how that need can be regarded as a weakness when you've dedicated yourself to a cause that requires extreme discipline and sacrifice.
i think what's struck me reading all my whacky research is that you'd normally become initiated into an order of any kind into a community of like-minded people for better or for worse. people join sects because they crave the safety and protection of the group (in my opinion). this is a reason to join a church, to join a party, a gang, anything like that i usually to me, a way of being protected by a group - obviously as long as you follow the rules of the group. humans are social animals, we want this, we need it.

depending on severity and stakes, disagreeing with the group can mean your death (in sects, your disgreement will usually mean ostracisation (i've decided this is a word, don't you tell me otherwise) and exclusion, it's a kind of social death and people who have separated from their church in this manner struggle severely). i'm not an expert on this stuff, but i'll probably roam to find out more. what's obvious to me, unless the KOR really represent a genuine community, ben was initiated into an order of two. this is majorly weird and i know for reasons of this being star wars and for reasons of the dark siders usually being few and solitary and such, it makes sense on that level but it makes no sense otherwise. if you channel the process through belonging to a group, it's non-existant.

it also doesn't work with experience in the military. you process that kind of experience through communalisation, as far as i can tell, because we're in this together, and rey is the only community he's got. because he destroyed the jedi order. so, one way to interpret this is to say that the community that luke established was corrupt, say, and therefore he sought a lack of community. that makes some kind of logical sense to me. but of course it just be a plot convenience Sapristi

As to the will they or won't they question, I just don't know if all the sexual metaphors in TFA are meant to be symbolic of the Force or indicative of an actual future physical relationship in addition to the metaphysical one.  I don't think Reylo is a slam dunk at this point, I think it could go either way.
it's both. it doesn't matter.

i'm thinking that it could even change and the new film will no longer tell us about power through sexual metaphor. but it certainly does so now with a, um, bang.

I don't see a turn back toward the Light as saying everything he's experienced up to now is a lie.  I think of a turn back to the Light as an expansion of his understanding and philosophy of the Force, incorporating what he's learned thus far, what he learned in TFA, and what he has yet to learn.

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.”
ahhh i like that a lot. i feel like the interpretation seems to be that it's a renunciation of anything dark, which i would find weird.

if you think of 'the light' as rey, or as sex per se, say, in a plain fashion you could say that it's ok to be sexual, it's human, in an everything in moderation kind of way. but i guess the 'return' implies to me a rejection of what he's doing now. i think that's what i'm getting confused with.

Did she drain his powers, did she borrow his knowledge, did he not really want to win that duel, did he just run out of gas due to his injury catching up to him, or some combination thereof?  Beats me!  I hope Episode VIII can explain all of this without spending two hours explaining all of this, if you know what I mean.
i don't think we'll ever know for sure. that said, i feel there is a distinct drop in his powers after he kills han seeing as he can't stop the bolt from chewie's weapon - there's a reason this scene runs as a mirror to the beginning. he's suddenly become very vulnerable.

and then he 'can't get it up' to grab anakin's sabre. and then he seems to be doing ok in the duel, pretty much dominating it until he reminds her of the force, and then he really struggles. so it looks like this is very much related, there is a power exchange of some kind going on. she is suddenly dominating and she is the one pursuing him. i don't think it's played for looking like he's simply too injured. but anyway, just my opinion.

@snufkin

Or at least how the PT could've been about the seriousness of taking vows and then breaking them, but instead never showed that at all. Lucas tried to write on scene about how they had responsibilities that they couldn't let down, but it was as badly written and unconvincing as everything else.

actually all of that post but oh .... i have the same feeling that whatever it is that will in the end constitute reylo, it will be complicated. and part of me gets giddy just thinking about the possibilities of writing something that is adult and still working in a fantasy world. i feel like this isn't even done in fantasy and they've so fantastically already introduced all the ambiguity i can shake a stick at. i'm always so bored with people debating 'power levels' and could so and so beat some else in a duel, because duels are never based on emotions. almost all of the story has already happened in a space that is very subjective and so beautiful for that. and i feel like if lucas had bothered to find a better writer for the PT, this i what we might have had but i like that they all exist so it's all good, we're getting it now, it's a-ok. also because now the ending is open and not contrained by having to match something else.

