ben arc

  • My Brother: If Kylo Ren gets redeemed, he'll probably die in the process.
  • Me: No he won't.
  • Brother: Why, so your ship can be canon?
Receipts of a possible redemption arc

After reading the new infos about baby Ben Solo, i’ve been wanting to put together all the evidences pointing to a likely redemption arc.

The Force Awakens novelization:

When next Snoke spoke there was an intimacy in his voice, a familiarity that stood in sharp contrast to the commanding tone he had used with Hux.
“I have never had a student with such promise—before you.”
Ren straightened. “It is your teachings that make me strong, Supreme Leader.”
Snoke demurred. “It is far more than that. It is where you are from. What you are made of. The dark side—and the light. The finest sculptor cannot fashion a masterpiece from poor materials. He must have something pure, something strong, something unbreakable, with which to work. I have—you.

He met her eyes steadily. “We’ve lost our son, forever.”
Leia bit her lower lip, refusing to concede. “No. It was Snoke.
Han drew back slightly. “Snoke?”
She nodded. “He knew our child would be strong with the Force. That he was born with equal potential for good or evil.
“You knew this from the beginning? Why didn’t you tell me?”
She sighed. “Many reasons. I was hoping that I was wrong, that it wasn’t true. I hoped I could sway him, turn him away from the dark side, without having to involve you.” A small smile appeared. “You had—you have—wonderful qualities, Han, but patience and understanding were never among them. I was afraid that your reactions would only drive him farther to the dark side. I thought I could shield him from Snoke’s influence and you from what was happening.” Her voice dropped. “It’s clear now that I was wrong. Whether your involvement would have made a difference, we’ll never know.”
He had trouble believing what he was hearing. “So Snoke was watching our son.
Always,” she told him. “From the shadows, in the beginning, even before I realized what was happening, he was manipulating everything, pulling our son toward the dark side.”

The Supreme Leader’s voice was flat. “You have compassion for her.
“No—never. Compassion? For an enemy of the Order?”
“I perceive the problem,” Snoke intoned. “It isn’t her strength that is making you fail. It’s your weakness.” The rebuke hurt, but Ren didn’t show it.

“I want the entire Ileenium system destroyed.”
Daring to disagree, Ren took a step forward. “No—Supreme Leader, I can get the map from the girl, and that will be the end of it. I just need your guidance.”
“And you promised me when it came to destroying the Resistance you wouldn’t fail me.” The threatening figure of Snoke leaned toward Ren. […]

“Kylo Ren. It appears that a reminder is in order. So I will show you the dark side. Bring the girl to me.”

He (Kylo Ren) looked at the officer. “The trooper who was on guard?”
“Still being debriefed, sir. He doesn’t remember what happened. One minute he was at his post, at ease. The next, he found himself in his quarters, changing out of uniform. Initial assessment indicates he is telling the truth.” The officer hesitated. “If you would wish to try stronger methods I can…”
“No—no. Keep questioning him. Just—questioning. He may remember something.” 

Ren hesitated.
“It’s too late,” he said.
“No, it’s not.” Halfway across the walkway now, Han continued to move forward, smiling. “Never too late for the truth. Leave here with me. Come home.” Without the slightest trace of malice or deception, he cast a dagger. “Your mother misses you.”
A strange sensation touched the younger man’s cheeks. Something long forgotten. Dampness. Tears. […]
Stunned by his own action, Kylo Ren fell to his knees. Following through on the act ought to have made him stronger, a part of him believed. Instead, he found himself weakened. 

The Force Awakens junior novelization:

Snoke’s voice assumed a fatherly tone. “I never had a student with such promise…before you.”
“It’s your teachings that make me strong, Supreme Leader,” Ren said.
“It is far more than that. It is where you are from. What you are made of. The dark side,” the Supreme Leader said, hesitating before saying the next words, “and the light.”

He held her stare, and then his gloved hands touched the sides of his mask and took it off.
He had a young man’s face, with an old man’s eyes. His lips and dark hair stood out against the pale complexion of one who shirked the sun. He looked like a student who took no joy in his studies. One who perceived only the great problems of the galaxy and not its simple pleasures. […]

“And Han Solo,” he said. “He feels like the father you never had.”
His tone softened, as if he cared. “Let it go. He would disappoint you.”

