Ben Solo should return
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The decision to execute the fictional character, Ben Solo (also known as Kylo Ren), at the end of Disney-Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was an ill-conceived decision that added to the number of dissatisfying arcs for the sequel trilogy characters. I propose that resurrecting Ben Solo would allow an opportunity for these arcs to continue and be seen to their proper conclusion.
- Why Ben Solo should return
- How Ben Solo should return
- Rey, the protagonist of the trilogy, learns she is the granddaughter of Sheev Palpatine and kills him, which, in turn, kills her
- Kylo Ren, the former antagonist, reverts to the light side and reclaims his identity as Ben Solo, Jedi, and sacrifices himself by transferring his life force to Rey, ultimately "dying"
- False hope
- Not even 20 minutes before Ben Solo's "rebirth", he has a conversation with his father, Han Solo (or the memory of Han Solo). During that conversation, Han Solo says, "Kylo Ren is dead, my son is alive", a heartfelt encouragement that rallies Ben Solo to action and discard his dark side persona for good. It's a tender and triumphant moment, only to be decimated by his death mere moments later. What was the point of Han declaring "my son is alive" only for said son to die? What was the point of any all build up two films prior in TFA, when Leia told Han to "bring their son home"? Or the revelation from Luke in TLJ that Kylo was not 100% corrupted? It's a clunky narrative beat to have Ben die so unceremoniously. A false hope of survival and redemption.
- Dyadic Exploration
- There's still many questions left behind in the wake of Ben's death regarding the dyad, what it is, how it functions, and what its possibilities hold. His death means that specific connection between Rey and Ben will never be explored nor fully explained.
- The Last Skywalker
- Despite Rey taking the name, Ben Solo is the true final Skywalker by way his mother's bloodline. He is the son of Leia Organa and Han Solo. To snuff him out is to snuff out Skywalker line as a whole feels like needless halting of legacy.
- Stranger Things
- Stranger things have happened. Palpatine returned inexplicably. Darth Maul was sliced in two and made a return. The precedent has been set for Ben Solo to return without raising too high of eyebrows by comparison.
- Death by Redemption
- This is more of a personal philosophical point, but I find it rather cynical that those have done wrong need to die instead of have the proper chance to atone. I don't believe that death needs to be the end all be all punishment for people who have the potential to change - at least not in fiction. I propose it is far more interesting for a character who is ethically gray to confront and experience the consequences of their actions.
- What about the dyad? All things considered, what larger point did Ben and Rey's connection play to the story apart from a few cool moments in TLJ and the climactic rescue scene in TROS? Sure, Anakin and Ben are alike in many ways, but Ben has something Anakin doesn't, and that alone is worth investigating further.
- If Ben's redemption and reunion with his mother was such a final signature to his arc, why was he nowhere to be seen in the concluding shots? If that narrative is to be taken as truth, why wouldn't he be included with his mom and uncle to drive the point home? His absence otherwise casts a tone to the scene that is confusing at best, and bleak at worst.
- Be initially considered to be dead, and then revealed to actually NOT be dead, such as in the case of Darth Maul
- Have someone(or even the force itself if you are that badass) think you are worth reviving and performing some rare process such that you are indeed brought back, as in the cases of Sidious(to himself, Canon timeline) and Rey "Skywalker" Palpatine(Namely by Ben Solo himself)
I propose that resurrecting Ben Solo would allow an opportunity for these arcs to continue and be seen to their proper conclusion.
I propose it's because Ben Solo never fully passed on to the Netherworld and is currently fixed in a state within the WBW.
After returning to the surface, Solo took Rey's body in his arms and, realizing that she was dead, began to despair. However, he sensed a spark of her essence and realized that the Force had not yet claimed her. Recalling the way she used the Force to heal him on Kef Bir, Solo applied the same technique on Rey, willing her to return to life. He took the life energy that she had given to him and returned it to its original source along with all that remained of his own essence.
