Ben's Childhood

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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by IoJovi on Mon 12 Sep - 0:58

@ZioRen wrote:@panki

Fair enough. I just don't see it happening quite that way. I don't think the massacre happened so recently, nor Luke's subsequent disappearance. Not from the way everyone was talking about it.
@ZioRen

Agreed. If it did happen that way, there would have been a lot going on in a very short time period.
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by ZioRen on Mon 12 Sep - 1:12

@panki wrote:
@ZioRen wrote:@panki

Fair enough. I just don't see it happening quite that way. I don't see the massacre happening so recently, nor Luke's subsequent disappearance. Not from the way everyone was talking about it.
@ZioRen

I understand you might have a different view.... all I am trying to do is give a possible scenario based on the books I read and the clues we have got so far.... I could always be wrong...but at least for now, my scenario is a plausible one.
@panki

Sure! This is just some healthy debate about possibilities. Smile
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by panki on Mon 12 Sep - 1:29

@ZioRen

I definitely like a healthy debate.... but on the subject of how many events can be fitted in a short space of time, we should remember that the events between Episode II and III (including 2 movies, 6 seasons worth of TCW, one animated movie, one novel and two comic book series) occurred in the span of only 3 years.

That being said, we'll only know what really happened when episode 8 is released...so till then we can only keep guessing. Smile

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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by motherofpearl1 on Mon 12 Sep - 7:22

Whatever happened at the Temple - the Padawans were armed. Which means it was more than likely a fight rather than a slaughter re. RoTS.

But something really bad happened to Ben Solo, because why else would Rey go from seeing him as a monster to refusing to kill him. And if Luke does blow up the hut - just what is he so concerned about Kylo telling Rey?
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by ReyofLightSide on Tue 13 Sep - 2:33

@motherofpearl1 wrote:Whatever happened at the Temple - the Padawans were armed. Which means it was more than likely a fight rather than a slaughter re. RoTS.

But something really bad happened to Ben Solo, because why else would Rey go from seeing him as a monster to refusing to kill him. And if Luke does blow up the hut - just what is he so concerned about Kylo telling Rey?
@motherofpearl1

Yes, it's going to have to be significant enough to change her mind and also to give the audience pause and show how complex Kylo really is.
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by guardienne on Tue 13 Sep - 9:25

@snufkin wrote:
@ISeeAnIsland wrote:
@snufkin wrote:
@panki wrote:@ZioRen

Ben might have been captured during one of the early missions of the resistance (Poe literally goes from one mission to the next with barely any break), hence the need to leave him behind and keep the resistance's involvement a secret....that would still allow at least 4-5 years for Kylo to be a prisoner of the FO, turn to the dark side and return for the temple burning incident. (The events of TFA occurred over 2 days.....4-5 years is a lifetime in the SW universe)
@panki

They've already said that what happened is not that he was a Bad Seed, that he had a target on his back. Something has to have occurred both with the Jedi and the New Republic that shook his faith in those systems that was bad enough for him to feel (other quote) that following Snoke and the FO is the right thing to do. The family dysfunction is at the heart of it, but there has to have been something that felt like a complete betrayal, both on a personal and political/spiritual level. And that betrayal in turn would be enough to gain Rey's sympathy and shake the audience mindset that Jedi/NR are without blame in what has occurred (and in turn that she has reason to be sympathetic towards him).
@snufkin

Right. The bolded is why I'm fairly sure that there had to have been a concrete incident where Ben was betrayed/abandoned by his family. The already-existing dysfunction and possibly getting sent off to Luke would have laid the groundwork for Ben to react the way he did, but I think there was more to the story than Han and Leia not being around enough.

Rey had a concrete incident of abandonment, when she was left on Jakku. I expect Ben/Kylo to have experienced something of a similar magnitude that will mirror Rey's abandonment in some way.
@ISeeAnIsland

Yeah that's why my guess is that whatever guilty secret or darkness Luke is harboring has to be tied to whatever happened to Ben. They're family and he was entrusted to look after/guide his sister's only child. So the betrayal has to be personal, more than just Mom & Dad neglected him or that he was a spoiled brat who wanted power. It could even be scenario where Snoke was the only safe place for him to go.

