Darth Vader and Kylo Ren have had very similar paths in their Star Wars journey. We take a look at their similarities.
Like (grand)father like (grand)son. With speculation that Anakin Skywalker may appear in the last installment of the Star Wars Saga, a fitting comparison was due between Anakin/Vader and Ben/Kylo.
Before Darth Vader there was Anakin Skywalker and before Kylo Ren there was Ben Solo. However, whether you compare Anakin to Ben Solo, Anakin to Kylo Ren or Vader to Kylo Ren they are two sides of the same coin.
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Anakin Skywalker is very headstrong and arrogant as we see in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones whether trailing Zam Wesell, (in speeder and on foot) to his decision to rush into a fight with Count Dooku. ROTS offers more hype with Palpatine’s praises; “You’re the best choice by far”.
Like Anakin, Ben Solo is manipulated. Snoke, manipulated Ben towards the dark side, and made him turn on those that he knew and loved; Snoke knew of Ben’s power with the Force, and thought he could be a new Darth Vader.
Both Anakin and Ben are greedy for power. Anakin sought power because he feared losing the ones he loved, ironically his quest for power causes him to lose everyone who ever cared about him. He blames himself for the deaths of Quigon, his mother Shmi and his wife Padme. Anakin vows to become “the most powerful Jedi in the galaxy” and to save the people he loves from dying. “Why couldn’t I save her?” he asks to which Padme replies, “you’re not all powerful.” Anakin fumes that he should be. “I will be the most powerful Jedi in the galaxy”.
Palpatine strikes gold with the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis, “He was so powerful and so wise that he could use the Force to influence the midichlorians to create life… He had such a knowledge of the dark side that he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying”.
Anakin replies, “Is it possible to learn this power?
Ever so keen Sidious boasts, “Not from a Jedi”.
After a discovery by Anakin, “You’re the Sith Lord, we’ve been searching for”, Sidious is at lightsaber point by Anakin and laments “Learn the power of the Dark Side, Anakin. The power to save Padmé.”
“Only through me can you save the ones you love from dying”.
Torn but contemplating, Anakin tells Master Windu of Chancellor Sidious (haha). With Mace Windu as an immediate barrier, Anakin acts, giving in to temptation and succumbing to the dark side of the force.
Anakin/Vader and Kylo Ren share anger problems as we see with all the collateral damage left in their wake. With the Skywalker’s it is always someone else’s fault. “It’s all Obiwan’s fault, he’s holding me back”!
And Vader: “Obiwan’s failure is now complete!” Kylo blames his family and the Jedi.
Anakin uses anger and hatred as he slaughters the sand people. The anger and hatred continue in the coming duels with Dooku. As Vader, hate and anger regularly flow through him whether it be against Jedi, rebels, scum, or imperial officers. Heck, any one who stands in the way! Like Vader, Kylo also has a short circuit. “Kill them all” he declares on Jakku. Hatred and anger flow through Kylo Ren as he duels Rey and later Luke.
Kylo’s murder of his father Han Solo, and Anakin’s march on the Jedi Temple are end of the line, too late to turn back moments. For Kylo Ren, a sad, slightly pitiable, speech to his dad about feeling torn apart by decision and being pulled by light and dark –“I know what I have to do, but I don’t know if i have the strength to do it.”—only to then twist things around at the last moment and use his father’s love and devotion as a trap to bring Solo to his apparent death, to seal Kylo’s path to darkness.
Both Vader and Kylo rush into things and obsess. With Vader it was always the Jedi, and later finding his son. Kylo does much of the same as he hunts Rey and the Resistance. Always indecisive, rushing around, wanting more, Yoda might say.
The funny thing about darkside users is that they in fact always want more. An apprentice usually kills the master in order to now take command, as Kylo and also Vader (from a certain point of view) want and do. Telling Padme “I can overthrow him” and Luke “We can destroy the Emperor, he has foreseen this, join me and we can rule the galaxy as father and son.”
Likewise Kylo admonishes, “It’s time to let old things die. Snoke… Skywalker… the Sith… the Jedi… the rebels. Rey… I want you to join me. We can rule together and bring a new order to the galaxy”.
Anakin and Ben gave up great people when they fell to the darkside. Notably Padme, Obiwan and the rest of the Jedi for Anakin; Leia, Han and Luke for Ben. Always give and take.
Kylo killed his father and seeks to destroy his mother’s Resistance and the remnants of the Jedi Order. Anakin sought to be the most powerful being in the galaxy and wound up killing the Jedi and helping lead an empire.
As Anakin proved, it wasn’t too late for redemption ; now the question, is it possible for Ben to come back to the light also? “Difficult to see, the future is”.
Star Wars: the Rise of Skywalker hits theaters December 20, 2019.