Ben had the wavy dark hair that Han remembered, now shoulder length. His mother’s cheeks, Han’s chin. Yet everything about him was narrow and stark, as if he had starved himself of nourishment. And his eyes were not the brown eyes Han remembered. They were dim and dark and terribly sad. […]

In the last few seconds of his life, he thought of the Falcon and his furry first mate and his beautiful princess, but he saw only his son. The darkness in his eyes. And the sadness.
Han forgave his son for what he had done. He prayed someday his son would forgive him in turn.

Aftermath Empire’s End:

Who is out there, who is watching us? Hands reach for her, hands of shadow, lifting her up, reaching for her throat, her wrists, her stomach -
Inside, the child kicks. She feels her baby turning inside, right-side, up and down, struggling to find his bearings, trying so hard to find his way free of her.

He is less a human shaped thing and more a pulsing, living band of light. Light that sometimes dims, that sometimes is thrust with a vein of darkness. She tells herself that it’s normal - Luke said to her, Leia, we all have that. He explained that the brighter the light, the darker the shadow.
Right now, her son is upset, tumbling inside her as if he can’t get comfortable. His light, flickering with dark. […]
As Leia finds her peace, so does her son. […]
My son is alive. The future is bright.  […]
The baby turns inside her again, troubled by something she cannot feel and cannot yet understand.


“They (Han and Leia) had this kid who was born equal parts good and evil. He is someone who is broken….But it’s more than just having a bad seed as a kid. Snoke had targeted this kid, knew that this kid was gonna be incredibly powerful in the force and wanted him as an ally. So this mother and father had a target for a son. Someone was watching their boy. And these parents aren’t there enough to guide him.” (J.J. Abrams)

Q: Without giving away any spoilers, what’s one aspect about Kylo Ren you are excited for fans to see in the next film?

Adam Driver: I think that’s such a general answer, but you know… humanity.

“Imagine the stakes for him in his youth… Having all these special powers and having your parents absent during that process on their own agendas, equally as selfish. He’s lost in the world that he was raised in, and feels that he was kind of abandoned by the people he was closest with.(Adam Driver) 

[…] The family dynamic and desperately wanting family to be part of his life but not getting it. The anxiety and lot of anger that that creates and that last a lifetime. (Adam Driver)

I hope i’m not forgetting anything, but please feel free to add.

If Kylo’s sole purpose in the narrative was to be slaughtered by Rey, then the filmmakers wouldn’t have had Kylo torn down from the first movie. If a villain is irredeemable, then they aren’t torn down until the end. Only antagonists set up for redemption get taken down from the beginning, so that they can be rebuilt and redeemed through the rest of the series. It’s not going to be the team rocket crap antis and Kylo-haters want, with Kylo coming back at the end of each movie to lose another limb or whatever. What they want is a completely stagnant narrative that complements their tumblr purist view, with absolutely no grey morality, character development, or inner conflict whatsoever. Antis don’t want to be challenged, they want to be appeased.

Kathleen Kennedy on Kylo Ren

I was reading a French Star Wars magazine and suddenly there was an excerpt from a Kathleen Kennedy interview concerning Kylo Ren that I found pretty interesting. She discusses the character, makes parallels with our contemporary world, and at the end I had the impression she wasn’t talking about him as a villain, but as someone who still has to grow and who’s definitely good inside, or at least not bad at all (this is pretty hilarious when you think about all the absurd Kylo Ren drama we have here on tumblr…)

I don’t know if she has talked about this in other interviews, it’s probably the case, but I’ll leave this here for discussion.

I’ve made a rough translation of the French excerpt (English to French to English, feel the irony), probably not the best translation, but at least you’ll have the general idea :

“[Q] You really wanted Adam Driver for this role. What made him the perfect Kylo Ren ?

[KK] I had the opportunity to work with Adam on Lincoln. That was our first met. From the moment we started to think about this character, Kylo Ren, Adam was an obvious choice to me, and one of the few actors who could play him. J.J didn’t know him as well as I did, but he was immediately convinced when they met. He was one of the first actors we had considered for the role and it was an early decision. One of the most interesting aspects of Kylo Ren is his young age. Most of the time, villains are damaged, troubled and older. Making the new Star Wars villain a 30 years old man was a captivating choice. We could take advantage from a troubled adolescence and a past we know very little about. There we could find this tension between light and dark which dominates all the Star Wars universe. We could use it as a metaphor for the path that leads a young adult to his accomplished adult life. The characters who can be drawn to the dark side and seduced by all sorts of experiences that might be dangerous are compelling for us. For today’s audience it’s an original, fascinating and appealing character.