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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by snufkin on Thu 27 Oct 2016, 11:16 am

@guardienne - My best guess for the abandonment experience which they've each been traumatized by and which will end up bonding them/shared sympathy isn't that they both had s*** childhoods. It's a very specific moment for each of them. My guess also is that the elements which are ultimately responsible for those moments have to do with Snoke/the FO.

Rey: Disappearance of her parents (likely their murder) and abandonment to Jakku as a scavenger. Deep seated need for belonging, to do with other people because of her isolation as an orphan and within the cut throat environment of Jakku as a scavenger.  

Ben: Whatever happened to cause him to turn against the new Jedi order Luke was establishing. It has to be more complicated than just him wanting power, there has to have been some kind of betrayal by the systems (social, political, spiritual) that he was brought up in and believed in. Given involvement of his family in the Jedi part, betrayal both by society and his family. Likely to do with Leia finally being outed/attacked by her enemies in Bloodline about who her biological parents were, information which she kept from Ben because of her own issues.

And I saw the first PT movie out of curiosity because I had a neighbor who was here in the States from Poland getting his CS/EE degree and HUGE Star Wars fan. So he got a job with Silicon Graphics, which is the company that did all of the CGI animation. It was so boring that I didn't bother with the next two. But when a couple friends went to go see them and were like "oh it has to do with a love affair," I immediately knew the direction Lucas was going and it sounded like such wasted potential. I figured if anything, it might be that he'd had an affair with a married woman or something strictly to do with political/spiritual ideology with a doomed relationship on the side. So at least with what's been teased in TFA, we all have the impression that they'll go the route of having a story and characters who actually do justice to the two themes, both the romantic and spiritual/political ideologies. Including having Rey being the central player, versus how Padme seemed to be a construct for the LI box, oh we'll make her part of the Senate (honestly she came off like she was in student government, not an astute leader) to tie in to that part, and it'll be about her as the reason why he goes bad. Flat as Hell.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by guardienne on Thu 27 Oct 2016, 11:44 am

@snufkin i think the prequels sort of worked for me watching all of them in one day and seeing the birth of darth vader (my favourite star wars person ahahahahaha) and i guess for a non-native, it isn't quite so grating? i'm not understanding much of the hatred towards 'i don't like sand' for example. they aren't my favourite films, they sort of exist in an abstract level and that's ok with me. i have no abundant love for the old star wars movies either, i feel more like they belong to me in a way that isn't about them as films. i love film but star wars isn't film, you know?

and now star wars is film as well as the other thing that i can't describe and it's confusing but exciting as well.

and i had similarly exciting conversations about the pequels back in the day. so, i guess star wars was about a community of people more than anything. and i'm finding the new way it communalises really interesting. all of it.

anyway, where was i.

yes, i agree with the bonding over being abandoned as children.

i don't think him going to the dark side is a power trip. it's not an ego trip either. it just is so obvious to me and i'm not sure why exactly.

anyway, he's some bits and pieces about leaving a cult.

I still momentarily flinch when I come across someone or something the WBC would disapprove of. Two men kissing on the street, a drag queen – anything that takes me back to what I believed for so long. I still encounter those old feelings and then I have to process it: “That’s what the old me would have felt” – it’s an ongoing process of deep deprogramming.

I see the world in split screen now. I remember feeling like we at WBC were a persecuted minority, triumphant in the face of evil people “worshipping the dead” as we picketed funerals or rejoiced at the destruction of the Twin Towers. But beside that memory is the one where I weep thinking about how callous and unmerciful I was to so many people who’d just lost a son or a daughter. I’m ashamed of that now, and it’s still really difficult to think about the harm I caused. It’s overwhelming sometimes.

