He is the son of Han Solo and Leia Organa, the nephew of Luke Skywalker, the grandson of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader and Padmé Amidala, the apprentice of Supreme Leader Snoke and rival to General Hux. He wields a unique crossguard lightsaber that he constructed himself.
Born as Ben Solo, the son of Han Solo and Leia Organa, Ben was sent to study alongside other Jedi students at a young age, being instructed and led by his maternal uncle, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker. Like his maternal grandfather Anakin Skywalker, he struggled with the Dark side of the Force. He revered his maternal grandfather and feared he would never be as powerful as the Chosen One.
An enigmatic individual named Snoke, the Supreme Leader of the First Order, preyed on Ben's internal conflict, and he fell to the Dark side. He took on the name Kylo Ren, and aided by the Knights of Ren, he killed most of Luke's apprentices. This act greatly delayed his uncle's plan to restore the Jedi Order to its former glory and left his uncle despondent while Ren went on to terrorize the galaxy as a leader of the First Order.
Ben's uncle Luke was one of the few who managed to survive and escape the Jedi massacre.
In his youth, as Ben Solo, Ben was unaware of his true heritage, but suffered from of abandonment due to the struggles his parents had with their lives. He admired the power of his maternal grandfather Anakin Skywalker, but particularly in his Darth Vader incarnation. Because of this, Ben struggled with the Dark side of the Force due to this obsession.
As Kylo Ren, he is ruthless, brutal and confident, but appears to carry at least some guilt and remorse for his actions. Like Anakin, he is short-tempered, hot-headed, and is torn by internal conflict. However, unlike his maternal grandfather, Ren is far less able to control his temper and emotions, as well as the fact that he is far less level-headed and far more prone to bouts of rage. To establish his rejection of his past life, Ren serves the First Order with great passion towards it's leader and his master Snoke. He carries on his attachment to Vader into adulthood, where he desires to uphold the Sith Lord's legacy by destroying all the Jedi. He is also quite sadistic and barbarous, willing to attack and threaten his officers if angered, leading to them and any nearby troops avoiding him when they saw him enraged, and keeping a table of ashes made from the remains of his enemies, upon which he would often place the burned helmet of his grandfather.
Ren is not without fear; he is afraid that he will never become as powerful as his maternal grandfather, and fears what the Light side's hold has on him. Unlike Vader, Ren finds conflict with these traits, especially towards the idea of family. Being seen as a focal point between the heritage of both the light and the dark also furthered his inner conflict. Despite this, Ren chooses to believe that Vader's sentimentality was the weakness that led to the fall of the Empire. Feeling this care is what holds him back, Ren believes that to be greater than Vader - to embrace the Dark side - is to finally abandon the Light side.
Powers and Abilities
- The Force: As the grandson of the Chosen One, Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader, Ren is very powerful and has a very strong connection to the Force. Although Ren is not quite as powerful as his maternal grandfather at his peak, he is still an exceptionally powerful light and dark side Force-user. Ren's Force potential is rivaled only by Rey, and surpassed only by his maternal uncle, Luke Skywalker at their peak.
- Telekinesis: Ren is extremely proficient in telekinesis, capable of freezing and influencing the movement of a person or even stop a blaster bolt and keep it suspended until he leaves.
- Force push: Ren utilizes Force push to send his opponents flying through the air, causing them serious injury or temporarily incapacitating them/knocked them unconscious.
- Force pull: Ren utilizes Force pull to pull his opponents or objects towards him, enough that he can hold people up with one hand while still pulling them with the Force.
- Mind probe: Ren utilizes mind probe to sift through the thoughts of a sentient being, for the purpose of interrogation or torture.
- Force sense: Ren utilizes Force sense to sense another sentient being's emotions, the future, ripples in the Force caused by momentous or traumatic events, impending danger and the presence of the Light side.
- Lightsaber Skills: Ren is highly skilled in lightsaber combat and a highly gifted duelist. He is one of the greatest lightsaber duelists currently alive; it was his exceptional skill with a lightsaber that ultimately greatly delayed the art of lightsaber combat from rising back to prominence with his massacre of most of the new, fledgling Jedi Order. His destruction of this new generation of Jedi Knights also earned him the nickname of "Jedi Killer" among the members of the First Order. Despite this, however, he was defeated by Rey in a duel, despite being far more skilled and experienced in lightsaber combat then the latter. However, it should be noted that Kylo had already been wounded by Chewbacca and Finn, and thus was not at the peak of his strength. In addition, Rey's new-found abilities allowed her to meditate on the Force to gain enough strength to physically overpower him.
- Form V: Ren is highly skilled in Shien/Djem So.
- Expert Engineer: Ren is amazingly skilled in engineering. He was able to successfully construct his own red-bladed crossguard lightsaber in his first try. However, because of his general inexperience with building lightsabers, the lightsaber itself was crudely constructed and created using damaged or second-hand parts. As such, his weapon needed crossguards to prevent it from overloading.