When we look at our own lives, it all depends on the choices we’ve made. Kylo Ren seems to have taken many bad decisions, but they aren’t necessarily bad decisions within the context of Star Wars, where they can lead to almost anything. This story reflects the real world. Many kids evolve in a political environment that can be difficult to decipher, and many events suggest that people are drawn to danger, trouble and agitation. In terms of international policy, there’s a sense that we live a time full of upheavals. The political structure of the Star Wars narratives reflects this in a unique way. Kylo Ren represents this dark side of society that can be appealing when we don’t know which side to choose and right and wrong become very vague concepts. All these aspects make Kylo Ren a really complex character and offer us many different options for future plots.

Emphasis are mine. But seriously. Seriously. If Kylo Ren really is, for the writers, an image of our contemporary youth searching for answers, making mistakes and trying to grow in a chaotic world, who can simply imagine that he will die unredeemed, and that the message of this new trilogy won’t be a message of hope ?

I leave the original French text and the references under the cut for those who are interested.

Keep reading


So, I will be attending Star Wars Celebration this year. I am going to be attending by myself. However, I have really bad anxiety, and I can already feel myself getting panicky about being alone in a crowd and so I am looking for someone else attending alone or in an inclusive group that would be willing to allow me to hang with them. I’d really like to camp out overnight for The Last Jedi panel so if anyone is doing that please let me know because I want to have people to talk to and fanperson with. I ship Reylo and Stormpilot and am hoping for Rey Kenobi and Kylo Rendemption in the event that these are dealbreakers. So please help me not be that loner. Signal boost if you don’t mind??

UPDATE!!!: Thank you so much to my beautiful reylo fam who reblogged and reached out! I’ve found some people who are definitely down to camp out and some who are down for letting me hang out with them! We’re planning a reylopalooza hangout overnight campout thing so lets party! :)

Obviously it’s very unlikely to happen in Episode IX now, but for a long time the only death I could imagine for Ben was a sort of pietà, the son in the mother’s arms. This is extremely unfinished, but I just wanted to get it out there. It’s because I’m still in denial about Carrie I think 

This is the quote at the beginning of the official novelization of The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster. I immediately thought of Kylo’s redemption theory, and honestly it couldn’t be more blatantly obvious. However, let’s go line by line and analyze it anyway, shall we?

“First comes the day.” This could be referring to Kylo’s upbringing and training by Luke. Pretty self-explanatory.

“Then comes the night.” Refers to Kylo’s turn to the dark side.

“After the darkness/Shines through the light.” The first line means that the darkness has ENDED, and is followed by light. Could refer to Rey’s discovery of the force, but could also refer to her future aid in turning Kylo back to the light.

“The difference, they say,” This could be alluding to a reason why this trilogy will end in a TRUE balance of the force.

“Is only made right/By the resolving of gray/Through refined Jedi sight” Could the mention of gray be related to the gray Jedi theory? I think so. I think that Kylo’s darkness and eventual redemption combined with Rey’s natural heroism and light will end in the two becoming gray Jedis and ushering in a new era of balance. The term “refined” makes me believe Luke will be supporting this, and he will guide them, since he has been linked to gray Jedi morals.

I can’t believe I haven’t seen any other analysis of this quote, but my god it got me excited.

Jedi Killer, Qu'est-ce que c'est ? (Or, did he or didn’t he?)



April 26, 2016: With Claudia Gray’s Leia novel, Bloodline, hitting us next week, I am working on a new meta to accompany this piece I wrote a couple of months ago. 

Early news from Bloodline tells us that whatever transpired to destroy Luke’s Jedi training project; it took place after the events in Bloodline.

Ben Solo’s fall to the dark occurred when he was an adult in his early twenties. 

This is marvelously good news for all of us hoping for a redeemed Ben Solo who gets to live at the end of IX, and I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts once we’ve had a chance to read Bloodline. In the meantime, enjoy reading this meta in the knowledge that half of the popular assumption I wrote about here: “Ben turned when he was about 15,” has now been proven false. 


