I recently saw some long exchange about why Kylo Ren is just as deserving of a redemption arc as Darth Vader since his crimes were a lot less severe. Rather than touch the which-is-a-worse-human-being argument with a ten-foot pole, I’m going to talk about the Doylist reasons for a villain redemption arc.
Anakin Skywalker may have been the tragic protagonist of the PT, but as Darth Vader he was Luke’s foil antagonist. A foil is a character who contrasts with the protagonist in a way which serves to highlight certain of the protagonist qualities. Foil antagonists may have similar characteristics only taken to the extreme, or have a parallel journey. In the case of Darth Vader, he serves as Luke’s dark impulses made flesh. In ESB, Luke rejects and attempts to destroy this darkness. In RotS, he accepts the darkness within himself by accepting Vader, but ultimately chooses good. Vader likewise choosing good and saving Luke’s life serves as proof of the correctness of Luke’s choice. From a storytelling prospective, Vader’s redemption isn’t about him at all.
Like Vader, Kylo Ren in the ST is not the protagonist, but rather the foil antagonist. In The Force Awakens he’s set up primarily as Finn’s foil. Finn, with his dark skin and white armor, was raised in darkness, but rejected it in favor of love and light. Ren, with his light skin and black armor, was raised with the light, but rejected it in favor of darkness and power. It’s a parallel journey which serves to highlight how brave and strong and right Finn is. Based on the promos, The Last Jedi seems to be using Ren as a foil for Rey. Maybe by Episode 9, he’ll be Poe’s foil. The point is, as the foil antagonist, Kylo Ren will only get a redemption narrative if it somehow serves Finn, Rey, or Poe’s arc because that’s how stories work.
The red lion is temperamental and the most difficult to master. It’s faster and more agile than the others, but also more unstable. It’s pilot needs to be someone who relies more on instinct than skill alone.
i just realized i never posted anything about this oc but here is a…… strange oc named alessi… theyre not quite guy or girl and really are just some sort of Beautiful Entity that adjusts /certain parts/ according to their lovers preferences (they also only have one lover. who is human. one soul that reincarnates over and over and alessi just looks for them in every life and makes that person their own)
hasn’t read a book for fun in years because aside from lack of motivation, the swimming letters and jumbled words makes it hard for her to enjoy it
suffers from short-term memory loss — she’ll walk into a room and forget why she went there, or she’ll go into a book to fact-check something and can’t recall why she’s even flipping through the pages a minute later. sometimes she can’t remember whether she ate breakfast or not.
constantly misplaces her things, which is a result of her being disorganized — like shoving an assignment into the wrong binder when she’s in a hurry or can’t be bothered, or taking her phone into the kitchen and somehow finding it in the food pantry 20 minutes later
can’t keep her room clean for more than a few days before it’s a mess again, cluttered with textbooks and sketchpads and clothing littering the floor and shoved into the corners
never fails to procrastinate on her assignments, no matter how small. you could give her a whole year and she would still wait till the last minute
has trouble staying focused and often loses her train of thought — she could be giving a meticulously thought out explanation on something she’s passionate about and just completely go blank
will stare at the pages of her stupid textbook with tears of frustration in her eyes, silently begging herself to just focus because this reading was supposed to have been done weeks ago, but no matter how hard she tries the text on the page won’t stop jumping around
goes days and days without brushing/washing her hair and wears the same clothes for a whole week
becomes anxious and irritable at small things like a ticking clock or the beeping sound the smoke detector makes when its battery needs to be changed
gets sudden bursts of inspiration to start a completely new project at the most inappropriate times, like during an important lecture or at 1 am when she should be writing an essay that’s due the next morning.
because of this she ends up with a lot of incomplete works-in-progress and half-assed assignments
absolutely despises school and gets anxiety thinking about going back to class come sunday night
pretends to embrace the fact that people think she is “scary” and “intimidating” but after years of hearing it becomes very insecure — she wishes she were the first person to come to peoples’ minds when they think of someone nice and friendly.
is constantly insecure and ashamed of herself because she’s supposed to be debunking that stupid ‘dumb blonde’ stereotype but wonders if she’s only encouraging it when she looks back at her slip-ups/flubs during conversations and small mistakes on tests and terrible first impressions she’s made and every single impulsive decision she made that went wrong and— what kind of Athena kid is she?