Rey's started to finally admit that she spent all her life waiting in vain and "we'll come back for you" may have been empty words. Maz forced that to happen. So if she's not stuck on a remote island planet with only two other people, she can't outrun that realization anymore. It's going to hit her. And she'll know better than anybody else the emotions he went through.
@snufkin

i think it's significant that nothing has seemingly happened to him, no one has suspected anything about him in any way... other than he needed to be with luke because 'too much vader'.

but otherwise he was loved. he was seen as a good person.

so, the betrayal must have happened absolutely whilst he was with luke. and it must involve luke significantly for luke to be disappearing like this.

in achilles' story in the iliad, achilles is a good person, someone who cares about his troops, someone who is responsible. first he is betrayed by agamemnon when agamemnon denies him his prize of honour (briseis), then he loses his best friend patroclos. both of these combined mean his focus becomes very narrowed and he goes on a killing rampage and loses his humanity.

i don't think ben's backstory is the iliad word for word at all, but the idea that he nothing but a good person is what brings on the tragedy. and to think that snoke must have presented the better option, means the betrayal would have had to be significant.
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by motherofpearl1 on Tue 13 Sep - 12:41

I wonder if Ben was abducted and Luke was the one who assumed he'd 'gone dark' - he convinced his parents who thought he'd willingly gone to Snoke.
I keep having this (probably wrong) image of Ben firmly convinced his dad is going to come for him, Snoke telling him he isn't and ultimately he becomes a Knight of Ren on realising that no one is going to rescue him.

If something like this happened then it accounts for Ren's obsessive fixation with Rey - who he sees as another version of himself.
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by guardienne on Tue 13 Sep - 13:07

i don't think it's likely he was abducted and simply believed no one would come for him... part of me is fond of the radicalisation in isolation story. but part of me doesn't think it makes for a very interesting story.

the thing about anakin's flal that i really liked was that what he did was both right and wrong. his loyalty is intensely personal so seeing palpatine imperilled by mace windu was probably a fairly easy choice and given his personal worries as well. and i could see where he was coming from. and so i'd like something written for ben that makes it clear that his choice was inevitable from his pov but also something he was manoeuvered into.
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by Sacrebleu on Tue 13 Sep - 15:43

I see Kylo more as someone who has experienced profound disillusionment than as someone who was abducted and tortured into compliance. Manipulated certainly but not out and out Stockholm Syndrome/brainwashing. I just find the character more interesting and the stakes much higher if he is the author of his own choices.
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by motherofpearl1 on Tue 13 Sep - 16:38

I'm just desperate to see how much makeup Adam is wearing... Surprised
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by snufkin on Tue 13 Sep - 19:07

@guardienne wrote:
@snufkin

i think it's significant that nothing has seemingly happened to him, no one has suspected anything about him in any way... other than he needed to be with luke because 'too much vader'.

but otherwise he was loved. he was seen as a good person.

so, the betrayal must have happened absolutely whilst he was with luke. and it must involve luke significantly for luke to be disappearing like this.

in achilles' story in the iliad, achilles is a good person, someone who cares about his troops, someone who is responsible. first he is betrayed by agamemnon when agamemnon denies him his prize of honour (briseis), then he loses his best friend patroclos. both of these combined mean his focus becomes very narrowed and he goes on a killing rampage and loses his humanity.

i don't think ben's backstory is the iliad word for word at all, but the idea that he nothing but a good person is what brings on the tragedy. and to think that snoke must have presented the better option, means the betrayal would have had to be significant.

@guardienne

I like that parallel to Illiad! Mostly my guess is that just like how she hopefully (and possibly) blindly held on to the "they're coming back for me" belief, he was probably a good hearted kid who tried to do what he thought the adults in his family wanted. Although maybe with a touch more resentment than her because the neglect (Carrie Fisher's own joke!) was more evident. But something had to have happened which not only shook his faith in all of the systems (family, religion, and political society) that his life had been based on, but enough to make him defect and actively fight against them. Some of that may turn out to be manipulation by Snoke. But something happened to break him. And given how Luke disappeared, felt guilty, and seems pretty damn upset when Rey shows up, who's to say he didn't let down his nephew/only blood relative's only child?

