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Saga - ST Hanging by a Thread (Ben Solo) introspective ficlet - TROS spoilers! Beware

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by brodiew, Dec 27, 2019.

  1. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Oct 11, 2005
    Hanging by a Thread
    Ben Solo introspective ficlet

    Spoilers for The Rise of Skywalker!

    Ben Solo hung by the tips of the fingers if his right hand and drew on every precious shred of the Force he could gather. He was exhausted, but alive. More alive that he had felt in years. The thought of his new life, brought a pang of the evils of the past, but he pushed it aside, unwilling to let it dissuade or distract him now. Searching for another hand hold, he found another small outcropping and grabbed on. There was a momentary relief that he was secure. Now, he had to attempt a Force jump to make his way back to Rey. He dared not try to access their connection and take her attention from Palpatine, but reaching out, he sensed that battle could go either way.

    He jumped.

    While in the air, not yet having to desperately search for purchase, Ben, again felt the presence of his mother. Just as she had given him pause before finishing Rey on the Death Star, she now infused him with her Force energy. He was invigorated and his Force vision showed him where to grab on to the rock face. He did not have the same connection with his mother as he had with Rey, but the connection was still strong. His mother was near death and she was using what she had left to get him back to Rey, to destroy Palpatine. He could not hear her words, but her presence and her message could not be more clear.

    I love you, Ben.

    Hold on to the light.

    He jumped again.

    His father's appearance on the Imperial fragment was gift from the Force as well. His mother had given him a moment of clarity and the apparition was the confirmation of is redemption. To have spoken the same words to his father as he had on that catwalk. To be given another chance to say those words and this time to mean them. Again, the condemnation of his patricide rose, but it was quashed, by the look in his father's eyes. That same look of love. That same look of the pain of his past mistakes. That same look, telling him that it was okay for them both to go...home.

    I don't know if I have the strength.

    You do.

    He jumped.

    Hanging by both hands, a vision of Luke standing over his bed with a pained expression and his brilliant green lightsaber poised to strike filled Ben's mind. Tears welled in his eyes as he remembered Luke's pleas for forgiveness and understanding. His uncle never had a chance. Snoke and Palpatine had already poisoned him. The vision shifts from the academy to Crait. Ben closes his eyes as he watched the height of his hubris spit from his mouth as his Uncle toyed with him. He can now see that Luke had shed his fear and grief and had stepped out in a mind boggling display of Force power to enable to resistance to escape. Kylo had fallen for it. For that, Ben was thankful.

    He jumped.

    He was getting closer to the cliff's edge. He could see the the a dazzling, shimmering light above him. He could feel that the life force Palptine had taken left little for Rey to fight with. But fight she did. Was his mother giving Rey her Force power as well? Ben had to get to her before it was too late.

    He closed his eyes and jumped.

    He was on the fragment of the Death Star. Rey had healed him. But he still sat there weak and reeling. She was leaving. What did she say?

    I did want to take your hand. Ben's hand.

    Ben's hand reached up over the cliff's edge and he pulled himself up onto solid ground. Lurching toward Rey, wounded as he was, he watched as Palpatine disintegrated under his own Force Lightning. Rey stepped back and fell to the ground. Just he reached her, pulling her into a cradled position, he could feel that she was gone. Instinctively, he placed his hand on her belly, and let his and his mother's Force flow from him into her. He knew that his mother had been keeping him going. He knew what it meant to give this Power to Rey. It was okay. He was ready to go home. So ready to see his mother and father again. His Uncle Luke, too.

    The color was returning to her face. Her eyes were coming back to life. He could feel her take a deep breath. She looked at him. Awe and wonder and hope and forgiveness were evident in her exhausted features.

    "Ben? she said, sitting up in his arms. She was so close. So lovely. So full of light.

    He was having trouble focusing. Like he was no longer holding her, but she was holding him.

    "Ben!" she declared, a bubbling excitement, muted by weakness. She was touching his face, her lips so agonizingly close. Why would she kiss him? Why now? Why as he was about to die?

    The touch of her lips on his was euphoric. He felt it in the very spot she had killed him and saved him all at once. He could not see her any more. Light filled his vision as he felt himself fall away from her. He lifted a hand, Ben's hand, and took hold of hers just as he faded into to Force.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2019
  2. amidalachick

    amidalachick Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Aug 3, 2003
    I actually read this the other day and meant to comment but I was on my phone and I hate posting from my phone. At least it gives me a chance to read it again! :p

    So, in case you hadn't already guessed, I'm a total sucker for redemption stories. I thought Kylo and Rey's Force connection was interesting in the other two movies but overall I didn't care much for Kylo Ren. And then TRoS happened, and I actually love how they handled Ben. I was so happy to see his redemption. And I'm so happy to see a fic about it!


