My kid is only 18 months old – that’s a year and a half for you whiny babies who don’t know anything about how to count tiny humans’ age and complain we do it in months – but she, like several of her counterparts months older or younger, has already hit the terrible twos.
It’s kind of amusing at first the way she bursts into loud tears when I say “No” to her, and throws herself on the ground. Like, where did she learn that? I’ve done my best to keep her from looking much at screens which means she’s had no TV…and she hasn’t had many playdates until recently, nor otherwise interacted with other kids. Yet she still does the classic throw herself on the ground manuver. All the other toddlers who have hit the terrible part early also thrown themselves on the ground. I guess it’s just innate? I personally honestly find it funny. Like how is that supposed to change my mind, kiddo? I guess it’s just a reflexive, pure expression of emotion.
Hey you know who else was kind of into unbridled emotion? Not that I’m a big Star Wars buff* or anything, but I’m pretty sure it was the Sith.
My husband and I finally got around to seeing The Force Awakens recently and I’d heard so much about Kylo Ren. Most of it was bad, with a few differing opinions, usually from people whose opinions I respected a lot, so that was good and intriguing. The bandwagon is to hate on him as a whiny baby. But. I’m not going to be joining that bandwagon.
Here’s my thoughts. When Kylo Ren loses his cool, whips out his lightsaber, and starts smashing things without regard, yeah. That’s pretty much a temper tantrum. And temper tantrums aren’t really admirable in any fashion. It’s unbridled emotion, a total lack of control, childish. We all look down on them because they don’t make anything better, and it’s something parents often try to get their kid to grow out of it. Or they should, anyway. Not impressive. And no, it’s not a good trait for a villain to have. Villains need to be able to be in control.
However, it is a trait that people have. And villains are people. People have flaws. So it’s not unreasonable that a villain, as a person, could have the flaw of temper tantrums. Does that make them a bad villain? It really depends on how much the temper tantrum gets in the way of their being able to do things. That’s my own benchmark for flaws. Villains should definitely have flaws! But those flaws shouldn’t be self-defeating. As for temper tantrums, it’s not an impressive trait in the slightest and if you want to roll your eyes at it, I can hardly blame you. Usually, if you’d want to call someone who is an adult who throws temper tantrums a whiny baby, I also wouldn’t blame you. But. I don’t feel like that’s quite fair in this instance.
Remember that Kylo was personally trained by some ill-defined Sith douchebag who seems much less collected than Sideous. It’s as likely as anything else Snoke just led Kylo to let his emotions go completely uncontrolled. And as I said, a temper tantrum is a pretty big display of total lack of control. That’s why we turn our noses up at it. But that’s such a Sith thing. Sorta. I mean you can’t really be a great fighter if you can’t keep yourself in check. But as a fledgling Sith, is it so out of the question that just…letting it flow in any expression could be a part of training? Kylo’s training isn’t complete, after all.
There’s also Kylo’s position and the bomb that was Anakin Skywalker. It’s been hashed over pretty well that the big problem with Anakin is that Darth Vader was so cool, to go backward to his developing up to that ended up requiring a character that many people didn’t like. At all. But if we want to have a dark lord of awesome develop, and Abrams wants us to watch Kylo blossom into his idol, whelp. The precedent of kind of whiny confused post-teen has already been established. But honestly it’s not like Kylo was really all that whiny. And it isn’t like he didn’t have any moments of promise, either. I mean, remember that he took a shot from Chewie’s laser crossbow of +2 death and proceeded to have an epic battle with people who shouldn’t have been as good with a lightsaber as him due to their lack of training but were anyway because sure, why not.
Anyway it’s not like I have a whole lot to lose in personal investment if I’m wrong about my projected path for Kylo’s development. Star Wars is an important piece of my childhood but I’ve never really been that much into science-fiction. I don’t know, it just doesn’t do it for me. Maybe it’s because I have a hard time keeping up with technology and science and the advances are cool but don’t make my heart race, so the fantasy of those things tend to be beyond my understanding and I’d rather read a story about dragons. But I can appreciate a good storyline regardless of whether it’s cloaked in the magic of technology or, er, magic. And I can recognize a good or poor villain regardless. And for a story that is so important to so many other people, I am invested in their happiness, in yours if you’re a fan, so I really do hope that I’m right, that Kylo develops into something worthy of Vader’s shadow. Because I’d hate to see this reboot go to waste. And because I’m not as invested for myself, I won’t bother to waste emotions hating on Kylo when he comes up on my Facebook dash, but if you’re invested, I can understand why you don’t want to ease up on him. But all the same, I think you should. I don’t think he is nor will grow to be a villain that’s as poor as most people think right now.
And hey, if nothing else, he’s given us the above mentioned comics and the Emo Kylo Ren twitter and that’s worth something, right?