Follow TV Tropes

Following

Characters / Star Wars - Kylo Ren

Go To

All spoilers regarding the Skywalker Saga and The Clone Wars are unmarked. Examples relating to Disney's EU can be spoiler-tagged if deemed necessary.


To return to the Character page for Star Wars, go here.
Supreme Leader Kylo Ren, born Ben Solo
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kyloren_7.jpg
"Let the past die. Kill it, if you have to. It's the only way to become what you were meant to be."
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ren_kylo.jpg

Species: Human

Homeworld: Chandrila

Portrayed by: Adam Driver
Voiced by: Alejandro Orozco (Latin-American Spanish), Fernando Cabrera (European Spanish), Kenjiro Tsuda (Japanese), Valentin Merlet (French), Matthew Wood (Battlefront II, masked; Resistance), Roger Craig Smith (Battlefront II, unmasked)
Advertisement:

The son of Han Solo and Leia Organa and nephew of Luke Skywalker, Kylo was destined to become a Jedi knight under his uncle's guidance, but was lured to the Dark Side of the Force by Supreme Leader Snoke and became his apprentice instead. He is also the Master of the Knights of Ren and the second-in-command of the First Order. He wears a black mask reminiscent of Darth Vader and wields a unique and unstable crossguard red lightsaber.

At Snoke's taunting urge to stop emulating something he'll never become, however, he has decided to "kill the past" and carve his own path, leading to his decision to murder his master and usurp him as Supreme Leader.

Advertisement:


