I love the way that Poe Dameron serves as a foil to Kylo Ren throughout The Last Jedi. They both have similar motivations–a need to be in control–and similar flaws–passionate emotions that lead to impulsive action. But only Poe learns to move past his flaws to find his place as a true leader.
Kylo Ren wants control so that he can direct his own destiny and push his own agenda. When his actions lead to disastrous consequences, he doubles down. He tries to seize more control, so that he can erase all memory of his previous mistakes and their consequences. By the end of the movie, he’s in charge of an army, but he’s not a real leader. His second-in-command has to repeat his every order. He inspires no loyalty. He’s a leader who rules by fear, and that means he’s no leader at all.
In contrast, Poe wants control because he thinks he’s the person best able to save his friends. He has the best ideas and the best skills, and he can’t stand back and do nothing while the people he loves are in danger. But when his actions lead to disaster, he learns that he can’t–and shouldn’t–be in control of every situation. He learns to consider all points of view, and to take the best action rather than the boldest action. So his arc ends with the remaining Resistance fighters literally following him to safety. The leader leads, and his followers follow–the way it’s supposed to be.
By the end of the film, these two men stand at the head of two opposing armies., but only Poe has become a true leader. Kylo Ren is going to have to follow Poe’s example in order to become the man he’s meant to be.