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“The force will never betray you”… Kylo Ren and Ben Solo edit

I had this image in my head of an edit I wanted to do with both Kylo Ren and Ben Solo which started off as something like a “Who did you become?” post which I’ve done before with other characters. But then I looked at the image I had made a little longer and came up with the edit below. The concept stems from Kylo Ren being Ben Solo and Ben Solo is Kylo Ren. Even when Kylo Ren was at his worst, in his darkest hour (from The Force Awakens when he killed his father), to the moment he turned his back on Kylo Ren and became Ben Solo once more. The force was there, it was always there, flowing all around him, flowing between Kylo Ren and Ben Solo and within them. Even though they are one person, Adam Driver was so masterful at portraying them as two separate people and that’s how I came up with this edit. I wanted to show the force flowing between both of his persona’s, and just as he was two different people, darkness and light, I wanted to show this in the flow of the force, both red for darkness and blue for light.

And in the end, the force would never betray him as the force was always there both in his darkest moments and his most heroic.

KYLOEDIT01BLEND02

Ben Solo The Rise of Skywalker Animation

So it’s officially 2020 now and I wanted to kickstart the year with a beautiful animation with art by shuploc.tumblr.com. It’s one of the most beautiful pieces of Ben Solo that I’ve seen and I just had to animate it! I added the blue lighting to signify Ben’s turn to the light in the final act.

Animated by Darkside Creative Star Wars Creative

And I mucked around with this edit I did some time ago and changed the lightsabers both to blue signifying Ben and Rey’s Dyad in the Force. I also changed Ben’s lightsaber as well (otherwise it would have looked weird with a blue crossguard lightsaber).

Ben and Rey Animation by Star Wars Creative Darkside Creative

 

When you’re called a “racist” on social media…

Today after a lovely and restful sleep, I went on social media and was bombarded by posts all about John Boyega. For some reason, John has come under attack from some fans for voicing his opinion about Rey’s relationship with Finn and Kylo Ren/Ben Solo in The Rise of Skywalker. If I haven’t made it clear before, I will now – I have never liked John Boyega. I can’t explain it in any way that would make much sense but I can guarantee you now that it has NOTHING to do with the colour of his skin.

I am a little bit rattled because I’ve never been called a racist before. Being of mixed blood myself, I find it hilarious that anyone would think I’m racist just because I said I don’t like John Boyega OR the character that he plays in the sequel trilogy. It’s like, sorry but first of all, who do you think you are making comments like this about someone you don’t even know? And secondly, what does not liking someone have to do with the colour of their skin? I like Pedro Pascal and he’s of Latino heritage. My favourite artist of all time was Prince, also of mixed blood like myself. I like Barack Obama and Denzel Washington. The list goes on. How can I be a racist if I respect and love people who have darker skin than I do?

It’s just ridiculous what people do on social media. It makes me shake my head and feel sorry for them because they have nothing better to do than pass judgement and make criticisms that are cruel and mean-spirited.

So back to the John Boyega thing. I actually discussed the entire meltdown between John and the Star Wars fans on Dork Side of the Force. It hasn’t been edited yet so it won’t be up on the site for a bit but when it is, you can support me by visiting their blog and reading all about it (if you feel like it, of course).

I think I’ll go and write a positive and lovely New Year’s post because it is already 2020 in my country! Let all the most glorious things that can happen to you happen to you this year!

Much love

J.

 

Kylo Ren’s non-redemption arc

redemption [ ri-demp-shuh n ]
noun
an act of redeeming or atoning for a fault or mistake, or the state of being redeemed.
deliverance; rescue.
Theology. deliverance from sin; salvation.
atonement for guilt.

SPOILERS FOR THE RISE OF SKYWALKER BELOW!

I’ve seen a lot of fans talking about Kylo Ren’s redemption. I’ve seen bloggers on prolific sites confirming this. But I don’t agree. If you look at the dictionary meaning for redemption, it is an atonement of guilt. I don’t recall seeing a scene in The Rise of Skywalker that shows or implies that Kylo Ren is atoning for his past sins – his father’s murder, the murder of thousands of innocent people throughout the galaxy and the list goes on. That’s because Kylo Ren didn’t atone, and just because he reverted to Ben Solo does not confirm his redemption. Adam Driver has also confirmed in various interviews, the most recent with EW, that he doesn’t feel Kylo Ren needed to be redeemed. This would have me believe that Adam Driver was not playing the character of Kylo Ren as someone who needs redemption or needs forgiveness for the things he did.