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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by guardienne on Tue 13 Sep - 19:26

@snufkin i think we have so far had very little indication that he wasn't a good kid, yes. i think at the moment snoke having manipulated him pretty much forever and also leia kinda knowing and han suspecting something but finding it easier to distance himself...

well, i don't know the answers either.

because he must have been older when he turned to snoke, and snoke probably being known to him and his family, i suspect that his motivation was more adult... and i totally think luke let him down. i just do wonder how much you can deconstruct luke as a character because he seems kind and patient and stuff. i do think not being able to talk about vader must have been difficult once he senses what his nephew is capable of?

@sacrebleu i would like the radicalisation narrative but i think it's too extreme for star wars. and i'd like the idea of kylo walking to snoke because snoke has something he genuinely wants (that may have to do with vader, innit) and also because snoke seems like the genuinely better alternative ... and i don't think that's because snoke tells him lies. i think he is telling him a truth as well. i think even though the dark side is a lot of effort for kylo to keep up as an evil persona, he wants this. and in a twisted catholic way he probably thinks the more effort it costs him, the better.
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by snufkin on Tue 13 Sep - 19:33

@guardienne wrote:@snufkin i think we have so far had very little indication that he wasn't a good kid, yes. i think at the moment snoke having manipulated him pretty much forever and also leia kinda knowing and han suspecting something but finding it easier to distance himself...

well, i don't know the answers either.

because he must have been older when he turned to snoke, and snoke probably being known to him and his family, i suspect that his motivation was more adult... and i totally think luke let him down. i just do wonder how much you can deconstruct luke as a character because he seems kind and patient and stuff. i do think not being able to talk about vader must have been difficult once he senses what his nephew is capable of?

@guardienne

I'm really curious both about what happened with Luke and also how all of the OT purist fans who think Luke is the best (he was my least favorite character) are going to react to whatever the story is. But I think that has to be part of why he's in exile, because he screwed up in a major way.

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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by Jakku on Tue 13 Sep - 20:11

@snufkin wrote:
@guardienne wrote:@snufkin i think we have so far had very little indication that he wasn't a good kid, yes. i think at the moment snoke having manipulated him pretty much forever and also leia kinda knowing and han suspecting something but finding it easier to distance himself...

well, i don't know the answers either.

because he must have been older when he turned to snoke, and snoke probably being known to him and his family, i suspect that his motivation was more adult... and i totally think luke let him down. i just do wonder how much you can deconstruct luke as a character because he seems kind and patient and stuff. i do think not being able to talk about vader must have been difficult once he senses what his nephew is capable of?

@guardienne

I'm really curious both about what happened with Luke and also how all of the OT purist fans who think Luke is the best (he was my least favorite character) are going to react to whatever the story is. But I think that has to be part of why he's in exile, because he screwed up in a major way.

Oooh, I'm glad someone else thinks that too! Luke drove me mad being whiny and petulant for two movies, then became sanctimonious in the third. I much preferred Han and Leia.


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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by Sacrebleu on Wed 14 Sep - 12:24

@guardienne wrote:@snufkin i think we have so far had very little indication that he wasn't a good kid, yes. i think at the moment snoke having manipulated him pretty much forever and also leia kinda knowing and han suspecting something but finding it easier to distance himself...

well, i don't know the answers either.

because he must have been older when he turned to snoke, and snoke probably being known to him and his family, i suspect that his motivation was more adult... and i totally think luke let him down. i just do wonder how much you can deconstruct luke as a character because he seems kind and patient and stuff. i do think not being able to talk about vader must have been difficult once he senses what his nephew is capable of?