Aries:you are amazing. I admire your courage, although i do believe your impulsiveness and irrationality is a little too much at times. Dont ruin your life chasing decisions you made impulsively.
Taurus:you are so easy to talk to and so chill no wonder you make friends easily. But sometimes realise, its okay to step back and save your energy. You cannot always win and thats okay. Nobody is out there to get you, nobody is against you. Be firm and believe in your values, thats all you gotta do.
Gemini :its weird isnt it? Your confusions? What matters is that you try. You know inside your heart whats good and bad, just try to follow it and rest will come naturally. I know temptation and easy ways may make you fluctuate bt its okay as long as you know wjat kind of person you want to end up as.
Cancer: you are strong. Remember that. You may try to hide your emotions, you may think you are overly emotional but try to rationalise it. Try to step back and understand your emotions like a theory. And when you do something wrong, which you dont always do intentionally,realise and admit. Its okay to be a mess at times, nobody is judging you..
Leo:your nose up in the air, may mean you feel confident. Your judgement and criticism of others wont fix you. You know the root of your problems, you know you are not a bad person, you are just a human. Its okay to judge, as long as you keep it to yourself bt remember putting others down wont make you rise anyway so learn to cope with insecurities and learn to give others equal space.
Virgo: you dont have it together, you probably wont anytime soon, either. Thats the best thing about life. Dont keep trying to find and fix stuff. Sometimes life means the exact opposite. Learn to let go of things and try to be a little flexible in your judgement. You are okay, you are doing fine. Everything will fall in place.
Libra: you are enough okay? You hear me? You are enough. You dont have to be liked or loved in order to feel valid. If you like love, chase it bt carry your mind with you too. You deserve the same treatment you give to others.its okay to be giving bt save some for yourself too. I know your friends matter alot, your lover matters alot but learn to balance. They arent everything that good about you, its you.
Scorpio: you are loved. Learn to accept love. I know things seem so messed up.i know your feelings are messed up and you either overthink or dont think at all and its okay. Its okay to fall back, let loose and be vulnerable. If you are ever deceived, its never a reflection of who you are. Sometimes people are bad just because they are. But try to manage your emotions healthily, you are gold underneath all of it and you better believe it. If you hurt others, its okay to accept and apologise bt dont beat yourself too much, you said sorry, you felt guilty thats all you can do.
Sagittarius :i know you care and you also hurt. Dont feel guilty to put yourself first bt try to do it in a friendly way. Your judgements and needs are all valid, try to communicate it thoroughly. Have faith that they will understand you, they do. If you do good, it always comes back in some form. Go for the damn adventure. You are star youd survive. You always do.
Capricorn:it gets too much doesnt it? You are always busy, always disappointing people, stress out easily and people always complain you dont give them time. They call you shallow and materialistic. But they dont know. They dont know the hard word, the emotional draining exercises, the mental work, the heart wrenching things you do for your dreams. I know you are tired, i know you dislike relaxing when you know you can be doing other amazing things. But its okay to give up at times, its okay to be lazy, to be imperfect or lethargic. You can always pick yourself back up.
Aquarius:you are intelligent, you know that. Relationships may seem difficult, pointless at times. But its alright, try to make peace with the situation and dont think about the future.you know it in your bones if its right or not, don’t think much, do what you like drop regrets and guilt. You maybe unique bt everyone deserves equal respect. They are all as important as you are.
Pisces:my fish, you question it all, dont you? Is he lying? What did he mean by that? Why wont they reply? Why are they so mean? How can i fix it? Do they need my help? Fish, you need to lie down and stop thinking. Turn it off. If they need your help, they will ask. If they dont respect enough to respond to you, then its a reflection of who they are, not who you are. If they leave, its their loss. You maybe attatched bt we all are wired to survive alone. He maybe be god to you, bt if he leaves you can always believe in yourself. Whatever people do is who they are, not what you made them do. Be kind, if they disrespect you, still be kind bt dont let them walk all over you.
I like playing someone who wasn’t cautious, who was in the moment and made impulsive decisions, which is what attracted me to her in the first place. I think you’re attracted to things that are different from yourself in a character because it’s more interesting, and you get to play out a fantasy version of yourself.