    open/close all folders 

    A-F 
  • Abusive Parents: No, not Han or Leia, who were neglectful at worst, nor Luke, since the whole fallout between the two of them stems from a tragic misunderstanding, but Snoke. It's not as apparent in The Force Awakens, where he treats him fairly decently, but in The Last Jedi, he berates him for his shortcomings, blasts him with Force lightning, and overall just manipulates him to get what he wants. It's little wonder Kylo chooses to kill him instead of Rey. Additional material confirms Snoke's been grooming Kylo since he was in Leia's womb.
  • Ace Pilot: Although we don't get to see this until The Last Jedi, he is a gifted pilot. It runs in both sides of his family.
  • Accidental Hero: A villainous variation. When their ship crashlands in Age of Resistance, he uses the Force to protect himself and Hux from the resulting explosion and rubble. When Hux expresses disbelief that Kylo saved him, Kylo remarks that he didn't intentionally save him; he was attempting to protect himself and Hux just happened to be nearby.
  • Affably Evil: While he's usually Faux Affably Evil, he tries to be genuinely nice and polite with Rey. In the novelization, Snoke accuses him of feeling compassion for her. During their duel in The Force Awakens, he offers to teach her the ways of the Force. In The Last Jedi, he makes a genuine effort at bonding with her, sympathises with her struggles, and kills Snoke rather than kill Rey at his command. Until he refuses to call off the attack on the Resistance, Rey thinks that she's succeeded in turning him away from the dark side. His proposal that they rule the galaxy together is also sincere, even though he's asking her to let the Resistance die and become a dictator along with him.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Last Shot reveals that Lando Calrissian had a few for him when he was a kid, including "little buddy" and "little starfighter".
  • All for Nothing:
    • Killing his own father was meant to advance his growth in the Dark Side, as Snoke wanted to test his commitment to the First Order. Instead, Snoke admonishes Kylo Ren for becoming even more emotionally unstable over what happened and Han's death accomplishes nothing for the First Order.
    • Trying to kill Luke, end the Jedi, and destroy the Resistance also ended in bitter failure. Luke's final stand on Crait inspires the Galaxy and an entire generation of partially-aware Force wielders to stand up against tyranny, and not only has Luke become more powerful than he could possibly imagine, but he gained nothing from "defeating" him, either. Meanwhile, the Jedi live on through Rey and the Resistance itself is still determined to fight in spite of their devastating losses.
  • Always Someone Better: Despite many years of combat training and an army at his command, he's soundly beaten by Rey and her much smaller pool of allies and only escapes her wrath due to an extremely lucky break.
  • Amazon Chaser: Implied in regards to Action Girl and budding Jedi Rey. When Rey uses the Force to pull the Skywalker lightsaber towards her, demonstrating her raw power, Kylo looks impressed. In the middle of their duel, he offers to train her in the ways of the Force. After they team up to take out the Praetorian guard, he emotionally asks her to join him, saying they could "rule together".
  • Ambadassador: Inverted, as diplomacy isn't really Kylo's area of expertise, but in Age of Resistance he gets sent to negotiate with the Benathy king to stop them from expanding their territory. The attempt at diplomacy lasts all of five minutes before King Kristoff insults Kylo one too many times and he goes headlong into "aggressive negotiations".
    Captain Ruthford: That was supposed to be a negotiation.
    Kylo: Yes.
    Ruthford: It's kind of hard to negotiate with dead people.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: There's something really off about him. He's a Mood-Swinger with a serious Lack of Empathy (probably due to Snoke's manipulation) and an obsessive personality. Ren's idol Anakin Skywalker has been diagnosed by real psychiatrists with Borderline Personality Disorder, and Ren may have something similar, in no small part because he's Anakin's grandson.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: He's firmly on the side of evil and is Han and Leia's son.
  • Anti-Villain: His sympathetic qualities get just as much focus as his bad ones, especially in the novelizations, which go into detail about his grooming by Snoke, perceived Parental Abandonment, and deep inner conflict and hurt. In terms of the Sliding Scale of Anti-Villains, he could arguably fit all types save for Villain In Name Only.
  • The Apprentice: To Supreme Leader Snoke, and formerly to Luke Skywalker.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Luke Skywalker, his uncle and former Jedi Master. Luke, overcome by fear of his troubled nephew, considered killing young Kylo in his sleep. Luke decided not to go through with it, but when Ben awoke and saw him holding an ignited lightsaber, he came to his own conclusions, destroyed Luke's Jedi enclave (and likely killed other Jedi apprentices) and dedicated himself to the dark side. Kylo was seeking to kill Luke ever since. In The Last Jedi, when he sees Luke on Crait, Kylo orders him annihilated by a massive barrage. When this fails, he confronts him in person. Luke, for his own part, feels no hatred for Kylo but rather guilt and despair, and a sliver of hope that Kylo might one day turn away from the dark side.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: To Rey in the climax of The Last Jedi:
    "Do you want to know the truth about your parents? Or have you always known? You've just hidden it away."
  • Armor-Piercing Response: Gives one to Rey during their second Force-bond, leaving her silent and stunned.
    Kylo: You have that look in your eyes, from the forest. When you called me a monster.
    Rey: You are a monster.
    Kylo: Yes I am.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Completely enamored with Vader and a highly powerful Force user who seeks to finish what Vader started. With good reason, as Anakin is his grandfather. His outfit also looks suspiciously like he's cosplaying as Darth Revan, although it's still not clear if Revan exists in this timeline.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority:
    • When Hux openly challenges his authority, Kylo Ren promptly settles the matter by reminding him that it's unwise to go Challenging the Chief when the "Chief" can Force-choke anyone who disagrees. Hux chafes, but has little choice but to fall into line.
    • In Age of Resistance, he manages to subdue the entire Benathy army by killing their 'god', which is actually a Zillo Beast.
  • At Least I Admit It: When Rey scathingly calls him a monster, Kylo agrees with her partly out of self-loathing, leaving her visibly stunned. Notably, it's after this admission that she stops being so antagonistic to him.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: When General Hux rails against Kylo giving orders in the wake of Snoke's demise, Kylo decides to claim the title of Supreme Leader by force, establishing the new pecking order by demonstrating the ease with which he could kill Hux and forcing his former rival to acknowledge his supremacy.
    Kylo: (choking Hux) The Supreme Leader is dead.
    Hux: (struggling) Long live the Supreme Leader! (Kylo releases him)
  • Ax-Crazy: He explodes into violent tantrums and slashes up equipment when frustrated. As of The Last Jedi he's calmed down, which only serves to make the few times his simmering fury comes out all the more alarming. His orders for the Millennium Falcon to be shot down and screaming for the barrage of gunfire on Luke's position to go on make him sound downright psychotic. If the Dark Side is based mostly on emotional impulses than focus and peace, then Ren's behavior is indicative of just how powerful he is...and that's pretty darn powerful, as it turns out.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: In The Last Jedi, he teams up with Rey to take on Snoke's Praetorian guards after assassinating him. At one point, he even lets Rey jump on his back to kick a guard away.
  • Badass Boast:
    • "I'll show you the dark side."
    • "Let the past die. Kill it, if you have to."
  • Bad Boss:
    • His tendency to violently lash out at his subordinates when things don't go his way is well known enough that they avoid him. He isn't seen to kill any of his subordinates during The Force Awakens, taking his anger out on equipment instead. The worst he does is throttle an officer who brings him some bad news. Whenever something occurs that is likely to anger him, the reactions from his men make it clear that emptying out of the room and leaving him to vent when he's pissed is by far the best course of action.
    • In The Last Jedi, after becoming the First Order's new Supreme Leader, Kylo violently silences Hux's objections by Force-choking him into submission, and later responds to an insolent comment from the general by telekinetically flinging him into a wall. This case is a bit more forgivable, Hux being pretty much a Space Nazi.
  • Bad is Good and Good is Bad: His Knight Templar mentality and desperation not to be "seduced" by the light side implies that he views the dark side as genuinely good. Whether this is due to Snoke's influence, Ren's own dubious sanity, a case of Blue and Orange Morality, or some combination of the above is unclear.
  • Bait the Dog: Right before the climax of The Force Awakens, he appears to be mulling over a possible Heel–Face Turn, and asks for help in making the choice to change. Unfortunately, he was talking about furthering himself from the light side by killing his father, Han Solo. Likewise in The Last Jedi, it looks like his connection to Rey would bring him around to the side of light but while he does turn on Snoke he remains a villain.
  • Beauty Mark: An uncommon male example. Kylo has a few on his face, adding to his Pretty Boy looks.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Wants to be like Darth Vader, but winds up emulating most of his failures instead of his perceived glories.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: As one of the first people since his fall to the dark side to show him compassion and forgiveness, to the point she even begins calling him "Ben", Kylo comes to care very deeply for Rey. So much so that he betrays Snoke, slaying him to save Rey's life, and even offers her, in an almost begging tone, a chance to command the First Order alongside him.
  • Being Evil Sucks:
    • The Force Awakens: In spite of his best efforts to follow in the footsteps of Darth Vader (who would likely try to dissuade Kylo Ren from it), he finds himself unable to handle the pressure of being a monstrous and commanding individual. In his most heinous moment, he kills his father out of the belief that it will make him stronger, but he only becomes more emotionally unstable and weaker as a result. He also alienates Rey, the person that he had some affinity toward, who rightfully calls him monstrous for what he's done.
    • The Last Jedi: The film starts with him being reprimanded and tortured by Snoke for his prior failures. When he tries to re-commit to the dark side by attacking Leia, he can't go through with it but still (to his knowledge) watches her die. His refusal to return to the Light puts him at odds with and disappoints Rey, whom he was starting to build a relationship with. And to top it off, any respect he might have had as Supreme Leader is undermined when he's utterly humiliated in front of all his troops by his uncle and allows the Resistance to escape. In the end, he's alone and on his knees, wearing a hollow expression, fully aware of how much he lost by sticking to his path.
  • Beneath the Mask:
    • Is worried, or even straight-out believes, that he is not as powerful as Darth Vader. He puts Vader on such a pedestal that there's no way he could ever live up to the god-like image he has for him.
    • In a more literal sense, when wearing his mask, Ren is Ax-Crazy and ill-tempered, but generally steady and confident. When he isn't wearing it, he shows more emotion, inner conflict, and mental instability. In fact, his face gives away so much emotion it's possible he wears it because he can only pass as The Stoic by covering up his expressions.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Events not going his way, such as BB-8's escape from Jakku or Rey slipping her restraints.
    • While Kylo regards his parents with cold disdain, Luke positively sends him into a rage.
  • The Berserker: His lightsaber fighting style is very aggressive and he cares little about getting hurt in the process. He even pounds repeatedly on the open, bleeding wound in his side in an apparent attempt to psych himself up.
