Star Wars fans are divided over the romance The Rise of Skywalker gave us between Kylo Ren and Rey, but the big question is why would you hate redemption?
There’s a growing trend in movies and TV that I find to be a bit disturbing, and we’ve just seen it in the Star Wars universe with The Rise of Skywalker. It’s the belief that some people/characters don’t deserve to be redeemed. That there are certain unforgivable actions that ruin a person for good.
The divisive Star Wars fanbase remains just as divisive about the Ben Solo/Rey romance, with many making the claim that Ben should not have ended up romantically involved with Rey (for all of ten seconds) because he is a bad person.
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This is what I don’t understand. So many people have heralded the character arc of Ben Solo, and for good cause. He has a very Jaime Lannister-esque arc (minus the final season of GoT, please), where he went from a detestable villain to one of the most easy-to-root-for characters.
Why are we attracted to these kinds of characters? Because they’re exceptionally human. Aren’t we all flawed? Don’t we all have our downfalls? If life worked like some believe movies should work, our downfalls would leave us stranded in the gutter, with no way to pull ourselves up.
Sure, Kylo Ren was awful to Rey at times. Sure, he killed his father, who just so happened to be Han Solo. No one is going to question that. But does that disqualify him from ever redeeming himself, as well as his relationship with Rey? Absolutely not.
What the sequel trilogy created was two characters at opposite ends of the spectrum that were much closer than they would have ever seemed at the start. They were both lost, alone, misguided, but through their shared interactions, they were able to find peace not just for themselves, but for the galaxy.
Together, they showed us how to put aside differences, how to put aside agendas and political implications, and unite under the common umbrella of being human beings. Ben came back from the pits of pure darkness because of Rey and Rey found her way to her true potential because of Ben. Without each other, neither would have ended up where they did.
That’s a fantastic foundation for a romance. Two people who want to leave their past behind and start over. Don’t we all deserve that?
It’s just a movie, but when you can start pulling real life parallels from movies, especially movies set in a galaxy far, far away, you know that something about it is resonating. A lot of the sequel trilogy borrowed from the original trilogy, but the story of redemption never gets old. To see a bad person turn good is so fulfilling, it gives hope to anyone who may feel that they themselves are lost to darkness.
We all screw up and we need that chance to make things right. Star Wars gave Ben Solo that chance and he took it. Get over it.