Consider this: LF have nothing to gain and everything to lose by killing off Ben Solo. He is now a cash cow for LF and they’ve barely even scratched the surface of his potential as a character for future storytelling.
Her true self got the better of her and she responded tactlessly despite the danger. “This happens when you are being hunted by a creature in a mask”.
She took a moment to reflect on her possible reaction and to fear that. But he did not do what she expected. Instead, he reached out, unlocked and removed his mask.
She just looked at him in silence. In itself, the narrow face that looked at her was not remarkable. Was almost sensitive. If it were not for her intensity, Ren could pass for someone she would find on the dusty streets of the outpost of niima.
But there was that look. This is what was behind it.
what TLJ probably meant: poor Kylo Ren look he had a reason to come into the Dark Side his own uncle tried to kill him :’((( it’s also all Luke’s fault, blame him, he gave up on Ben so easy!!
what I, an intellectual, learned form TLJ: if Luke “there is still good in you dad Vader” Skywalker takes one look at Ben Solo’s mind and thinks this one is irredeemable then well, shit, I absolutely believe him
Easy would be making Rey a Skywalker.
Instead, they gave us a Rey whose origins are humble, a bitter pill that many found difficult to accept.
Easy would be giving us a one dimensional villain in Kylo Ren.
Instead they gave us a multi-faceted villain in Kylo Ren, whose complexities made him one of the most interesting characters ever to come out of the series.
Easy would be redeeming Kylo Ren in the second movie of the trilogy.
Instead they gave us Supreme Leader Kylo Ren, whose path to redemption is as unclear and as unpredictable as the character itself.
Easy would be having every mission of the Resistance be a resounding success.
Instead, they gave us a Resistance that failed time and time and again at the cost of many lives but the development of those who survived.
Easy would be to have Luke be the heroic badass who would save the day. Instead they gave us a Luke Skywalker who is a broken man filled with guilt and shame.
The creators aren’t here to take the easy route in telling the stories because easy does not equal compelling. They’re here to tell a story so gripping it would be discussed and dissected for years to come. And I’m happy to be alive to see it.
You know what else is easy? Killing off the final villain of the series, that is Kylo Ren. That’s why I believe he will survive, redeemed because story-wise, it would be the most difficult arc for the character to undergo. And the creators don’t do easy.
How do we know Ben understood this? And why does it matter?
Luke Force projects himself on Crait to face Ben, in a Space Western like showdown, where dirt has become salt and stings the bleeding wounds of Ben’s psyche.
But Luke is not there to save him. No!
He actually says it twice, to Leia first, then to her son. He is there to admit his guilt to the person that was hurt the most by his actions. “I failed you Ben, I am sorry”
He is there to atone.
Facing Ben, means facing the tragic moment he thought he should kill his nephew and finally taking responsibility for ALL the consequences. He is giving Ben a chance to act on his anger in a cathartic and healing way as @huntedbyacreature explained, but doing so, he is also punishing, literally sacrificing himself, because he knows, this will kill him.
He is taking away the guilt that Ben could have felt if he had truly killed him, while still allowing him to release his resentment. Watch Kylo/Ben pouring all his hatred into striking Luke’s image, where he appears exactly the same as the day he raised his lightsaber to his nephew. Luke is not only taking Ben back to this moment, but himself too. He is accepting of his fate, by lowering his lightsaber this time.
At the end of the showdown, we see Ben realising:
‘that man’ is only a ghost image of his uncle.
As he understands this, he whispers ‘No’…
Ben knows that Luke is now dying.
During his first Force connection with Rey, when he sees her he says:
“You’re not doing this. The effort would kill you”
Ben knows that such Force projection is at the cost of one’s life!
I think this barely audible no, was not said in anger and frustration but in shock at understanding Luke’s sacrifice, which is meant to help Ben heal his wounds and compell him to face the guilt of killing his father.
A little more on the context: The entire planet is covered in salt layered over a bleeding like earth. The colour red is striking against the white mineral. Salt hurts when placed on a wound but is also used to disinfect and cleanse.
Salt is traditionally seen as a symbol of life, friendship and healing.
The planet is, in a way, a metaphor for guilt and the pain that has to be endured during the healing process.
So I am coming back to my theory that Kylo/Ben experiences an epiphany at the end TLJ.
He has cleansed the gaping wound that created Kylo Ren, therefore the healing process can start. He is now ready to face his own sins, instead of focusing on his anger and those who wronged him.
No more excuses. No one else to kill. Just him and his conscience.
The anti Kylo people who want to see Finn lead a stormtrooper rebellion confuse me. They believe stormtroopers are worthy of redemption, but Kylo isnt. The stormtroopers are literally guilty of the everything Kylo gets accused of. They stood aside and watched mass genocide, killed all those villagers, beat the shit out of Poe before Kylo came and mind probed him, and beat the shit out of Finn after calling him a traitor.