  • BFS: While most lightsabers are medium-sized blades that vaguely resemble katanas, his Junk Saber is a gigantic claymore so overpowered that it's barely holding together.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Kylo Ren really wants to be Darth Vader in The Force Awakens, but he is far more emotionally unstable, conflicted, and inexperienced to pull that off. This gets played with by the end of The Last Jedi. While he's still not as stable as Vader, he does successfully murder and usurp Snoke as Supreme Leader of the First Order. But his obsession with killing Luke still makes him a wannabe, although it is Played With in the sense he still genuinely believes Luke tried to kill him in his sleep in cold blood; his duel with Luke gives the Resistance a chance to escape and regroup, while Kylo is utterly humiliated in front of his own army both as a warrior and as leader as he personally squandered the best chance of securing the First Order's undisputed dominance.
  • Black Cloak: A Badass Cape that's been singed from multiple battles.
  • Black Knight: Much in the same way as Darth Vader before him, and Kylo actually was part of the Knights of Ren before joining the First Order. His look emphasizes this perhaps even more so than the man he's so desperate to emulate; his choice of attire is a variation on the Medieval surcoat (made famous by artwork of The Knights Templar and other images of the time), without the hood his helmet bears a close resemblance to the helmets of the same era, and his custom lightsaber evokes the image of a broadsword or claymore. Having a costume that has a lot of similarities with Darth Revan, a space Knight Templar himself, doesn't hurt either. Darth Vader's look, in comparison, owes much more to samurai armor and other Eastern influences.
  • Blatant Lies: During his confrontation with Snoke in The Last Jedi, he vehemently states he "didn't hesitate" when he killed his father. In The Force Awakens however, we see that he spent a good few minutes contemplating it and was even on the verge of tears the whole time.
  • Blinded by Rage: A common problem for him on account of his Hair-Trigger Temper; the angrier he gets, the less focused he is. During the Battle of Crait, Luke shows up in person (well, sort of) to drive Kylo into a rage in order to buy time for the Resistance to escape the planet. It works like a charm; Kylo is so distracted trying to kill Luke, the Resistance gets clean away and Kylo doesn't realize until it's too late that Luke wasn't even physically there, despite there being several hints (Luke doesn't leave footprints on the salt, he somehow survives a barrage of gunfire without a scratch, he has the Skywalker lightsaber even though Kylo and Rey broke it not long ago etc).
  • Bloodbath Villain Origin: He didn't become evil until he was about 23 years old, when he was seduced by the dark side. His victims were many of Luke's other followers, though considering what went down with Luke, it's unclear whether he killed them on purpose or in self-defense.
  • Blue Is Heroic: Back when he was a Jedi acolyte, he wielded a blue lightsaber.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: He leaves Rey alone in a room with one guard after finding out she can use the Force and her powers are increasing. Bonus points for said guard being played by Daniel Craig, an actual Bond.
  • Boy of My Dreams: The novelization for The Force Awakens reveals that Rey saw him "in a daydream. In a nightmare" before ever encountering him on Takodana. Despite their positions as enemies, there is Ship Tease and both Johnson and Abrams have described them as having intertwined destinies.
  • Bridal Carry: When he abducts Rey on Takodana, he personally carries her this way through the forest to his ship.
  • Broken Ace: He’s a gifted pilot, skilled enough with a lightsaber to fight off two opponents whilst bleeding all over the place and hold his own against several Praetorian guards at once, and incredibly strong with the Force, capable of feats such as stopping blaster bolts mid-air, freezing an entire person in place with telekinesis and sifting through people’s memories with little effort (unless said person is also Force-sensitive). He’s also got a galaxy’s worth of emotional and familial issues, is extremely unstable and firmly on the dark side.
  • Broken Pedestal:
    • Towards Snoke, big time. In The Force Awakens, Kylo defends Snoke as being a "wise" master and claims to see him as a Parental Substitute, whom he constantly tries to impress. In The Last Jedi, he comes to despise him for his continual abuse, sees him as a parasite only interested in using him for his power. By the film's third act, he turns on and kills Snoke when he tortures Rey and orders him to kill her. Though given Snoke's telepathic abilities, and Kylo needing to shield his thoughts, it seems that he planned it for quite some time, and immediately installs himself Supreme Leader Kylo Ren in his place.
    • In his backstory, his parents, especially Han, became this to him (it's implied this began as early as Last Shot), and of course, Luke definitely became this when he thought he was trying to kill him. It was these events that culminated in his eventual fall to the Dark Side.
  • Brutal Honesty: According to Rian Johnson, Kylo was being completely honest about Rey's parents, he just framed it in an incredibly hurtful way. Though Johnson also said J. J. Abrams was free to retcon her parental reveal if he so desired.
  • Byronic Hero: Kylo is tormented by a split in his soul between the light and the dark, emotional, determined, sarcastic and cynical, an attractive Pretty Boy, and has unique beliefs about destroying everything from the past. He has the potential for good and has suffered quite a bit, but most of it is through his own doing, and he remains adamant in his beliefs, which stops him from embracing his potential for good.
  • Calling Parents by Their Name: He always refers to his father as Han Solo, to further distance himself from him.
  • The Cameo: His voice, specifically him talking to his grandfather's helmet in The Force Awakens, can be briefly heard alongside many other pivotal characters in the Star Wars canon as Ezra walks through the World Between Worlds in Star Wars Rebels, about 6 years prior to his birth.
  • Character Development: In just about the worst way possible, Kylo does give up his obsession with Darth Vader and living up to his legacy in The Last Jedi. He instead decides to let go of the past completely. And by "completely", he means burn it to the ground.
  • The Chosen One: Luke was under the impression that he was going to be this for his generation, which is part of the reason why Luke's failure to prevent him from becoming a monster haunts the Jedi Master so much. Although Ben's "Chosen One" status was not in relation to the prophecy presented in the Prequel Trilogy, as Anakin fulfilled that when he killed Palpatine.
  • Cold Ham: He's constantly angry, but is not hammy. At most when he's throwing fits, but even then it's silent overacting through scenery destruction. He evolves into a Large Ham come The Last Jedi.
  • Combat Pragmatist: He makes use of the crossguard on his lightsaber to injure Finn during their duel on Starkiller Base.
  • Companion Cube: Keeps Vader's half-melted mask close to him, and speaks to it with deep reverence.
  • Composite Character: His design and concept appear connected to several characters in the Legends continuity, mixing this trope with Canon Immigrant.
    • First and foremost, there's Jacen Solo/Darth Caedus, Han and Leia's son who eventually falls to the dark side and kills someone related to him, but there's also Luke's son, who remained heroic and is named Ben.
    • Additionally, his status as Luke's former student who betrayed the New Jedi Order after being manipulated by a powerful dark side figure makes him very similar to Kyp Durron, Brakiss, and Desann, the latter of whom also led their own respective groups of dark side supporters.
    • The mask/hood combination is also visually similar to that of Revan. Likewise, his Force connection to Rey in The Last Jedi can be likened to Revan and Bastila's.
    • His conflicted characterization can be compared to Dark Empire Luke.
    • His betrayal of Snoke brings to mind Arcann and his betrayal of Emperor Valkorion.
    • He draws a few comparisons to Kueller, being a renegade pupil of Luke's who wears a fearsome mask to appear more intimidating.
  • The Confidant: Serves as this for Rey in The Last Jedi; following her upsetting experience in the Dark Side cave, she ends up pouring out everything to him; he sits there listening to everything she says before trying to comfort her.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist:
    • He wants to be seen as Darth Vader version 2.0, but is an uncertain, emotionally unstable man-child who isn't fully trained in Force combat despite his innate skill, in contrast to Vader's coldly menacing, dark, brooding presence and expertly channeled rage (Vader had a good 20+ years to develop into a hardened veteran). Also, Anakin is a classic example of Love Makes You Evil, and his transformation into Darth Vader was caused by his desire to protect those closest to him. Even as a Dark Lord, most of his actions toward Luke are born from his warped, twisted attempts to save him by luring him to the dark side. Ren, on the other hand, views love as a weakness, and kills his own father in order to cut off his emotional attachments to his old life.
    • After The Last Jedi, he becomes the Big Bad of the Sequel Trilogy and its overarching villain, becoming the political successor of Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious after taking the title of Supreme Leader of the First Order. Sidious is old, calculating, methodical, and entirely without feelings, whereas Kylo Ren is a Young Conqueror who's impulsive, unpredictable, erratic, and still filled with affections for his mother and his crush, which he tries to put aside for his ambitions. Much like Palpatine, Kylo purges the Jedi Order, drives its mentor into an exile of impoverished poverty, though in Sidious' case it was because Yoda fought him to a draw and had to run away to survive when backup arrived, whereas Kylo Ren shatters Luke's morale, driving him away in shame. Both of them also murdered their masters, Darth Plagueis the Wise and Snoke respectively, to further their grab for power, being adept at manipulating the emotions and feelings of others when it suits their purpose. Where Palpatine is content to rule from a distance, and govern through subordinates (Grand Moff Tarkin, Darth Vader, his army commanders), Kylo Ren is quite hands on, insisting on micro-managing and commanding his troops. In many respects, Kylo Ren is the Skywalker heir Palpatine wanted all along, being neither crippled like Anakin, nor incorruptible like Luke, carrying out the act of Patricide that Luke refused to do at the Emperor's command.
  • Cool Helmet: His helmet is an evil-looking combination of a Stormtrooper's and Darth Vader's, heavy enough to make a dramatic clank when dropped. He breaks it out of rage in The Last Jedi. It is reforged in The Rise of Skywalker.
  • Cool Mask: In The Force Awakens, Ren has a mask designed to emulate Darth Vader's and to make Ren more intimidating, electronically deepening his voice and making his gaze look like a constant Death Glare. Unlike Vader, however, Ren's mask is not part of any life support system. Snoke doesn't share Ren's enthusiasm for the mask: he refers to Ren wearing it as "childish" and tells him to "take that ridiculous thing off" in The Last Jedi. Shortly after being admonished by his master, Kylo Ren destroys his mask in a fit of rage and doesn't wear another one for the rest of the film.
  • Cool Starship: In The Last Jedi, he pilots a TIE/vn space superiority fighter, or TIE Silencer, which is essentially a cross between a TIE Interceptor and Vader's TIE Advanced X1, with a little bit of Vulture Droid thrown in.
  • Cool Sword: A lightsaber that is distinguished by its crossguards and fiery red blade. The crossguards are lateral vents on either side of the handle in order to divert the extra heat generated by the unstable Kyber crystal the saber contains.