The first time I saw The Force Awakens, I came out of the theater assuming that Kylo Ren committed a massacre at Luke’s Jedi Academy sometime in the past (my impression was of about 15 years before the events of TFA), and that this terrible event is what sent Luke into exile and sealed Kylo Ren’s fall to the Dark. This reading of the text seems to be pretty common among both hardcore and casual SW fans.  

I need to consider this in more detail (and I hope others will, too), because I think the eventual answer to this question is quite important, and will shape how the story ends.

I’ll start by saying that I am an unapologetic Ben Solo partisan, so I’m sure my reading of the story is clouded by my strong desire to see him saved, reconciled, and alive at the end of IX. Hopefully others (with eyes less clouded by love for our lost boy) will see more clearly and have insight to add.

I’m going to be quoting text from the novelization (which is slightly different from the film), and referring to some information in “The Art of Star Wars The Force Awakens,” as it relates to the development of the character they called the “Jedi Killer.” 

Here’s Han’s description of what happened back then, as he tells it to Rey and Finn on the Falcon: 

“He was training a new generation of Jedi. There was no one else left to do it, so he took the burden on himself. Everything was going good, until one boy, an apprentice, turned against him and destroyed it all.  Everything Luke had worked toward: gone. Luke felt responsible. He walked away from everything.”

Finn’s tone was respectful. “Do you know what happened to him? Does anyone?”

Han turned to him. “There’ve been all kinds of rumors and stories. When people don’t have access to the facts, they invent what they’d like to hear, or what they think others would like to hear. The people who knew him best think he went on a personal quest, looking for the first Jedi Temple.”

I don’t see any murdered Padawans in this statement. It is vague, perhaps intentionally so.

When Han and Leia talk before Han’s departure for Starkiller Base, Leia asserts, “There’s still light in him. I know it.” Would she have said this if her son had committed mass murder as a teenager?

Then there’s Snoke’s conversation with Kylo Ren: 

“I am immune to the light,” Ren assured him confidently. “By the grace of your training, I will not be seduced.”

“Your self-belief is commendable, Kylo Ren, but do not let it blind you. No one knows the limits of his own power until it has been tested to the utmost, as yours has not been. That day may yet come. 

…(and the dialogue about the awakening, have you felt it, etc.)…

“Perhaps,” Snoke conceded. “It has come to our attention that the droid we seek is aboard the Millennium Falcon, once again in the hands of your father, Han Solo. Even you, master of the Knights of Ren, have never faced such a test.” 

Ren considered his reply carefully. “It does not matter. He means nothing to me. My allegiance is with you. No one will stand in our way.” 

Snoke nodded. “We shall see. We shall see.”

I quote this to point out Snoke’s characterization of the challenge Kylo Ren will meet in confronting Han Solo as the greatest test he has yet faced - if Kylo Ren had already murdered his classmates (many of whom were surely his friends), would patricide really present all that much of a challenge?

The fact that the character who eventually becomes Kylo Ren is called “Jedi Killer” in the pre-production artwork in “The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens” seems pretty damming, but a close examination of the text shows us that the name was used before anyone knew this character’s backstory: “…designs for the newly-christened but still origin-less “Jedi Killer” villain…” (pg 40).  

The design of this character went through huge changes before settling into the form we recognize from the film.  On page 175, the familiar mask of Kylo Ren appears, and the name “Jedi Killer” disappears (”…Glyn Dillon’s design for the Jedi Killer - soon to be known as Kylo Ren - was locked and approved…” pg  170). 

What to make of this? I don’t know, but it does appear to be an intentional, not accidental, change in nomenclature, and It seems likely that the “Jedi Killer” name refers to a character who is hunting Jedi Luke Skywalker, not to a character killing a school full of young Padawans. 

And finally, what about Rey’s Force vision?  This one is the most ambiguous moments in the film, and we really don’t know what is happening in it. Is it a memory from the past?  If Rey’s vision is moving in chronological order, then it is something she saw as a child.  If her vision is not locked into a chronological order, then her vision of Kylo and his Knights of Ren (or “The Seven Light”  as they are called on page 143) could be something other than what we have assumed it to be - the imagined killing field of Luke’s training project. Here’s how the scene is described in the novelization:

“Day became night, sky ominous and filled with rain, cold and chilling to the bone. She was standing, she was sitting, she was looking up - to see someone, a warrior, take the full force of the lightsaber. He screamed and fell.

