Kylo Ren: Star Wars Character Spotlight

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis)

Ph: Film Frame

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Growing up in his family’s shadow

Ben Solo, born to rebel heroes Leia Organa and Han Solo shortly after the Empire’s fall in the year 4 ABY, was born into a family held in such high esteem, and lofty expectations were placed on him since his birth. After it was discovered the Force-sensitive, he was expected to become a member of Luke’s new generation of Jedi warriors, playing his part in reviving the Jedi Order. He was even named after one of the more renown Jedi of recent years, Obi-Wan Kenobi, only enhancing others’ expectations.

Leia and Han both spent a great deal of time in their respective professions during Ben’s childhood, both of which consumed their lives and kept them from their son to an extent. This resulted in Ben experiencing feelings of abandonment and neglect as a child, feelings which would follow him to his adult life.

Before the fall of the Jedi Order, Jedi were expected to refrain from virtually all feelings or emotions, an aspect of being a Jedi that Luke may or may not have instituted into his teachings. Regardless, this vulnerability he felt allowed Supreme Leader Snoke to target young Ben Solo and seduce him to the dark side of the Force more easily.

When Snoke targeted Ben Solo and seduced him to the Dark Side, Ben’s betrayal created a significant impact on not only his family but the future of the Jedi as well. When he turned to the Dark Side, pledging himself to Snoke’s teachings, joining the Knights of Ren, and murdering all his fellow Jedi in training under Luke Skywalker, he abandoned his life as Ben Solo and became Kylo Ren, dedicating his life to finishing what Darth Vader started and killed all the Jedi.

Kylo Ren has modeled himself after his late grandfather — Darth Vader. Everything from the black helmet and augmented voice to the aimless choking of First Order officials, pointed to Kylo Ren making a full-fledged attempt to be the best second-coming of Darth Vader he could be.