  • Corruption of a Minor: On the receiving end. It's only implied in the films, but both novelizations of The Force Awakens straight-up confirm Snoke began preying on his mind when he was a child. Aftermath: Empire's End goes even further and implies it began while he was in Leia's womb. Someone that young being manipulated by someone that evil wouldn't stand a chance against darkness, though it is rather remarkable he held it off for twenty-three years.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Deconstructed. The galaxy has it out for him and it has been disastrous on his emotional and mental state. From being stalked by Snoke since infant-hood, to being traumatized and almost killed as a toddler, to being emotionally neglected by his parents, to almost being killed by his uncle, Ben Solo went through so much crap it led to his turn to the dark side and Psychopathic Manchild state. And that's just before the movies start.
  • Costume Evolution: Kylo Ren has added a cape to his costume in The Last Jedi, in his continuing evolution to become The Heavy of the First Order, a la Darth Vader. He also destroyed his black mask/helmet in a fit of rage after getting humiliated by Snoke.
  • Creepy Souvenir: According to J.J Abrams, the table of ashes Kylo puts his helmet on are the remains of his dead enemies.
  • Cute and Psycho: While not as skilled as Darth Vader, Ren is very dangerous and unpredictable and can put up quite a fight. Yet, behind his sinister mask and twisted psyche, he's a Pretty Boy who looks and acts like a socially awkward teenager. Kylo's youth and immaturity, while similar to prequel-era Anakin, are a deliberate contrast to Rebellion-era Darth Vader, who's defined by his manliness, apparent stoicism, and seniority over Luke.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Adam Driver implies that this drove Kylo to the dark side, plus Leia's direct allusion to Snoke having been messing with his mind since birth. And this isn't even getting into the incident where he thought his own uncle was trying to murder him in his sleep... It's also one of the many reasons why Rey eventually attempts to help him.
  • A Darker Me: Kylo Ren’s entire persona is this to Ben Solo. He has poor self-esteem, outright stating he views his ‘old’ self as “weak and foolish” and desperately tries to emulate Darth Vader’s image as a powerful, ruthless, stone-cold badass bringing order to the galaxy... Kylo’s actual self is an unstable, insecure Psychopathic Manchild who fears he'll never be able to live up to Vader's legacy.
  • Dark Is Evil: He specifically refers to "the power of the darkness" in his Surrogate Soliloquy to Vader's helmet. One of Ren's goals during The Force Awakens is to completely dedicate himself to the dark side and render himself immune to the Light, which backfires, since killing his father leaves him weak and spiralling further into despair. Ren himself, however, doesn't see the dark side as evil.
  • Darth Vader Clone: Kylo Ren is obsessed with Vader, to the point he has tried to emulate the Sith Lord's appearance and mannerisms. He manages to combine both incarnations of Darth Vader: his cold, sinister masked persona from A New Hope and his hot-tempered pretty boy persona from the brief time he was named Darth Vader prior to his battle on Mustafar in Revenge of the Sith.
  • Dead Guy Junior: His real name is Ben Solo, implying that Han and Leia named him after Obi-Wan Kenobi.
  • Deadpan Snarker: What else do you expect from the son of Han and Leia?
    • In a moment of rather sadistic Black Comedy, he snarks at Lor San Tekka, who insists that Ren can't escape his true identity.
      Kylo Ren: You're so right. [cuts Tekka down with his lightsaber]
    • After Finn's desertion, Ren has an interesting response to Hux's insistence that his troops are the best.
      Kylo Ren: They're obviously skilled at committing high treason.
    • Poe's defiant attitude under torture also brings out the snarker in Ren.
      Kylo Ren: [to Poe, who is shackled to a metal slab] Comfortable?
    • In The Last Jedi, during a Force bond moment with Rey, she tiredly says "I'd rather not do this now". Kylo, who's currently half-naked, drily replies "Yeah, me too."
  • Death Glare: Shoots a brief one at Snoke in The Last Jedi, after he tortures Rey.
  • Deceptive Legacy: A slight variation. Ben grew up knowing who both his parents were, but no one in his family revealed he was the grandson of Darth Vader on his mother's side. He only found out when he was about twenty-three in one of the worst ways possible; Leia was forced to come clean about the dark family secret after being publically outed and vilified as Vader's daughter. It's implied that keeping this information from Ben may have been a mistake, further shaking his trust in his family, whom he already had a troubled relationship with. He eventually decided it was his destiny to follow in his grandfather's footsteps.
  • Dented Iron: He shrugs off a blast that was shown as being able to kill multiple Stormtroopers earlier on, but it comes at the immediate cost of greatly hindering his mobility and making him vulnerable enough to be defeated by two people with much less experience at lightsaber combat. He also received a shoulder wound in the first part of the duel with Finn that Rey matches on the other side. The end result is that the blast to the side slows him down and weakens him while the arm wounds allow Rey to overpower him in a contest of strength at the end of their duel.
  • Determinator: Despite being shot, he makes it a point to chase down and fight Finn and Rey. He keeps fighting through the injuries he takes in both duels as well, only stopping after Rey wounds him too badly for Ren to even get up. He even fights through lightsaber wounds by punching himself in the side in an attempt at either psyching himself up, drawing dark side power from his own pain, diverting attention from the pain of his wounds, or a grim combination of all three.
  • Deuteragonist: The Last Jedi pairs him off with Rey and his Uncle Luke as the characters with the most pronounced development over the course of the film. He's been described as a "dual protagonist", and the sequel trilogy is as much about him as Rey.
  • Die, Chair! Die!: Twice in The Force Awakens a Villainous Breakdown results in Kylo wrecking a room to bits. One of his first scenes in The Last Jedi has Kylo again venting his rage on the scenery, this time smashing his helmet against an elevator wall.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Snoke corrupted him, manipulated him, and ordered him to kill one of the only people to show him any real kindness. Kylo's response was brutal, but well-deserved on the part of his victim.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": He rejects the use of his birth name, and in the novelization it is further explained that Snoke forbade the use of Kylo's birth name, Ben Solo. In The Last Jedi, he reacts angrily when Snoke calls him "Young Solo." However, he doesn't react to Rey calling him by the name.
  • Doublethink: Ren's got a bad case of it, considering the Resistance to be made up of thieves and murderers, yet the Obligatory War Crime Scene in the beginning is him committing exactly those atrocities: mass slaughter of a village, and (attempted) theft of a star chart that is not his. He is also party to the construction and use of a weapon of mass destruction even more powerful than the previous two Death Stars (though it's hinted he may have privately disagreed with using Starkiller Base, and he's expressed distaste for the Stormtrooper program, suggesting it to be replaced with clones). However, he sees the First Order as a means to an end, and he doesn't really believe in their ideology. As opposed to the First Order, which is fascist, Kylo is more of an anarchist type. His issues with the Resistance and Luke are a lot more personal than ideological, too.
  • The Dragon: To Snoke, as his apprentice. Until he kills him in the third act of The Last Jedi and takes his place.
  • Drama Queen: Has his moments. If things don't go his way, he generally responds with a complete meltdown, smashing the room to bits and chucking his subordinates around with the Force, while screaming furiously. His co-workers are so used to this, they make an effort to stay out of his way when he goes postal.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: His idolization of Darth Vader completely disregards the good in Anakin Skywalker that ultimately emerged, with Ren's attitude being more like "Darth Vader was awesome, but he failed to complete his work, so now I'll do it." The mask, too, also plays into this, as it is merely an accessory for Ren, where it was mostly necessary for Vader.
  • Dramatic Irony: The way he talks about the light side of the Force, calling it a corruption that keeps calling to him, is the way many have described the dark side.
  • Dramatic Unmask:
    • Twice in The Force Awakens. The first time, he takes it off when a captive Rey tells him that she doesn't want to talk, and the second time, he takes it off at his father's request.
    • In The Last Jedi, he takes his mask off at Snoke's request, stares at it in an elevator, and smashes it to pieces.
  • The Dreaded: His men fear him, but they don't have much in the way of admiration. Hux actively talks down to Kylo whenever they're in Snoke's presence.
  • Driven to Villainy: Snoke's grooming and his parent's abandonment pushed him closer to darkness, which Luke saw and feared, to the point of contemplating murdering him in his sleep. He was immediately ashamed of himself and didn't, but Ben woke up to see his uncle standing over him with a drawn lightsaber, came to the obvious conclusion, and that was that. Rey even insinuates this trope, pointing out that his choice hadn't yet been made and that Luke basically made it for him.
  • Dual Wielding: In the duel with the Praetorian guards, he briefly wields both a lightsaber and one of the guard's electro-bisento (similar to a spear).
  • Due to the Dead: He personally keeps the ashes of his enemies in his possession, using the location as a place to rest his helmet.
  • Dueling Scar: In the climax of The Force Awakens, he receives a diagonal scar across his face during a lightsaber duel with Rey. It actually extends down to his shoulder, though this isn't usually visible (except in that one scene).
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: He has jet-black hair and pale skin, and is a very unstable and twisted individual.
  • Emo Teen: Regarded as such out of universe due to meeting may of the criteria in-universe (apart from the "teen" part). He dresses in all black, looks and acts like a moody teenager, and idolizes a dark and sinister figure in-universe while focusing exclusively on said figure's "dark and edgy" aspects.
  • The Emperor: By the end of The Last Jedi he's assumed his master's position as Supreme Leader of the First Order. The reason why the title is Supreme Leader is probably because Emperor was a title Palpatine received from the Senate, initially being Chancellor, while the First Order is a junta and rogue state that is excluded from the New Republic, and openly contests its legitimacy while having nonenote .
  • Establishing Character Moment: The assault on Jakku demonstrates Kylo Ren's brutality, his confrontation with Lor San Tekka establishes his loyalty to the First Order, his desire to find and kill Luke Skywalker, his vehement need to cut ties with his past, and his violent temperament (he kills Tekka for telling him that he can't escape his true identity), and stopping Poe's blaster shot in mid-air shows him to be a powerful Force user.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: He perceives Luke, his uncle and Jedi Master, as having betrayed him when he seemingly attempted to murder in him in his sleep. It's made even worse by the fact that at the time Kylo's relationship with his parents wasn't the best, so Luke was the one family member he had that he felt he could trust and that truly understood him (Leia and Han didn't know how to handle Kylo's Force-sensitivity, while Luke has more knowledge of the Force and gave Kylo training). Although Luke actually wasn't going to kill him, he still regards himself as having failed his nephew/apprentice for his moment of weakness. Luke's perceived betrayal is what pushed Kylo fully over to the Dark Side.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: In The Last Jedi, he cannot go through with killing his mother and is distraught when he believes she's been killed moments later. According to the novelization, Kylo would’ve used the Force to stop the missiles, thus saving his mother’s life, if he hadn’t been caught off-guard by them.
  • Even Evil Can Be Loved: His parents both love him very much and believe he's not beyond redemption. Han dies trying to convince Kylo to turn back to the light. His uncle Luke still cares for him; he has never forgiven himself for his role in Kylo's fall and apologises to him. He also encourages Leia not to give up on him. Luke himself doesn't try to redeem Kylo, though; he probably wants to, but knows it's very unlikely to work because of their troubled history. Finally, there's Rey, who also comes to believe Kylo has good in him and makes an effort to befriend and help him, after realising they're similar; her interactions with him also have romantic undertones
