General Hux: Mistreated or Misunderstood?

Over the last couple of weeks I have rewatched the entire Star Wars Saga, and as I made my way from ‘The Force Awakens’ and into ‘The Last Jedi’ seeing the treatment of General Hux, something many fans have had an issue with.

When we first met Hux in TFA, he was a snivelling weasel of a man, facing off with Kylo Ren on board ‘The Finalizer’, which when you think about it, is a brave thing to do. Those computers did nothing and look what he does to them.

Once they reach Starkiller Base however, Hux seems to be more in his element. His orders go unquestioned and enacted without haste. Kylo doesn’t do much with Hux on the base, which leads me to believe that once on his own turf, Hux has dominance over whatever authority Kylo has within The First Order. The only time they have any interaction on the base is when speaking with Snoke both times.

Hux’s speech to The First Order before the Starkiller weapon is fired for the first time shows his passion, his unwavering belief in The First Order and their mission to vanquish the Republic. The scene is meant to evoke thoughts of the Nazi rallies in the 1930’s, Hux comes across like Hitler and the troops on the base eat it up.

But all of that goes out of the window. When Starkiller is destroyed, Hux is summoned by Snoke to rejoin The First Order fleet which is where we find him at the beginning of ‘The Last Jedi’.

In ‘The Last Jedi’, Hux seems to have gone through a dramatic character change in the hours between the events of the two films. The fanatical General hell bent on taking over the Galaxy has become a pompous, overconfident fool, as demonstrated when making his speech to Poe Dameron, which, according to the novelisation, he feels is important enough to be written in historical documents. This of course is ruined by Poe’s prank call which has to be revealed by Captain Peavey.

In fact, whenever Hux is on the bridge of a ship, his inexperience shines through. Whilst not the youngest member of the crew in the room, he is the youngest member of the Command Crew, all of whole have experience from the Galactic Civil War in service to the Empire and would all be much more suited to Hux’s role.

After the Dreadnought was destroyed, knowing he would be reprimanded he tries to escape to his quarters rather than suffer Snoke’s wrath in front of the assembled crew. It’s only when he’s before the Supreme Leader and later in the hanger with Phasma, away for the veterans of the Empire, that his confidence grows and we see Hux as we did in ‘The Force Awakens’ and again in the aftermath of Snoke’s death and the Praetorian Guard battle when Kylo is unconscious, Hux has the opportunity to vanquish his competition for the Throne but misses his opportunity as Ren wakes up and forcibly takes command.

During the Battle of Crait, we see Hux trying to maintain his control of the First Order Army, which he would have had were Snoke alive, and operating from his chambers on board the Supremacy but Kylo isn’t like Snoke and goes down to the planet, Hux’s control is all but gone, he manages to deliver orders to his forces but it doesn’t take long for his authority to be thrown (pun intended) away as Kylo begins to become annoyed and essentially put Hux in his place, even when Hux is actually right at the time about Ren being focused and not distracted by Luke’s diversion which effectively leads to the Resistance surviving and we see Hux’s determination to be rid of Kylo.

Given the animosity of their relationship, it’s not a surprise that Ren essentially demoted Hux before ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ and elevating Pryde to the rank of Allegiant General. This could have been after the destruction of Ren’s flagship during the Battle of Batuu which is part of the ‘Rise of the Resistance’ rise at the Galaxy’s Edge parks. The Steadfast, Pryde’s ship becomes the new First Order flagship and Hux becomes Pryde’s underling.

In terms of the story, we needed and older First Order leader from the Empire who would be allied with Palpatine and Pryde fits that bill, by in doing so it also pushes Hux’s hand into doing something that, on the surface feels completely out of character, but in reality it’s not. He doesn’t have the power he once held, he is seen as a joke by the Supreme Leader and the older members of The First Order command and needs to find a way to pull his way back up to the top, and so he acts as a spy, feeding information to The Resistance which would lead them to attempting to foil Ren’s plans. His motivation is t to save the Galaxy, it’s to be rid of Kylo Ren.

Of course, this plan leads to his demise. As much as he would have loathed it, he would have been much safer leaving on the Millennium Falcon with Poe, Finn and Chewie as a hostage. His whole plan of having a blaster wound and being forced into helping the heroes escape is foolish and obvious, he essentially brought about his own demise.

Hux’s arc over the Sequel Trilogy, in my opinion gets a bad reputation, his arc doesn’t show character growth, but shows the audience how his peers and superiors perceive him and how out of his depth he can be in certain situations. His quest for power overrides everything in his mind, which we learn more about in the books and comics, being the son of an Imperial General who was crucial in the formation of The First Order, Hux had a lot to live up to and only does so in his mind. He hasn’t earned his position but rather inherited it and that could also be why he is looked down upon by most of the older First Order Officers.

I really think, after this rewatch, that Hux is misunderstood by audiences. There has been so much mud flung at the Sequel Trilogy that the flingers have latched onto anything that could be perceived as negative and run with it, but if we really took the time to appreciate the nuances of the Trilogy we may see some gold (or in my opinion more gold seeing as I love the Sequel Trilogy).

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