Y’all are okay with the Stormtroopers redeeming themselves by seeing the error of their ways and following Finn’s lead in a rebellion. But you aren’t okay with Kylo doing the same thing?
The saddest spoiler from The Last Jedi Novelization
Ben Solo is a person who is willing to settle for almosts and not-quites when it comes to compassion, because he has absolutely none of it in his life. A reasonable facsimile of kindness is better than nothing at all.
He feels as though his family has kicked him to the curb, and the one person he dared to take a chance and care about about had also abandoned him. All he is left with is a hollow sense of thanks that she didn’t end his miserable life.
Ben heard his family calling him a monster when he was a child. This was hammered home when he woke to his uncle’s lightsaber poised at his neck.
People don’t love or care about monsters. Monsters don’t deserve compassion or forgiveness. They deserve death.
So Ben is thankful she didn’t kill him because that’s the closest he has had to getting the benefit of the doubt since he was a child.
This is the mindset when your worldview is hardwired by rejection and trauma.
You settle for scraps and factory seconds. Because when you are seen as a monster, that’s the only compassion you feel that you deserve.
That said. I look forward to Episode IX and am hopeful that the unconditional love that Rey could offer him would be transformative for him. If she is brave enough to love a monster, perhaps that could be the catalyst he needs to find the strength to love himself.
Because let’s face, he deserves more than almosts and not-quites.
People so far have been talking about how Han and Leia may not have know the truth of
Ben’s betrayal, but what about chewbacca?
Can you imagine,
after Rey rages at Luke she runs to the ship and goes ‘chewie I can
bring back Ben Solo!’. She explains everything to him, and chewie
is sitting there with his head in his hands in shock.
He didn’t know this
whole time, what really went down that fateful night.
& now he has to also reconcile that his friend, Luke, even considered murdering his nephew. Who chewie knew was a
sweet kid, a walking heartbeat.
Cause I cant imagine
him agreeing to drop Rey of sunshine into enemy lines, to her
possible death. She must have told
him the whole story & he agreed to
let her go to Kylo.
He wants Ben back just as much as she does & trusts Rey to fulfill that.
But when she couldn’t, i can almost see the hug he gives her once she reaches the Falcon. Maybe even a small talk about how it was worth a try. That if Ben fought beside her, then maybe there’s still hope.
he’s the ultimate
space dad. he’s the original Mary Poppins ya’ll. T___T
What’s so beautiful about the elevator scene when Rey calls him Ben, is this is the first time she’s called him ANYTHING at all. Not you, not monster, not Kylo Ren but his true name. It must have a been a shock to him. And when he says Rey in the elevator, it’s the first time he’s called her by name also, not the girl, not scavenger, but Rey. ITS SO FUCKING BEAUTIFUL GUYS I CANT HANDLE IT!!!
Kylo Ren never was manipulated or abused some people say ...
Please explain this to me… Everyone sees this scene as a joke, but there’s something more …
The way Snoke treats Kylo and Hux shows that these two young men are just minions according to his own vision. Hux is thrown like a toy in front of all his subordinates with the only intention to humiliate him. Later ,he does the same thing with Kylo in front of the praetorian guards….
Kylo is used to this abuse that’s why he dodges the
unnecessarily. It’s a
“Even you, master of the Knights of Ren, have never faced such a test”.
“We shall see. We shall see” Snoke says, challenging Kylo to kill his own father and when this act does not submerge him completely in the darkness he humiliates him again, when HE was the one who encouraged him to do it in the first place ,with the empty promise of a possible absolute power …
How’s your wound?he ask pretending concern. Seconds later, seconds..he will say
“take that ridiculous thing off”,
he will call Ben weak, a mistake, a failure and will remind him of his father’s recent death causing him a terrible emotional breakdown.
Divide and you will reign. Snoke encourages unhealthy competition between the general and his apprentice
as some kind of twisted father figure .Eventually they could unite against him so,in order to prevent this he needs them to hate each other.
But it gets worse…Why not to tell Kylo about the force bond plan?. That information would have given Kylo a big strategic advantage over Rey.That way he would know what is happening and she wouldn’t …
But since Snoke doesn’t give a damn about Ben he creates this moment where neither of them understands what the hell is going on…
But this plays against him because the connection becomes more and more intimate and more human everytime.
Once Kylo brings Rey, Snoke humiliates him AGAIN mentioning his emotional weakness.
“It was I who bridged your minds.I stoked Ren’s conflicted soul.I knew he was not strong enough to hide it from you”.
In other words: I used my toy again as I felt like it …WHAT THE HELL
The funny thing is that Kylo has many reasons to kill Snoke: power, revenge, feeling betrayed but the only valid reason he finds to do it is Rey..and that is amazing …