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Deconstructed. The end of The Last Jedi shows he has a fondness for his mother and Rey, but his love for them doesn't stop him from going on with his evil actions. He also suggests he may still have had some love for his father, telling Rey that he "didn't hate him" and is clearly troubled after killing him, but he still went through with it in an attempt to distance himself from the light.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • It's less clear in the films (as it's transmitted via Adam Driver's physical acting instead of direct dialogue), but the novelization shows that he's opposed to Hux's plan to destroy the Hosnian system. He also expresses distaste for the Stormtrooper program, suggesting it should be replaced with a Clone program instead. Tellingly, when Snoke orders the destruction of the Resistance base, Kylo Ren tries to convince Snoke to take another shot at getting the map out of Rey, only to be overruled.
    • He is also disturbed when Snoke brutally tortures Rey into giving him Luke's location, though this is likely more because it's Rey than anything else.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning:
    • He tends to twirl his lightsaber a fair bit, presumably to put more weight into his strikes.
    • In The Last Jedi, he takes a page from his grandfather's book, sending his TIE/vn Silencer into a flashy, impractical spin.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • An Entertainment Weekly article spells out he is a dark side, version of Luke Skywalker. He even faces a dilemma identical to Luke's: resisting the lure of one side of the Force to stay loyal to the one he chose. Where Luke fought to resist the dark side, Kylo Ren embraces it, but still feels the call of the Light. Likewise, where Luke was ordered by Obi-Wan and Yoda to commit Patricide and kill Darth Vader only to refuse and try and redeem him instead, Kylo Ren goes ahead with it when ordered by Snoke, and ends up killing his father Han Solo. The Last Jedi adds their disillusionment to the Jedi and the Force; while Luke overcomes this and redeems themselves, Kylo further descends into villainy because of his inability to let it go.
    • To Finn. Finn was taken from parents he can no longer remember and subjected to brutal conditioning by the First Order. Snoke got his hooks into Ren at a young age, lured him away from his family and moulded him into his perfect warrior. Finn took one look at what was being asked of him and bolted, while Ren views his better impulses as weakness and is actively trying to suppress them.
    • To Rey. They were both sent away from their families (Kylo was sent for Jedi training and Rey was abandoned on Jakku), both are strong in the Force, and they both hide deep fears and insecurities behind a stoic demeanor. They strongly contrast in their allegiances (the dark side and the First Order for Kylo Ren, the light side and the Resistance for Rey), attitude towards their families (Rey waits, possibly in vain, for her family to come back for her, while Ren betrayed, and feeling abandoned by them since he could feel their uneasiness around him and Snoke most probably exacerbated those feelings, even before they sent him off to Luke, who couldn't focus on him alone because he had many other students, causing him to reject and bitterly oppose his family) story roles (Ren's The Heavy vs. Rey's The Hero), and relationships with the returning cast: Rey idolized Luke up until she discovered the truth about his backstory with Kylo, as well as seeing Han as a surrogate father figure; Ren betrayed Luke, and killed Han. Taking it to its almost literal extreme, The Star Wars Oyxgen podcast, in their breakdown of the The Force Awakens soundtrack, noted that when you play the notes in Kylo's theme in reverse, you get Rey's theme. In The Last Jedi, Snoke even explicitly describes Rey as the light that rises to meet Kylo's darkness.
  • Evil Is Cool: In-universe, and a deconstruction. Ren is obsessed with Darth Vader, just like many real-world Star Wars fans. As a Star Wars character himself, this means he idolizes, and tries to emulate the acts of, a murderous tyrant.
  • Evil Is Petty: Fitting in with his Psychopathic Manchild tendencies, Kylo can be a bit petty from time to time. His very first line involves him mockingly telling Lor San Tekka "Look how old you've become" (Tekka snarks back "Something far worse has happened to you"). During his interrogation of Rey, he also comments on her being a scavenger in a derogatory manner. And just about every conversation he has with Hux sees him making snide remarks or being silently passive-aggressive.
  • Evil Nephew: In addition to being Antagonistic Offspring, he's bent on tracking down his uncle Luke so he can kill him.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: His mask greatly augments his already dulcet tones — much like Vader himself, but with a softer, more natural standard American accent rather than Vader's theatrical, booming Mid-Atlantic accent.
  • Exact Words:
    • As Snoke sensed, Kylo really did intend to ignite a lightsaber and strike down his real enemy. Snoke just failed to realize which lightsaber, and who Kylo now considered his real enemy.
    • Age of Resistance reveals this isn't the first time he's tricked Snoke this way; while inside the Dark Side cave on Dagobah, Snoke believes he can sense Kylo striking down the visions of his parents, but he's actually hacking apart the tree roots beneath the cave, then brings down the cave in its entirety, and lets Snoke believe whatever he wants.
  • Expy: Of Jacen Solo, aka Darth Caedus. See Composite Character above for more details.
  • Eyes Never Lie: In the novel, the frightening intensity of Kylo's eyes is frequently pointed out as the most striking thing about him, hinting at the fanaticism and madness integral to the character. In the films this effect is achieved by zooming in on Adam Driver's dark eyes, which happen to reflect light very well, during scenes like the saber duel with Rey.
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: He has a youthful, boyishly handsome face that sharply contrasts his explosive temper and homicidal tendencies.
  • Facial Horror: Subverted Trope. Unlike Vader and despite the suspense as he removes his mask, Kylo has a perfectly normal face, which surprises Rey. He ends up with a nasty-looking scar, courtesy of Rey, by the end of the film, but even then, it's hardly as terrible as the scars Vader had. In fact, Kylo looks better with the scar. Wordof God even admitted the scar was moved from its original spot for The Last Jedi to make Kylo look more attractive.
  • Fan Boy: He's completely obsessed with Darth Vader and tries to emulate him in every way except for one: his sentimentality. Instead, Kylo wants to build an immunity to the light side so he can succeed where he believes Darth Vader failed, as Snoke taught him.
  • Fanservice Pack: The Last Jedi really ramps up his Fanservice-factor from the previous film. Unlike in The Force Awakens, Kylo spends most of the film with his mask off, showing off his Pretty Boy looks and newly-acquired Rugged Scar. In one scene in particular, he's wearing nothing but a pair of leather pants, displaying a rather impressive muscular physique, which even distracts Rey. Rian Johnson stated one of the reasons he added that scene was because Adam Driver just looked really good.
  • Fatal Flaw: His impulsiveness and inability to control his emotions. Kylo is capable of cunning and forethought, but only as long as he's calm. The moment he starts getting angry, it completely dominates him and his thought process. Thus, he lost the chance to crush the Resistance at the end of The Last Jedi because he was too fixated on killing Luke.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He has a fairly calm, relaxed demeanor with most people, but that disappears quickly when something sets him off. During Poe's captivity, Ren compliments him on enduring torture and for being the Resistance's best pilot before personally torturing him with the Force.
  • Flaming Blade: The unstable shape of his lightsaber and the visible heat that surrounds it are meant to give it a fiery aspect that befits his personality, unlike Vader's clean red saber. This is due the fragmented crystal it uses, which is also a good metaphor for the kind of person Kylo Ren is.
  • Flaw Exploitation: In The Last Jedi:
    • Snoke exploited his insecurities and feelings of abandonment by his family to seduce Kylo to the dark side and then to help him lure Rey into a trap. It backfires, as Kylo ends up tricking and killing Snoke in retaliation for his continual abuse of him.
    • During the Battle of Crait, Luke takes advantage of Kylo's impulsive rage and desire for vengeance to distract him long enough for the Resistance to escape. Kylo insists on fighting Luke alone when a barrage of gunfire fails to scratch him and is so blinded by fury, he doesn't realise Luke isn't actually on Crait until it's too late.
  • Foe Romance Subtext: With Rey, particularly in The Last Jedi. They have a Force Bond which they use to communicate, argue, and eventually confide and empathize their personal problems; she gets flustered when she inadvertently sees him shirtless through said bond; they outright hold hands.
  • Foil: To Rey and Finn, see the Evil Counterpart entry.
  • Forced Sleep: Demonstrates this ability in The Force Awakens; when he abducts Rey, he renders her unconscious simply by waving his hand over her face.
  • Forgot About His Powers: The very first thing he does to demonstrate his power is freezing a laser bolt mid-air, without having any warning about it coming from behind. After he stabs Han, Chewie spends a solid couple of seconds screaming before pulling the trigger, and Kylo just stares and takes it, despite the advanced warning. Justified as he's in shaken and out of it at the time.
  • For the Evulz: Kylo Ren is tempted by the good in him throughout the film, so Snoke orders him to commit an act of heinous evil in order to fully turn to the dark side. It does nothing but shatter Ren's resolve and earns him a Villainous Breakdown for his troubles.
  • Freudian Excuse: Although he's ultimately responsible for his own actions, once his troubled past is revealed it's clear a lot of his issues stem from here:
    • The novelization for The Last Jedi reveals that as a child, he would overhear his parents talking about him like he was some kind of monster. He felt neglected by his parents and when they sent him away to train with Luke, he took this as abandonment. As an adult he shows resentment to and dissociates himself from his father. While talking to Rey on Starkiller Base, Kylo comments on her seeing Han as a Parental Substitute by saying that he would have disappointed her. He ultimately kills Han on Snoke's orders, although he has mixed feelings over the act, and he later admits to Rey that he didn't truly hate Han.
    • As revealed in The Last Jedi, Ben Solo's uncle Luke served as his guardian and Jedi master for a time, but Luke grew to fear the growing darkness in Ben and even contemplated killing him. While he decided against it, Ben woke one night to see his mentor standing over him with his weapon drawn. Ben lashed out in self-defense, and the whole accident ended up with half of Luke's followers killed and the temple destroyed. Ever since then, Kylo hates Luke and desires to kill him.
    • Snoke acts as a father figure to Kylo, but their relationship is manipulative and emotionally abusive. Snoke takes advantage of his insecurities and self-hatred and uses Kylo for his power while caring nothing for him. Slowly realizing this leads Kylo to resent and eventually despise Snoke, to the point that, when ordered to kill Rey, Kylo instead murders Snoke.
  • Friendly Address Privileges: Kylo usually doesn't tolerate people calling him Ben, but beyond expressing some mild surprise, he doesn't react when Rey calls him Ben and never corrects her.
  • Frontline General: During the attack on Takodana, he personally joins the battle and tracks down and captures Rey. He later tries being this during the Battle of Crait as well, but fails epically.
  • Full-Name Basis:
    • Always refers to Han as "Han Solo". This is likely meant to be a way to further dissociate himself from his father.
    • He himself is almost always referred to as "Kylo Ren" instead of just "Kylo" or "Ren". Rey is the exception to this, as she starts calling him "Ben" in The Last Jedi.