- High-Level Intellect/Expert Tactician/Leader: Ren is amazingly intelligent. As a Field Commander of the First Order, Ren is a highly skilled tactician and a very capable leader.
- Indomitable Will/High Tolerance For Pain/Expert Survivalist: Ren has an indomitable will and a high tolerance for pain; as he was able to continue fighting despite being shot in the side by Chewbacca, and slashed on the shoulder by Finn. In his battle with Finn, he was also seen beating the wound inflicted by Chewbacca, using his pain and anguish to fuel his connection to the Dark side of the Force. Furthermore, while armored Stormtroopers were violently blasted through the air and killed instantly by the bowcaster's explosive blast, Ren has no armor, but only doubled over in pain when shot.
Weapons and Equipment
Ren's valued weapon and possession was his red-bladed lightsaber.
- Crossguard lightsaber: Kylo had built a red-bladed crossguard lightsaber. Ren's lightsaber was crudely built off an ancient design dating back to an event known as The Scourge of Malachor and operated using a cracked Kyber crystal. It thus had an unstable blade, necessitating the use of exhaust ports and focusing crystal activators to channel and vent the weapon's excess energy so that it would not overload. The excess energy served as the lightsaber's quillons (crossguards). The weapon's blades also crackled and arced like electricity and funneled like fire, giving the weapon a ragged, menacing appearance and a deep, growling hum. It is unknown if this is the same lightsaber he possessed when he was still a member of the New Jedi Order.
Kylo Ren first appears on Jakku searching for a map leading to the missing legendary Jedi, Luke Skywalker. After failing to recover anything from the planet, Kylo and his forces slaughter Lor San Tekka and capture the Resistance pilot Poe Dameron, where Kylo interrogates Poe by mentally torturing him with the Force. Poe escapes with the aid of AWOL storm trooper FN-2187, nicknamed Finn, and Kylo is outraged. He implores on his maternal grandfather, Darth Vader, to help him.
Eventually, the First Order figures out that Poe's droid, BB-8, is on Takodana, and with it a map to the location of Luke Skywalker. On Takodana, Kylo leads the ransack for the droid. Encountering the Force-sensitive Rey, he takes her to Starkiller Base to discover the Resistance Base. To gain her trust, he tries to read her thoughts, discovering that she has seen his father, Han Solo. Intent on gaining information from Rey, Kylo is ordered by Snoke to bring her to him for interrogation. However, Rey manages to tap into the Force and escape her bindings by using Jedi mind-control on a guard, leading Ren to chase her with stormtroopers.
In the reactor shaft of the base, Ren is discovered by his father, Chewbacca, Finn, and Rey. When Han confronts his son and offers to help him with his emotional pain, Ren briefly thinks of his father's words before giving in fully to the dark side and stabbing him through the chest with his lightsaber; Han then falls into the shaft below them. An enraged Chewbacca shoots Ren in his side, leaving him severely weakened. Finn and Rey flee. Before he can react, the wounded Ren is briefly caught in the explosion caused by the detonations that his father and Chewbacca had planted around the area prior.
He finds Finn and Rey in the woods of the base and engages in battle with Finn, who is using Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber against him, much to Ren's anger. Due to Finn's lack of Force-sensitivity, Ren defeats and grievously injures him, but not without receiving a minor wound to the shoulder.
Afterwards, he tries to claim his grandfather's lightsaber, but Rey uses the Force to claim it as her own and fights him. Ren tempts Rey to join him, but she refuses and, giving herself over to the full power of the Force, overpowers Ren, knocking away his lightsaber and slashing him across face. With the planet collapsing with the destruction of the weapon, Rey abandons Ren and escapes with Finn. Before the planet implodes, Snoke instructs General Hux to retrieve Ren before departing to complete his apprentice's training.
Kylo Ren will be a live character at Disneyland in California, as well as Walt Disney World in Florida, starting in February, 2016. The Disney Parks blog has stated that he will temporarily replace the Darth Vader meet-and-greet.
Ren apparently had a poor relationship with his father, calling him a disappointment. He rejected Han and brutally murdered him, though he deeply regretted this almost immediately after it occurred, showing that he did at least had some love for him prior to turning to the dark side.
Not much is known about his relationship with his mother; however, Ben likely had a loving relationship with Leia. Prior to his fall to the dark side - when he started to struggle with the Dark side of the Force - Leia was terrified that he might end up like his maternal grandfather Anakin Skywalker and so - sent him to study under the tutelage of her brother, Luke.
Unfortunately, Luke was not able to prevent Ben from falling to the Dark side, as Snoke preyed on Ben's internal conflict. Ben, upon conversion to the Dark side, became known as Kylo Ren. Leia was heartbroken that her son had become evil and mourned his fate bitterly. Yet, despite all the atrocities that Ren had committed over the years, Leia still believed that Ben could come back to the light and be redeemed.