@sacrebleu i would like the radicalisation narrative but i think it's too extreme for star wars. and i'd like the idea of kylo walking to snoke because snoke has something he genuinely wants (that may have to do with vader, innit) and also because snoke seems like the genuinely better alternative ... and i don't think that's because snoke tells him lies. i think he is telling him a truth as well. i think even though the dark side is a lot of effort for kylo to keep up as an evil persona, he wants this. and in a twisted catholic way he probably thinks the more effort it costs him, the better.
@guardienne

My sense is that this part ideological and larger part family dynamics.  In a way TFA was hampered by the ending of ROTJ.  I didn't care much for ROTJ and think it would have been better to have a more ambiguous, bittersweet ending than the happily-ever-after they decided on.  I mean, there has been enormous tragedy in that family.  You can't just toss all that into the abyss along with Palpatine's body.  The effects on the family will linger, probably for generations.

You know, I've thought before that Kylo's clothing resembles a monsignor's robes.  Including that wide belt I kept saying I didn't like.  Hmmm..... Confus
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by guardienne on Wed 14 Sep - 12:56

@sacrebleu - it's been done Wink



i agree it will be two-fold. if you think about luke and he might have come away from this half-story of his father's fall and rise and such, it's an immense thing to process. and he is being lied to along the way as well by his mentors. so, how does he orient himself? and what does it mean to set up a new jedi order by yourself if your knowledge is so patchy?
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by Sacrebleu on Wed 14 Sep - 13:04

@guardienne wrote:@sacrebleu - it's been done Wink



i agree it will be two-fold. if you think about luke and he might have come away from this half-story of his father's fall and rise and such, it's an immense thing to process. and he is being lied to along the way as well by his mentors. so, how does he orient himself? and what does it mean to set up a new jedi order by yourself if your knowledge is so patchy?
@guardienne

I get there eventually (costume analysis).  It just takes me a while.  Things dawn on me slowly.

I didn't like ROTJ's script and I didn't think it was a good film, but one of my favorite lines in it was when Luke told Leia, "I have no memory of my mother.  I never knew her."  It's unreasonable to think Luke skipped merrily off into the sunset when he left Endor, or that Leia did after having the bombshell of her parentage dropped on her.  I can't for the life of me imagine why these events deeply affecting them and rippling through the rest of their lives would destroy their characters.  I don't believe heroism strips one of his or her humanity.  Naturally they would carry that baggage into their relationships, especially their relationships with Ben as master and mother respectively.  That doesn't make Luke and Leia weak or bad or less heroic.
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by guardienne on Wed 14 Sep - 13:20

@sacrebleu

one of the things that jonathan shay is adamant about is that good upbringing and morals don't mean you will remain unshakable for the rest of your life. our characters can still become corrupted. i find this so interesting. however, i don't think leia as she is has portrayed in TFA has become a corrupt version of herself, even if she denied her heritage. i remember @solosidecousin thinking that there were hints of PTSD in her in bloodline.
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by snufkin on Wed 14 Sep - 17:42

@Sacrebleu wrote:
@guardienne wrote:@snufkin i think we have so far had very little indication that he wasn't a good kid, yes. i think at the moment snoke having manipulated him pretty much forever and also leia kinda knowing and han suspecting something but finding it easier to distance himself...

well, i don't know the answers either.

because he must have been older when he turned to snoke, and snoke probably being known to him and his family, i suspect that his motivation was more adult... and i totally think luke let him down. i just do wonder how much you can deconstruct luke as a character because he seems kind and patient and stuff. i do think not being able to talk about vader must have been difficult once he senses what his nephew is capable of?

@sacrebleu i would like the radicalisation narrative but i think it's too extreme for star wars. and i'd like the idea of kylo walking to snoke because snoke has something he genuinely wants (that may have to do with vader, innit) and also because snoke seems like the genuinely better alternative ... and i don't think that's because snoke tells him lies. i think he is telling him a truth as well. i think even though the dark side is a lot of effort for kylo to keep up as an evil persona, he wants this. and in a twisted catholic way he probably thinks the more effort it costs him, the better.
@guardienne

My sense is that this part ideological and larger part family dynamics.  In a way TFA was hampered by the ending of ROTJ.  I didn't care much for ROTJ and think it would have been better to have a more ambiguous, bittersweet ending than the happily-ever-after they decided on.  I mean, there has been enormous tragedy in that family.  You can't just toss all that into the abyss along with Palpatine's body.  The effects on the family will linger, probably for generations.

