– by Campbell Clark

One of the certainties I had following The Last Jedi was that we could rule out a redemption arc for Kylo Ren aka Ben Solo. I suppose I’m pretty well known for disliking The Last Jedi, but I guess it’s partly due to the lofty expectations I had for the movie and the way it followed on from, I think a quite unoriginal opening premise within The Force Awakens, in hindsight.

For me, Ben Solo made his choice between light and dark in that Snoke throne room scene and he chose his dark path and took his place as Supreme Leader. Yet, rumors abound that J.J. Abrams may have developed a redemption arc for Ben in The Rise of Skywalker. When you look at the reason for bringing back an overarching villain like The Emperor, it does for me feel like they are once again setting up a redemption arc for this character and I don’t know how I feel about that? On one hand, I want some drama in this last movie, on the other, it will feel a little like Return of the Jedi and after Abrams previous movie felt like a copy-paste job on A New Hope, that worries me.

Abrams was asked directly whether Kylo Ren could still be redeemed when he spoke with MTV News recently, and of course, he skirted the question. However, he did go on to carefully offer praise in Adam Driver’s performance in the movie, check out the transcript below.

“I will say that with an actor like Adam Driver, you can never limit what that man can do. I will say, without talking about redemption or not, that he is mind-blowing in this. He’s brought a whole other level to this, so I can’t wait to see what happens with him.”

Of course, Abrams isn’t going to tell us a pivotal plot point like this, but does anyone else get the feeling this is exactly what is going to happen? It’s all in the execution of course, and if it works, it works, and vice versa. However, if Ben Solo is redeemed, I don’t see it feeling very original to fans, and I wonder how it will be deemed as a three-part story in years to come. I’d also like to say that Adam Driver is, far and away, my favorite actor and character in these Star Wars movies. For me, the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy works best with Driver is on screen and falters when he is absent, so the more we get of Kylo Ren in the final movie, the better for me.

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It’s over to you guys now, would you like to see a Kylo Ren redemption arc in this movie, and if so why? Would you prefer that Ben was beyond redemption, then let us know why that works for you best. If you really don’t care as long as Adam Driver delivers again, then tell us that as well, so leave them in the usual spot below as always.

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