A creature in a mask

Is she done with him yet? Nope, she isn’t. ;)

In fact, the more theories I read about this guy, the more he intrigues me.


A creature in a mask

Watercolour and gouache on Canson Montval paper (which is seriously reaching its limits for the amount of water I’ve been sploshing on it recently). Size 42×30 cm.

Original here.

Timelapse video here.

Can we talk about the Force vision Rey has when he is called to the Skywalker lightsabre? How amazing is it to heap spoilers and dead giveaways on the audience in such a way that most of them will be too dazed to make any sense of them until they’ve watched a couple of Youtube videos taking the footage apart? Even after the second rewatch, I didn’t have a clue what I’d seen. In my head, it was WHAM rey-rain-hey-its-R2-was-that-luke-menacing-people-ah-that-kylo-guy-awww-that-poor-girl WHAM, and I never realised that I had just seen Kylo Ren saving Rey’s life by running his iconic lightsabre through a masked man – another knight of Ren? – who was just about to kill her.

Which has sold me on the theory that Kylo Ren was the one who left Rey on Jakku.

This is why nobody ever came back for her – because everyone thought she was dead like the others. Kylo Ren defied Snoke by letting her live, and hiding her. That’s why he seems to know who she is throughout the movie. On my first watch, I was sure she was also a daughter of Han and Leia, so that would have explained the familiarity. Obviously, she isn’t (and is quite probably Luke’s daughter – while that Anakin reincarnation theory is beautiful, I think it’s too out of the way), but he still freaks out when he hears that BB-8 left Jakku with the help of a girl. Because now Snoke will know that Kylo Ren disobeyed him all those years ago. I have a feeling that the completion of his training might be an unpleasant experience.


9 thoughts on “A creature in a mask

  1. This is one of the best Kylo fanarts I’ve seen since the movie came out! Really nice.

    Also I have never heard of these theories for the movie before. Really interesting. Is this also under the theory that Kylo is basically a double agent, or being somewhat (or wholly) manipulated by Snoke?

    • Thanks! :)

      I know the double agent theory, but I can’t imagine they’re going there. I can buy Han being in on “it” and sacrificing himself so Kylo Ren can get closer to Snoke. What I can’t buy is him being a secretly good guy and killing all those people. Adam Driver’s entire acting is around an inner conflict, not an outer one. I think the theory is intriguing, but doesn’t hold up under closer inspection.

      As for being manipulated – yes. Or rather, if the novelisation is any indication (hoping to get it for my birthday but I’ve read enough snippets), he’s been under Snoke’s influence for such a long time, and since such a young age, that any manipulation he is getting from Snoke is almost secondary at this point, just furthering previous indoctrination.

      • Ooh, yeah. I think the theory is a bit too inconclusive with what Kylo did before the start of the movie, and also since he does seem to be manipulated by Snoke and has been since he was young (like Anakin and Palpatine) and Star Wars loves parallels I think it’s more along those lines too. No wonder Kylo is so obsessed with his grandfather. But I wonder if anyone really knows that much about Anakin’s life since so much of it was shrouded in secrecy once he became Darth Vadar.

        I want to know how much of the past does anyone really know? Almost everything has been lost because Jedi and Siths both like to be vague and obtuse. It’s a wonder anyone wants to join either side.

        I do wonder how they’re going to proceed with Kylo’s side of the story though. I also like how people pointed out how the way Kylo seems to be trying to present himself as a sith seems more in line with Jedi beliefs, and Rey’s actions seem more in line with a siths. I wonder if they really will do a sort of reversal on what it means to be either, or if people are right and they’ll do a sort of merger of the two differing views on how to use the force and what the force is.

        • It seems the galaxy is in a state much like the OT – little knowledge of the Force, except for a select few (Dark Side) and some believers who don’t want much proof (Light Side).

          It’s interesting you see a reversal, and I know that I’ve seen a couple of AU Rey/Rens with reversed roles in fanart. I don’t see it, I have to say, at least not yet – that flash of fury in which Rey is seen attacking Kylo Ren in the forest is probably more focus than rage, so while there is a certain borderline quality to it, I don’t see her crossing to the Dark Side.

          I do like the thought that the Dark and the Light Sides can be, and indeed must be, reconciled. Which would be such a beautiful way to fix the messed-up mythology of the prequels that it would move me to tears if they did it. Either reconciled in the same person or within the same family (in both cases, Rey and Ren spring to mind). Sure, Anakin brought balance to the Force by killing off hundreds of Jedi and making it a 2-2 situation, but that’s so ridiculous as a prophecy fulfilment that it would be beyond beautiful if the Sequels managed to fix that.

          • Yes! If these new movies end up doing that I’d be really happy. It would just make it seem like everythings really come together.

            Oh, and I just meant how Rey is willing to embrace her emotions and Kylo keeps trying to distance himself. I didnt mean so much her going dark side, just acting like a sith in general, since being a sith is about giving into your emotions and jedi are about abandoning them.

            Who knows, maybe we’ll finally have a grey jedi. Not quite into letting their emotions rule them, but not quite into being emotionless either.

  2. Love the image, Jenny. The dynamics and palette are a *perfect* combination.

    I’m with you for most of your thoughts, and having Ren leave Rey on Jakka is an excellent assumption to build on, but Rey’s vision from the lightsabre shows her as very young, and considering that the two are about the same age – I do have my doubts. I need to read the novelisation, as well. I’m sure it will clear up a lot of background.

    However, in light of all this, I would still like to know why, at the very end of the film, Rey is “offering” Luke the lightsabre, *business* end first! Any weapons protocol I have ever seen, heard of, or read about insists that the correct way to pass the item would be handle or butt first. Hmm?
    Did she come to threaten, and not learn at all? Not even collect him – alive – for Leia? How convenient would it be for her to return the body with the explanation of “found dead” and blame it on the First Order? After all, they do have what they need – Ren says so in the battle in the forest. Motivation? She knows it was Luke who left her on Jakka all those years ago, as a father protecting his daughter. She wants revenge.

    • Hm, I don’t think there was a threatening quality to Rey’s and Luke’s meeting. I do have the clear feeling that Rey knows more than the audience by that time – most likely through Leia – and thus the emotions in that scene aren’t easy for us to make sense of since we’re missing vital information, so I’m going to pass judgment on that one. I never got the feeling of anything sinister going on between them.

      As for Kylo Ren and Rey’s ages, he’s about ten years her senior. As far as I know, she’s nineteen, he’s in his late twenties (which is the actors’ actual ages, or close, as well). He was fifteen when Luke’s Jedi temple was destroyed, so she would have been around four or five – which she is in the vision.

      One interesting thing is that, in the German version, the “Come back!” she screams as she is being led away on Jakku is translated to “Kommt zurück (plural)”, when I’m pretty sure by now that it should have been singular. One of those “spoilers lost in translation” things. ;)

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