You know, I've thought before that Kylo's clothing resembles a monsignor's robes.  Including that wide belt I kept saying I didn't like.  Hmmm..... Confus

@Sacrebleu

Lawrence Kasdan fought (and lost) with George Lucas to make the ending of RotJ more bittersweet, including having Han and Lando die in combat, Luke ending up like a Ronin samurai after everything that he witnessed about his father and the DS, and Leia alone and pregnant, having to lead a galaxy in chaos after the collapse of the Empire. There was a 2010 LA Times article with the original producer, Gary Kurtz, where he discussed this and how Lucas (partially because of merchandising and issues in his personal life) wanted to wrap things up with a happy ending.

But like you say, it's not realistic and one of the things TFA tries to do (which in part has some OT fans screaming bloody murder) is to reset things back to that vision for the original characters. Han sacrifices himself and dies, Leia's struggling to lead things in the middle of galactic chaos, and Luke's wandered off to God Knows Where because he's gone a little mental after everything he's been through.

The part about tragedy really struck me when I finally got around to reading Bloodline a couple of weeks ago. Leia is my favorite (and the most important from the OT) character but a lot of her behavior very much seemed like somebody very deeply in denial for a very long time. Both about coming to terms with the "truth that is her family," that is her biological family. And also that things are totally okay that she's packed off her only kid to be her brother's responsibility and meanwhile surrounds herself with a surrogate family of people his age. Everytime they had an internal dialogue for her where she looks at one of those characters and is reminded/thinks warmly of her son, it's like the same amount of thought you'd give to the pet you left at home. After awhile it was like, where the Hell is your kid and why is he not here with you?! She seems very much like the WASP mom who thinks that if you just don't talk about something, then it'll go away. Which ends up biting her on the a** and you suspect, forms part of what pushed Ben's fall.

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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by motherofpearl1 on Wed 14 Sep - 17:57

At the end of the day, he strikes me as starved, both of love and understanding. Yes, they loved him - but they didn't really show it and he was the type who'd need a lot of love, I think. The deleted scene where he visited the Falcon broke my heart, because I could see this man's desperate craving for his family, a craving he tried to hide behind his bitterness.
I think that's what he sees in Rey, someone who's been abandoned. Rey has Finn - but what will happen if he falls for Kelly's character?
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by guardienne on Thu 15 Sep - 9:23

from reading about intergenerational trauma, unprocessed trauma can take many forms in the next generation. it's interesting to translate this into star wars as a concept. would ben have been able to feel the unprocessed trauma in his parents? would he have felt the potential resentment they felt towards the force? the fear?

anyway, here's the quotes from jonathan shay 'achilles in vietnam'... it's especially interesting because he draws a parallel between army and family.



themis is what shay translates as 'what's right' - he pretty much spends the book talking about this so i feel like i can't sum this up easily. i think one reason i love him as a writer so much is that he isn't afraid of bringing morals into his discussion. essentially, eeven though we go to war, there are rules and they can be violated by the leadership, by the enemy, and these things still count.

themis on wikipedia

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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by snufkin on Thu 15 Sep - 19:34

@guardienne wrote:from reading about intergenerational trauma, unprocessed trauma can take many forms in the next generation. it's interesting to translate this into star wars as a concept. would ben have been able to feel the unprocessed trauma in his parents? would he have felt the potential resentment they felt towards the force? the fear?

anyway, here's the quotes from jonathan shay 'achilles in vietnam'... it's especially interesting because he draws a parallel between army and family.



themis is what shay translates as 'what's right' - he pretty much spends the book talking about this so i feel like i can't sum this up easily. i think one reason i love him as a writer so much is that he isn't afraid of bringing morals into his discussion. essentially, eeven though we go to war, there are rules and they can be violated by the leadership, by the enemy, and these things still count.

themis on wikipedia

@guardienne

You might enjoy reading this, account from an American soldier, child of American-Vietnamese marriage, coming to terms with his role in Afghanistan and re-integrating himself into society and the experience into his identity

I Trained to Fight The Enemy An interview with former US Army Captain Drew Pham







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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by BastilaBey on Thu 15 Sep - 20:00

A few weeks ago, someone reblogged a post of mine on tumblr with some very interesting additions. You have to scroll down quite a way, but here is an extract