    Love the way you write "He jumped" interspersed with Ben's memories. I read it as him drawing on love along with the Force, and there is nothing more powerful than that.

    Just beautiful. He's at peace.

    And the last line, echoing Rey's line about Ben's hand - perfect.

    Great job with this. =D=
  3. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Whew! So you knew why it took me a while to read this one, my friend. But this was beautiful! I have to applaud your gift for introspection and mastering character voices all over again. There was a fitting justice and symmetry in Ben dying so that Rey could live. Because redemption and atonement are two different things, and here Ben is earning the light he's trying to cling and return to. I especially appreciated:

    Lovely. I appreciated Leia's presence in this too, her power and strength of spirit. [face_love]

    This was such a powerful, visceral piece of writing, my friend! Every word was poignant. =D=
    Kahara, AzureAngel2 and brodiew like this.
  4. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    Very nice. The movie moved so fast that some things went over my head. This makes that moment more understandable and touching.
    Kahara, AzureAngel2 and brodiew like this.
  5. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    Thanks for literally taking us into Ben´s head and being able as a reader travelling back to the light with him. @};-
    Kahara and brodiew like this.
  6. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 30, 2005
    This is so good. There's so much going on in this one brief part of the movie, and you've captured all the layers here. This is a journey of Leia letting go, of Ben holding on, and of Rey taking flight, all at the same time.

    You're playing with the "holding on" theme here so nicely. His mother sends him the strength to physically hang in there, even though he's badly hurt, and to spiritually hang in there, to allow the precious possibility of redemption enter into his consciousness. Leia's last act is to vanquish, once and for all, the evil that had tormented her son, and to show her son the light that he had denied himself for so long.

    And now his father joins in, and gives him the strength to do what Leia has given him the vision to do. The strength to physically climb that sheer cliff, and the strength to shake free of Palpatine's clutches.

    The third member, Luke, enters at this point, and gives Ben the wisdom to make the leap. That same hubris on Crait has become humbleness, as Ben realizes that he had to fail at Crait to succeed here.

    All of this is not just a leap upward to the top of the precipice, it's a leap of faith. It's a leap of hopefulness, that there is something good that is worth dying for, and that goodness is Rey. Then Ben makes his final leap -- to the Force itself, back to his family and the people who have loved him from the very beginning.

    Very nicely done here, Brodiew! I really enjoyed this.
    Kahara and brodiew like this.
  7. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    First of all, I’m sorry that’s taken me so long to comment; I know I promised this ages ago. DRL has been exceptionally darthy the last few months.

    Okay, now that that’s out of the way—=D==D==D= This is such a beautifully poignant look at what Ben was thinking in those moments while he was climbing out of the shaft Palpatine threw him down. I enjoyed TRoS more than I expected, and the transformation of Kylo back into Ben was the best part of it for me. What can I say, I’m a sucker for a good redemption arc. ;) I’m glad that you’ve given Ben a sense of remorse about his past deeds, even though he doesn’t have the time or opportunity to really work through Like Amidalachick, I really like the rhythm you create by repeating “he jumped”. And every time he jumps, he recalls someone whose love and sacrifice for him gives him strength to continue.

    First, there’s his mother. I totally accept that Leia doesn’t just die of exertion trying to contact Ben, but gives her strength to him willingly. I think every mother would give her life for her child’s and here Leia isn’t just saving his life physically but more importantly spiritually by helping him find his way back to the Light Side. The next jump is Han. Oh man, that moment between Han and Ben was my favorite scene in the movie, and you nailed the reason:
    Han has only compassion for Ben. He forgives him unconditionally for the worst possible offenses. And then comes Luke, and now in hindsight, he can see how they were both manipulated by Palpatine. Luke really had to have been; how else could a man who believed Darth Vader was still good be convinced his own nephew was too evil to live?

    Then there’s Rey, and again I love the rhythm you have going here:
    It’s interesting that Leia seems to be giving part of her life-force to Rey here and that Ben sacrifices what she’s given him to save Rey. I’m not a Reylo shipper, and my reaction to the Big Kiss was more “saw that coming”, but I have to say I really like the way you’ve handled it here, as Ben realizes that he’s found something rare and beautiful, something worth living for just as he’s dying :( That last paragraph has so much emotion
    The “spot where had killed him and saved him” is a beautiful turn of phrase, and the final repetition of “Ben’s hand” is perfect.

    This glimpse into Ben’s thoughts adds so much to what we saw in the movie. Bravo, and thanks for sharing this story of love and redemption.
    Kahara, brodiew and Findswoman like this.