SPOILER WARNING: If you have not seen any of the Star Wars sequels including but not limited to “The Force Awakens,” “The Last Jedi” or “The Rise of Skywalker,” then DO NOT READ. You have been warned.
Okay now that that’s over with, I am going to talk about someone very dear to my heart, and I need any Star Wars fans to respect my opinion because I know that someone is going to hate me for this. Okay here it is: I love Ben Solo.
No, it is not just because my love for Adam Driver knows no bounds. I know that many people hated the sequel movies, and I know that “The Rise of Skywalker” may or may not have been dumpster fire when it comes to the grand scheme of the Star Wars universe.
However, Ben Solo’s redemption arc is perhaps my favorite thing about the sequels. The Force Awakens introduces the high and mighty Kylo Ren, and yes I know he’s evil, but from the moment he takes his helmet off while Rey is strapped to a table, he just seemed so human to me. That was the end of it…the rest is history. I fell in love.
In all seriousness though, I truly believe that Adam Driver brought a very human dynamic to the character that not many actors could have. You don’t have to hear Rey talk about seeing the conflict in him, because you know. You can see the conflict in his eyes when Rey tells him that he will turn to the light. When they touch hands in the hut in Ach-To, you can see that Ben wants Rey to join him, not just because of how powerful she is.
At the Battle of Crait, we see Ben truly tested when it comes to the dark and the light. He chooses Rey over his very own master, the master who has invaded his mind long before he ever knew her. This begins the fall of the mighty Kylo Ren, exposing the very afraid and unsure man that is Ben Solo.
The culmination of this comes in “The Rise of Skywalker” the moment he sees Han Solo and calls him Dad. Rey had just healed him from a life-threatening injury that she bestowed on him, and now he must make a choice what to do next. When I was in the theatre and he tossed his saber into the ocean, everyone cheered.
But let’s skip to the end because I don’t have enough words here to express all of my feelings. When Ben descends upon Exegol to help Rey and loses his life trying to save her, my heart of course broke. But in the end, his story comes to a finish by giving his life for a scavenger he wanted beside him all along.