‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ Fans Still Conflicted About Hux’s Ending
The Star Wars sequel trilogy was a mixed bag. Even the most ardent fans of the galaxy far away struggled to follow the minor character arcs from The Force Awakens to The Rise of Skywalker. Much of this has to do with the lack of planning that went into the overall trilogy, with Rian Johnson and JJ Abrams competing for their stories instead of incorporating what always was. The results have fans wishing for more, specifically when it comes to Hux.
Hux’s ‘Star Wars’ journey
According to Fandom, Armitage Hux debuted in 2015’s The Force Awakens not as a fully fleshed-out villain but a powerful, Fascistic leader who helps make Snoke and Kylo Ren’s destructive fans reality. However, as Hux’s journey passes through the sequel, his motivation is harder to come by. Morally gray characters are no stranger to Star Wars. After all, everyone from Darth Vader to Han Solo operates between the lines of good and bad.
However, Hux came across differently. At his best, Domnhall Gleason’s character comes across as a powerful voice for evil who is not afraid to make enemies get ahead. However, as we later learn, his motivations are less about an overall cause with some morally gray features but more about his own power and legacy in the movement.
When Hux dies in Episode IX, he doesn’t do so as a hero or a villain, but as a conflicted man who sold himself out and never got true closure on his overall plan. Sometimes, it looks like he could be operating for good. Others, he does unspeakable crimes against the galaxy’s most vulnerable. In the end, this snarling villain never gets fleshed out, and fans were left asking for more.
‘Star Wars’ fans wanted more
JJ Abrams, in particular, has been criticized for having no concrete plans going into the new trilogy. As the director of the first movie who, at the time, was not intended to do any more movies, Abrams was accused of recycling old storylines. However, some of his new characters, from Maz to Hux, were lauded for their place inside the saga.
Hux, in particular, was a particularly evil addition. With no force powers and simply a dream of militaristic power, Hux represented a different type of evil than the fans saw before. Fans spoke about this on a Reddit thread about his arc.
“I think that he had huge potential when he was introduced in Episode 7, and I also think that it made sense for him to betray Kylo Ren, but (as much as I love TLJ), I don’t like the way he is in Episode 8. Overall I still like Hux, but I think the sequels could have done a much better job with him,’ wrote u/kekse_007.
This kicked off a discussion about the lack of character development.
Never getting time to shine
Many saw Hux as a potential right-wing surrogate for modern times. Taking a mold laid down by an iconic franchise villain, u/SparkySpywer broke down why Hux felt incomplete with every passing appearance.
“He was cool in TFA but didn’t have much personality to himself. He felt like a mix of Nazi politician cliches with a little bit of Tarkin. I wasn’t a huge fan of his treatment in TLJ, but it never bothered me too much, and Rian did it with purpose. So, whatever. He just kind of sneers in TRoS and then gets killed. He’s the First Order leaker, but that’s almost entirely off-screen,” wrote u/SparkySpywer.
Many saw the new Star Wars movies as a hodgepodge of original ideas combined with rehashed ones. Hux offered the best of both worlds. However, as his villainous journey progressed, they were only left wondering what could have been. Hux is dead, but with an ever-expanding canon filling in the blanks, perhaps future releases will allow him to shine. However, if he doesn’t, fans will be left pondering another botched opportunity in a franchise filled with such events.