Solo sons. Life in the Solo family would never be easy, especially when you’re the son of Han Solo…
Every Star Wars fan knows the Solo family. Headed by Han Solo in Legends and Canon, the smuggler married his princess and they had children. In Legends material, they had Jacen, one half of twins, and Anakin, named for his maternal grandfather. They also had a daughter, Jaina, Jacen’s older twin. In Canon, Han and Leia have only one son, Ben, named after Obi-Wan “Ben” Kenobi.
Despite being a part of two different continuities, Jacen and Ben appear very similar. If you’re a Star Wars fan who has dabbled in Legends and Canon, you may have noticed the similarities. Let’s break down the characters and examine how they are alike.
Jacen and Ben have colorful family histories in their timelines. They’re members of the Skywalker family on Leia’s side.
Jacen’s life differed than Ben’s. He didn’t have a familial bond with his parents early in life, having been raised by a nanny. Also, he understood his Force sensitivity at a young age.
Photo Credit: Lucasfilm
Ben’s relationship with Leia and Han when he was growing up is unknown, though he came to resent his father. The troubled Solo boy felt abandoned by his parents and Luke.
From an early age, Ben became dangerous. Leia knew the risks of having a child with Skywalker blood. The love she and Han shared for their son made them consider the possibility they could cope with a dangerous child. The couple fought to keep Leia’s true paternity a secret from their son. They succeed for the first 23 years of Ben’s life.
When Leia’s paternity secret came under threat, Leia not only lost her standing in the Senate, but Ben discovered his parents and uncle lied to him. Young Solo became influenced by Snoke.
Photo Credit: Lucasfilm
During Jacen’s appearance in Legends, his personality changed four times over his life. As a child, he spent much time with an assigned nanny as his parents were busy, which didn’t allow him to bond with them. When he reunited with his parents, he believed the Force would rescue him.
Thanks to Luke’s teachings, Jacen found another way of viewing the Force. He developed a close bond with his uncle and held Luke in the greatest esteem. Because of the views he formed, Jacen believed the Jedi did not need to fight in battle. He also thought the reason the original Jedi Order fell was because they entered the Clone Wars.
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As a Dark Side user, Jacen’s thirst and wish for knowledge dwindled. He went from being open and honest in his views to become secretive and withdrawn. For those who knew him, they considered Jacen mysterious. It get worse when he withdrew from the twin bond he shared with Jaina and from the Force itself.
Jacen and Tenel Ka Djo met as teenage students at Luke’s Jedi Academy. They shared the same friends and ended the terror of Black Sun. Tenel Ka realized her feelings for Jacen during the Vuuzhan Vong War. Tenel Ka conceived a daughter with Jacen they named Allana, named after her late uncle, Anakin.
Dark Side knowledge
While Jacen and Ben share familial similarities, they do not share the same knowledge about their grandfather.
Being the nephew of Luke Skywalker, Jacen was aware of his grandfather’s fall to the dark side. Also, he dealt with his younger brother’s fears of falling to the darkness because he shared his name with their grandfather.
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Ben knew little about his grandfather until his mother’s paternity leaked to the public. For the first part of Ben’s life, Leia, Han, and Luke thought the boy was better off not knowing the truth.
Descent to the Dark Side
Jacen and Ben have two different stories of how they each fell to the dark side.
Let’s begin with Ben. Before the rise of Kylo Ren, Ben Solo’s birth took place on Chandrila. As a child, he showed to be dangerous, which sparked fear in his parents and uncle. He even overheard his parents talking about how dangerous he might become. This hurt him to the point he thought people were correct about him.
Due to Snoke’s influence, Ben came to realize the Jedi Order needed to perish once and for all. Because he idolized his grandfather’s moniker Darth Vader, he wanted to ‘finish what he started’ years earlier.
Photo Credit: Lucasfilm
Jacen was born to Leia and Han as their second child, just minutes after his twin sister, Jaina. A year and a half after his birth, Jacen became the older brother of Anakin. The three Solo children were close growing up.
There were many factors that lead to Jacen’s fall to the dark side. One of them was the death of Jacen’s brother, Anakin. Anakin died during the Yuuzhan Vong War. The weight of the tragedy fell on Jacen because he could not protect his brother.
The family killings
During the events of the Legends timeline, Jacen’s fall became triggered partly because of his brother’s death.
At some point, Jacen killed his Aunt Mara and got slaughtered himself by his own sister. For Jaina to kill her own twin, she knew it was necessary to avenge their aunt for the sins her brother committed.
For Ben, he didn’t kill his aunt seeing as Luke isn’t married in Canon. In substitute, Ben killed his father, committing patricide. His mother felt Han’s death through the Force. As devastating as it was for Leia, she realized Han would want her to fight back against their son’s tyranny.
Also, when the First Order attacked Leia’s fleet, Ben could have killed her, but didn’t. He destroyed the fleet though allowed his mother to live. Why he did this was unclear, but one would assume Ben didn’t hate his mother in the same way he hated Han.
No matter what you might think about Kylo Ren and Darth Caedus, their similarities served as a massive wake up call to Anakin’s legacy. No matter if you’re a direct descendant of the Chosen One, there’s always a chance you’ll turn to the dark.