I have a friend who works in worldwide humanitarian aid and who, among other things, did social reintegration work with former child soldiers. The first thing she said after seeing The Force Awakens, was that she was now baffled as to why she kept seeing Kylo Ren reduced on Tumblr to the bad punchline of overused, idiotic ‘emo teenager’ jokes or the subject of vitriolic rants against white men, when he hit every single marker of childhood abuse and grooming from an early age to be a weapon for a cause.  
Notes:
LRA - The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), also known as the Lord’s Resistance Movement, is a rebel group and cult which has operated in northern Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It has been accused of widespread human rights violations, including murder, abduction, mutilation, child-sex slavery, and forcing children to participate in hostilities.(source)

Person a: finally watched star wars. Confused a bit. Wasn’t kylo ren supposed to be a whiny crybaby? Why is he instead a brainwashed child soldier?

I mean I saw him and Finn as remarkably similar, the whole thing is an LRA allergory and I was just Neutral the whole –

“only ppl who haven’t done anything wrong are worthy of living” and I was just – dude, actual child soldiers exist in actual – reality, what the hell.

One of the main issues with the LRA’s – and also Boko Haram – abduction of children is that their communities won’t accept them back bc they know they’ve killed. Reuniting child soldiers – whether they’re still kids or if they’re grown with their families is such a difficult thing bc although the families want them back, they want their child back, not a solider.

Person b: - to some extent pushed by trauma and abuse to do the things they did. In Kylo’s case, I think you’re right, and he’s very similar to Finn, to the point you could argue it was FINN who caused Kylo’s breakdown to start, bc he saw this brainwashed kid fight back against his conditioning and started wondering, again, whether he was doing the right thing or not himself. That ‘traitor!’ he yelled at him wasn’t exactly the most impersonal of things. Plus, there is A LOT of clues about Kylo’s past, and the fact that Snoke had already started ‘grooming’ him when he was a child. It’s literally canon.


Full post here: http://bastila-bae.tumblr.com/post/150074806060/sacrificial-boy-a-study-of-kylo-ren-the-puer
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by guardienne on Thu 15 Sep - 20:57

@snufkin thanks so much for sharing. i love this on a graphic novel level already.. have you ever read joe sacco? he's done some graphic novel reporting thing as well.

@bastilabey i remember the initial spat! within this discussion i would like to question why the jedi train children so early in the use of weapons. this always seemed fishy to me. not practice sabres, actual light sabres. why was this important? was this part of what luke did? train an army of new jedi? and for what purpose?

i'm not sure i buy kylo ren as a child soldier, although given the jedi propensity to do that, it may actually be the case. i understand part of his corruption being the dark side itself? and part of it is i think a betrayal from luke's side.

i don't know much about child soldiers and i wouldn't like to get into the hot water of discussing that much at all. except of course to think that the trauma adults experience who have presumably agreed to join, how much worse is this if it's based on coercion.
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by snufkin on Thu 15 Sep - 21:32

@guardienne wrote:@snufkin thanks so much for sharing. i love this on a graphic novel level already.. have you ever read joe sacco? he's done some graphic novel reporting thing as well.

@bastilabey i remember the initial spat! within this discussion i would like to question why the jedi train children so early in the use of weapons. this always seemed fishy to me. not practice sabres, actual light sabres. why was this important? was this part of what luke did? train an army of new jedi? and for what purpose?

i'm not sure i buy kylo ren as a child soldier, although given the jedi propensity to do that, it may actually be the case. i understand part of his corruption being the dark side itself? and part of it is i think a betrayal from luke's side.

i don't know much about child soldiers and i wouldn't like to get into the hot water of discussing that much at all. except of course to think that the trauma adults experience who have presumably agreed to join, how much worse is this if it's based on coercion.
@guardienne

Yeah Sacco is awesome! I'd much rather take his style of journalism than the infinite # of self indulgent memoirs that seem to be the trend of recent years. Kate Beaton is supposedly going to write one about the time she spent working off her student loans at the Oil Sands in Alberta which promises to be as much about the human reality as it is about the environmental and economic impacts.
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