Obvious spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk.
After months and months of waiting, I finally got to see "The Last Jedi." The cinematography was beautiful, there were some incredible fight scenes, we got to learn more about the Force, and the Rey/Kylo dynamic was epic.
However, TLJ left me thinking about all the ways it could have been better.
I won't go into much detail; if you've seen the film you know the absurdity of Leia surviving in space with her new mastery of the Force, the unnecessary Finn/Rose arc, and the unsatisfying end of Luke, among other things. One of the worst aspects for me, though, was the misuse and wasted potential of Kylo Ren.
He became Darth Vader 2.0.
Not only was this predictable as heck, but also it was completely unnecessary. Sure, he takes out the big shot and rises to power, but he didn't have to completely become Vader. To me, this was an excuse to not explore another future for Kylo. Seriously, though, this kid has so much raw power and potential. The writers could have taken Kylo's story in a number of directions, yet here we are watching the prequels all over again.
What happened to his redemption arc?
TLJ was going to save Kylo Ren, and I was so hyped. Can we just remember that scene with Rey and Kylo fighting together for a second? This was the most incredible sequence I've seen, possibly ever. They get each other, they fight seamlessly as one, the completely put their trust in one other, even though they were supposed to be enemies.
And then Kylo asked Rey to join him and rebuild the Empire.
Suddenly, their budding friendship and camaraderie are gone and they are enemies again. Why did Kylo have to take the predictable route and want to "fix" the Emire, like the big bads before his time? He had so many other options. He could have gone with Rey and joined the Rebellion — this would have given him the resources to fix the wrongs he sees in the universe and all the things that have gone wrong in his life. He could have gone off on his own to find his place in the universe. He could have decided to go rogue and just destroy the Empire since it did nothing good for him.
Kylo and Rey built so much together through the movie, and then it all was for nothing. Rey's only purpose in this film was prompting Kylo and Luke to action in their own ways. With Kylo defuncting back to the Dark Side and Luke dying, what was the point in her being there at all (I could write a review on why Rey deserved better in this film as well, don't get me started here)?
He wants to be good.
Kylo doesn't want to be evil. He didn't want to hurt others, and he fought it for so long. Even when he turned "bad" initially, he was filled with inner conflict. Rey really brought that inner turmoil out in him. He learned he was not alone and that he could be more than his past and the destiny laid out for him by the Empire. It was with Rey that he realized the world didn't have to just be black and white.
This was something I did love about TLJ. Rey started to discover the Dark Side, but it wasn't all that we thought it would be. If Kylo was born with darkness in him already, who is to say the same is not for our heroine, Rey, or any of our other protagonists? TLJ opened a lot of doors and left viewers with many questions.
At the end of the day, I will always stay faithful to Star Wars, and I love (most) everything about the franchise. I have my issues with the latest film, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a good movie. It will be interesting to see where the films go next.
Maybe Kylo will get his redemption story. Who knows?
Reylo needs to happen. Sincerely, every trash fangirl after seeing TLJ.