The Redemption of Kylo Ren

The question on everyone’s mind lately… “Is Kylo Ren Redeemable?” or as my guest blogger Michael Burgett queried yesterday: “Will Kylo Ren Be Redeemed?” If that question is not on your mind, then you just haven’t seen Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens enough! Go watch it again and then we can talk!

Reader, you know me by now. I’ve shared many an embarrassing story with you. I’ve told you about my dates and about my family and about my hopes and my dreams. I believe that you truly know me, in all my pie-in-the-sky optimism. So, of course, my answer to both the aforementioned questions would be yes. Yes, Kylo is redeemable and yes, he will be redeemed. In fact, I’d go further and say it is merely a matter of time till he is redeemed. And it is one scene in particular that gives me this hope for the son of Han Solo to find his way back to the Light.

star-wars-the-force-awakens-new-leia-han-162185-640x320

Han is leaving the Rebel base to go destroy Starkiller and confront his son who has turned so far from the path that Han, Leia and Luke had wanted for him. Leia and Han share a tender moment of goodbye, not knowing that it would be their last moment together. Leia says to Han “there is Light in him.” And as we know, this is a strong theme in the Star Wars universe. The presence of Light is more than just a touch of the good side…it is hope. Padme felt the Light in Anakin. Luke felt the Light in Darth Vader. That pull to the Light is a powerful feeling.

Often it is the Dark side that is given all the strength of power. And in the past we have witnessed the pull from the Light to the Dark in Anakin’s journey. Kylo’s journey, for us, starts out in the Dark with that sliver of Light still shining inside him. Light that he is desperate to eradicate and turn from.

Kylo2.0

Now, I know what you’re thinking. All that Light talk happened before Kylo kills his own father, our beloved Han Solo. Tell me something…does one deplorable act completely erase your humanity? Some might say yes, but I say no. (It’s a different story when it comes to the Emperor. Ask me about it sometime!) Kylo is still Leia’s son. And in the end if when Kylo comes back to the Light side, he will have to fully feel his actions on Starkiller base. The Dark side allows you to cloud your true feelings and boil them down into pure anger. But as any person who has experienced anger knows, there’s usually something else going on underneath it. And Supreme Commander Snoke knows this. He is pulling Kylo’s strings the way Emperor Palpatine pulled Anakin’s. The Dark side is manipulation and lies.

Now, I really like the point that Michael in his article yesterday. If this were just a villain, like Darth Vader was back in 1977, then we wouldn’t be having this argument. We don’t argue whether Hannibal Lecter will be redeemed or if Lord Voldemort will come back to the side of good wizardry in the end. But in 1983, when Return of the Jedi was released, George Lucas taught us that even a bad guy as bad as Darth Vader himself could find redemption and bring balance to the Force. Let’s not forget that lesson just because Kylo Ren has no prophecy to bring about his redemption.

We, the viewer, had no idea what history lay underneath Vader’s mask till the prequels came out in 1999. With Kylo, we know a little of his history, but none of his motivation. Why did he turn? What drew him to the Darkness? What lies about Darth Vader’s legacy has he been told? And if he finds out the truth about The Chosen One, will that make a difference?

All will be revealed in due time, reader. We may have to wait a few more months than we want to with Episode VIII being pushed from May 2017 to December 2017. But think of how happy your Star Wars friends will be to have another onslaught of delicious merchandise to acquire that Christmas. It’ll be so easy to shop! So in the end, the wait is worth it. And we can continue our speculation up until the very day when the truth is shared with us.

wishing-you-a.png

In the meantime, I invite you to come join my Nerd in the City book club on Goodreads. So much delicious Star Wars Expanded Universe reading material to dive into and dissect!! Do not miss out!

