Star Wars The Force Awakens: Kylo Ren is working with Luke Skywalker
Is Kylo Ren on the Light Side?
Kylo Ren has been described as a character 'not yet fully formed' by many involved in the production of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. This is an attribute that we must take in to consideration if we want to fully understand Kylo Ren's true, underlying motives throughout the film.
In The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren is represented as an unstable, unpredictable force user. According to the film, Luke Skywalker was training Ben Solo, the son of Han and Leia, until the boy was seduced to the Dark Side by Supreme Leader Snoke, becoming the leader of the Knights of Ren and taking on the title of Kylo Ren.
However, the film is neglectful in providing viewers and real substance in terms of the background of the Knights of Ren; who they are, how many of them there are, why the chose to follow Kylo Ren etc. In fact, it's pretty bizarre that none of the Knights of Ren appear in The Force Awakens, but that's a story for another hub.
This hub focuses on Kylo Ren, specifically the possibility that he isn't actually fighting for the wrong side. He may in fact be an agent placed within the First Order in order to overthrow Supreme Leader Snoke and bring peace tot he galaxy once more. Though this theory seems, at first, to be very outlandish and highly improbably, it actually isn't that hard to justify. Read on to find out why a handful of people believe Kylo Ren to be the secret good guy to the new Star Wars trilogy.
Star Wars The Force Awakens plot points
There are 5 major plot points in The Force Awakens that we must analyse in order to explain how, and why, Kylo Ren may be an agent of the Light Side, secretly working with Luke Skywalker to destroy the First order once and for all. These plot points are: Luke training Ben Solo in the ways of the Force, Ben Solo apparently turning to the Dark Side and destroying Luke's work, the Knights of Ren, Kylo Ren's obsession with Darth Vader, and finally, the death of Han Solo.
5. Ben Solo is trained by Luke Skywalker
Through watching The Force Awakens we learn that Ben Solo was training to become a Jedi under the guidance of Luke Skywalker. We also learn from Ben's parents, Han and Leia, that they 'sent him away' to train under Luke, and that it was at that point they 'lost their son' to the Dark Side. We can interpret these events in an alternative way: Han, Leia and Luke are co-conspirators and have learned the awful truth that the only way they could kill Supreme Leader Snoke, would be to gain his trust. Note that we never actually see Snoke in the film, only a projection, which supports the argument that Snoke only allows those he trusts to see him in person, perhaps due to a lack of trust due to an extreme alignment to the Dark Side, or due to fearing that Luke Skywalker will find and defeat him - both are equally plausible. Further to this, the only people we know to see Snoke in his physical form (not his projection) are General Hux and Kylo Ren - Snoke orders Hux to come to him with Kylo Ren towards the end of the film. Keep this in mind as you read on - the only people in face-to-face contact with Supreme Leader Snoke, and therefore the only people (that we know of so far) who know his whereabouts, are General Hux and Kylo Ren. Therefore we can theorise that Luke, Leia and Han were searching for Supreme Leader Snoke, but to no avail. They come to the realisation that Supreme Leader Snoke will only present himself to those he trusts, and must come up with a master-plan. The only plan that they believe will work is that they use one of their own to get close to Supreme Leader Snoke. Rey is too young, so they hide her on Jakku for her own safety, while Ben is sent away to train with Luke. During his training, he is told of the secret mission he has been chosen to carry out. He knows that in order to get close to Snoke, he must give in to the Dark Side.
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4. A lot can happen in 30 years
The Force Awakens is set 30 years after Return of the Jedi. This 30 year time period provides enoughtime for the First order to take up where the fallen Empire left off. It also provides time for the Resistance to form, for Luke, Leia and Han to attempt (and fail) to defeat the First Order, and for them to come up with a plan B, to send Ben Solo to train with Luke, and to fabricate a cover-up to tell the rest of the Resistance - that Ben Solo was seduced by the Dark Side when training with Luke, destroyed everything they were working towards, and joined the First Order with his acolytes, the Knights of Ren. Only Han, Leia, Luke and Kylo Ren know the real plan. The 30 year period also allows J.J. Abrams to skip this part of the story - saving it for 'visions' scenes like Rey's at Maz Kanata's castle.
3. The Meaning of 'Ren' and the Knights of Ren
Ren is a term whose roots can be found in Chinese philosophy. Ren refers to humaneness, goodness, benevolence and love. Ren is the feeling gained from altruistic behaviour - acting selflessly for the protection of others. Ren, in terms of its usability in the Star Wars Universe, is surely geared toward the Light than the Dark. For a character to have the title Ren, they must surely be selfless and altruistic - perhaps even a martyr.
