With his mask, hooded cloak, and unique crossguard lightsaber, Kylo Ren stands as one of the most mysterious Star Wars villains ever. What makes him tick? Who is Kylo Ren from Star Wars: The Force Awakens? Warning: SPOILERS for The Force Awakens follows, below…
Kylo Ren has forever forged his name as one of the most evil and hated villains in the Star Wars saga, after driving a lightsaber through, and killing, Han Solo. The moment helped to cement Star Wars: The Force Awakens as a contender for one of the best Star Wars film in Star Wars cinematic history, and it proved that the boy who Leia and Han thought still existed, was forever gone.
Kylo Ren was born Ben Solo, to parents Leia Organa and Han Solo. From birth, Ben’s parents knew their son was strong in the Force, with Han commenting that the boy had too much of Vader in him. This is the reason they turned him over to his uncle, Luke Skywalker. Luke was building a new Jedi Order, and Ben would be one of his star padawan pupils. Then, Snoke began his infiltration.
We don’t yet know where Snoke came from. Is he an ancient Sith who was able to reach Ben Solo through his obsession with his grandfather, Darth Vader nee-Anakin Skywalker? Is Snoke another name taken by Plagueis the Wise, the former Dark Lord of the Sith and master to Darth Sidious who was Emperor Palpatine? Or, was Snoke one of Luke’s new Jedi students who was lured to the power of the Dark Side, and corrupted young Ben? We just don’t know…yet.
What we do know is, Ben forsook his uncle’s teachings, turned from the Light, joined Snoke and his Knights of Ren and slaughtered the other students in Luke’s new Jedi Order. Now, as Kylo Ren and the master of the Knights of Ren, Kylo has been hunting his exiled uncle — the last Jedi — for several years, and it’s here where we see his story pick-up in The Force Awakens.
We also know that Kylo battles with his pull to the Light. And, that he may have had a hand in Rey’s abandonment on Jakku. The purveying theory is that Rey is Luke’s daughter, and Kylo saved her from the slaughter because he still has remnants of the Light in him. Whether he recognized her in The Force Awakens or not, remains to be seen, but what we do know is that Rey was able to overpower him, using her new-found Force powers.
What does Episode VIII hold for Kylo Ren?
At the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, General Hux tells Supreme Leader Snoke of Starkiller’s destruction. Snoke tells Hux to find Kylo Ren and bring the injured and defeated Ren to him, so that he can complete Kylo’s training. It seems as if Kylo Ren will undergo a whole new battery of training in the Dark Side by Snoke…and it may not be very pleasant.
If you noticed in his fight with both Finn and Rey, Kylo kept battering his wound where Chewbacca shot him, causing blood to splatter onto the snow. This was an obvious technique to draw upon the raw power of the Dark Side, through his rage, anger, and hate for those who hurt him. I think Kylo has to do this because he is too susceptible to the Light, and needs to continually tap the rage and hate of the Dark Side of the Force. Snoke knows this, and therefore must complete Kylo’s training, so that he can be prepared to face his uncle Luke, and Rey.
Kylo Ren’s story is far from done, and I am glad J.J. Abrams did not go with the Darth Maul ending for this new Sith-like villain. Adam Driver nailed his role as a bad-guy, and will continue to do so in Star Wars: Episode VIII. The question remains…can Kylo nee-Ben Solo be redeemed? I guess we wait until May 2017 to find out.