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.”
“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.