The Best and Brightest: Captain America 2

I know Captain America 2 is old news by now, but I went to see it for a second time this week and realized I hadn’t blogged about it yet. So here goes…

Captain America is my very favorite Avenger. He represents the best in all of us. He is also the Avenger with the most honest and true heart. And Marvel is at it’s best when it displays an equal amount of action and heart (infused with a seriously epic soundtrack! Provided here by Henry Jackman.) Cap has friends in high and low places and knows just when to call on each. He may be in the dark about what’s going on in the big picture but he doesn’t let that stop him from making the best decisions with knowledge he does have. And when put to the test, Cap always comes out on the side of truth, justice and… you know the rest!

Chris Evans as Steve Rogers / Captain America,  in Captain America The Winter Soldier

Also, this was the first time I actually liked Black Widow for more than just her ability to kick serious ass. Scar-Jo generally comes off as slutty secretary (though a ass kicking one at that) to me, but when heroes go on the lam, there is a certain vulnerability that comes with it that was delightful to watch. Cap, Black Widow and Nick Fury all are “taken down” (we all know they’ll get back up again) by S.H.I.E.L.D. and the sinister efforts of Hydra. They are each confronted with the realities of a world without restraint. Without checks and balances. An agency that believes it can make preemptive decisions with no consequences. What happens when that agency is one you are working for. What happens when that agency is the very thing that saved you. Which side do you choose? Great concepts to explore and deeper than bad guy vs good guy!

Natasha Romanoff

And don’t even get me started on Sebastian Stan!! His Winter Soldier presents the perfect dichotomy to offset Cap’s righteous do-good attitude. The Winter Soldier has also been told that he is fighting for the better side. He too has been lied to. Bucky Barnes is equal parts hard hitting assassin and tortured soldier just following orders. The best villains (in my opinion) are the ones that we wish we could save. The ones we still see that glimmer of good in. The ones who push that aside and end up becoming evil anyways. The Lex Luthors (Smallville style, just wants to be friends with Clark and know his secrets), the Loki’s (only wants to be loved and accepted by his father), the Darth Vaders (redemption comes when his son is put in mortal danger), The Walter White’s (trying to good for his family till he realizes he enjoys being bad and embraces it.) Villains with depth and with layers. And The Winter Soldier may as well be an onion. Cause layers… he’s got em!

First shot I've seen of the Winter Soldier from Captain America 2...he looks so badass!!

All the other players in the game brought it as well. Cobie Smulder’s Agent Maria Hill was back and in the thick of the secrets. Now that HIMYM has ended, there should be a place for her over at ABC on Agents of SHIELD, especially now that it is getting unmissable!! Because her character is a great addition to the Marvel Universe. And anytime you throw Emily VanCamp into the mix… you’ve made a good choice. She’s great at duplicity. Turn on Revenge and see just how good. VanCamp’s Sharon Carter is the niece of Cap’s first love, Peggy Carter. Can’t wait to see the progression of her character! Anthony Mackie’s Falcon is a great side kick for Cap. He stands on his own two feet and compliments Cap’s dynamic at the same time. He’s exactly what you want from a side kick. So much good to talk about. Robert Redford as the baddie at the helm of the Hydra revolution is pure logical evil and Samuel L. Jackson’s Nicholas J. Fury has never been better as the dead and revived secret keeping agent in charge of the good guys.

agent maria hill captain america 2 photos | alias es agent hill appeared in the avengers captain america the ...

Agent 13/Sharon Carter poster for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. (So excited for another BAMF Marvel heroine - fingers-crossed that she's as amazing as her aunt, Peggy Carter.)

Movie poster Photoshop fails - Yahoo Celebrity Philippines

Spoilers…

Let’s discuss the easter eggs they threw our way. Anyone else get super excited when they mentioned Steven Strange? Or how about the tag in the middle of the credits with “the twins.” A.k.a… Quicksilver and Scarlett Witch. Epic!! Cannot wait to see them debuted in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

While other franchises lose power as they continue to beat the proverbial dead horse of sequel after sequel, Marvel just gets better with age. And I would put Captain America 2 at the top of the stand alone Avengers films. Only eclipsed by Avengers itself (cause dude… all Avengers are better than just one. But in Caps case… only by a little.)