- Dead by material standards
- Already passed on to afterlife canonically, unlike Rey at any given point in the canon timeline before the end of Movie IX
- Took part in destroying both death stars and the largest flagship in Imperial Squadron: The Executor
- Directedly resulted in Palpatine's first death, and because his Exegol body was so distant away, this is at least an exile for the old Emperor
- Was the most powerful light-side force user from 4ABY to 34ABY
- Founded a Jedi Academy, continuing the lineage, and serving as the grandmaster for years
- Somehow an ancient dagger was carved in respect of the shape of landscape from a single planet, AS A PROPHETIC DEVICE, in a galaxy with MILLIONS OF STARS.
- Somehow Palpatine returned. We had no previous signs of such.
- Somehow he had thousands of upgraded ISDs build from scratch, on a planet that should not have natives(Exegol), and somehow he found enough people to operate all of them.
- Somehow thousands of civilian spaceships found Exegol despite not even having Exegol on the hyperspace GPS at all due to it being in the unknown regions. You can't convince me with the Millenium Falcon, that shit's more advanced than probably everything behind it. The fact that anything arrived within 3 lightyears from Exegol at the same time as any other ship, in a cluster, is already miraculous.
- They still didn't explain how the force dyad work, before killing off one of 2 people that cannot be reversed unless you break the lore EVEN MORE oh boy...
- Canonically Ben has already passed on to afterlife, meaning that he can't be revived unless he breaks fundamental lore we've been based on for decades
- Disney canon is already disastrous in terms of logic, and there is little to no incentive to keep putting money on what happened after Ben died on Exegol. It's just not profitable to Disney to do that anymore at this point.
I challenge Pro to bring up any similar cases strictly in Canon
Why would they revive someone who has committed the same amount of(if not more) war crimes but did about 1% or less of positive contribution to the galaxy compared to Luke?
I concede to Con's point regarding the degree of deadness to which Ben Solo is afflicted. The "Afterlife" quote presented would suggest that Ben Solo has joined the Force and moved on to the Netherworld with his mother. But the question still remains why he wasn't seen as a Force Ghost joined with Leia at the end if he truly moved on with her.
The heart of my argument is that Ben Solo's characters has unique properties that opens the door for the new narrative opportunities. Put another way, the novelty of his return is a reason for it to happen, and there are enough pieces to substantiate it, even more so than Palpatine's return. As Con aptly put it, "Somehow Palpatine returned. We had no previous signs of such." I don't see the reasoning for this not being extended to Ben.
There is supplementary material that suggests Ben killed his fellow Jedi classmates while under Luke Skywalker's tutelage. This is in direct conflict Charles Soule's The Rise of Kylo Ren comic series, which reveals Ben had nothing to do the Jedi temple being destroyed and that it was, in fact, Palpatine/Snoke's doing. This is further confirmed in both the film and novelization of TROS when Palpatine reveals he's "been every voice inside [Ben's] head" since childhood.
but my advocacy for novelty is the incentive within itself. Not only with exploration of the WBW's properties, but with the very essence of storytelling within this universe. We would get to see a character grapple with his horrifying decisions, witness the Resistance and those around him who were victimized process those decisions. Instead of dying, he would need to live it.
- Darth Maul: Thrown into a pit cut in half, thought to be dead, later got put into garbage piles in another planet. Built cybernetics and is now a crimelord.
- Palpatine: Guy got electrocuted, took years to build back his empire, then angered a galaxy full of civilians that they all somehow met at a place not showing up on the GPS because of how badass he is, dying with thousands of ISDs operated by people on a planet without natives.
- Boba Fett: Guy got eaten by a sarlacc and somehow built his way back up to a boss.
- Various: Survived full-on stabs by a high-power lightsaber.
- Andor: Guy fell at least 100 feet and somehow climbed up the entire shaft with a broken back and still was able to use the blaster.
- Anakin: Guy got burned for possibly hours until being turned to a black cyborg running on hate. Do you top this.
While his grandfather was tempted by the dark, Kylo is tempted by the light. A child in a mask, as Snoke puts it, playing pretend, pretending to be Vader, but ultimately struggling to figure out who he truly is. We saw glimmers of who Ben Solo could be with his exciting return to light at the end of TROS. The shrug and smarminess of his father. The heroism of his mother. But I think it's worth seeing *all* he can be.
If we acknowledge the Disney sequels are discordant, allowing a story that fills some of the gaps with Ben Solo is nothing but an opportunity for repair and growth.