*moves towards mic* kylo ren wasn’t forced by anyone to join the darkside. we only know snoke showed interest in kylo, but there is no evidence he actually was able to influence kylo’s choices in any form. in fact the aftermath and bloodlines book tell us that kylo led a relatively normal childhood away from wars and conflicts and it wasn’t until he was a 23 year old man that he actually decided to join the dark side. there is also no evidence how old kylo was when he was sent to train with his uncle luke,
but the narrative implies he was well into his teens.
*grabs mmic and stands up* leia wanting kylo to be trained to control his abilities is not abuse either. she trusted kylo’s only other relative, her brother, to look after her son. luke is also not to blame for kylo’s choices, neither is han. again kylo is shown to be a willing participant in everything he does in tfa, going as far as lying amd tricking his own father just so he could murder him. planning to murder his uncle and standing back while a super weapon almost murdered his mother. no one is obligated to forgive kylo ren for his actions. no luke. no rey. and not even leia.
Rewatching The Force Awakens the other day got me to thinking about some things. Bear with me. As Skywalker men go, Ben is so much like Anakin. Ben is a few years older than Anakin was before his ‘transformation’, but still. Angry, impatient, brooding, short tempered. Dare I say whiney? Three scenes which contrast his stoic power are when he twice smashes the computer consoles with his lightsaber (when he was told the droid had help escaping and when he returned to the cell to find Rey gone) and when he actually yelled like a petulant child to Snoke that Rey is strong with the Force. We all know how short fused Anakin was during his training and when he became a Jedi Knight. Constantly challenging the counsel, his temper flaring when things didn’t go his way. In that respect, they are very much alike.
As a Reylo shipper, I feel this way: Anakin and Padme’s relationship began in harmony, friendship, and love…yet turned to violence, grief, and a bit of hatred on Anakin’s part (as he mistakenly accused Padme of bringing Obi-Wan to destroy him). Kylo Ren and Rey’s relationship may mirrior that, just flipped around. Beginning in violence and hatred, ending in love. We shall see.
I also noticed something very telling during the lightsaber duel at the end. Yes, Ren flung Rey against that tree. But it was only because she attempted to fire the blaster at him. During their fight, I noticed that he never really swung the blade at her, but mostly at her lightsaber to perhaps knock if out of her grip and disarm her. He, as a Master of the Knights of Ren, could no doubt have taken that girl out with one blow - her newfound powers growing or not. It leads me to believe that he couldn’t harm her, for what is to come in their relationship. The writer’s have a plan. He never even rendered a jab to her, such as her arm, leg, etc. which he could have done for good measure just to weaken her or out of rage. They were in a battle, of course. Yet she jabbed him everywhere. The hip/leg, shoulder, face. The icing on the cake, was when the ice shelf fell away and their sabers locked. Come on. He could have pushed that wisp of a girl over the edge with a finger. A kick to her midsection. A blow of breath! But he didn’t. Not only that, he offered to keep her alive to train her. Sure, it would look good on his Galactic resume; turning a force sensative newbie to the darkside. But common sense tells me he wanted to keep her alive for another reason. Even after that, when she gathered stregth to fight him off, he knew he was in trouble. He should have ended it right there, before she grew even stronger in the force. But he didn’t, and it weakened him to the point of her her victory over him.
I don’t think he will too happy seeing Rey again, at least not initially. Sure, he admired her talent and was in awe of her abilities. But she bested him, and neither his inner self nor his Master will let him forget it. He may even grown to dispise Rey before he (hopefully) learns to love her. Again, we shall see.
I can understand why some fans don’t like a Reylo pairing. We all view Rey as the Heroine, and Ren the Monster. Yet the whole entire franchise was founded on the fall of a man who loved his woman so much he turned to the darkside to protect her. How is that different? As far as I’m concerned, (don’t send pitchforks my way) Kylo Ren had a terrible life. He doesn’t look like he’s had a moment’s peace since he was a child. Someone like Snoke can swoop in and exploit that with no problem. I watched through three original films hating Darth Vader and thinking 'I can’t wait until he gets his’. Yet at the eleventh hour, he redeemed himself and I was so happy! Then upon seeing the prequels I was heartbroken for him. So much manipulation on this good, brave man by the dark side. All he wanted was to love Padme. One side of the force told him that was a sin, and the other told him his love would destroy her. Ben Solo is no exception. Granted, he has a LOT of redeeming to do. When Han fell off that bridge I nearly choked. And it was at the hand of his son. But the fact Han cupped Ben’s cheek, letting him and US know he forgave him, makes me believe that we may be able to forgive him, too.