Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is set to wrap up the entirety of the three trilogies, and Kylo Ren’s fate is one of the unresolved wild cards this movie will have to contend with. By the end of The Last Jedi, he was still very much on the Dark side, but a fascinating new theory says his redemption (#bendemption) may have been foreshadowed by a line in the very first Star Wars movie.
Warning! Possible Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker spoilers ahead.
Like his uncle and grandfather before him, Kylo has struggled with the Light and Dark sides of the Force his entire life. While Luke leaned strongly toward the Light side, Anakin Skywalker (aka Darth Vader) spent much his life firmly in the dark. That inclination towards evil is part of why Obi-Wan Kenobi stuck around on Tatooine to keep an eye on young Luke, and those same concerns are even more relevant to Ben Solo (aka Kylo Ren).
So will Kylo return to the Light in The Rise of Skywalker? It seems like the obvious choice for the movie’s narrative, especially if Episode IX is meant to echo the original trilogy finale, Return of the Jedi. But a new piece of evidence makes the case for Ben’s redemption even stronger by connecting two lines of dialogue from across the Skywalker saga.
Redditor u/ThatSoodooGuy recalls one specific conversation between Luke’s aunt and uncle (Beru and Owen) from A New Hope that demonstrates the connection between Kylo and his uncle, Luke:
Bero: “You can’t keep him here forever; he has too much of his father in him.”
Owen: “I know, that’s what I’m afraid of.”
This parallels a conversation between Han and Leia in The Force Awakens in which Han tells Leia that it’s too late for Kylo because he’s a lot like his grandfather:
“There was nothing we could’ve done. There was too much Vader in him.”
The two moments are eerily similar, and it seems unlikely that J.J. Abrams, who wrote and directed Force Awakens and returned for The Rise of Skywalker, created this parallel by mistake. Instead, it seems like a subtle clue about Kylo’s ultimate arc in the trilogy.
“Since the whole saga is about balance and finding peace in conflict, I think it’s fitting that this would apply to Ben as well,” writes u/ThatSoodooGuy.
Obviously, in Luke’s case this fear turned out to be misplaced. Mark Hamill’s character never seriously considered turning to the Dark side, despite his father’s influence. We know Kylo’s already embraced the Sith side of the Force, but the parallels here seem to suggest that despite these concerns, there’s still hope for the last living Skywalker descendant.
Kylo’s struggles between both sides of the Force have been well-documented onscreen, with director Rian Johnson doubled down on Kylo’s inner turmoil in The Last Jedi. Perhaps that was to set up the former Ben Solo’s redemption arc in a more concise way so that when it does happen, the audience will feel it’s been properly earned. Still, Kylo has a long way to go to get to a point of redemption, but if his grandfather could do it, then it’s proof that it’s not too late — despite what his own father might have thought.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters December 20, 2019.