    G-L 
  • General Failure: In The Last Jedi, he orders all his fighters after the Millennium Falcon for no other reason than trying to erase his past — which gets all of them destroyed and gains the First Order no tactical advantage.
  • Generation Xerox:
    • Like his grandfather, Darth Vader, Kylo Ren was a Jedi who was seduced to the dark side, became the feared enforcer of a dictator, struggles with his turn and killed his master.
    • Solo reveals that Kylo is more like his dad, Han Solo, than it first appears. Both had difficult relationships with their fathers (though not as extreme in Han's case), they're both gifted pilots from a young age and they both outwit and kill their corrupt/evil mentor who was manipulating them for their own ends.
    • Like both his grandfather and his father, Kylo Ren is a roguish male attracted to a headstrong brunette who brings a softer side from him. He differs however in that both Anakin and Han Solo came from humble roots, being a former slave and a poor orphan in the case of the latter (with Han not even having a surname growing up), whereas Ben Solo had a normal childhood to loving parents.
  • Genius Bruiser: Downplayed. Kylo usually prefers to fight with brute force, but as his assassination of Snoke and fight with the Praetorian guards proves, he can actually be quite cunning when he wants to. Unfortunately, his tendency to let his anger dominate his thought process severely hampers this.
  • The Gift: Kylo was born incredibly strong with the Force, likely due to being descended from Anakin Skywalker, to the point that Luke says he'd never met anyone with as much raw power as Kylo until he encounters Rey. Even Snoke indicates that Kylo is the most naturally gifted Force-user he's ever trained. Based on snippets we're given about his past, as a child Kylo he would inadvertently break things with the Force; not even Anakin outwardly displayed such abilities at that age. At twenty-three, Kylo managed to pull an entire roof down on top of his head and lived, catching the older and more experienced Luke off-guard. Unfortunately for Kylo (and everyone else) his Force abilities are about matched by the severity of his emotional and psychological issues and made him a target for Snoke.
  • Given Name Reveal: In The Force Awakens, he's referred almost exclusively as Kylo Ren, the name he took when he joined the First Order. Late in the film, his birth name is revealed when Han calls him "Ben" to get his attention in an attempt to reach out to him.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Gets extremely angry easily and with minimal provocation, and usually deals with it by destroying everything in his immediate area.
  • Handicapped Badass: Even after being wounded by Chewbacca's bowcaster, he duels both Finn and Rey, managing to defeat the former and putting up a decent fight against the latter.
  • Harmful to Minors: As if Snoke wasn't bad enough, Last Shot's epilogue reveals that he was threatened with a knife by his (malfunctioning) babysitter droid when he was two years old.
  • The Heavy: Similarly to Vader's relationship with Palpatine, Ren is the most visible antagonist despite being subservient to Snoke. At first.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Subverted.
    • In The Force Awakens, he tells his father that he's conflicted and that he's in need of help. Unfortunately, he ultimately decides that he's not looking to come back to Han and Leia, but that he needs to kill his dad to become more entrenched in the dark side.
    • In The Last Jedi, Rey thinks that when push comes to shove he'll turn back to the Light. At first it looks like she's right as he kills Snoke rather than execute her. However, immediately after the fight is done he reveals that he wants to let the past (the Resistance, Jedi and Sith) die, and saved Rey only because he wants her to join him. Notably, this sequence is set up to mirror, then subvert, Vader's redemption in Return of The Jedi, further contrasting Ren with his grandfather.
  • Held Gaze: He and Rey share a lot of intense looks, especially in The Last Jedi. Depending on the context of the scene, it's either types Antagonistic, Platonic or Supernatural (heck, sometimes all three at once), and possibly type Romantic. Particularly notable is the scene where they touch hands through their Force-bond, where they are gazing intently into each others eyes until Luke interrupts.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Inverted twice; even when he ditches the helmet, he is still on the side of the bad guys.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Inverted. If you look carefully at the other Knights of Ren, he is the only one of them that uses a lightsaber.
  • Heroic Lineage: Kylo's grandfather Anakin was a hero of the Clone Wars until he fell to the Dark Side, his grandmother Padmé was a champion of democracy and savior of Naboo, his adoptive grandparents helped found and led the Rebel Alliance, and both his parents and his uncle were prominent members of the Rebellion. However, Kylo himself rejects this in favor of Anakin's darker legacy as Darth Vader.
  • Hero Killer: He is dreaded by many characters and known as the "Jedi Killer" because of this tendency. Cements this outside of his backstory when he kills Han Solo.
  • Hero-Worshipper: Inverted. Kylo Ren villain worships Darth Vader. It's a literal example as there's a scene where he prays to Vader's helmet. His motivation is that he's a Darth Vader fanboy who doesn't realize just how much it sucked to be Darth Vader.
  • Hey, You!: At first, he refers to Rey simply as "the girl". In The Last Jedi, when they start to become closer, he begins calling her by her name. After she turns down his offer to rule with him, though, he goes back to calling her "the girl" again in an apparent attempt to dissociate himself from her.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Despite the confident demeanor he presents, Ren is very insecure. He confesses to Darth Vader's mask that he feels the lure of the light side with shame. When Rey turns the tables on Ren during her interrogation, she picks up on one of his deepest fears: that he'll never be as strong as Vader. The expression on his face as he kills his father shows that he has some mixed feelings about the act as well. Previously, Ren's body language implied that he had some reservations about using Starkiller Base to destroy the Hosnian system, and later, he tries to offer an alternative solution to using the weapon again, but was overruled. Leia also implies in Bloodline that he wears his hair long to cover his ears, hinting at some self-image issues too.
    • Despite his short temper, violent personality, and mental instability, Kylo isn't incapable of thinking his way out of a problem. His method of assassinating Snoke, getting around his mind-reading powers through Exact Words and carefully maneuvering the lightsaber at Snoke's side, demonstrates remarkable cunning.
    • For all his immaturity in regards to handling most situations, Kylo Ren shows in The Last Jedi that he has enough wisdom to understand the limitations of ideologies that both the Jedi and the Sith stuck by, something even Yoda only really grasped well after his own passing. Granted, Kylo Ren's answer to going beyond those ideologies and not be blinded by either is to just burn everything down.
    • His reluctance to kill his mother, to the point of actively choosing not to fire at her, and his interactions with Rey via their Force bond also suggest he’s not completely devoid of empathy and can even be kind when he wants to. He willingly listens to Rey tearfully pouring out her heart to him over her feelings of disappointment and isolation, and then reassures her that she’s “not alone”. Of course, this is when no one else is looking.
    • According to the Visual Dictionary for The Last Jedi, he apparently liked doing calligraphy in his spare time (at least before his Face–Heel Turn), given he had a calligraphy set in his bedroom (which can be briefly seen in the flashbacks to the night he destroyed Luke's temple).
  • History Repeats: Anakin/Vader started out hot-tempered and cocky, but compassionate and selfless. Then his Trauma Conga Line made him increasingly vicious, desperate to save his wife, and disillusioned with the Jedi Order, which made him perfect emotional prey for Palpatine. Kylo Ren, as Ben Solo, was deeply loved by his parents, before being trained by Snoke. While Anakin accidentally kills his wife after spending the whole duration of Revenge of the Sith trying to save her, Kylo Ren deliberately kills his father, who has been trying to reconnect with him for years. He probably thought Anakin killed his love on purpose since Snoke told him that Love Is a Weakness, and would naturally imitate his grandfather by "getting rid" of someone he loves. And in The Last Jedi, Kylo turns on his master Snoke to save Rey, just like his grandfather had done against Palpatine to save Luke. The difference is that Kylo lived afterwards to usurp the position of Supreme Leader, while Vader died to redeem himself. He even extends Rey a We Can Rule Together offer as she pleads with him not to do this, almost exactly like Anakin's offer to make Padmé his empress and her desperate attempts to convince him otherwise.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Ren is set on capturing Rey and has her dead to rights near the end of their climactic duel on Starkiller Base. His critical error? He chooses the worst possible moment to volunteer himself as her teacher, offering to show her the ways of the Force. This reminds Rey that she is Force-sensitive, and she uses it to overcome a severely wounded Ren.
    • Ren seeks to become more powerful and gain mastery over himself by killing his father. But when he manages to do so, the crime weakens him, making him more mentally and emotionally unstable.
    • His Mind Probe of Rey not only truly awakened her to her own Force potential, but unsettled Ren enough to leave her almost completely unguarded, and gave Rey the knowledge and confidence she needed to (eventually) successfully pull a Jedi Mind Trick on her lone guard and escape.
    • Ren ordering his army to attack Luke on Crait and then fighting him face-to-face only serves to humiliate him in front of the First Order when it turns out Luke was projecting himself from Ahch-To the whole time. This also gives the survivors in the Resistance time to escape onboard the Millennium Falcon, meaning Ren squandered an opportunity to snuff them out once and for all for the sake of his vendetta against Luke. Ren lives this trope.
  • Holding Hands: Not quite holding hands, but close enough. During a Force bond with Rey, she offers him her hand and he reciprocates, touching her hand through their bond despite them being lightyears away. Notably, he pulls his glove off first so he can touch her skin-to-skin (as much as he can). As well as symbolizing their growing friendship and empathy for each other, it also carries romantic undertones, to the point where the creators have compared it to a love scene. Later, when he asks her to rule the galaxy with him, he also extends his hand to her.
  • Hope Bringer: As weird as it might sound, he temporarily becomes this for Rey in The Last Jedi. After learning more about Kylo's past, she comes to believe he can be redeemed and sets off to the Supremacy to facilitate this. She even tells Luke she believes Kylo could be their best chance of stopping the First Order and that he's "their last hope" when Luke refuses to leave Ahch-To with her. Unfortunately, she's wrong.
  • Hot-Blooded: Kylo's fiery temper is one of his signature traits, just like how Vader was when he was slightly younger than he. He also tends to be very impulsive, passionate and crazily determined once he's set his mind to something.
  • Hypocrite:
    • He describes the Resistance as a group of murderers and traitors, and calls Finn a traitor to the First Order. For one, Finn never had a choice about being part of the First Order and had no love for them, so him leaving isn't even betrayal. For another, Kylo has an affinity for violence, and his backstory does more than qualify him as a traitor to his family and the Jedi, and he later betrays Snoke as well. He is also party to yet another Earth-Shattering Kaboom that murdered billions, though at the very least he privately disagreed with it.
    • He is very adamant about letting the past die. The Jedi, the Sith, the Resistance...but not the First Order. And in his obsession with killing it, he's continuing to allow the past to influence him to the point of it costs him his goals, which Luke points out to him.
  • I Am a Monster: In The Last Jedi, when Rey repeats her condemnation of Kylo, he admits that she's right about him being a monster.
    Kylo: You have that look in your eyes. Like you did in the forest, when you called me a monster.
    Rey: You are a monster.
    Kylo: ...Yes, I am.
  • "I Can't Look!" Gesture: Downplayed. When Snoke uses the Force to torture Rey, he is shown looking down with a disturbed expression and apparently doesn't look up again until it's over...to give Snoke a quick Death Glare.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: The novelization for The Last Jedi reveals that Snoke turned him by exploiting his feelings of being abandoned by his parents. He also grows attached to Rey very quickly when she shows him compassion and is enthusiastic by the prospect of her potentially joining him. When he asks her to rule at his side, he's practically begging.
  • Identical Grandson: Not so much in physical features, but in terms of personality and fashion sense, he more greatly resembles his grandfather (Anakin Skywalker) than he does either of his parents (Leia Organa and Han Solo).
  • If I Can't Have You...: In The Last Jedi. After Rey rejects his offer to join him in leading the First Order, he goes from trying to bond with her to telling Luke that he'll kill her himself. That said, the next time he sees her through the Force Bond, he just stares at her calmly and with a conflicted expression on his face, suggesting he might not really have meant it.
  • Ignored Aesop: He implores to Rey that letting the past die is the only way to go forward. However, Kylo obsessively dwells on destroying his past, and in the process prevents himself from moving on.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Downplayed in The Force Awakens. While interrogating Rey – who is strapped to a table and helpless – he comments "You know I can take whatever I want". Specifically, he's talking about reading her mind, but given the context it still has creepy implications. This is the only time he ever makes any such comment; the rest of the time he's nicer to her than any other character and his interest in her comes across as romantic rather than creepy.
  • Implacable Man:
    • In The Force Awakens — despite being shot, he is able to intercept Finn and Rey and fight them both, albeit separately. Finn gets a hit in with a lightsaber, but Ren is able to take him out. When Rey takes up the saber Ren keeps her on the run for most of the fight. Even when the fight shifts in her favor and she gets a couple of hits in he still keeps going. Rey has to give him another wound for him to finally go down. Even then he appears to want to get up and keep fighting.