Soon I figured out how to live a double life: I had the version of me that fitted in with the community, and then I had my interior life that no one knew about. As soon as I pretended I was going along with it all, things got easier for me. I got married to someone from the sect when I was 17 and had my son. The most difficult thing was the constant lying. By denying who I really was, I was slowly killing myself.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/10/losing-my-religion-life-after-extreme-belief-faith

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/27/ultra-orthodox-judaism-defectors-new-york

Cults try to control all the personal relationships of their members. Eventually (normally over a period of a few years) the member will not have any close friends outside of the cult. Often their entire family will also be in the cult. It takes a huge amount of courage to leave friends and family behind, since members who leave are shunned by the cult. Shunning is when present members are forbidden to talk to or associate with former members, even if they are their own family. Over the years a person spends within a cult, their business might become completely dependent on other cult members, possibly because the cult leadership has told them they are not allowed to have other customers. If they were to leave, both they and their business would be shunned - no more customers.

http://www.cults.co.nz/cultfaq/leave.php
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by snufkin on Thu 27 Oct 2016, 11:49 am

@guardienne - I went into the first movie thinking it'd be like Dune with the complex world building, space politics, and weird religions. That hope was quickly dashed!

Yeah I think they both had those moments which tore their lives apart and left them alone/traumatized/betrayed. For her it happened when she was 5 and for him it happened when he was 23, both to do with their families and sense of security in the universe. And I would really really really be surprised if the story doesn't go the route that both events were ultimately to do with Snoke and the FO. That's my strong impression for what happened to her and her parents - and that part once he's really gotten to know her (and probably fallen for real for her) will play into his finally coming into his own as somebody Snoke should fear as an enemy. It won't be the dumb PT route of "I'm gonna do these bad things because I wanna protect my girlfriend." It'll be wanting to both protect her from Snoke and also knowing that whatever Snoke's been up to and has planned is catastrophic, with the added impetus of knowing intimately (and caring for) somebody whose family and childhood was destroyed by it.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by guardienne on Thu 27 Oct 2016, 12:19 pm

i'm entertaiing myself with the simple rules of the templars:

9. You who renounce your own wills, and you others serving the sovereign king with horses and arms, for the salvation of your souls, for a fixed term, strive everywhere with pure desire to hear matins and the entire service according to canonical law and the customs of the regular masters of the Holy City of Jerusalem. 0 you venerable brothers, similarly God is with you, if you promise to despise the deceitful world in perpetual love of God, and scorn the temptations of your body: sustained by the food of God and watered and instructed in the commandments of Our Lord, at the end of the divine office, none should fear to go into battle if he henceforth wears the tonsure.

12. Where you know excommunicated knights to be gathered, there we command you to go; and if anyone there wishes to join the order of knighthood from regions overseas, you should not consider worldly gain so much as the eternal salvation of his soul. We order him to be received on condition that he come before the bishop of that province and make his intention known to him. And when the bishop has heard and absolved him, he should send him to the Master and brothers of the Temple, and if his life is honest and worthy of their company, if he seems good to the Master and brothers, let him be mercifully received; and if he should die in the meanwhile, through the anguish and torment he has suffered, let him be given all the benefits of the brotherhood due to one of the Poor Knights of the Temple.

13. Under no other circumstances should the brothers of the Temple share the company of an obviously-excommunicated man, nor take his own things; and this we prohibit strongly because it would be a fearful thing if they were excommunicated like him. But if he is only forbidden to hear the divine office, it is certainly possible to keep company with him and take his property for charity with the permission of their commander.

25. Because of the shortage of bowls, the brothers will eat in pairs, so that one may study the other more closely, and so that neither austerity nor secret abstinence is introduced into the communal meal. And it seems just to us that each brother should have the same ration of wine in his cup.

69. If married men ask to be admitted to the fraternity, benefice and devotions of the house, we permit you to receive them on the following conditions: that after their death they leave you a part of their estate and all that they have obtained henceforth. Meanwhile, they should lead honest lives and endeavour to act well towards the brothers. But they should not wear white habits or cloaks; moreover, if the lord should die before his lady, the brothers should take part of his estate and let the lady have the rest to support her during her lifetime; for it does not seem right to us that such confréres should live in a house with brothers who have promised chastity to God.

