Star Wars: The Force Awakens is like going to English class. No matter how many times you watch it, there always seems to be a new connection. Suddenly a character’s twitch could mean something else and the way that a certain word was said could have already spoiled the ending of the trilogy.
After the three times I’ve seen it, I have been a little obsessed with Kylo Ren. He is such a damaged and flawed character that it’s almost impossible to not be engaged in his struggle. He desperately wants to be Darth Vader and will do anything to achieve that goal, but his pull towards the light is preventing from doing so. His temper tantrums and his indifference of slaughtering a whole village are a few instances of him having trouble with his identity. However, the climax of the film is the most interesting study of his character.
When he kills his father, Han Solo, that should be a direct indicator that he has reached the point of no return, but even then it’s still cloudy. Is he going down the route of pure villainy, or could he possibly end up like his grandfather and earn some sort of redemption? So far, I’ve come up with three scenarios:
1. Yes, someone will bring him back to the light
Since he is unstable from killing his father, Kylo Ren is most likely even more confused about where he stands. At the end of The Force Awakens, Supreme Leader Snoke mentions that Kylo Ren needs to complete his training. We can only imagine we’ll see him again stronger and angrier. However, at the same time, Rey will be training under Luke who knew Kylo Ren when he was simply Ben Solo. From their interaction during their battle, it’s clear that he knows Rey somehow and they will be a crucial part in each other’s journey. It can go entirely south, but an optimistic part of me is hoping that either Luke or Rey will remind him of where he came from.
2. Yes, He will sacrifice himself for a better cause
In an interview with IGN, J.J Abrams explains why Kylo Ren turns to the Dark Side. He explains that he loves what Darth Vader represents and wants to finish what he started (whatever that may be). Could he possibly mean that he wants to take down the Dark Side like his grandfather wanted to do? If the writers feel like going down the traditional route, they can opt for Kylo to share Darth Vader’s fate: sacrificing himself for something or someone. While this feels like a more predictable outcome, it would compliment his character very well. He’s already well on his way to becoming a Sith Lord, but if he sees someone he cares about getting attacked, he has that opportunity to act. He has much to atone for whether it be for the murder of a village or his father and this may be the only way to do so.
3. No, Leia will end up killing him
There is no doubt that Leia has seen her fair share of shit in her time. From seeing her home getting blown up to becoming war general for the Resistance, she has always been able to handle anything—except perhaps her son turning to the Dark Side. Despite sharing the same blood, there is only so much that a parent can take. After feeling her son kill his own father, how much love can possibly be left? Kylo Ren looked like he wanted to give up the Dark Side to be with his family, but it’s obvious he cares about power more. With his character arc so similar to Darth Vader, it may even be considered a cop-out going with the same redemption arc that he did. And who’s to say that this has to be done out of hatred? If she feels that he can’t be saved, then it could even be seen as a mercy killing. And since Han is out of the picture, Leia will be needing her own badass scene soon. And why not have it be killing her evil son?