 

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Kylo Ren Edit by Me 🙂

 

What I did see was Kylo Ren become Ben Solo. The one scene I do consider the closest thing to a redemption arc is the scene between Kylo Ren and his father, Han Solo. This was the highlight of the film for me. It was a scene with very few words but was the most significant turning point in Kylo Ren’s character development, where he made the conscious and willing decision to turn his back on the dark side and his dark side persona, Kylo Ren. When Ben Solo turns towards the tumultuous sea behind him, he throws his lightsaber into the ocean. This is the closest we ever see Kylo Ren get to his redemption, but it’s still not an admission of guilt for past transgressions. And Ben’s interaction with Han Solo was a memory, not an interaction with a “force ghost” as many have said.

I do, however, firmly believe that had Ben Solo lived, there would have been time for him to atone or to at least ask for forgiveness from the people he hurt the most. With Leia’s death, we know that she still loved him as she was reaching out through the force to him in the final duel with Rey. But again, this is not a confirmation of redemption. As Leia dies, Ben’s final opportunity for true redemption dies with her.

 

 

Ben Solo and Rey “Broken Pieces” Animation and edits

I have spent a lot of time creating graphics, edits, GIFs etc since seeing The Rise of Skywalker so I’ll be uploading them all here. I’ve had to start adding watermarks to the GIFs I make again because I’ve seen way too many of the edits I’ve made credited to someone else. I just know that is what will keep happening until I start using a deterrent so back to adding watermarks, sigh.

Here’s an edit I just made, and I actually quite like this one:

When I look at myself all I see is you

Made by Star Wars Creative

And other edits I made using the same images using lyrics from a song I really like that kind of speaks to me regarding Rey and Ben/Kylo Ren’s complicated relationship. The song is “Broken Pieces” by Apocalyptica

REYBLUEMASTERLYRIC.png

BENSOLOREDLYRIC

 

 

 

Star Wars Edits – Vader, Ben Solo in Battlefront 2, Adam Driver Rolling Stone Cover

This is just a post-update of edits I’ve done over the last month or so that I finally have time to upload here. I’m on holiday until January 6th so I have a whole heap of time to get lots of edits, writing and reviewing done!

This piece is by Jedi-Art-Trick and I thought adding rain to it would make it seem more atmospheric. I didn’t add sound because adding sound as well as animation increases the file size considerably.

JEDIARTTRICKDARTHVADER (1200px, 25fps)

This is an edit of a Battlefront 2 screenshot of Ben Solo – the mod used is pretty damn cool if you ask me! And I liked the image so much, I decided to edit it. The original image is from http://www.nexusmods.com

BENSOLOBATTLEFRONT.png

And this image is probably very recognisable now as it was on the cover of the December 2019 issue for Rolling Stone Magazine. I just made a few slight edits to the colouring and the eyes so they’d stand out more – and I removed the text as well

ADAMDRIVERROLLINGSTONEEDIT01.png

 

The Rise of Skywalker Review #1 (With Spoilers!)

THIS IS NOT A SPOILER-FREE POST SO IF YOU ARE AVOIDING SPOILERS, PLEASE STOP READING, THANK-YOU!

I’ve numbered this review because I want this to be the first pass for the film, and my thoughts and feelings may evolve once I’ve had more time to think about it. My first initial reaction was confliction – I both loved and disliked this film in equal measure. I’ve seen the movie twice now, so I have had more exposure to it than most, and I’ve been able to go on social media and talk about it in spoiler tags (of course).

I’ll break this review up so that it’s easier to read, but right now, my honest opinion is that this film was better than The Last Jedi, at least for me and on equal par with The Force Awakens, which I came to love after watching it a few times.

The Resistance, Leia, Poe and Finn

I thought that Leia was treated well in the film and represented the way I expected she would be. No issues at all there. The CGI was still a little weird looking, but overall, I liked what JJ and Chris did with her. This is a huge deal for fans because Princess Leia is a prevalent character, even in the sequel trilogy. I felt that her presence was honoured and respected. I hope fans feel the same way once they see it. Her passing was as emotional as can be expected. I cried a fair bit silently, in my seat, hoping the light from the screen wouldn’t expose my tears.

Poe and Finn’s dynamic has evolved quite a bit. Anyone who is a fan of these two characters will enjoy what they represent in the film and how they interact. Some of it was witty, some of it was tense, but Poe and Finn will always be yet another draw-card for fans. And I would be lying if I said that I enjoyed these characters myself. I didn’t. I found Finn’s consistent badgering of Rey annoying. Rey had big stuff going on and she just honestly didn’t have time to deal with Finn and his unresolved feelings for her. Finn just needed to understand that he was friend-zoned a long time ago and he’s never climbing out of that hole, no matter how many times he tries. There, I said it.

