So last night I spent most of my dreaming writing a treatment for Star Wars VIII. Then I dreamt I accidentally drove my car into an ocean. So it was kind of a mixed bag. The treatment is pretty good, though, I think.
- Happy New Year, which is always an odd greeting as you are wishing a person future happiness. I ran over to the Farm after the workday and we ate steak and I was in bed by 10. Very exciting.
- I heard the word “festooned” used twice on NPR this morning. Methinks Steve Inskeep got a thesaurus for Christmas.
So, now I’m going to write about my treatment for Star Wars VIII. It should go without saying that there be spoilers ahead. K?
My story is essentially about the attempted redemption of Ben Solo.
Dig it: Kylo Ren is a villain motivated strongly by his intense faith in the Dark Side of The Force and what that power can accomplish. He dedicates his life to this. He serves masters for it. He sacrifices family for it, committing the ultimate Oedipal act, mainly to convince himself and others of his conviction.
Then, he meets Rey in battle. And this has to inform him greatly about what she is. Has to tell him that this person is the most pure person ever to have been in The Force, that she is yet untrained and yet mightily powerful, and that she has found more power in the un-Dark Side than he could ever imagine having in his widdle finger. This is a unique experience for Ben Solo to this point; none of his minions have experienced Rey’s place in The Force.
I imagine that, for him, this encounter with Rey might be nothing short of revelation.
Ren has after all labored under the Dark Side’s influence for a many years, having been seduced to it as a youngster. He must think of the Light Side as a weakling stance, and then this person humiliates him in the field, and she’s not even trained, and she’s not even been Force Aware for like five minutes. However, she demonstrates that she is powerful strong in the Light Side.
So, in my story, this encounter drastically changes Ben Solo. It drives him to want to defect.
And this is something we’ve never seen in the Star Wars universe. Vader was redeemed, of course, but only briefly before he stopped refusing to die. You’ve not seen a character yet who gets indoctrinated to the Dark Side and then comes back. This is significant because so far, we’ve been led to assume that the dominant side to The Force is the Dark Side, that those who go there stay there and never return. An attempt at redemption for Ben Solo would be something we’ve not seen before.
It would also present the character with a significant challenge. He is, after all, pretty much neck-deep in with the First Order. Action based on his new thinking would be bound to get him killed or jailed. Which is where I think we take up Ben Solo’s story in VIII. Ben Solo has attempted to help the resistance and has been jailed and is being question by Captain Phasma. We can wonder about his motivation until he inevitably escapes and is driven to find Rey. Perhaps he’ll beg to once again become Luke’s Padawan, a difficult sell considering.
This also begins to resolve some problems with the Kylo Ren character. Ren does not resonate as powerfully as his inspiration, so much that the Emo Kylo Ren Twitter feed just had to be created. I mean, it could nearly be argued that Adam Driver’s character in HBO’s Girls is more awe-inspiring than is Kylo Ren. So why not turn this mensch to the other side?
I like it, considering that the most embiggened criticism of the movie is that it’s heavily derivative. My theory on that is that what’s in theaters right now is just the setup, necessary as a palate cleanser for the horrible no-good awful Lucas prequels and re-masters. Now that we’ve been reminded of the old story and its majesty, they can now tell us a new story.
I like mine. Though I’m sure Rian Johnson will do an adequate job.