    • Had this even before tapping into the dark side, as shown by The Last Jedi. The flashback of him trying to kill Luke in terrified self-defense has him in the same room when he pulls the roof down. Meaning, Kylo put himself through a collapsing building and survived that, without Luke's decades of experience.
  • In the Blood: His lineage comes from the Jedi, being the grandson of the Chosen One. Though he has a powerful potential in the light side, he makes a conscious effort to embrace and emulate Anakin's stint on the dark side.
  • In the Hood: Not a Sith in title or creed, but he carries the imagery to a tee.
  • Incompletely Trained: At the stage of his debut, he's still got some work to do before reaching Darth Vader: his lightsaber technique is still rough around the edges, his skills with the more mind-based Force abilities aren't quite up to snuff, and his lightsaber in particular — though cool looking — wasn't built with the kind of care that it requires (having a good working crystal that isn't cracked would help as well). At the end of The Force Awakens, Snoke remarks that it's time to finish his training, so time will tell how he fares in The Last Jedi. In spite of this, he's still addressed as a "Master of the Knights of Ren".
  • Inconsistent Coloring: In Age of Resistance - Supreme Leader Snoke 1 he's drawn with blue eyes in a few panels at the beginning, even though in the theatrical films he has dark brown eyes and in the comic itself he's also depicted as having brown eyes in later panels.
  • Ironic Name: Unlike his true namesake, Obi-Wan "Ben" Kenobi, he wasn't Incorruptible Pure Pureness.
  • Irony:
    • One of the Galaxy's most notorious mass murderers and top enforcer of a neo-Imperial organization was born and raised on Chandrila, the homeworld of Mon Mothma and the New Republic's first capital.
    • His obsession with becoming The Unfettered and wiping out his past has become a bigger weakness than any of the people he cares about were, leading to his humiliation over the course of The Last Jedi.
  • Is That What He Told You?: A variation in The Last Jedi. When Kylo asks Rey if Luke told her what happened the night he destroyed the Jedi Temple, she says he did. Kylo, however, senses that Luke didn't tell her the whole truth and proceeds to tell her what really happened – from his point of view anyway – Luke feared his power and attempted to murder him in his sleep. Rey later learns that Luke only ignited his lightsaber on pure instinct after sensing the darkness in Kylo and would never have gone through with it, but all Kylo saw was his uncle standing over him with a weapon...
  • It's All Junk: Following his humiliation during a meeting with Snoke, he smashes his mask (which was particularly ridiculed by Snoke). It's also his way to get rid of his Vader-emulating past.
  • It's Personal with the Dragon:
    • Kylo is Rey's counterpart and nemesis, someone for whom she has a great deal of loathing for his murder of Han Solo, and later, a great deal of sympathy and compassion when she gets a good look at his inner conflict. By contrast, Rey sees Snoke as just some twisted monstrosity that heads the First Order, an enemy to be sure, but nowhere near as personal an opponent as Kylo. Subverted with Kylo's murder of Snoke and ascension to the Big Bad position; his complex relationship with Rey is more personal than ever, but he's no longer The Dragon.
    • As Luke's nephew and former apprentice, Kylo's enmity with him is personal as well, especially with the reveal that Kylo's turn to the dark side was greatly accelerated by what he saw as Luke trying to kill him in his sleep, whereas Luke's conflict with Snoke is extremely distant, to the point that the two share no screentime before Snoke's demise. Again, this is subverted when Kylo becomes the Big Bad, particularly as he and Luke only confront one another after the aforementioned ascension.
  • I've Come Too Far: One of his motives for not going back with Han when he asks is that he believes he has done too much to deserve redemption.
    Kylo: It's too late.
    Han: No, it's not. Leave here with me, come home. We miss you.
  • Jedi Mind Trick: It can be inferred he knows how to use these on people, as it's implied that Rey learnt how to do it after reading his mind. In The Last Jedi, he attempts it on Rey through their Force-bond, ordering her to bring Luke to him, but because Rey is definitely not weak-minded, it doesn't work.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: In The Last Jedi, Kylo Ren hesitates to kill his mother and has a Foe Romance Subtext with Rey, hinting that he could be redeemed. It looks like he's going to turn to the Light Side when he kills Snoke to save Rey and teams up with her against the Praetorian Guards, but then he immediately reveals he wants to claim Supreme Leadership for himself. Downplayed, however, as he does have a genuine soft spot when it comes to his mother and Rey, but it doesn't do anything to stop him from embracing the Dark Side, and at the end of the day he's only after power.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope:
    • Kylo Ren spends the first two acts of The Force Awakens being seduced by the Light and feeling conflicted about it. When he confronts Han Solo in the third act, he is genuinely torn apart and in pain due to the conflict, leading Han Solo (and the audience) to believe that he's going to choose the Light. Then he kills his father.
    • This also occurs in The Last Jedi. After killing Snoke and assuming control of First Order he embraces the dark side fully. Even Leia thinks whatever remained of her son is gone now, although Luke believes that there's a chance he can be redeemed — but not by him.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Cuts down Lor San Tekka while the old man is trying to convince him to turn away from the dark side. He even makes a coldly sarcastic remark before doing so.
    • After capturing Poe, Ren orders his troopers to kill everyone in Lor San Tekka's village (this could be out of practicality so as not to leave witnesses who could report back to the Resistance, but even so...)
    • After stabbing his father to death, he tells him "thank you" to add insult to (fatal) injury. That said, given his behavior, this may have been Sincerity Mode as well.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch:
    • Kills Snoke by bisecting the Supreme Leader with his lightsaber. Snoke fully deserved it.
    • The same could be said of him using the Force to abuse Hux; most of these are disproportionate responses, but Hux is just as much a raving psycho as he is.
    • Killing King Kristoff mostly for insulting him isn't exactly one of his greatest sins, seeing as he quite cheerfully admits to having wiped out life on four planets while attempting to expand his territory, dismisses them as only being "small planets" and has no plans on stopping.
  • Kill It Through Its Stomach: How he kills the Benathy's god which is actually a nigh-indestructible Zillo Beast.
  • Kill the God: In his Age of Resistance issue, he aspires to do what Darth Vader never managed to and defeat the Benathy race's god. It's downplayed as it's not literally a supernatural deity but a Zillo Beast. However, it's still an overwhelmingly powerful and dangerous creature and Kylo does indeed manage to kill it, prompting the Benathy to submit to him.
  • The Kingslayer: He's killed two rulers, King Kristoff, ruler of the Benathy and Supreme Leader Snoke (although he pinned the latter on Rey so he could take his place).
  • Kinslaying Is a Special Kind of Evil: Invokes this by killing his father, in order to fully dedicate himself to the dark Side. This backfires as the act of Patricide splits him in half (emotionally/spiritually speaking).
  • Klingon Promotion: Appoints himself Supreme Leader of the First Order after killing Snoke and blaming it on Rey.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Almost every single The Force Awakens scene he's in is played completely seriously, establishing himself as a threat to everyone in his way. He cemented this status when he killed his own father Han Solo, making it so Anyone Can Die (even in prequels like Rogue One).
  • Knight Templar: He's convinced that his path is morally justified and that the light side is wrong, to the point his actor has said he sees him as being more like a "religious fanatic" than an evil person. This is also helped by how he has a lot of literal Knights Templar aspects of his design visually, from the medieval surcoat armor he has that was popularized by artwork of them to how his lightsaber's cross-guard makes it look both like a more traditional sword and when activated looks a lot like their symbol of a large red cross.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em:
    • When the Resistance shows up on Takodana, turning the tide against the First Order, Kylo Ren orders a tactical retreat. Since he has Rey, who has seen the map he needs, obtaining BB-8 is no longer necessary.
    • A slightly humorous example from The Last Jedi occurs when he tries to use a Jedi mind-trick on Rey to get her to bring Luke Skywalker to him. It completely fails and Kylo slowly lowers his hand, looking awkward, and doesn't bother trying it again.
  • Large Ham: Downplayed in The Force Awakens, but by the time of The Last Jedi, he's become hammy to the point that at the film's climax, several of his lines involve him SUDDENLY SHOUTING.
    "Blow that piece of junk OUT OF THE SKY!"
  • Last-Second Chance: Han offers him one in The Force Awakens and Rey in The Last Jedi, but he refuses both.
  • Let the Past Burn:
    • Upon brutally and tragically ending his Jedi training with Luke, he set the new Jedi Temple on fire.
    • It's also used figuratively when he gets rid of his worshipping of Darth Vader, smashing his mask and throwing it on the ground. The destroyed mask exhales smoke due to short-circuit.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Kylo Ren is certainly no saint, but he's marginally better compared to other First Order leaders like Snoke, Hux and Phasma. Unlike them, Kylo actually feels a lot of conflict over his villainous acts and even expresses remorse for some of them, to the point where it exasperates Snoke. He doesn't seem to feel any pleasure in torturing and killing people, seeing it more as a means to an end, or else lashing out in blind anger, whereas Snoke and Hux are both depicted as rather sadistic and love humiliating their victims. Unlike his predecessor Darth Vader, Kylo doesn't kill subordinates who displease him, usually opting to destroy inanimate objects instead. Most notably, Kylo is also shown to be capable of empathy and compassion towards others, although he does actively try to suppress this (usually unsuccessfully). As a result, the audience is more inclined to root for him when he starts butting heads with Hux and eventually Snoke.
  • Light Is Good: In the flashbacks to when he was a Jedi apprentice, he wore all-white clothing, similar to the outfit Luke wore in A New Hope. Then again, it is said that he had been plagued by the Dark Side all his life and by this point it had only gotten worse. It is a striking contrast to his later, all-black outfits though.
  • Like a Son to Me: Luke clearly regarded his nephew as such. Which only made what happened between them all the more devastating.
  • Like Father, Like Son: He had Han's Deadpan Snarker attitude, his ability to improvise and bluff his way to get ahead (i.e. going from being in Snoke's doghouse to his usurper), and much of Han Solo's originally cynical and dismissive attitude towards the Jedi and its legacy. Snoke does claim that Kylo has "too much of [his] father's heart in [him]", but he mostly is saying it to rile him up.
  • Lima Syndrome: Kylo Ren treats Rey with more consideration than Poe or any other enemy he encounters. Aside from carrying her bridal-style, during the interrogation when she calls him a masked monster, he removes his helmet as if to prove her wrong. In the novel, he releases her from her restraints and states that he doesn't want to hurt her. Snoke even accuses Kylo of feeling compassion for Rey. By The Last Jedi, it's developed into a full-blown crush; although he immediately has her put in handcuffs when she comes to him aboard the Supremacy, he isn't unduly rough with her, speaks to her in a gentle manner and gets extremely pissed off when Snoke tortures her. It doesn't end well for Snoke.
  • Lineage Comes from the Father: Zigzagged — Ren has various physical features that resemble Han — the long legs, long nose and a similar mouth — but he has absolutely zero of Han's laid-back charm though much of his audacity and daring. He more resembles his grandfather Darth Vader in being passionate, aggressive, and stubborn, which he gets from his mother. A good deal of Kylo Ren's baggage growing up revolved around his legacy, being the children of heroes, and living in the shadow of his legendary uncle, who was keen on him being the Mentor's New Hope on account of what he described as "that mighty Skywalker blood".
  • Lonely at the Top: In The Last Jedi, after Rey shoots him a disapproving look and leaves, he's left kneeling on the ground, staring at his father's lucky dice forlornly whilst Hux glares daggers at him. He achieved what Darth Vader never did and became Supreme Leader, but everyone who truly cares about him is either dead or alienated from him, whilst his 'allies' obey him only out of fear (or in Hux's case, openly despise him).
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Particularly in the novels. Although he grew up fairly wealthy and even has Royal Blood through his mother, he was very lonely and isolated as a child and adolescent. His parents were often away working, leaving him in the care of droids (one of whom nearly killed him when it malfunctioned), and neither of them knew how to deal with his raw power in the Force (which he sometimes had difficulty controlling). He is an only child and so didn't have any siblings for company; it's never mentioned if he had any close friends growing up and as a teen he was sent away to train with his uncle. Subsequently, he felt his parents didn't care about him or even saw him as monstrous, which Snoke exploited to draw him to the dark side. In The Force Awakens, Kylo is interested in Rey's lonely past and is shown to empathize with her about this in The Last Jedi.
  • Lonely Together: Through his Force Bond with Rey, the two of them come to empathize with the other's deep loneliness and sense of loss.
  • Looks Like Cesare: When he's unmasked and going through one of his many Villainous Breakdowns.
  • Loony Fan: He admires Vader's legacy, to the point of putting his charred helmet and mask on display while commenting about finishing the work Vader and Palpatine started. May be a case of I Reject Your Reality: Ren knows that Vader was his grandfather, and studied under Luke, so he's likely aware of how Vader died, even if he does choose to focus on his grandfather's time as a Sith Lord, rather than his death as a Jedi. As of The Last Jedi, he may have given this up as he isn't shown talking to Vader's mask anymore and speaks of letting the past (Jedi and Sith alike) die.
  • Love Is a Weakness: Kylo believes this, seeing it as the cause of Vader's downfall, and is why he kills his father. Unfortunately, doing so backfires and only leaves him weaker and more conflicted than ever. Snoke isn't too pleased with this.

