Kylo Ren/Ben Solo in the Battle of the Force’s Will

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:

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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:

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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!

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Star Wars Writing

Star Wars Sequel Trilogy – Finn’s Wasted Potential

Today I asked followers on my Instagram account about favourite characters from the sequel trilogy and someone mentioned that they felt Finn was their favourite but only in The Force Awakens. They elaborated to say that the other movies following The Force Awakens were bad because they didn’t do anything with the great story-telling in the first film which left Finn hanging in the wind.

While I’ve mentioned several times why Finn wasn’t really considered an important character for me, what this person had to say about Finn rings true. I also felt that there was so much wasted potential there. J J Abrams did one good thing in bringing the character of Finn to the forefront and into our minds. He was nothing more than just another Stormtrooper in a war that didn’t make sense. But Finn having a back story that did make sense and was just as important as anyone else’s was a stroke of pure genius. I mean who cares about Stormtroopers in the bigger picture? The answer is nobody. Nobody cared about Stormtroopers until Finn came along. And suddenly, Finn was someone to watch with interest.

But of course, his character was pushed by the wayside in TLJ for obvious reasons; Rian Johnson had other plans for the direction of the film and Finn wasn’t really factored into that. To me, it seemed like Kylo Ren and Rey’s development was a lot more important to Rian which is perfectly fine. They were the main characters of the trilogy after all.

So while some fans like to take sides and throw mud at the directors and writers for their poor choices, I prefer to blame Disney somewhat for the mess that was the sequel trilogy. Bringing on board two very different creative people into one trilogy that really needed synergy and cohesion to work was the silliest decision ever made for this franchise.

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Finn had a back story that could have worked really well had Rian carried on from where J J left off. And in the final film, J J Abrams tried to recover from what Rian had created in The Last Jedi and it just came out messy and nonsensical leaving Finn nowhere.

So for the very first time, I have stopped focusing on Kylo Ren and Rey (mostly Kylo) and I’ve stopped to think about Finn and how his character was diminished until he barely existed at all. And now I understand what the actor John Boyega was probably feeling about it knowing full well that his character had been overlooked entirely in the second and third films.

Don’t even get me started on Rose Tico. That’s another debate waiting to be addressed in another post.

What do you think or feel about Finn’s development as a character? Do you agree with me that his story was diminished to make way for Rey and Kylo Ren’s development? Or do you think what Rian did was the best thing for the franchise?

Let me know in the comments friends, I am eager to discuss this with you. And as always, stay safe out there and I’ll catch you in the comments!

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My Star Wars Gifs and Edits

Star Wars is Poetry – Quote of the Day

Even though this is not exactly a memorable quote from The Force Awakens, I thought it was necessary because it showed how far Ben Solo had fallen to the dark side of the force. He was well and truly its servant at this point in the film.

I think this is one of the most enduring aspects of the Skywalker Saga as a whole. The most fascinating part of it is how it all came together to expose the frailty of the human spirit. I felt really bad for Kylo Ren. I felt bad that he had nobody to turn to, he really was just a very lonely, angry young man.

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How do you like my logo in this edit? It has become an unnecessary evil, unfortunately. There are too many thieves on the internet 😔

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Star Wars Star Wars Movies

The Star Wars Cinematic Universe – Behind the Scenes #3

Behind the scenes image of Adam Driver as Kylo Ren in a scene from Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens. The camera in this shot was actually on a crane! I don’t know if that’s a normal thing to do or not but yeah, insane, right?

 

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Star Wars Star Wars Books Star Wars Poetry

Star Wars is Poetry – The Force Awakens by Alan Foster

The Force Awakens Novelisation by Alan Foster

This is the first book in the Sequel Trilogy based on the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy of films.

This book can be found here on Amazon

AS THE ALIEN woods closed in around her, Rey jumped at every sound, glanced sharply at every wind-rustled branch and falling leaf. Holding tightly to the blaster, she held off firing defensively in the direction of every movement for fear of alerting her pursuers to her location. Sensing something just ahead, she slowed and brought the blaster up. A figure stepped out from behind a tree.

It was the nightmare, and he was wielding a lightsaber unlike any she had ever seen in the stories she had read. Its beam was an intense, burning red like a controlled flame, and near the hilt, a pair of shorter beams shot outward, perpendicular to the main shaft.

She fired, again and again. Each shot from her blaster he deflected with the lightsaber’s beam. Almost as if it were a game, she thought in terror as she continued to fire. He was playing with her.

Until, evidently, he tired of it. He raised a hand, held it toward her, palm outward. As she inhaled sharply, her hand froze on the blaster. She tried to turn, to run, but her legs refused to respond. She could only stand there among the trees, taking in slow, measured breaths, as he came toward her.

Halting an arm’s length away, he studied her face from behind his mask. When he finally spoke, he sounded at once impressed and surprised. “You would kill me. Knowing nothing about me.”

Finding that her mouth and lips worked, she replied defiantly. “Why wouldn’t I kill you? I know about the First Order.”

“I would say otherwise. But that is a small thing. Simple ignorances are easily remedied.” As he spoke, he walked slowly around her paralyzed body. Frightened, she tried to follow him with her eyes, but her head would not turn. “So afraid,” he murmured. “Yet I should be the one who should be scared. You shot first. You speak of the Order as if it were barbaric. And yet, it is I who was forced to defend myself against you.”

Having circled her, he moved even closer, peering into her face, her eyes. Then the red lightsaber he held came up: close to her flesh, close enough to cast a red glow on her skin.

“Something.” He sounded mystified. “There is something…Who are you?”

Even from the beginning, Kylo Ren was intrigued by Rey. If anyone had any doubt that these two would end up together in some way or form, they weren’t reading between the lines 🤣

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt. Please let me know if you have any books you’d like me to look into to feature in the next post. I’m always open to suggestions.

Stay safe and I’ll see you in the next one!

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