That’s an odd title for a post, I know but I’ll explain what is meant by “battle of the force’s will”. The Force as most understand it is exactly as Obi-Wan described it to Luke in A New Hope:
The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us, it binds the galaxy together.
It’s what gives any practitioner of the ways of the Force their power. The same is true for dark side users as well. In this scene in The Last Jedi, it was described to me once on Tumblr that this scene is where you can see the dark side of the force trying to bend Kylo Ren’s will to kill Leia. I did mention this in an earlier post but I can’t for the life of me find that post. It seems I have written way too many articles about Kylo Ren 😅
But seriously, take a look at this GIF and in particular pay attention to the lighting on Kylo Ren’s face:
Sure it could just be the way the lighting for this scene has been filmed and means nothing at all. Or it could be the representation of the dark and light sides of the force wrestling inside him at this very intense moment in the film. Can you even have shadows in space? Also, notice how his face looks like he’s struggling with something. We can’t see it, but I believe it’s the internal conflict within him – the light and dark sides of the force trying to gain control over Kylo Ren/Ben Solo’s will to act.
And then you see Kylo Ren remove his finger from the trigger because he couldn’t kill his mother after all. At this moment in the scene, Ben Solo has scratched his way to the surface, leaving his “soul” in complete turmoil. Look at his mouth quivering in this scene as he watches the First Order TIE fighter pilots do what he could not and fire upon Leia and her crew:
And this is why Adam Driver is one of my favourite actors. The changes in his facial expressions are so subtle yet speak volumes about the feelings he is trying to portray.
And just before you begin to question the validity of “lighting” in a scene to convey or control the atmosphere of that scene, check out this one from The Force Awakens and pay particular attention to when Rey and Finn (representing the “heroes” in this film) enter the area – you can see quite clearly there is a ray of light shining down upon Ben Solo and Han:
And then the light disappears and the only light left surrounding Ben and Han is tainted red (and red has always been considered the colour of the dark side of the force). This is where I believe Kylo Ren takes over and Ben is lost forever (well, we know it’s not forever but during that scene he was totally diminished).
So therein lies my theory on how the light and dark sides of the force were always present in almost every important decision Kylo Ren/Ben Solo made. This is something that I think JJ Abrams did exceptionally well in The Force Awakens and it still remains in my top five Star Wars films to date. One day I’ll rank them, I promise!
Let me know your thoughts friends – do you think this was a powerful scene? Do you think the death of Han Solo was handled well? Do you think that Han Solo should have lived? Let me know in the comments as always and may the force be with you!
5 thoughts on “Kylo Ren/Ben Solo in the Battle of the Force’s Will”
Hi Julie…may I mention ROTJ the Throne Room Duel? Luke is concealed beneath the throne room floor and Vader is taunting him about turning to the darkside…”it is inevitable. Your thoughts for your friends betray you and your….SISTER! A twin sister! Obi-wan was wise to hide her but if you you will not turn then maybe SHE will!” Just check out the lighting and expression on Luke’s face – one half red and the other blue. The light and dark, the good and evil….the balance, the turmoil.
And this was filmed back in ’82.
However in the scene you show of Han and Kylo did you notice that Han is stood in the red and Kylo in the blue? Possibly implying that there are elements of both light and dark in all of us? That image in the YT video almost looks like a Star Wars themed Yin-Yang symbol.
Then the darkness and red begins to dominate the scene as Han isn’t trained or adept and is overtaken (and we know what happens to him next).
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Oh yes, gosh I forgot all about that – when I eventually get around to watching the 4K UHD disks that I bought earlier this year (I am waiting for the PS5 because that will be a really good way to watch the 4K movies) I will rewatch all of these films. I plan to review them all and rank them too so that is one project I know is going to be monumental for this blog 🙂 Thank you as always for your wise insight 🙂
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Hi Julie, that scene and it’s lighting stood out for me as I have always liked theatrical/perfomance related stuff (I went on to study Performing Arts and Music Tech at college). As a youngling I wondered (on a technical view) how they got two colours of light. In the Force it’s easy…it was the good and evil fighting for balance (or supremacy if evil). At college I learnt how they did it physically on a film set! Happy viewing when you get your console.
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Any thing stopping light causes a shadow. Light travels through space. The facial shadowing is very clever I like your threory. Some one spent a lot of time creating those shadows.
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I never even thought of that 🙂 but so true thanks Neil 🙂
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