Warning: SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
The sequel trilogy of Star Wars It has come to an end, completing Ben Solo’s journey from light to darkness and vice versa. But the films did not answer all the questions fans expected to see. The most important of these persistent questions is: What is the name ‘Kylo Ren’ supposed to mean? Fortunately, the mystery has been solved in detail … you just won’t find it explained in the movies.
Even before Marvel told fans what to expect from Ben Solo’s origin comic, Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren, assumptions were made about how much of Ben’s story could be explored in a feasible way in The rise of Skywalker final. The first official details confirmed suspicions, with the writer Charles Soule describing the original comic in four parts as the transformation of the character. “from Ben to Ren”. The first issue surprised fans by answering all questions about the Knights of Ren, while introducing readers to the rest of Luke’s young Jedi students. And in The rise of Kylo Ren # 2Finally, the question of the future name of Ben Solo, dark side, is raised. Confirming, in a way as clear as fans, the true meaning of ‘Kylo Ren’.
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In case Star Wars Fans missed the first issue, the comic actually begins by presenting Ren, leader of the Knights of Ren, named after Ren and the red lightsaber they worship as an incarnation of the dark side. Or as they call it, “the shadow.” So, although Ben Solo has yet to defeat Ren as his own judgment, or more peacefully assume his role as commander of the Knights (unlikely), that half of his name is clear enough. Especially with Snoke supporting Ben Solo’s belief that his way away from Luke Skywalker can lead through the mysterious warriors that serve the dark side.
But that still leaves half ‘Kylo’ of Ben Solo’s adopted identity to explain. And the explanation is simpler and more complicated than fans expect. When Star Wars: The Force Awakens revealed that masked ‘Kylo Ren’ was Ben Solo, son of Han Solo and Leia Skywalker, some fans deduced their own explanation of ‘ky-lo’, typically with blank eyes or a laugh. Like Skywalker and Solo, did Ben just take “ky” from one and “what” from the other? But his original comic does not claim that it is really that simple. But it also reveals that what fans should have focused on is not what the name retains, but what eliminates.
With the story set just after the destruction of the Luke Skywalker Jedi Temple, it also takes fans to the early days of the seduction of Ben Solo by Supreme Leader Snoke. At this point, Snoke was still acting as Ben Solo’s friend, confidant and mentor. And with an even softer touch than Palpatine used to corrupt Anakin Skywalker, Snoke actually casts doubt on Ben’s attraction to the Ren Knights he faced with Luke Skywalker. And he uses Ben’s name to do it, reminding him that the child’s identity and legacy limit his options.
the Star Wars The films offer enough evidence for readers to understand why Ben Solo “Hate that name” and the expectations that come with that. But when Snoke acts perplexed, considering it is an honor that Ben Solo is “named for legends” Ben makes his own objections. For him, it is nothing more than a burden that should receive his name. “Obi-Wan Kenobi … great famous Jedi. Everyone thinks I’m supposed to be him. I never met him. And just … did you know that it’s not even his real name? It’s a lie. It’s all a lie.”
These planted seeds will bloom in their climatic scenes in The Last Jedi, but the origins of Kylo Ren’s name are revealed here, when Snoke encourages Ben to embrace the name he dreamed for himself as a child:
What is the truth, my friend? What is your real name? The Knights will want you to take it if they let you join them. It is the path of the dark side. When we fully accept it, we become our true being. I was not born Snoke. I became Snoke. Who will you become? Oh yeah. I see it in your mind. That is good. Very good.
Children’s thoughts are pure. They do not practice self-deception. They are who they are. And when you called yourself with that new name, you saw your truth. Represent what you want to do on a deep level. The part of yourself that you want to cut. The part you want to kill. Maybe one day you will. The galaxy will hear that name and see you.
There would always be some level of poetry or philosophy behind ‘Kylo Ren’, as in all other villains of ‘Darth’. But it’s the idea that ‘Kylo’ represents “the part of yourself that you want to cut. The part that you want to kill” Unlike a deeper meaning in itself it is intelligent, if it is unexpected. Taking only the smallest parts of his inheritance, and discarding Obi-Wan, Luke, the Jedi, his father, to create a new identity (which definitely fits among the rest of Star Wars‘naming conventions).
Embracing the idea that he is ‘Kylo’, literally Less that Skywalker or Solo, and eventually taking the suffix ‘Ren’ as part of the Knights’ command, the new identity of Ben Solo takes shape. All that remains is Kylo Ren, owner of his own destiny. And most importantly, a strange mystery of nickname solved, finally. If fans seek to complete his story, then Ben’s resistance to simply conjuring an identity completely devoid of his surnames is a sign that he is not willing to abandon it. Leaving the door open for him to return to that legacy, years later.
It is not known what other secrets will be revealed below in Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren, or what other annoying questions will be answered. So stay tuned.
Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren # 2 Now available at your local comic book store.
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