Although the star wars The sequel trilogy highlights Rey and Kylo Ren as mirrors of each other, with Finn being overlooked as an important foil to Kylo Ren. The concept of mirrors, or narrative foils, remains an important aspect of star wars franchise, as two characters oppose each other in order to emphasize different characteristics and reinforce themes. The sequel trilogy hinges on Rey and Kylo Ren mirroring each other, centering their connection as a dyad of the Force, with an ensuing struggle to transform each character to their respective side. While this tension persists between Rey and Kylo Ren, Finn has largely little interaction with the Force, even though The Rise of Skywalker hints at his Force sensitivity which remains to be further explored. His journey centers on finding his bravery after leaving the First Order and discovering the meaning of family and leadership within the Resistance.
As mirrors, Rey and Kylo Ren grapple with the light and dark sides of the Force. For example, after realizing their connection to the Force and the truth of why Kylo Ren turned to the dark side after Luke’s attempt to kill him, Rey believes that Kylo Ren can still be redeemed. Meanwhile, Kylo Ren tries to trick Rey into joining him on the dark side. The interplay between different sides of the Force allows Rey and Kylo Ren to mirror each other as they test the respective limits of good and evil.
However, Finn offers a more compelling alternative as a mirror of Kylo Ren, as the juxtaposition between the two characters’ stories and story arcs accentuates the hero-villain dichotomy. Finn’s upbringing is mostly characterized by violence, as he was stolen from his family and raised into the ranks of the First Order, who showed no mercy or compassion to anyone under their rule. In contrast, Kylo Ren grew up with loving parents and countless resources at his disposal. Despite his potential as a Jedi, Kylo Ren turns to the dark side, after being manipulated by Snoke and pushed to the limit by Luke’s apparent betrayal. Finn consciously chooses to leave the First Order despite having only known violence for much of this life. This connection to the First Order sets up the narratives of Finn and Kylo Ren to be reflected in their decisions to turn to good or evil. Rey’s backstory, however, separates her entirely from the First Order, leaving her with more nebulous parallels to Kylo Ren. Bound by their servitude to the First Order, Finn and Kylo Ren share an established bond that underpins their relationship as foils.
Finn and Kylo Ren as each other’s mirrors align more closely with the theme of redemption which is key to the star wars saga. Finn’s defection from the First Order highlights the power to choose good over evil and the ability for anyone to redeem themselves. With his redemption initiated in the force awakensFinn’s journey focuses on the importance of bravery and struggle to his (found) family, as he leads the Resistance with Poe at the end of The Rise of Skywalker. Finn more closely resembles Kylo Ren in this regard due to Kylo Ren’s eventual redemption, which concludes the trilogy. While Rey is tempted by the dark side, influenced by her Palpatine lineage, Finn and Kylo Ren have experienced firsthand the violence that obedience to the First Order entails. As such, Finn’s defection and his journey of redemption highlight the possibility of redemption for Kylo Ren.
While Rey and Kylo Ren’s connection as narrative leaves is a major plot element in the sequel trilogy, Finn is Kylo Ren’s true mirror. The importance of redemption remains a central theme for star wars, and Finn and Kylo Ren are mirrored in their journeys to redemption and the light side, especially through their connection to family. The distinct contrast in their upbringing highlights their respective relationship to the light and dark sides of the Force, and their redemptions reiterate the power to choose good over evil despite the challenges and temptations they face.
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