71. We believe it to be a dangerous thing for any religious to look too much upon the face of woman. For this reason none of you may presume to kiss a woman, be it widow, young girl, mother, sister, aunt or any other; and henceforth the Knighthood of Jesus Christ should avoid at all costs the embraces of women, by which men have perished many times, so that they may remain eternally before the face of God with a pure conscience and sure life.

http://www.templiers.org/regle1-eng.php
(also great because the web site turns the cursor into the templar's cross and a longsword and i feel that this feature is enough to make me want to visit again)
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by Sacrebleu on Thu 27 Oct 2016, 4:15 pm

@guardienne wrote:ahhh i like that a lot. i feel like the interpretation seems to be that it's a renunciation of anything dark, which i would find weird.

if you think of 'the light' as rey, or as sex per se, say, in a plain fashion you could say that it's ok to be sexual, it's human, in an everything in moderation kind of way. but i guess the 'return' implies to me a rejection of what he's doing now. i think that's what i'm getting confused with.

Did she drain his powers, did she borrow his knowledge, did he not really want to win that duel, did he just run out of gas due to his injury catching up to him, or some combination thereof?  Beats me!  I hope Episode VIII can explain all of this without spending two hours explaining all of this, if you know what I mean.
i don't think we'll ever know for sure. that said, i feel there is a distinct drop in his powers after he kills han seeing as he can't stop the bolt from chewie's weapon - there's a reason this scene runs as a mirror to the beginning. he's suddenly become very vulnerable.

and then he 'can't get it up' to grab anakin's sabre. and then he seems to be doing ok in the duel, pretty much dominating it until he reminds her of the force, and then he really struggles. so it looks like this is very much related, there is a power exchange of some kind going on. she is suddenly dominating and she is the one pursuing him. i don't think it's played for looking like he's simply too injured. but anyway, just my opinion.
@guardienne

I think he's already rejecting what he's doing now?  It seems that either extreme, Jedi or KOR, hasn't been what he needs.  So maybe the next step is rejecting extremes.  Sex is one facet of the Light, but I think I agree with the meta writer who said that the Light represents love to Kylo.  Love in all its forms, familial as well as romantic.  Snoke certainly doesn't strike me as the warm and affectionate type.

I wasn't sure if he didn't stop Chewie's blaster bolt because he had lost some of his powers or because he was distracted by just having murdered Han.  Similarly, I thought he might be running on adrenalin in the early stages of his duel with Finn and Rey and then shock and blood loss, etc., finally caught up to him.  The fact that he could stand up, walk, and fight with that injury I thought was a demonstration of his incredible power?  But your idea certainly makes sense.  When the tide turns in his duel with Rey and she starts beating him, he doesn't look anything like the fighter he did just seconds prior.

@snufkin

I wasn't a fan of the motivation for Anakin's transformation to Darth Vader, namely that he was just trying to prevent Padme's death.  I personally would have found their story much more compelling if they loved each other but were torn apart by their genuine ideological differences.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by guardienne on Fri 28 Oct 2016, 2:53 am

@snufkin i like two things that you are doing.

you are taking the dark side to be equivalent in their rigidity to the old jedi order.

the other thing that occurred to me was that all the signs we are seeing how of being shunned from his old community make it look like he already left a cult. Evil

@sacrebleu

i don't have the script, but it pretty much states that in the script actually. at least re:killing han. he expects to gain power from it, (this sounds rather reductive to me but i've generously interpreted that to mean that he thought he would be more at peace afterwards), and the opposite happens. and when you see it like this, the movie is pretty obvious at this single point, someone who in the superficially same situation was totally in control now has none of it.

the duel is a different beast. but i think it's obvious there is some kind of exchange between them, no necessarily voluntarily, that enables her. and it's in the interrogation as well, something that should send him flying into a rage instead makes him leave the room. she renders him different, shall we say Wink
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by Sacrebleu on Fri 28 Oct 2016, 4:25 pm

@guardienne wrote:@sacrebleu

i don't have the script, but it pretty much states that in the script actually. at least re:killing han. he expects to gain power from it, (this sounds rather reductive to me but i've generously interpreted that to mean that he thought he would be more at peace afterwards), and the opposite happens. and when you see it like this, the movie is pretty obvious at this single point, someone who in the superficially same situation was totally in control now has none of it.

the duel is a different beast. but i think it's obvious there is some kind of exchange between them, no necessarily voluntarily, that enables her. and it's in the interrogation as well, something that should send him flying into a rage instead makes him leave the room. she renders him different, shall we say Wink
@guardienne

Killing Han seemed rather like a last ditch effort.  No wonder he went to pieces when it didn't work.  He really was at the end of his rope.