When Ben started to struggled with the Dark side of the Force, he was to sent to study under Luke's tutelage at the request of his mother, Leia, in the hope of preventing him from ending up like his maternal grandfather, Anakin Skywalker. Luke taught Ben of the ways of the Light side of the Force and lightsaber combat.
Unfortunately, he was not able to prevent Ben from falling to Dark side, as Snoke preyed on Ben's internal conflict. Ben then became known as Kylo Ren, and aided by the Knights of Ren, he killed most of Luke's apprentices, this act greatly delayed his uncle's plan to restore the Jedi Order to it's former glory and left his uncle despondent, while Ren went on to terrorize the galaxy as a leader of the First Order.
Luke was one of the few who managed to survive and escape the Jedi massacre. In the aftermath of the Jedi massacre, Luke was deeply grieved and racked with guilt, blaming himself for his students' deaths and Ben's turn to the dark side.
Luke then mysteriously disappeared; as he embarked on a quest to seek out the First Jedi Temple. Kylo, under the orders of Snoke, is instructed to find and kill Luke. Snoke knows that as long as Luke is alive, a new generation of Jedi Knights can rise once again. Ben probably had a good relationship with his maternal uncle; prior to his fall to the dark side.
Anakin died before Ben was born. However, Ben come to greatly admire and revere his maternal grandfather's power, but, also came to fear that he may never be as powerful as the Chosen One. He admired and revered more of his maternal grandfather's dark aspects, then his light aspects, believing that his grandfather's love and sentimentality for his family were weaknesses.
Like his maternal grandfather before him, Ben fell to the Dark side, becoming known as Kylo Ren. Ren has seemingly become far worse then his grandfather; although Vader was brutal and ruthless, he did genuinely care about his family, as he never killed a member of his own family in cold blood, not even for power, ultimately leading to his redemption. Ren on the other hand was willing to kill his father to keep from feeling such feelings as love and compassion from making him feel weak and pull him back to the Light side of the Force.
Ren became enraged when Finn and Rey respectively used his grandfather's lightsaber against him, as he believes that the weapon rightfully belongs to him.
Friends and Allies
Snoke met Ben by unknown means, and was deeply interested in him due to his embodiment as a focal point of both light and darkness (which was unusual for a Knight of Ren or any practitioner of the Dark side of the Force to be attracted to). He eventually turned him to the dark side, and anointed him with the name of Kylo Ren. Ren still serves him loyally, believing that the Supreme Leader was wise and right to overthrow the New Republic.
Ren is currently unaware that Snoke does not truly care about him, as he is only using Ren for his power.
Although they both serve the First Order to destroy the Resistance and conquer the New Republic, Ren does not get along with Hux at all, partly due to them both trying to win the approval of Snoke and mainly because Hux's arrogant, rude, short-sighted and delusional traits, Ren once threatened Hux, stating that if he ever pushes him too far he will kill the latter without hesitation, Hux on the other hand, dislikes Ren for no apparent reason, simply because of his uncontrollable temper.
Ren and Rey have been enemies ever since Rey located and purchased BB-8. Ren is very convinced of her power, believing even she does not know it. He very much longs to turn her to the dark side and train her, but this ultimately backfires for the time being. Rey's hatred of him increased after he killed Han Solo, and she tried to kill him with Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber, unaware that Ren is in fact Anakin's grandson, and that he feels the weapon rightfully belongs to him.
Ren and Finn have been enemies ever since he captured Rey and killed Han Solo; Ren became enraged when Finn used Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber. When he stated that weapon belongs to him, Finn mocks Ren (unaware that he is in fact Anakin's grandson, and Ren feels lightsaber rightfully belongs to him) telling him to come and get it, the two engaged (as Finn was trying to avenge Han's death) in a lightsaber duel, although he was able to hold his own reasonably well for a relatively short period of time and even managed to lightly wound Ren's right shoulder. Ultimately, however, Finn was defeated by Ren, partly due to his lack of Force-sensitivity, and mainly because of the latter's superior experience and skills in lightsaber combat, as Ren disarmed him of Anakin's lightsaber and dealt him a severe wound to his back.
- Prior to the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, many fans questioned if Kylo Ren and Darth Vader were related due to their similarities, which turned out to be true.
- In the movie novelization of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren is revealed to believe that the reason the Galactic Empire lost to the Rebellion was because of sentiment, and that Darth Vader's feeling for Luke were what caused the Empire to collapse.
- In the Movie Novelization, Snoke is also revealed to have chosen Kylo Ren as his apprentice because the former believes the latter to be a focal point in the Force; a perfect blending blending of light and dark due to his heritage as Darth Vader's grandson.
- In regards to the pivotal scene between Han Solo and Kylo Ren, J.J. Abrams has said "People have asked me if I think that Kylo Ren was just playing with him the whole time, if he meant to kill him from the beginning. And the truth is, I think Kylo Ren, in this moment, is actually being convinced to walk away from this. Snoke is, as Han says, using him, and I think that somewhere Ben knows this. But I think that he can't accept it. Deep down, he has gone too far."