The newly anointed Supreme Leader of the First Order could have a big decision to make in Star Wars: Episode IX. Can Kylo Ren be redeemed?
Kylo Ren might be the most polarizing Star Wars character ever. On one side, you’ve got that group of fans who love the guy, usually praising the complexity and self-doubt that surrounds him. On the other side, there’s the group that can’t stand him – he’s a crybaby, he’s a cheap Vader knockoff, and whatever else.
Wherever you might stand on Kylo, there’s one thing about him that can’t be denied: he has the power to change the entire Star Wars landscape with one simple decision.
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After what happened in The Last Jedi, it feels like Kylo Ren has made the jump to full Dark Side mode. Even when he killed Han, it didn’t feel to me that he had totally embraced Snoke’s teachings and his role in the First Order.
Will Kylo Ren turn back to the Light, or will he keep going on the Dark Side path as the Supreme Leader? The question has been a pressing one ever since The Force Awakens came out, so we’ll almost certainly get an answer in Episode IX next year.
Here, I’ll tell you why Kylo Ren can’t redeem himself. As much as some fans out there might want him to, I just don’t see how he could, especially given all the things he’s done so far. At some point, you are who you are.
Let’s break it down.
He’s the only worthy antagonist
When you take a look at the sequel trilogy’s big bads, things are looking pretty thin right now. At first, it seemed like Snoke was going to be that guy that you look at and say “well, this is clearly who I’m supposed to root against,” but things have since changed on that front.
Now, with Snoke out of the way (and Phasma for anyone who cares), the antagonist roster is down to Kylo and General Hux. To keep it simple, Hux is no Tarkin. He’s not nearly as much of a threat as Kylo and Snoke, so the man formerly known as Ben Solo is the clear-cut enemy of the Resistance at this moment.
Think about it this way: if Kylo did turn back to the Light, the First Order would be all but finished. If you’re handing the keys of the car to Hux, you’ve got a problem. The trilogy would end with the First Order’s surrender and Kylo getting back to his roots. I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty lame to me.
His chance already came and went
Remember in The Last Jedi (I know some of you have blocked it out) when there was that brief moment that Kylo and Rey teamed up? Then, there was a minute where either of them could’ve changed sides? Well, the opportunity for Kylo to make his move came and went. To me, it’s pretty clear that this is his path now.
You could really make the case that Kylo’s fate was sealed when he axed Han. In what might have been the most cold-blooded act in the history of the galaxy, Kylo sucked the life out of the entire fan base right there. Still, there was a second there when it seemed like he was teetering – but then he did the dirty and slapped us in the face. Just another reason why there’s no redemption coming his way.
Photo Credit: Lucasfilm
The apprentice is now the master
Think back to Return of the Jedi when Vader made the turn and hurled Palpatine down the reactor shaft. It was at that moment when we knew his Dark Side days were behind him, the moment that he took control of his own destiny.
With Kylo, he’s controlling his own destiny, but it’s the reverse of what Vader did. Vader rid himself of his inner demons and Palpatine’s influence, where Kylo rid himself of Snoke but just took his place instead.
Star Wars: Episode IX is set to come out in December 2019.