What do you think Snoke intended to do with Rey if Kylo had succeeded in bringing her to him?  Then again, Kylo didn't say on the cliff, "Snoke can show you the ways of the Force!"  Maybe Kylo had something else in mind by that time.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by snufkin on Fri 28 Oct 2016, 6:51 pm

@guardienne wrote:@snufkin i like two things that you are doing.

you are taking the dark side to be equivalent in their rigidity to the old jedi order.

the other thing that occurred to me was that all the signs we are seeing how of being shunned from his old community make it look like he already left a cult.  :mwaha:

@guardienne

I tend to think that people who give up very Conservative and rigid belief systems, especially when it comes to religion, end up embracing new belief systems which are equally as Conservative and rigid. Just in different ways and which frequently appear to give them more freedom. Seen it a couple of times in real life with people raised in very strict religious families ending up situations where they think that they're finally free, but turn out to be equally as trapped. So it may be the whatever Luke was up to in creating a "New Order" (which could be more than just training students, but a religion with belief systems and followers) was possibly rigid and dogmatic. Certainly if it's emphasizes the Light Side over the Dark Side with the two being equated with standards of morality, that's not going to work for somebody described as embodying an equal amount of each side of the Force. With Luke he has to deny the Darkside of himself and with Snoke he has to deny the Light Side of himself. Either way he has to repress part of himself and feel guilty for not being 100% "pure."

@Sacrebleu wrote:@snufkin

I wasn't a fan of the motivation for Anakin's transformation to Darth Vader, namely that he was just trying to prevent Padme's death.  I personally would have found their story much more compelling if they loved each other but were torn apart by their genuine ideological differences.

@Sacrebleu

I had expected that it would be more complicated/ideological. But even with the "written for children" explanation, it was still pretty shallow and unconvincing. Especially because it just came off like a bad marriage where the partners were too immature/had bad communication with each other and that's where the problem was. She overlooked her doubts until it was too late because she was in love with the idea of being married and having a family and he went ahead and did what he thought was "right" for her without actually taking into consideration her thoughts/feelings. Not that there's any sensible outcome to a discussion about the ethics of murdering your boss and children because you think it'll protect your wife from dying in childbirth (does anybody ever talk about the fact that he doesn't even seem to register that his wife is pregnant as a pretext for murdering kids?). His justification of doing it to "save" his wife was a pretext for going after what he wanted - selfish and hubristic. Hopefully what they have planned for the ST is a relationship where the characters can more honestly call each other out and act in ways which were are more about selfless love. At least that seems to be the overall character arc for Han, going from selfish to selfless.

Anyways, I think that whatever's in store for these two characters, it'll be more thoughtful, complex, definitely better written, and more plausible. If they'd done the PT with these two actors and the screenwriters for the ST, it would be more moving and authentic (and tragic) for sure.  My guess is that also the LI storyline for Finn's character will probably harken back more closely to the screwball comedy type of romance Han and Leia had.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by guardienne on Sat 29 Oct 2016, 3:08 am

@snufkin one of the things i found about leaving cults was that they warned people not to join another church too soon. it makes it all sound like the fault is with the person, which i guess makes sense in a way. i'm pathologically not a joiner-inner so i'm not sure i can really comment.

i took padme and anakin's marriage and their lack of communication to be part of the point. like, i thought that they got married out of a false sense of needing a family but they hadn't figured out any of this and based their image of the other on a lot of projection. and i quite like that. i mean, not when people do that, but i'm not sure it's a flaw of the movie per se.

you are right about there not being a sensible discussion to be had about wiping out the jedi order as a means to save wife from dying. i guess, the story conflates the wife-saving with palpatine's motives so it becomes about that. i quite like that as well. but i thought the whole wanting to save her was a really abstract thing. not the wanting maybe, but thinking how she would have been in peril in the first place? it seemed like major anxiety to me rather than any real concern, but it also seemed to tie in with the secrecy and the lack of experience in relationships.

