good ending to a shitty shitty arc

Y’know… I actually genuinely want Kylo Ren to be treated as a main character, I want him to get a similar amount of screentime to the main trio, I want them to really play him up and delve into him. I think he’s a far more interesting villain than Vader ever was, I think he has so much potential to be engaging and interesting and complex

But I don’t… fucking… want that to devolve into a redemption arc? I don’t think that would work for him as a character. People keep comparing him to Prince Zuko and he’s NOTHING LIKE Zuko?? Zuko never brutally tortured anybody (at least not that I can remember lmao), Zuko never murdered an innocent old man, Zuko never had a “killing Han Solo” moment.

I think what Kylo Ren has, which is really special and unique to him, is that “being pulled by the Light” thing. There are so many ways to use that. But even despite his pull to the Light, he pushes himself to do increasingly worse acts in order to stay on the Dark Side. There’s a great internal struggle there. It’s the POLAR OPPOSITE of Anakin’s trajectory.

But he’s done so many awful things at this point that it would feel cheap and shitty to allow him a full redemption. If he redeems himself, it needs to be in death. Star Wars is, at the end of the day, a mythic fairy tale that teaches lessons to kids. What kind of shitty lesson teaches that “you can be a shitty, awful, terrible human being, but as long as you change your mind later, it’ll all be okay!” I’ve known people who think and act like that. They’re not good people.

The ultimate lesson Kylo Ren’s story arc needs to teach is that, even if at the end of the day you turn it around and do one good act, your evil won’t be forgotten. The good inside was there, and it called to you, and you willingly ignored it, and it broke the world around you. You still have the chance to make a difference, but that does not wipe the slate clean. That does not make it better. If you don’t listen to that voice in your head telling you to be kind, to do good things, then you will be remembered for what you are: A fucking asshole

anonymous asked:

Sorry, but not quite yet if that's alright. I can't think of how reading Pages passive breaks any arcs, as far as I can tell all the examples you listed are unaffected or, in a few cases, actually make more sense to me with passive Pages and active Knights (but I'll be the first to admit I'm not very good at arc analysis lol). Could you elaborate?

Haha yeah I was being kind of flippant and facetious in the ask I think you’re referencing. I only want to start conversations, not impose a new understanding, so I’m happy to talk things out and debate views!

My only caveat here being that I wrote most of this out already in my various essays on Knights and Pages, especially the one I just posted on serve/steal. I’m not sure if you read that yet but I’d be curious to hear particular points you disagreed with if you did

Rounding them up in relative shortform in no particular order:

Jake: I’m not going in depth on this one because I’ve written so much about Jake it’s not even funny. 

Tl;dr Jake wanted Dirk the whole time, he wants Dirk selfishly because he views Dirk has his protector and bodyguard and because Dirk helps him with whatever he wants help with, and he knowingly manipulated Jane into denying her feelings for him despite knowing otherwise for a fact because Roxy told him that she had feelings for him.

All of this is literally textual and in the comic.

Reading Jake as passive is the only reason anyone thinks DirkJake is ambiguous instead of one of the most mutual and passionate gay romances in all fiction, and it’s based on nothing but misinformation.

I’ve written so much about this it’s not funny, but feel free to read any of my various arguments on the subject and debate particular points if you want to follow up on something in particular.

Karkat: the reason there’s any people who think Karkat was turned into a joke and was never effective in the plot at all is because he almost always exerts his impact by “Allowing” his aspect, and thus ends up pretty effective all told despite not being aware of what he’s doing!

Tavros: reading Tavros as passive ignores the fact that Tavros fights and resists Vriska’s will every step of the way throughout his abuse, and is pretty capable about knowing who to get to help him in stopping her.

It ignores that the one time Tavros almost used his powers he was acting under his own agency, and that he quite expressly and dramatically is unwilling to do things the way Vriska wills them on him.

On Vriska’s end, ignoring that Pages inspire others to act for their own benefit paves over the element of her character that genuinely perceived herself as trying to help him, which is a textual element that complicates our view of her.

Obviously none of that is to say Tavros asked for it, or that any of what Vriska did is justified. But the way their wills play off each other is more complex than just “she bullies him and he’s a pushover”. 

Tavros is NOT a pushover. He’s overpowered by force, but he tries fucking hard to resist his abuse. And Vriska doesn’t exactly just hate Tavros–there’s an element of her behavior genuinely rooted in a desire to help in the context of the fucked up world she grew up in. 

But more than anything reading Pages as passive ignores Tavros’ motivation for raising the ghost army and turns it into “oh he ended up helping Vriska to her benefit in the end and that’s…his character arc?” 

Which isn’t what that scene is at all. That scene is Tavros getting what he personally wanted to have closure for himself and move on from Vriska for good. Tavros healed. He moved on. He got a pretty gentle sort of revenge because Tavros is ultimately a kindhearted and gentle boy, but he used the ghosts specifically to aid his desire to own the fuck out of Vriska and then moved the hell on. 

Reading Pages this way means that Tavros’ arc wasn’t written for the purpose of making a depthless joke of an abuse victim, which means you can understand Vriska’s character complexly without having to prioritize her over her victim.

I sure as hell wouldn’t call it, like, a perfectly handled narrative, but it does make it substantially better and make Tavros ’ ending a lot more satisfying. Also gives me more hope both Vriska and Tavros will be treated well with whatever on earth happens in the epilogue.

Homestuck was, if not good, at least only kind of shitty instead of dramatically in your face blatant abuse mockery shitty all along. Tavros is definitely treated as jokes, but he’s also given actual closure re:his abuse arc, that actually makes sense given who he is as a person. And understanding that means Vriska’s character was handled with more care, too.