Battlefield then, all around her. Putting a hand to her mouth, she rose and turned. As she turned, she found herself confronted by seven tall, cloaked figures, dark and forboding, all armed.  Soaked and shivering, she stumbled backward, turning as she half fell. Firelight illuminated her, firelight from a distant, burning temple.” 

Actually, this almost reads as two different scenes - and they could be from different points in time.  Is one from the past, and one from the future?  There are definitely bodies on a battlefield in Rey’s vision, but we’ll have to wait to find out whose bodies and how they got there.  One thing for sure, I bet that we’ll meet Ren’s Knights in episode VIII.   

And who are these Knights of Ren, anyway?  Their “working title” of The Seven Light in “The Art of Star Wars the Force Awakens” offers a tantalizing clue to their identity.  I think they ARE Luke’s other students, and that Ben Solo did not murder his classmates, his friends. He turned then, and took them with him into the Dark. Everything Luke had worked for would indeed have been destroyed by such an action, and Luke may have indeed felt responsible.

Only time will tell, of course, but in what I can see in the text that has been presented to us as the audience, there’s no actual evidence that Ben Solo committed a massacre as a teenager.  

Don’t get me wrong - there’s plenty of evil we know Ben Solo to be guilty of, but I won’t lay the crime of child murder on his head until there’s proof in the story that it happened.  As Han said, “When people don’t have access to the facts, they invent what they’d like to hear, or what they think others would like to hear.”

What is Forgivable?

So Anakin Skywalker/ Darth Vader kills Tuskan raider women and children, helps kill Mace Windu, murders all the younglings and probably lots of Jedi while he’s at it, chokes his pregnant wife, mind probes his daughter, destroys planets with the Death Star, chokes underlings to death on a whim, murders his father figure Obi Wan Kenobi, chops off his son’s arm, AND STILL GETS A REDEMPTION ARC. In comparison, Ben Solo/Kylo Ren keeps the ashes of his enemies on a table, is termed as the Jedi Killer and is currently held responsible for killing Luke’s other padawans, mind probed Poe and Rey, ordered the murder of the village on Jakku, killed the old guy on Jakku (Lor), was complacent in the destruction of the Hosnian system, murders his father Han Solo, and greatly wounds Finn. Yet people say it’s impossible that he will get a redemption arc. They’re both screwed up (understatement) but if Star Wars is about anything it is about family and redemption. So I may be wrong in saying that Kylo Ren will get a redemption arc, but we’ll see.

Originally posted by fhien

Misleading Trailers

So once again I found myself watching the TFA trailer (and tearing up, but… anyways) and I noticed something. The trailer portrays Finn as the main character in several ways. No disrespect to his character of course, as he is doubtlessly of major importance, but the character who is center stage is clearly Rey. In the trailer, Finn is the only character shown holding a lightsaber (other than Kylo Ren) which pins him as the protagonist. Also, when Poe gives him a pat on the back at the Resistance base, Han narrates “…the Jedi.” These both mislead the audience to believe Finn would be the main, force sensitive character. When the episode 8 trailer comes out, it’s important to realize that they will probably try to mislead us once again. Star Wars is all about twists and shock factors, so the trailer can’t be completely trusted. So honestly, (and granted, this may seem desperate to those who don’t believe my mindset) if Kylo Ren is shown in the trailer doing something horribly evil/fighting Rey, I wouldn’t be surprised if the tables turn.

Originally posted by sango691
We're Not Done Yet - Bripenguin2013 - Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015) [Archive of Our Own]
An Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
By Organization for Transformative Works


Rey sat cross-legged at the top of the highest peak on the island, watching the Suns disappear over the horizon. A seabird nest set nestled in the crevis of the dark charcoal stone beside her with a mother and three babies snuggled safely beneath her. Occasionally the black feathered father would fly by eyeing Rey carefully, bringing small pink fish to his mate.  Rey liked it up here, where it was just her and the view of the endless ocean. In her mind’s eye, she pictured Jakku, and herself sitting on the top of a destroyer doing the same thing, except it was an endless sea of sand. Ahch-To was just as harsh as Jakku, with its own violent storms, equally terrible monsters, and remoteness. Rey realized she had traded one extreme for another, but this time she wasn’t alone, and that filled her with a peace she never dreamed she would feel, especially because it was due to an unlikely companion. 

Companion what a funny word for him.