@sacrebleu

What do you think Snoke intended to do with Rey if Kylo had succeeded in bringing her to him?
well everyone seems to think that snoke will want to turn her to the dark side and such. if he is intent on wiping out the jedi order, he'll want to meet this new force user and see, right?

i find it so interesting that rey discovers her force sensitivity in a pretty unacademic manner. so i wonder how she would have fared with snoke? she's pretty savage.

but anyway it seems snoke's curiosity is piqued because she resisted his prettiest inquisitor XD


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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by Sacrebleu on Sat 29 Oct 2016, 3:10 am

@snufkin

That reminds me of a conversation I had the other day, where I think I said that some people abandon one god only to embrace another, or worship an ideology as they would a god.

I also thought that the explanation for Vader's fall was a sort of lame attempt to absolve him of its responsibility, and therefore blunted the dramatic impact.  Palpatine manipulated him and he did it to save the lives of his wife and child, so Anakin was just a helpless victim.  That didn't square with the Vader shown in the OT.  If Padme and the child were his sole motivation, he probably would have just killed himself when he believed them to be dead, and at his hand no less.

@guardienne

I read somewhere that in the original script/film, the conversation between Kylo and Snoke regarding Rey included Snoke telling Kylo that he has compassion for Rey, that he's weak, and a lesson or demonstration is in order.  So I wondered if possibly Snoke intended to make Kylo kill Rey when he brought her to him.  And if Kylo offering to be her teacher was another spurt of disobedience on his part.  But that's all total speculation.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by snufkin on Sat 29 Oct 2016, 2:22 pm

@Sacrebleu wrote:@snufkin

That reminds me of a conversation I had the other day, where I think I said that some people abandon one god only to embrace another, or worship an ideology as they would a god.

I also thought that the explanation for Vader's fall was a sort of lame attempt to absolve him of its responsibility, and therefore blunted the dramatic impact.  Palpatine manipulated him and he did it to save the lives of his wife and child, so Anakin was just a helpless victim.  That didn't square with the Vader shown in the OT.  If Padme and the child were his sole motivation, he probably would have just killed himself when he believed them to be dead, and at his hand no less.


@Sacrebleu

All credit for Vader as an icon goes to James Earl Jones' voicework. He's the one who made the character. You're right about the manipulation and helpless victim part. Which is why many have guessed that when they show what happened to Ben, he had some agency in it. Even if it's a misguided belief or switching from one rigid belief system to another as both you and @guardienne pointed out about the danger of those type of conversions. I'd be curious how much of a potential revolt against Snoke will be in part b/c of him as a threat to Rey. Except that unlike the self fulfilling prophecy via emotional manipulation, it'll be a more real and direct threat.

Kylo Ren and What is Stopping him From Becoming Vader.

I have little doubt Snoke is trying to create a new Vader, and has probably done his research on Anakin Skywalker, may it be from documentation left in the archives of empire, or visions in the force. I have a feeling the Galaxy is one giant chess game for Snoke and he know’s every players move. He’s knows the recipe to create Darth Vader. He knows just what pieces need to fall in order to create the perfect apprentice.

We cannot deny Ren’s conflicted feelings for Rey, where they are rooted we don’t know, but from the parallels between Poe and Finn, it is quite clear Ren approaches Rey much differently.

We know by the end of The Force Awakens, it’s time to complete his training. We know that Episode VIII takes place the second VII left off, we know Kylo makes it to Ach-to. Is eliminating Rey that training?

This is the step that cannot be completed, though it could be easily accomplished, and no doubt will be attempted in the future. Something will be different in this lifetime. There is enough ‘Ben’ left where there was not enough ‘Anakin’.

But there will be something different between the infatuations, and that is something Snoke will not expect. Given what we know of Kylo’s character, I believe we will see his emotions develop passed “awestruck” to true compassion and understanding. Anakin was in love with the idea of Padme, he had made a fake world for them, and when she broke that illusion, she had to go away with it.

