i really hope that there are no redemption arcs in the star wars sequel trilogy, period. they feel outdated; like, it fit the late ‘70s and early ‘80s in part because it was very fresh storytelling at the time (esp in genre fiction) and in part because of the culture of the era
but tfa was very updated for the late 2010s, even if the basic story arc was still the monomyth (which doesn’t prescribe redemption or forgiveness or w/e anyway so it’s not A Given Just Because It’s Star Wars)
what would be fresh and culturally relevant storytelling today would be accountability arcs
I’m totally open to Rey and Finn and Poe d fucking up and having to be accountable and fix their own mistakes. I’m totally open to Luke and Han and Leia being acknowledged to have made mistakes in creating the New Republic and the new Jedi and being held accountable to fix them. but the difference is… no one ever held Vader accountable. that’s why i don’t believe he was redeemed, too, bc he got the easy way out of his massive bad choices. he just did one semi-decent thing and immediately died. neither he nor palpatine was ever held accountable for what they did.
i think it’s time to leave the idea of absolution or redemption or forgiveness being some kind of inherent rights to feel as outdated as the rest of 1977’s cultural landscape. that shit has to be earned through hard fucking work on yourself and accountability. just saying you’re sorry and doing nothing to change your behavior bc you conveniently immediately die means nothing tbh
i want to see Kylo Ren’s punishments fit his crimes. i don’t want anyone to forgive him just because he asks for it. I’m about accountability arcs. i want him to have to truly, truly face what he’s done and i want his victims to have the latitude to choose not to forgive him, even if he does get held accountable by some higher authority I’m the story. his victims owe him nothing and never will.
our culture right now needs to make accountability the priority of the decade in fucking general. that includes in our stories. i don’t think you can really call any idea a significant part of a culture until it’s embedded in its stories.