The Hard Lesson Taught By Kylo Ren
(Potential Spoilers Ahead)
In Star Wars, every member of the sith is unique. Some turn to the dark side for greed, others out of fear, but no reason for turning is ever the same. The reason for Ben Solo’s turn to the dark is very different. He felt like he had nowhere to go long before he turned.
Ben Solo lived a privileged life. Not only was he related to some of the greatest heroes of the rebellion, but he was also powerful in the force. But even with all of that, he hated it. He felt like he had no identity, and the bitterness he had left him vulnerable to manipulation. That vulnerability left him open to the powerful Supreme Leader Snoke.
Feeding Ben’s anger, Snoke gave him all of the necessary ingredients to turn him to the dark side. However, Snoke was not the only one who pushed Ben to become Kylo Ren. The Jedi were different after the Empire, but a lot of the same mistakes were made by Luke Skywalker.
By the time Ben came into the picture, Luke was a living legend, and he knew it. His pride got the better of him, and yes, he was there for Ben, but he never paid attention to him. Instead, he let his own fears get the better of him and, for a moment, felt that he was a lost cause. In that brief instance, Ben had his worst fears confirmed, that he was just another problem to be gotten rid of.
Ben never wanted the Jedi temple to explode, and maybe Snoke knew that. Before he knew it, he was vilified for doing nothing more than protecting himself from his uncle. With nowhere else left to turn, he ran to Snoke, the snake in the grass ready to welcome him with open arms. From then on, it was a constant struggle with feeling abandoned by his loved ones, finding acceptance, and being manipulated by the dark side.
Kylo Ren became the identity of someone with great power who never felt wanted. His instability was exemplified through his lightsaber, and his temper was as short as his time as a padawan. The only time he ever felt a true connection was with Rey. However, by the time he met her, he had learned a lot from Snoke and tried to seduce her to the dark side.
Eventually, Ben overcame his manipulation by finally destroying his mentor. However, the abandonment he felt at the hands of his uncle forced him to remain in the dark. Rey made him feel wanted, but he wasn’t ready to embrace the light she came with. Instead, he tried to pull her down with him. It would take some time for Ben to come to his senses, but with his parents’ help, he learned what he truly needed to finally grow up, family.
Kylo Ren has often been criticized for being a pouty child. To a degree, they are right. But his story is told in a way where it both makes sense for his character and teaches the audience a valuable lesson. Ben’s journey teaches two very relevant truths. First, he shows us the importance of self-worth and respect. Ben was seduced to the dark side because he was too young to know that his feelings were normal at his age. Had he felt confident in himself, he would have been able to push Snoke’s influence back.
While it wasn’t true, Ben felt left behind by those that cared about him. It left him in a position where he felt like he had nowhere else to run but to the dark side. Had he spoken to someone or someone spoken to him, things could have turned out very differently. But that wasn’t the case. People died due to the actions of the people around one person.
We may not know what a person feels when they don’t speak up, but it’s important to pay attention to the ones we love. Kylo Ren teaches people to be strong enough to know when to say no. However, he also teaches us that if something is wrong or we see something is wrong with someone else, speak up. It’s important to be strong when living life. Even inaction can be considered action, and it’s the passive who give way to the dark side.
Thank you guys for giving my post a read and thank you for being so understanding of my wonky scheduling this week! As a thank you I have a brand new episode of my podcast, The Next Panel with Nick and Jake! Also, make sure to give my Star Wars Rebels, Darth Vader and Darth Maul write-ups a read! Spread the word and follow me on my social media! Stay Safe, Stay Happy, and Stay Fresh!