Poe and his past – not really sure how this helped the movie as a whole but I guess if you’re looking for character development, there’s a bit of that thrown in. I thought Zorii, the mysterious woman from Poe’s past was really just a filler character. The film would have been fine without her.

First gay scene ever in a Star Wars film – yup, that’s legit. It was pretty cool, too. I guess if we’re handing out brownie points, JJ earned a couple there.

The Return of Emperor Palpatine

This, in my opinion, was one of the best things to come out of this entire trilogy. While I was not too comfortable with the idea at first, I began to realise that bringing back Palpatine as the main antagonist was a genius idea. Not only does it give the movie the appeal of coming “full circle”, but it also draws in fans from the original trilogy, which is a crucial step for the fandom. Many OT and PT fans have felt divided over the direction of the Sequel Trilogy, and now they actually have a reason to be invested. Ian McDiarmid as Emperor Palpatine was AMAZING and every single scene with him resonated such significant presence and foreboding. I haven’t felt that sense of fear and dread for our heroes in a long time. While Kylo Ren is a fantastic antagonist, Emperor Palpatine is an entirely different type of evil – the deepest and darkest evil there is. And we also know now that Palpatine has been the main antagonist all along (another great twist in the story).

THE FOUR GIGANTIC ELEPHANTS IN THE ROOM – REYLO

For anyone who wants to know, yes, Reylo is indeed a thing if only for a moment. It is a genuine and emotionally charged moment at that. As I was never a massive supporter of Reylo, I found myself surprised by this aspect of the plot because I thought I would feel really grossed-out about it. And I just wasn’t. I cried, twice – once for each viewing. The scene is honestly one of the most heartbreaking that I think I’ve ever seen in a film. And that’s including Wuthering Heights! So if you’re going for the Reylo, take tissues, I implore you.

ELEPHANT NUMBER TWO – THE REDEMPTION OF BEN SOLO

And again, this just broke my heart. There is a scene where Ben is confronted by his past, by his father and his mother and they are almost tied together in timing. This is one of the most moving parts of the film and again, I warn you that if you’re soft like I am, bring tissues because cry you will! I guess the question of whether or not Ben Solo is redeemed can only be answered by your own interpretation of this scene and Ben’s scenes with Rey in the final act. It is undeniable when Kylo Ren becomes Ben Solo, and you won’t be at all disappointed by this. I was elated to see Ben Solo, finally, get his moment to truly be. It was cinematic beauty for me, it was one of the highlights of the entire film.

FROM TUMBLR TROS.jpg

ELEPHANT NUMBER THREE – BEN SOLO’S DEATH

Yup, it happens. And again, I choked up like a newborn baby when he passed over to the light. I couldn’t help myself. I mean we get to see him as Ben Solo for what? 10 maybe 15 minutes only to lose him at the end? Yeah, that was just wrong. I am sorry, but I will never agree with this part of the story. It’s right up there with Luke Skywalker’s character development in The Last Jedi. It felt like an assault on everything that I held dear in the sequel trilogy. I felt ripped apart and left to die. Why give a character this beautifully moving moment of happiness only to rip his heart out at the end and throw it away like trash? I just can’t with this, I get teary-eyed just talking about it, so I’ll leave it there.

ELEPHANT NUMBER FOUR – REY PALPATINE – OR WAS THAT SKYWALKER?

The one thing I thought about when all of these plot points were revealed in the film was that Jedi Praxis over at Reddit and Jason Ward from Making Star Wars were both spot-on with their leaks. And I will be forever grateful that I knew what was coming before I went into this. I couldn’t imagine having to go through any of the final act without knowing the end. So the last elephant is enormous, I know. But it does explain how Rey was an alleged “Mary Sue” throughout the trilogy (she had power from the Palpatine line as Emperor Palpatine’s granddaughter) and able to defeat a trained and skilful Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens and fight like she was born a Jedi in The Last Jedi. That bit is handled exceptionally well. But the ending where she claims the right to call herself a Skywalker when the TRUE Skywalker had to die so she could live?!! Nope, not having it, not one single bit. Burying the Legacy sabre AND Leia’s sabre on Tatooine was an excellent way to kick the fandom when they were already bleeding on the floor.

So that’s my first pass for this film – I haven’t talked about the visuals or how pretty it looked, John Williams’ sound or any of those aspects of the movie because by the end of it, you truly won’t care. I feel that fans will have more than enough to feel good or bad about given the points I’ve made above.