Lost Legends

30 Years Later, a Forgotten Star Wars Hero Could be Headed Down a Dark New Path

The cutest addition to the cast of Ahsoka has a curious connection to Kylo Ren.

Lost Legends

Dave Filoni, the architect of Star Wars television, can’t resist a good reference. Whether it’s bringing Thrawn into Rebels or re-canonizing the Dathomiri Nightsisters in The Clone Wars, harkening back to the Star Wars of old is part of the joy of watching the Mando-verse.

In Ahsoka Episode 3, we got a layered Star Wars reference when Hera’s son Jacen appeared for the first time in live-action. This scene was, of course, a nod to Jacen’s role as the son of Hera and the late Jedi Kanan Jarrus from Rebels, but there’s a deeper meaning here that ties Jacen to Kylo Ren, Thrawn, and Princess Leia. Though he may just seem like a background character right now, his story may show what could have been for a classic Star Wars figure.

Jacen Syndulla was named after Jacen Solo, the son of Leia and Han Solo in the non-canon Legends timeline. Jacen Solo’s first appearance was in 1993’s The Last Command, the last book in the Timothy Zahn trilogy that introduced Ahsoka’s Big Bad, Thrawn. Jacen and his twin sister Jaina became major protagonists of the Star Wars extended universe, training under their uncle Luke and defending the galaxy during the Yuuhzhan Vong War.

However, after years as a Jedi Knight (and occasional flirtations with the Dark Side), Jacen fell to the Sith. In Karen Traviss’ Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice, published in 2007, Jacen takes after his maternal grandfather, killing his aunt Mara Jade Skywalker and torturing his cousin Ben. He took the name Darth Caedus, which was chosen from a fan contest to pick his Sith moniker.

Lost Legends is an Inverse series about the forgotten lore of our favorite stories.

Darth Caedus, aka Jacen Solo, was eventually killed by his twin sister Jaina.

Del Rey Books

Sound familiar? When The Force Awakens introduced Ben Solo, better known as Kylo Ren, the similarities were a bit too uncanny to be coincidental, and Kylo has more or less been considered the canon version of Jacen Solo ever since.

But Jacen Syndulla is also quite similar to Jacen Solo. They’re both strong in the Force, and they both have Rebel General mothers who are hesitant for them to be trained because a Jedi relative suffered a tragic fate. Dave Filoni even referenced this similarity in a 2018 io9 interview:

“It seemed, in a very small way, naming him ‘Jacen’ was a way to honor the expanded universe character of Jacen Solo who just really isn’t there anymore as the timelines have changed. I thought that’s a little bit of a wink to people that I know that was an important character. And maybe, in some way, that lives on through this character. I don’t know yet.”

Five years later, has he finally figured out how Jacen lives on? Canonically, Jacen Syndulla is a few years older than Kylo Ren, and his desire for Jedi training seen in Ahsoka Episode 3 led some fans to believe he’s bound for Luke’s Jedi Academy, which, as we saw in The Book of Boba Fett, is currently under construction.

Did Jacen Syndulla die at the hand of Kylo, another Jacen-Solo-inspired character?


However, that Academy eventually falls to an evil Kylo. Will Jacen be among his victims? He’s a few years older, so he may have already graduated and moved on to having Jedi adventures. But his absence from the rest of the canon makes that difficult to believe.

With Jacen Syndulla, Dave Filoni has the opportunity to show what could have happened to both Jacen and Ben Solo if they were taught outside the strict rules of the Jedi Academy. If Jacen is trained by Ahsoka Tano, a returned Ezra Bridger, or even the non-Force-sensitive Sabine Wren, he’ll show what could have been for those doomed characters.

Given that Hera has lost both the love of her life and her de-facto son Ezra to the duties of a traditional Jedi, it seems unlikely she would send her own son away to Luke’s Jedi camp. Star Wars should grasp this golden opportunity to show how a child of the Rebellion can go on to greatness, and avoid the twice-shown fall from Luke’s guidance to the Dark Side.

Ahsoka is streaming on Disney+.

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