ByJames Reeve, writer at
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James Reeve

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens introduced the world to the new breed of Star Wars heroes and villains, with many praising characters such as Rey, Finn and Poe Dameron.

But some fans of the series had some complaints regarding the new trilogy's set of villains, particularly with Captain Phasma and Kylo Ren. We didn't see too much of Supreme Leader Snoke, but his brief appearances in the film have led many to speculate as to his true identity and has caused a real stir for fans. But Captain Phasma was less than spectacular, considering how prevalent she was in the trailers leading up to the film's release.

As for Kylo Ren, many felt that he was too... whiny. In the original trilogy we were spoiled with the dark and mysterious Darth Vader, who choked people to death simply because they made some mistakes that displeased him greatly. Kylo Ren started the film in the same vein as Vader but progressively began to show his personal struggle with the Light and the Dark, which some fans had issues with. But I personally feel that Ren is the ideal villain for the trilogy and the struggle he is having with both sides of the Force adds to that.

We don't want a Vader clone

Many fans have commented on the similarities between Episode IV and Episode VII, with many wishing that the film hadn't used so many similar traits to the original. The same argument could apply for Kylo Ren.

Ren is a former Jedi, well... at least an apprentice, who has fallen to the Dark Side. He is also a relative of a main character, still related to the Skywalker family, and holds very much the same role that Darth Vader did in the originals. But the differences between Vader and Ren is the fact that Vader had fully fallen to the Dark Side and Ren is still seemingly struggling with his own fall. He wishes to be as powerful as his late grandfather, but he also questions his ability to keep the Light out. He believed that killing his father, Han Solo, would make him a complete Dark Side follower... but this doesn't seem to be the true outcome.

It has been well documented recently that in the Episode VII script it mentions how Ren is horrified and shocked after killing his father and even seems to regret or doubt his reasoning for committing such an act. In the film it even shows on Ren's face how shocked he is by what has happened, and this presented the perfect reaction for what transpired next...

Ren took a shot from a bowcaster... and continued to fight!

Throughout the film, it was well presented that Chewbacca's bowcaster was a weapon of immense power. Every foe that was hit by it died instantly, with blasts causing small explosions and even forcing everyone's favorite stormtrooper to flip in the air due to the force of the powerful blast.

Ren receives a shot directly to his mid-section while watching his father fall from the bridge he had been murdered on. The blast doesn't kill Ren, it simply causes him to drop to his knees and begin to bleed. Despite suffering a wound that is clearly serious, with blood from the wound dripping into the snow and causing him immense pain, Ren continues to fight not one, but two opponents in a lightsaber duel.

His injury causes him to pause during the duels, with him hitting his side furiously in an attempt to control the pain. He knocks out Finn, seemingly severing the former stormtrooper's spine, but only after suffering ANOTHER injury in the form of a scorched shoulder. In Episode II Obi-Wan Kenobi is caught twice by Count Dooku's lightsaber, once on the thigh and once on his shoulder, and he was effectively incapacitated until after Dooku had fled from his battle with Yoda.

Ren has received arguably two more serious injuries and continues to battle against Rey — who may very well be Luke Skywalker's daughter or at least a former apprentice of his — until she eventually overpowers him and leaves him with a large scorch mark across his face.

Many fans were disappointed to see the seemingly untrained Rey defeat the supposedly powerful Kylo Ren, but when you consider the seriousness of the injuries he suffered before fighting her then I think he can be forgiven for this one.

He won't make the same mistake twice.


Did you like Kylo Ren's character in 'Episode VII'?


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