Even three months after its release, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker refuses to leave the national conversation. Perhaps that’s because so much supplementary material keeps coming out after the fact to fill out the plot gaps in the film’s ever-so-complex narrative. The latest from the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker novelization is all about Kylo Ren and his arc form Big Bad to big softie, and how exactly it happened.
Kylo Ren’s redemption arc was arguably one of the most dissatisfying parts of Stars Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, primarily because all the motivation for his turn from the Dark Side to the light took place offscreen and in supplementary materials. But here is a little more supplementary material to explain why Kylo Ren turned out the way he did. The Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker novelization fills out some of the plot holes in Ben Solo’s arc from the Skywalker heir apparent to fallen son.
First, there’s an explanation of Kylo Ren and Rey’s first fight in The Force Awakens, when the new Force wielder was able to beat a trained Jedi in a lightsaber duel. We can thank Chewbacca for that, according to the novelization, which reminds us that the Wookiee shot Kylo Ren after he killed Han, putting him at a disadvantage in the fight with Rey. The book reads per CinemaBlend:
‘I have not forgotten that you shot me,’ Kylo said. That wound had resulted in a defeat at Rey’s hands. Had he been in top fighting form, the scavenger never would have gotten the best of him.
Yep, this sure is an explanation that doesn’t take away from Rey’s victory at all, because how could a girl who had been forced to survive on her own on a desert planet all her life eke out a win against a trained warrior? Uh, huh.
But that’s not all that has been revealed about Kylo Ren in the novelization. The retcon of Kylo’s “lie” about Rey’s parents being no one in Star Wars: The Last Jedi is further explained, writing per Digital Spy:
“He’d glimpsed her parents in a vision, a poor, frightened couple eking out a meagre existence, surviving on the edge of desperation. He hadn’t been lying when he’d told her they were nothing, nobodies. But Force visions were filled with tricky truths and potential realities. Maybe he had missed something. Bringing all the power of the Force to bear, Kylo Ren demanded, ‘Who is she?’ The rotting remnant of Emperor Palpatine smiled.”
The last revelation digs into Kylo Ren’s pivotal turn, when he lays down his lightsaber and finally embraces his identity as Ben Solo. In the film, it appears to be his mother Leia’s death that leads him to make this turn, at the of his battle with Rey, when she mortally wounds then heals him. In the...
We still have a while to wait before the Loki Disney+ series arrives, and perhaps longer than expected depending on how long the current wave of production shutdowns throughout the business continues. But while we wait, we have some new details on the Marvel project from series creator and writer Michael Waldron. While the finer points of the story are being kept under wraps, Waldron has revealed what the show, in vague terms, will be about.
Michael Waldron was brought aboard the series last year. Loki will see Tom Hiddleston return as the trickster god, but what, precisely, we're going to see remains pretty mysterious. During a recent podcast appearance, Waldron explained that we'll see Thor's ne'er-do-well adopted brother going through something of an identity struggle. Here's what Waldron had to say about it.'I think it's the struggle with identity, who you are, who you want to be. I'm really drawn to characters who are fighting for control. Certainly you see that with Loki over the first 10 years of movies, he's out of control at pivotal parts of his life, he was adopted and everything and that manifests itself through anger and spite towards his family.'
Indeed, Loki, ever since we were first introduced to him in Thor, has had something of a chip on his shoulder that has guided much of his wrongdoing. He tried to conquer Earth in The Avengers because he craved power that he could never have as Thor's brother, for example. Yet, we've seen him, for brief moments, flirt with doing the right thing. It seems we'll see the beloved villain sort through some of this complex emotion in the show.
Joining Tom Hiddleston in the cast will be Richard E. Grant Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Owen Wilson Wedding Crashers, Gugu Mbatha-Raw Motherless Brooklyn and Sophia Di Martino Yesterday. What we know for sure is that Loki met his ultimate fate at the beginning of Infinity War at the hands of Thanos. Yet, he escaped with the Tesseract during the so-called time heist in Avengers: Endgame. So we're likely going to see him hopping around time and space. However, his fate is already sealed. There is a predetermined endpoint to his journey, which could make things interesting.
Some brief footage from the show was featured in a Disney+ teaser that showcased the upcoming Marvel shows that also included WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. We saw Loki locked up in an off-world prison threatening to burn the place to the ground. Other live-action shows in the works for the streaming service that will tie in heavily to the wider MCU include She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight and Hawkeye. As it stands, Loki is expected to debut in early 2021. We'll be sure to keep you posted as further details are made available. For more with Michael Waldron, check out his episode of The Writer's Panel podcast.