In a behind the scenes clip from the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Blu Ray, the cast and crew talk Kylo Ren and his tenuous relationship with his parents.
The Force Awakens will forever be known as the Star Wars movie that killed off one of the most beloved characters in the franchise, Han Solo. What’s more heartbreaking and memorable about that scene on Starkiller Base is that Han’s death was brought about by his own son, Ben, AKA Kylo Ren. There’s a deep emotional turmoil happening in Kylo’s character that brings him to that point, and Adam Driver and J.J. Abrams talk about it in the behind the scenes video below.
Driver implies that it’s due to Kylo’s parents being absent for the turbulent portion of his youth that helped prompt him to try the dark path.
"“There’s nothing more powerful than genetics. If you really imagine the stakes of him in his youth, having all these special powers and having your parents kind of be absent during that process on their own agendas, equally as selfish. He’s lost in the world that he was raised in, and feels that he was kind of abandoned by the people that he’s closest with. He’s angry because of that I think.”"
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We know from the The Force Awakens visual dictionary that Han took to ship racing during the years of peace between Episodes VI and VII. We also know that Leia has a big role in the politics of the New Republic, at least toward the latter years of the thirty-year period between the original and sequel trilogies, as evidenced by the upcoming novel Bloodline. Like the children of many powerful and famous people, it sounds like Ben is sort of left behind while Han and Leia are fulfilling the roles they either have to, because of their exalted position within the former Rebellion, or that they want to after having spent so many years in the service of others.
J.J. Abrams, however, says there’s another person to blame Ben’s fall to the dark side on.
"“But it’s more than having sort of a bad seed as a kid. Snoke had targeted this kid, who knew that this kid was going to be incredibly powerful in the Force and wanted him as an ally. So this mother and father had a target for a son, someone was watching their boy. And these parents aren’t there enough to guide him.”"
The question is, how much did Han and Leia know about Snoke? Did they realize he was biding his time, perhaps mentoring Ben from afar much like Palpatine did with Anakin Skywalker? We also don’t know how much Luke knew. We assume, since Ben trained at the Jedi Temple under Luke, that Luke was or had the potential to be his role model. Something must have happened to shake Ben’s confidence in him, as well. While that something was probably Snoke, there may have been other factors. Perhaps Luke also didn’t realize the gravity of Ben’s emotional situation, and the strength of the temptation to join the dark side fighting for mastery over him.
Regardless, whatever he did or didn’t do with regard to helping his nephew, it didn’t work, and it cost the Jedi Master dearly. The same goes for Kylo’s parents, but they paid a price arguably even more horrible: losing their son to the dark side and Han’s life to Kylo.