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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by guardienne on Tue 01 Nov 2016, 2:08 pm

@sacrebleu

i think the dark side and the light side could one way or another represent ideology, or dogma, but the force is not its own ideology. these people have a real connection to the force. the force is real, they aren't struggling with the doubt over whether it exists. they only struggle with the ideas around it. i don't know if that makes an actual difference, at the moment to me it does, i guess i'm interested in how much ideology keeps you rooted to certain practices and clouds but also reinforces your connection to the divine.

it could be that snoke wants rey killed but it would seem very... well, she is still un-subscribed to any ideology, isn't she? i guess if he wanted to wipe out all the jedi and/or convert them to the dark side. yeah. it's possible. we really don't know what snoke's plans are.

the line about compassion is from the novelisation as well. i wonder if snoke might want to eliminate her as a 'weakness' because she's a woman or because she's 'strong with the force'.

@snufkin

i'm not getting the impression that a lot of people are interested in discussing ben's agency. (i've mostly seen his choice discussed with regard to killing han and basically that being a nail in the coffin of redemption because it cannot be erased. which i find really... strange? like, the dark side was his choice, out of some egotistical drive and now he's finding out it's not all it's cracked up to be, and basically he's mad. and i wouldn't say he's *not* an extremist, but extremists often have a point, i guess. either way, it's never discussed as a positive choice)  and i've done the same that i've basically assumed that 'snoke was there from the beginning' meant there'd been no choice. which makes the story tricky and not very impressive to me. and now that i'm thinking, if there was choice, that makes it much richer because what if your choice, was based on incomplete facts (which most of them are) and on a false premise and also, on reasons that have to do with your own sense of destiny?

i think kylo is burdened with legacy but also, very likely, with something he has decided only he can do (i don't know if that's narcissistic or what) and which is nebulous.

bear in mind that the prophecy of the chosen one who will bring balance is never discussed with anakin. this is strange to me. i'd expect that they would either give their chosen one exalted status and allow them o do whatever they want ont he grounds of their specialness, or that there would be some kind of general collective meditation on this. because the meaning of balance is never once discussed. they instead mention it like a fixed idea, it's an object, which isn't a spiritual category at all.

so, what i mean is that if ben feels spiritual purpose, he might still not know what that purpose is. in the same way that all visions are clear and diffuse at the same time because you don't know what you're seeing. and that knowledge only unfolds as he carries on making choices. think neo in the matrix.

Neo: But if you already know, how can I make a choice?
The Oracle: Because you didn't come here to make the choice, you've already made it. You're here to try to understand *why* you made it. I thought you'd have figured that out by now.

i'm fascinated with that quote because it and the films themselves imply a relationship between visions and choices. and i wonder if that can be applied to rey's vision as well. she is really frightened of it and she only partially understands, just like the viewer, what is going on at all. i wonder if the visions going forward with the story will come to her less unbidden and overwhelming but instead as something that she feels she can be more in control of.

maybe i'll be bothered and write more about visions, which i think i've already done elsewhere on this board.

what do you guys make of jj's commentary for kylo:

But the question of why he wears the mask was answered in his insecurity. That he was involved with the Knights of Ren, which we have a whole backstory for. But the idea that he was using that mask for intimidation, that he, like many terrorists, is a coward, and he’s someone who’s hiding, who’s trying to scare you.

so, um, he's a terrorist?
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by ZioRen on Tue 01 Nov 2016, 2:34 pm

@guardienne wrote:
what do you guys make of jj's commentary for kylo:

But the question of why he wears the mask was answered in his insecurity. That he was involved with the Knights of Ren, which we have a whole backstory for. But the idea that he was using that mask for intimidation, that he, like many terrorists, is a coward, and he’s someone who’s hiding, who’s trying to scare you.

so, um, he's a terrorist?
@guardienne
I mean, I suppose you can call the entirety of the First Order terrorists. It doesn't seem as if Kylo himself just goes after people for no reason other than to strike fear in others' hearts, though, so that's an odd term for him. He actually seemed pretty against indiscriminately killing a whole bunch of random people with Starkiller. Whatever his goal is, he seems to mostly work towards that and not an abstract. He deals with people he perceives as in his way or aiding someone in being in his way, in the case of Lor San Tekka's people.

Not saying he's "not as bad" as a terrorist or anything like that. I just don't think it's quite the right word for him.
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