I’ve read that Kylo (Ben) is plagued by feelings of abandonment by his family. According to Bloodline, Ben did not know that his grandfather was Darth Vader, and he likely found out the truth from someone else. So, let’s take a closer look at his family.
Leia says to Han that Snoke has been fighting for Ben from his birth (and maybe even before). Apparently, Leia thought she was up to the task of fighting for his soul because she didn’t share that with Han until The Force Awakens (novelization or script.) I, personally, don’t understand why she didn’t confide in Luke unless he was already gone, which is entirely possible. I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t read all the canon novels, so perhaps that question has already been convincingly answered and I just don’t know it.
Han is absent, and during Bloodline he’s off running the equivalent of the Galactic Cannonball Run. In the (infamous) interrogation scene, Kylo tells Rey that Han Solo, who she feels is like the father she never had, would disappoint her. And in the third act of the movie, he murders his father as the sun goes out. He, horrifyingly, thanks Han for the sacrifice of his life even as Kylo realizes that he has made the worst mistake of his life. Patricide, as Adam Driver says, is not all it’s cracked up to be.
Luke remains shrouded in mystery. I suspect that he really embraced the monastic Jedi code after the end of the Galactic Empire. From things I heard from around the interwebs, it sounds like he might have been relic-hunting and took Ben with him. And they’ve been largely out of touch with Leia and Han. In fact, it seems that they have been absent for a very long time. I’m actually pretty skeptical that Luke had a cadre of students aside from Ben, which begs the question of what exactly Ben destroyed when he “destroyed it all.” I tend to lean towards him destroying many of the things they found as they searched for the lore and history of the Force. CT from the Knights of Rant postulated something similar, and that just makes sense to me.
Clearly, he’s somewhat disenchanted with his family. And frankly, I don’t blame him. I don’t excuse him for being a monumental asshole. It’s taken me a year and a half (plus) to forgive him for killing Han Solo, a fictional character. I’m not sure some fans will ever be able to forgive him for that.
Now, moving on to others that have impacted Kylo.
Snoke – he’s definitely not Ben/Kylo’s family, but I think that Ben came to think of him as such, perhaps a twisted version of an uncle. Why? I think because he’d been honest about one very important thing – Ben’s relationship to Vader. Think about it – the very people he had trusted his entire life had kept this huge secret from him. He likely believed in them and used them as his bulwark against Snoke’s insidious whispers. And to find that they lied to him? Is it then a surprise that he turns his back? Then, imagine his surprise when killing Han Solo, which he thought, maybe even from Snoke’s teachings, would serve to strengthen him, but in actuality weakens him. Dishonesty strikes again.
Literally, everyone he’s ever trusted has betrayed him (from a certain point of view.)
That brings us to Rey. I’m going to be honest – TFA confused me. The “bridal” carry to the transport, the interrogation, even the snow fight – they all confused me. It was like a pair of magnets, right? Everything was pushing against each other sending things away from each other, then I gave them a little flip, and suddenly it all went together like a jigsaw puzzle. The events matched up and made sense. The notion of these two, Kylo and Rey, having a relationship (I’m on the Force bond wagon) that’s “very interesting” (JJ Abrams), seems to just make sense. She learns from Kylo, escapes him using those very techniques he unwittingly showed her, and then she clearly wins the snow fight. And y’all, he’s not even mad. He’s lying in the snow, wounded by a blaster bolt (that he could have stopped if he had wanted to) and slashed by a lightsaber blade to the face. But he never looks angry – not at her. The other thing I’ve noticed (and I’m sure it’s been said by so many people, so many times) is that he never lies to her. He always tells the truth from his point of view. This is even more clear in the novelizations than it is in the movie, but it’s still movie canon. He’s honest with her.
I think that honesty is going to be key going forward. She hasn’t lied to him, and now he knows that his family has lied, his pseudo family has lied, but she’s been honest with him. And if they are Force-bonded, he will likely always be able to know that she’s telling the truth. He will know he can trust her.
He lost his previous encounters with her, but these two are equals. He’s going to draw even with her. And I think that proximity could enforce the bond that they share. Could that happen? Perhaps. The Knights of Rant, Star Wars Connection, and I think Scavenger’s Hoard (Journal of the Star Wars here on WordPress) posit that Kylo may be stuck on Ahch-To with Luke and Rey for reasons as yet undetermined.
Wouldn’t it be interesting if enforced isolation strengthens that bond and they move forward together to bring balance to the Force? Wouldn’t that be poetic? The scavenger and the prince? The yin and yang?
Luke’s not going to be happy with his nephew, but Ben is still his nephew. Luke forgave his father for slicing off his hand which was arguably the least of his crimes; he’ll forgive Ben for Han Solo’s death. I’m not saying that forgiveness and redemption will be easy, but it’s going to happen. I personally think Ben will destroy Kylo in The Last Jedi and that Ben will spend Episode 9 atoning for Kylo’s sins. Rey will be the key to this as she will know that Ben is sincere even when others are uncertain. There’s a very real possibility that Ben will not survive Episode 9, but I confess that I hope otherwise.
Back to Rey for a moment: She’s always wanted her family. I think she’s found her family, and it has nothing to do with blood.Rey Solo and Rey Skywalker have been firmly debunked. I’m hoping that she is Rey Nobody, but I’d enjoy a Rey Kenobi story. JJ Abrams says that she will find her family, but not in the way she expects. I interpret that to mean that she’ll make her own family rather than having her fantastically shitty parents come back to her.
I stand by an earlier thought that I had (which is admittedly based largely on wild speculation and wishful thinking): Rey will be a Skywalker – someday. And she will be piloting the Falcon alongside Ben. Luke will likely retreat back to his island home. Chewie will have returned to his home and family; Finn and Rose will be together, “Big Deals” in the new government, and I’m afraid we are going to lose our beloved Princess on film as well as in real life.
What do y’all think? Am I barking up the wrong tree? On the right track?