Applying the underlying meaning of Ren to Kylo Ren, we cannot ignore the possibility of a goodness behind his actions. If a character were to willingly sacrifice all that he loved in order to protect the galaxy, but receive no recognition for his actions, then Ren would certainly be a suitable name for this character. Under the same vein, the Knights of Ren - acolytes of Kylo Ren - may be aware of his secret mission and may also, like him, have given up their past in order to save everyone else's future. The Knights of Ren could actually be the other Jedi-in-training who were under Luke's guidance.
Therefore be analysing the definition of Ren - what it actually means - to act selflessly in order to protect another human, we can understand how the theory that Kylo Ren is actually good, isn't as far-fetched as it seems. Kylo Ren is so-named because he has given up all that he knew in order to get close to Supreme Leader Snoke, to kill him, and to defeat the First Order. Ben Solo knew exactly what his mission would entail - he knew he could not see his family again, as his cover would be blown. He knew he had to fully give in to the Dark Side. He knew he would be alone. But he did it anyway.
2. Kylo Ren and Darth Vader: 'I will finish what you started'
"I will finish what you started."
This point can follow on from the previous. We were discussing how Ben Solo knew he would have to leave his family behind in order to complete his mission. However, the one family member he could speak to - if speaking to a burned up helmet counts as speaking to them - would be Darth Vader. Ben Solo is completely alone as he carries out his mission as Kylo Ren, and he surely misses his family. Being able to see a symbol of his grandfather would give him comfort, and the strength to carry on. In the film, we see Kylo speaking to Vader's old mask 'I will finish what you started'. Now, most people would take this as it appears on the surface: a bad guy worshipping an old, dead bad guy and declaring his loyalty to the cause. However, it's just as possible that this soliloquy is Ben Solo seeking the strength to carry on with the hardest thing he has ever had to do. Darth Vader turned back to the Light in the end, and defeated the Emperor. Ben will know this, after all, he did train under Luke. He isn't hell-bent on galactic conquest as Vader was when he was bad, he's hell-bent on bringing an end to the Dark side - like Vader was when he threw the Emperor down that scarily deep hole.
1. Kylo Ren and Han Solo
It's time to address the elephant in the room. How can Kylo Ren possibly be a good guy when we've just seen him end one of our favourite characters of the whole franchise? And to make matters worse, it was his Dad. This scene is the climax of the whole film, it's what The Force Awakens has been building up to, and much like the film, this point is the culmination of all of the previous points covered in this hub. This is the straw that broke the camel's back. Han Solo's death scene, for me, makes it quote clear that Kylo Ren is a good guy who bad things have happened to.
First of all, there are the special effects - the lighting that represent Kylo Ren's struggling to balance the Light and the Dark - he doesn't know which way to go. If he goes to the Light side, he will have failed his mission, and likely ruined any chance of the Resistance getting close to Supreme Leader Snoke, but nobody would blame him and he'd be welcomed back to the Resistance by Han, Leia and Luke, despite his failure. The trio would explain their plan to the rest of the Resistance and they'd carry on their struggle against the First Order. If he chooses the Dark side, he gains Supreme Leader Snoke's trust, and finally goes to finish his training, learning of Snoke's whereabouts in doing so.
Kylo Ren knows that in order to gain Supreme Leader Snoke's trust, he must show upmost dedication to the Dark side. We see throughout the film that he struggles with his, asking Darth Vader's mask to show him the Dark side, because he is too selfless and altruistic to fall to the Dark side without being pushed. And the same happens in Han's final scene. Kylo Ren takes off his mask and asks Han for his help. This ends in the death of Han Solo 9which will haunt me for years to come). As viewers, we assume that Kylo Ren was on the verge of handing Han his lightsaber and returning to the Resistance, that Han was trying to save him and bring him home - at the request of Leia. But in actual fact, Han knew exactly what Kylo Ren needed to do, and he knew that it was something that had to be done. We see in the film that the two both have a firm grip of the lightsaber, so it can be argued that Han actually helped Kylo Ren kill him. Han did this because he knew Kylo Ren wouldn't be able to do it himself, and it had to be done if the Resistance were to have any chance of finding out where Snoke was located. Han effectively dies a martyr.
There are a few problems with this point, admittedly. The main problem is that Leia asked Han to bring their son home. Why would Leia want him home if she knew he was on a secret mission to turn to the Dark side and infiltrate the highest ranks of the First Order? Well the answer is simple, Leia is worried for her son's safety. She has changed her mind and wants him home, she doesn't want him to risk his life anymore. Either that, or 'bring our son home' actually means 'Help him complete the mission. The sooner this is over, the sooner we can have him back'. I know this explanation isn't the best, but it's all I have right now.
Are you convinced?
Do you think Kylo Ren is actually on a mission organised by Luke Skywalker?
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