“I’ll show them the power of the Darkness.” –Kylo Ren, The Force Awakens
Not much is known about Kylo Ren except that he leaves a path of destruction wherever he goes. Being strong with the Dark Side of the Force, he has no problem using his powers to help the First Order gain control of the galaxy from the Resistance. Here are 26 facts about Kylo Ren to better help you understand his motivation for galactic supremacy.
Kylo Ren’s real name is Ben Solo. Born on the planet of Chandrilla, he is the son of Leia Organa and Han Solo.
Ren, still going under the name Ben Solo, was trained by his uncle, Luke Skywalker. Ren was Luke’s strongest student.
Ren’s main aspiration in life is to be like his grandfather, Darth Vader (Anakin Skywalker). He is determined to finish Vader’s work of bringing order to the galaxy through the Dark Side of the Force.
Ren designed and built his own lightsaber. The lightsaber is powered by a cracked Kyber crystal and uses cross guards as an exhaust vent. This explains its rugged and unstable appearance.
Ben Solo was given the name Kylo Ren after joining the insidious Knights of Ren. The Knights of Ren are not part of the First Order and are exclusively under the command of Supreme Leader Snoke. Snoke considers Ren to be the “Master” of the Knights of Ren.
Ren is seduced to the Dark Side of the Force by Supreme Leader Snoke. While training with his uncle to become a Jedi, the two have a midnight confrontation, after which Ren destroys Skywalker’s Jedi Order Temple. To top the act off, he slaughters the young Padawans in training, wiping out the new generation of Jedi in the process. This event sends Luke into exile on the planet Ahch-To.
Ren received the birthname Ben after Obi-Wan Kenobi. Kenobi, who lived on the same planet, Tatooine, as Luke Skywalker, was often referred to as Ben. Kenobi is responsible for beginning Luke’s training in the ways of the Force.
The slaughter at the Jedi Temple and the resulting exile of Luke Skywalker leads Ren to be known as The Jedi Killer among the First Order.
Ren’s mask is designed to conceal his identity and help him forget his life as Ben Solo. The mask also serves as a tribute to his grandfather and idol, Darth Vader.
Ren receives a scar over his eye during his battle with Rey, a scavenger from Jakku who has a strong connection to the Force. The scar Ren receives (after it was re-jigged slightly in The Last Jedi) is the same scar Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader has.
Ren travels the galaxy in an Upsilon-class command shuttle. The lower wings of the shuttle act as shield projectors and sensor jammers, while the upper wings contain sensors that can detect enemy hostiles.
For combat missions and battle, Ren pilots the TIE silencer. The TIE silencer is equipped with laser canons and missile launchers. Like his mask, the design of the TIE silencer is influenced by Darth Vader’s TIE advanced fighter.
One of Ren’s many Force powers is the ability read the minds of those captured by the First Order.
Ren is a collector of old Sith artifacts. His most prized possession? The melted, crumbling mask worn by Darth Vader.
Unlike Darth Vader, Ren is not a Sith. Although the Sith have traditionally been the only Dark Side users in the series, just as the Jedi have been for the Light, this isn't always the case. So, despite Ren and Snoke's strong ability in the Dark Side, they aren't actually the Sith Lords like Vader and Darth Sidious.
Leia had mixed feelings about how her son would turn out. In Aftermath: Empire’s End, a book that explains the events that took place after Return of the Jedi, Leia describes her unborn child as, “Less a human-shaped thing and more a pulsing, living band of light. Light that sometimes dims, that sometimes is thrust through with a vein of darkness.”
Kylo Ren is played by Adam Driver, an American actor who has appeared on Broadway and on the HBO show Girls.
Before signing on to play Ren in the Star Wars Universe, Driver was considered for the role of Lex Luthor in Batman versus Superman.
According to Driver, Ren doesn’t think of himself as one of the bad guys. Driver says, “He (Ren) is someone who doesn’t think himself as evil, but thinks of himself as right.”
According to the director of The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson, much of Ren’s anger stems from the frustration of transitioning from adolescence into adulthood. Rian explains, “We can all relate to Kylo: to that anger of being in the turmoil of adolescence and figuring out who he’s going to be as a man, dealing with the anger and wanting to separate from his family.”
Driver didn’t like the Kylo Ren mask. He couldn’t see anyone or anything, telling Conan O’Brien, “To this day, I still don’t know who’s in the movie because I haven’t seen anybody.”
While filming The Force Awakens, Driver would sometimes stay in character between scenes, leaving his mask on, too.
Ren blames Vader saving his son, Luke, from Emperor Palpatine on “sentiment.” Ren also tells Snoke that he is “immune to the light,” and wouldn’t have made the same error as Vader.
After the Empire fell, Ren’s parents Leia and Han devoted all their time to rebuilding the galaxy. This lead Ren to believe that his parents cared more about their causes than their son, creating a resentment that makes Snoke and the Dark Side even more appealing.
Ben Solo was born on the same day on which the New Republic and the remaining Imperial forces signed the Galactic Concordance, which officially put an end to the Galactic Civil War.
Leia never lost hope that the light hadn't gone out in her son. When Solo says, “If Luke couldn’t reach him, how could I?” Leia responds with, “Luke is a Jedi. You’re his father. There’s still light in him. I know it.”
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