4 Reasons Why Luke Skywalker Could Actually Be Kylo Ren
This week Lucasfilm dropped a bomb on awaiting Star Wars fans. The latest trailer came out, along with the official The Force Awakens poster. In the trailer, Luke shows up very briefly, and in the poster he’s completely absent.
Why isn’t Luke Skywalker on the poster?
This turn of events has ignited a flash of speculation among fans regarding the importance of Luke in the upcoming film. Some assume he just fades away while the story focuses on other characters.
But there’s another theory floating around and gaining momentum – one that sees Luke Skywalker taking center stage in the character of Kylo Ren. Is that possible?
Here are four reasons it actually makes sense to think that Luke has turned to the Dark Side and is the man behind the black mask in Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens.
1. Kylo Ren Has a Personal Connection to Darth Vader
In the latest official Episode 7 trailer that was released this week, Kylo Ren speaks as he looks out the window upon his army of Stormtroopers.
“Nothing will stand in our way. I will finish what you started.”
As he is speaking, the camera shifts to reveal the charred helmet of Darth Vader. Kylo Ren is speaking to Darth Vader. What does this tell us? Let’s break down that quote…
a). “Nothing will stand in our way.”
Kylo Ren is identifying with Darth Vader. He says that nothing will stand in “OUR” way. This is not just a fanboy who likes to dress up like his dark hero. He didn’t just pick up that old, charred relic at the local pawn shop. He went out of his way to acquire it, and he knew exactly where to look.
Kylo Ren feels a personal affinity and emotional connection with Darth Vader. He feels that Vader is on his side, and that his own destiny and Vader’s are tightly bound together.
When you consider this, especially in the context of Lucasfilm’s let’s-keep-it-in-the-family predictable plot twists, it’s a clear indication that Kylo Ren is not just some random dude in black. He is Darth Vader’s own flesh and blood.
Think about it.
B). “I WILL FINISH WHAT YOU STARTED.”
Kylo isn’t just making a power grab like so many Imperial baddies before him. This is personal. This is family business. He is setting out to finish the work that Darth Vader had begun.
Try hearing Kylo Ren’s line again, but this time imagine it with the word, “Father” tagged on at the end. “I will finish what you started, Father.”
It just feels right, doesn’t it? Are things starting to click?
2. Luke Skywalker Does Not Appear on the Official Episode 7 Poster
Why isn’t Luke on that poster, while both Han and Leia -- and even Chewbacca -- are prominently displayed? I can only think of three possibilities:
- Luke’s role is unimportant and cameo-ish
- Luke dies early in the film and is therefore unimportant and cameo-ish
- Luke actually DOES appear on the poster – as Kylo Ren!
Let’s consider each of these possibilities…
A). LUKE ISN’T ON THE POSTER BECAUSE HE ONLY HAS A SMALL PART IN THE FILM
This is actually quite possible.
From the original Star Wars trilogy, fans were left with the impression that Luke was the main character in the Star Wars saga. But then Episode 1: The Phantom Menace came out 16 years later, and we all learned that the story actually revolves around Darth Vader. That was mind-blowing!
So with Lucasfilm’s track record for you-thought-this-story-was-about-that-guy-but-it’s-really-about-this-guy plot twists, it wouldn’t be surprising if Luke actually fades away and the series focuses on Vader’s lineage through Leia. That’s possible.
But I’m not buying it.
Let’s consider the other two possible explanations for Luke’s absence from the poster…
B). LUKE SKYWALKER DOESN’T APPEAR ON THE POSTER BECAUSE HE’S DEAD
This one is also very possible, and could be combined with the first point above, where he dies and his role is shown to not be essential to the film.
I know a lot of folks wanted to see Luke die a long time ago, but I’m not one of them. As annoying as some of his whiny dialogue was in the original trilogy, Mark Hamill was just an actor playing the role of a young, whiny “kid,” and he pulled it off. We hated that brat!
But we also loved him.
Luke was the young, naïve, reluctant hero, and he had us rooting for him at the end of Return of the Jedi in his standoff against his own father, Darth Vader. To me, Luke has always been essential to the Star Wars story, and I would like his importance to carry through into the new film. But it’s not just because I’m being sentimental. I honestly think the story will be made stronger by keeping Luke alive in The Force Awakens.
So Luke Skywalker may not be dead, but the good man that was once Luke Skywalker may end up being destroyed, because – like his father before him – he turns to The Dark Side!
C). LUKE SKYWALKER DOES APPEAR ON THE POSTER AS KYLO REN.
Is “the son of Skywalker” hiding in plain sight on this poster? If he is, it’s because he’s turned to the Dark Side. When I first considered this possibility, my mind rejected it immediately.
"THAT’S NOT TRUE! THAT’S im-POSS-ible! NoOoOoOo!"
But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. First of all, it’s almost a Star Wars cliché to pull a fast one on us like that, but there are many clues from the original trilogy that have been pointing the story in this direction all along.
Let’s consider some of those…
3. Yoda, Obi-wan Kenobi, Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader All Sensed That Luke Would Turn to the Dark Side
In the original trilogy, especially in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, there were many hints being dropped that Luke would turn to the dark side like his father, Anakin Skywalker. Obi-wan sensed it. Yoda did too. That’s why they warned him – practically begged him – not to leave them to face Vader at the end of Episode 5.
But the Emperor and Vader also sensed that Luke’s destiny lied with the Dark Side, and that is why they pursued him relentlessly. Palpatine wanted Luke to kill Vader and become his new apprentice, and Vader wanted Luke to join him in overthrowing his master, the Emperor, so that they could rule the galaxy side by side as father and son. Or maybe Vader intended to kill Luke after dispatching Palpatine. Who knows.
Either way, the four most powerful force-sensitive beings in the galaxy were all convinced that Luke was going to turn to the dark side.
Here are some quotes to that effect…
4. Luke’s Vision at the Cave on Dagobah
The last piece of evidence that strongly suggests Luke Skywalker is Kylo Ren is Luke’s vision inside the cave on Dagobah, back when Yoda was training him in Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back. As you’ll recall, there’s this cave that has a strong concentration of energy, particularly from the Dark Side of the Force. The cave is calling to Luke, so of course, he goes to check it out. It’s one of his trials on his path to Jedihood.
In the cave, Luke encounters Darth Vader. The two briefly duke it out with their lightsabers, and Luke wins by cutting off Vader’s head. Vader’s head rolls onto the ground and his mask expodes, revealing his face inside. As the smoke clears, the face is revealed to be that of Luke Skywalker.
The movie doesn’t exactly spell out what this vision means, but the most common idea at the time was simply that Luke had such fear and anger in him, that it was possible that he turn to the Dark Side. Later on, Vader himself reveals that he is Luke’s father, so that adds another layer of meaning to the vision. At the end of Return of the Jedi, Luke overcomes his anger and fear and wins the day and all that.
Luke didn’t turn to the Dark Side after all. The world is full of light and good cheer. Right? Well, maybe not. Luke’s story is far from over. What if that vision in the cave still holds true? What if the Force was revealing to Luke that his destiny was to embrace the Dark Side and walk in his father’s footsteps? If that is the case, then Luke’s transformation into Kylo Ren would be the fulfilment of that prophetic vision.
SO WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Does Luke Skywalker turn to the Dark Side?
Is Luke Skywalker actually Kylo Ren?
There are only three possibilities for the true identity of Kylo Ren that make sense in the context of the Star Wars films, and Luke Skywalker is a very strong candidate. If Luke doesn’t turn to the Dark Side, that would be such a wasted opportunity. A great story arc lost forever.
But who else would Kylo Ren actually be, if not Luke?