Some supposed leaks for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker makes it seem like the story has some eery similarities to some of the biggest twists from Harry Potter, and a relatively new theory about Kylo Ren, if true, would mean a huge revelation that’ll feel just like the big Severus Snape twist in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Speculative spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker below.
An intriguing (but slightly farfetched) theory posted to the Star Wars Speculation subreddit in November argues the real reason Ben Solo fell to the Dark side to become Kylo Ren was so he could infiltrate the Dark from within to vanquish Palpatine once and for all.
“Kylo as a young man got a vision,” the theory goes. “He saw that Palpatine was still out there. He knew that the only thing that could ever bring peace was to destroy him once and for all (like his grandfather started). So he realized that the only way to do that was to go to the Dark side … so that Palpatine would reveal himself.”
Kylo Ren wavers between the Light and Dark sides of the Force throughout The Force Awakens, and when speaking to Darth Vader’s helmet, he says, “I will finish what you started.”
Is this the true meaning of that quote?
This conversation and that particular quote has been the source of so much speculation in the years since. Is Kylo Ren referring to Darth Vader’s deeds wiping out the Jedi and embracing the Dark side? Or is it his longer journey towards redemption and destroying the Sith? Was Anakin truly the Chosen One still, bringing balance to the Force? Is it Kylo Ren’s legacy to do the same?
Anakin Skywalker’s journey is one through darkness towards redemption, so for Kylo Ren to finish what his grandfather started by doing something similar makes a lot of sense. If that’s the case, then Kylo Ren killing Han Solo in The Force Awakens feels a lot like Severus Snape killing Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. When we first see the deed, it feels like an evil act of murder. It isn’t until the end of The Deathly Hallows that we learn when Dumbledore said, “Please Severus…” he was begging not for his own life, but for his friend’s conviction.
Is it possible that like Snape, Ben Solo struggles between the Light and the Dark because he’s called towards the Light and is forcing himself into the Dark so he can defeat a greater evil? “I am being torn apart,” Kylo Ren says moments before murdering his father in The Force Awakens. “I want to be free of this pain.” Han Solo is hardly a Dumbledore figure in Star Wars, but there are still intriguing parallels between these two murders.
Kylo Ren asks Han Solo for help, and Han reaches out to grasp the unlit lightsaber. When we view this for the first time in The Force Awakens, it looks like they’re struggling against one another before Kylo Ren successfully ignites the weapon and stabs his father through the heart. Just like in Harry Potter, a shift in perspective could re-contextualize this moment completely. Kylo Ren didn’t want to kill his father, but he had to so that he might complete his mission. He also hesitates to attack Leia Organa in The Last Jedi.
Is all of this traditional remorse? Or is it the sign of a good guy struggling to be bad for a greater cause?
“He was just burying the Light side as deep as he could,” the theory concludes. “And as he knows he can’t do it himself … He’s trying to draw Rey to him to help.”
Even seizing control over the First Order may have been part of Ben Solo’s long-term plan, so that he might gain the resources needed to track down Palpatine. We know that by the time The Rise of Skywalker begins, Kylo Ren is devoting resources to tracking down ancient Sith artifacts, perhaps all in the hopes of finding — and destroying — Palpatine once and for all.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be released December 20, 2019.