Happy Star Wars Day! Today being May the 4th I wanted to write up a post about my favorite part of The Force Awakens – Kylo Ren. Don’t get me wrong, I love Rey, but Kylo took the cake for me. He was everything I ever wanted in a Star Wars villain.
I know there are a fair share of people out there who dislike Kylo Ren completely, for a variety of issues. I’ve found in many cases, the reasons people dislike him are the same reasons I adore him! Here are the two biggest issues I’ve seen that people have with him, and why I think they make him great.
1. The Temper Tantrums
Many people saw the tantrums as completely childish, and they’re right! But that’s why I love it. Someone who so embraces the Dark Side is generally fueled by raw emotions, and usually those emotions aren’t well controlled. Outbursts happen. I feel like Darth Vader had the same problem, only he had extra grumpy pants on and just flat out murdered people when he got bad news. I saw Kylo’s tantrums to be his way of showing restraint. He knows constantly murdering crew members is probably a bad idea, so he expresses his rage in the only way he knows how; with a tantrum. It’s very much like a small child, but I feel that accurately describes the emotional stability of someone who is fully on the Dark Side.
2. The Lightsaber Fight with Rey/Finn
There was a lot of hubbub about the fact that Kylo Ren should have been able to wipe the floor with Rey in a lightsaber duel seeing as how she hadn’t ever fought with one, ever, and he has had years and years of training. And I agree with that. With a few exceptions. Initially, I don’t think he wanted to kill her. I think he is incredibly intimidated by her natural gift with the force, and truly hoped to be able to convince her to join him. When that didn’t pan out, I feel like he got a lot more vicious.
But the main reason I think Rey survived was because Kylo Ren was massively injured at that point. He took a direct hit in the side from Chewie’s bowcaster, which as we saw previously in the movie was capable of taking out multiple armored Stormtroopers with one well placed shot. Kylo Ren just stood on the bridge and took it. I feel that most of his focus and energy during the fight with Rey was being used to not bleed to death.
Given his massive skill with the force (remember that time when stopped a blaster bolt mid-shot and just held it with hardly any effort for awhile?) I definitely feel like he would be able to use the force to heal, with immense focus and effort. Using the force to heal (aka force healing) is something that’s come up in the expanded universe (and the games), and I completely feel that Kylo Ren was putting every spare ounce of what he could into staying alive during the fight via the force.
I guess there is a third issue I’ve seen a lot online but it’s so stupid it makes me want to just start table flipping. And that reason is:
“I Don’t Like Adam Driver’s Face”
I’m sorry, how is this a reason to dislike a character?! I am floored at the amount of tweets basically just bashing Adam Driver’s face, and so many jokes about how he should have kept the mask on. First off, that is just plain rude. (And seriously, I don’t get it, what is wrong with his face?! It’s a face! I see nothing weird there!) Secondly, even if you don’t find him attractive, what does that have to do with his character?! Nothing! That is not a reason people! Also, I was actually really pleased with how much he and Harrison Ford look alike since they are totally unrelated in real life. Obviously not identical, but the similar facial structures make it quite easy to see them as father and son.
Now, some people are just annoyed that Kylo Ren de-masked in general; they found him to be a more effective villain with the mask on. That is a legitimate reason to be annoyed; I just happen to feel differently. I was so happy he took the mask off. To me, it showed strength. He did it to prove to Rey that he doesn’t need to hide behind a mask to be intimidating and powerful, that he is happy to show his face and still be effective. I loved it! I think he only wears the mask because of his obsession with Darth Vader; as an homage to him, and I love that he doesn’t feel bound by the need to wear it all the time.
There are so many theories out there about how Kylo Ren is actually a good guy (basically the Severus Snape of the Star Wars universe in place to take down the Dark Side for good). There are still a million ways he could redeem himself to the light in the upcoming movies. And honestly, I really hope he doesn’t.
I am quite sick of the sympathetic villain. Going in to The Force Awakens, I wanted a Dark Side baddie who had truly embraced his Dark Side. Who thrived on it, unapologetically. I got that in Kylo Ren, and I want him to stick to it. I want a villain who is power hungry, and wants to rule. Who thrives on gaining more skill and power no matter the cost to their humanity. Is it so bad to want a villain to just be truly evil?
What are your thoughts on Kylo Ren? Do you hope he stays dark?