    M-R 
  • MacGyvering: His lightsaber. Close-ups show it has a cobbled-together look, complete with an exposed wire and rough metal work. Secondary material reveals it uses a cracked power crystal — hence the unstable blade and stabilizing vents that double as crossguards.
  • Macho Masochism: During his duel with Finn/Rey, Ren repeatedly strikes himself in his bowcaster wound. Given the advanced stage of Villainous Breakdown he's reached by that point, it's an open question whether Ren is trying to look tougher, pump himself up, use the pain to call on the dark side, or is simply venting his frustration that his wound is hobbling his fighting ability. A more practical possibility is that blood is pooling under his armour and inhibiting his mobility further, and he's trying rather ruthlessly to expunge it.
  • Made of Iron: Ren survives a bowcaster shot to the gut and keeps on fighting. Later, he takes several injuries while fighting Finn and Rey, but, although incapacitated, is still very much alive by the end of the fight.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: He wears a mask that shares similarities in design with Darth Vader's mask and stormtrooper helmets, as well as the one worn by Revan. Unlike Vader, who needed the mask to live, he has no reason to cover his face beyond covering his expressive face, which could stump his efforts of trying to be as "dark side looking" as possible.
  • Mascot Villain: Like Vader before him, Kylo Ren is the face of the dark side for the Sequel Trilogy as well as the new face of fear in the galaxy.
  • Mask of Confidence: When he's wearing his black, voice-altering mask (deliberately designed on Darth Vader's), he comes off as more cold, menacing and controlled. When the mask's off, he is a lot more awkward and emotional, to the point it's implied part of the reason he wears the mask is to hide his true feelings.
  • Mask of Sanity: He tries to project a cold menacing appearance like his grandfather Vader, even using a mask to help. But when things don't go his way, his emotional and mental instability comes to the surface, losing himself to fits of rage and often making poor decisions in the process.
  • Master-Apprentice Chain: Subverted. He tried to learn the ways of the Jedi from Luke, but eventually turned on him and started his training as an acolyte of the dark side under Snoke, before turning on him and becoming Supreme Leader of the First Order.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • The "Kylo" part of his name sounds familiar to the Latin word caelo, which means "Sky". This is a hint that he's part of the Skywalker lineage.
    • In Welsh, "Ren" means "ruler", which is particularly appropriate after he becomes Supreme Leader. His mother's name of Leia also means "ruler" in Assyrian.
    • "Ren" is the Confucian term for the positive feeling that comes from being altruistic to others and universal love. The word itself roughly translates from Chinese as meaning "humanity" or "benevolence". Doubles as an Ironic Name in this case, seeing as love and compassion aren't really Kylo's forté; then again, he does struggle with a pull to the Light Side and his compassion for others, namely Rey, adds more depth to his character.
    • Additionally, one of the meanings for the Japanese unisex name "Ren" is "lotus" (from "renge", the full word for lotus); the name of Kylo's maternal grandmother Padmé comes from "Padma", which is the Sanskrit word for lotus.
    • Despite his rejection of his birth name of Solo, it is pretty fitting for him, especially by the end of The Last Jedi; he grew up feeling cripplingly isolated and he cuts himself off from just about everyone in an attempt to forge his own path, only to find it's Lonely at the Top.
  • The Mentally Disturbed: Ambiguous Disorder is in play, but Kylo Ren shows signs of some serious mental and emotional problems (mood swings, fits of violent rage, lack of empathy, keeping the ashes of dead enemies, and talking to Vader's melted helmet).
  • Mighty Glacier: He prefers to fight using brute force and can take a lot of punishment. He also prefers fighting in a slow pace rather than charging in at his opponents. Because Ren is young, fit, and unencumbered by cybernetics or heavy armor, this might just be another way that he's trying to emulate Vader.
  • Mind over Matter: He manages the impressive feat of stopping a blaster bolt in mid-air with the Force. His unbalanced mental state in the finale affects this ability, however, as he struggles to call Anakin's lightsaber to his hand, with the weapon only moving when Rey calls it to her. He also cunningly uses this ability to turn a lightsaber and ignite it from across a room to kill Snoke in The Last Jedi and later smacks Hux into a wall simply by waving his hand.
  • Misaimed Fandom: In-Universe example. He's a Loony Fan of Darth Vader, and models himself on the very qualities that Vader hated and rejected in the end.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: The Last Jedi has Kylo pulling this on both of his mentors. When he saw Luke standing over him with an ignited lightsaber, Ben drew his own conclusions and completed his turn to the Dark Side, destroying Luke's Jedi enclave. In the film's present day, he responds to Snoke callously manipulating his feelings for Rey and commanding him to kill her by instead murdering the Supreme Leader and taking his place.
  • Mood-Swinger:
    • He can shift from being The Stoic to The Berserker at the drop of a hat.
    • After a messenger informs him that the droid with the map escaped, he wordlessly launches into a rage-fueled tantrum, slashing a computer terminal over and over again with his lightsaber; after he ultimately stops, he immediately turns back to the messenger and matter-of-factly asks, "Anything else?" — in a calm, even polite tone. Then when the messenger mentions a girl, Kylo swings back around, Force-drags him across the room, and asks "WHAT girl?".
  • Moral Event Horizon: Invoked Trope. He wants nothing more than to become completely immune to the light side, so as to avoid Darth Vader's ultimate fate, so he tries to erase any remaining goodness in himself by murdering his own father at Snoke's orders. Deconstructed as his guilt over it weakened his resolve and darkness, and he had more success through the less overtly evil act of betraying his abusive master Snoke than deciding he wanted his throne for his own purposes.
  • Moral Myopia: He goes absolutely crazy when he sees Finn, shouting traitor in his face. Apparently he forgot that he himself is a traitor to the Jedi, his family and later even Snoke himself.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Beneath his mask, he's the Pretty Boy, and he even gets a Shirtless Scene in The Last Jedi that shows off his impressive muscles and leaves Rey noticeably flustered.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
  • Mythology Gag:
    • His name is very similar to a Villain of the Week from the old Droids cartoon — Kybo Ren.
    • His design is also similar to some of Darth Vader's early concepts, many of which had a removable mask.
    • Likewise, his mask is also highly evocative of Darth Revan.
    • This is not the first time that Han and Leia's son has turned to the dark side.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: Par for the course for anything related to the Empire, but Ren takes it a bit further, and in a more subtle manner. Ren's zealous worship of Vader, even so far as keeping his melted helmet as a "relic", speaks volumes of his character as an allusion to the Thule Society, and Heinrich Himmler's own veneration of a twisted past parallels Ren's idealistic personal portrayal of Vader. Ren practically prays to Vader's remains for guidance as one would pray to a religious relic. His reverence of Vader and dismissal of the facts about his life that do not fit Kylo's narrative can also be compared to the reverence modern far-right groups such as Stormfront have for Hitler. His helmet looks similar to the Stalhelm helmet, too.
  • Near-Death Experience:
    • Last Shot reveals he was nearly killed by a temporarily-psycho droid…as a two year old. It may have affected him in the long run.
    • In The Force Awakens, Rey comes close to killing him after defeating him in combat, but ultimately spares his life. He was lucky to have survived anyway – he’d been shot in the side, slashed across the face with a lightsaber and narrowly avoided being trapped on Starkiller Base as it collapsed in on itself.
  • Neck Lift: Like Darth Vader, he has a tendency to employ this, though his method is different: he uses a Force pull by the target's throat and then grabs their neck.
  • Nephewism: Downplayed. Kylo was raised by Han and Leia, but they left their son with Luke to be trained as a Jedi. This would come back to bite him in the ass too, as his nephew would fall to the Dark Side.
  • Nerd in Evil's Helmet: Under that helmet is a pale, gangly guy who doesn't look threatening in the least. Moreover, in private, he shows a fanboyish obsession with Vader throughout The Force Awakens (which explains his fashion choices) and generally behaves like an angsty teenager. Saturday Night Live had a field day with this, as did the "Emo Kylo Ren" page on Twitter. (Emo Kylo Ren even has a self-demonstrating character page on this very wiki now!) His nerdiness doesn't make him any less dangerous, though.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!:
    • Early on in The Force Awakens, he notices that Finn is disobeying orders to kill the villagers. Instead of executing him for treason or reporting him to Phasma, Kylo decides, perhaps in a moment of compassion, not to do anything. This leads to the rest of the sequel trilogy happening.
    • His interactions with Rey end up doing the exact opposite of what he wants. Namely, when he tries prying into her mind, she discovers his insecurities and some key insight about the Force, and when he offers to teach her about the Force personally, she taps into it and becomes determined enough to defeat him.
    • Kylo bagged Rey instead of continuing the search for BB-8 and the map fragment he has because he discovered that Rey saw it when BB-8 showed a holoprojection of it. So on top of inducing Rey to exert her nascent Force powers to repulse Ren's attempt to extract that information, the First Order are right back at square one on the hunt for Luke. Hux is quick to chide Ren for that in front of Snoke.
    • In the novelization, killing Han Solo not only doesn't suppress the call of the light side, but in fact strengthens it, and weakens him. This may be present in the film as well, as after killing his father and defeating Finn, he struggles to pull Anakin's lightsaber towards him, despite previously being shown capable of holding blaster bolts, and people, in place with little effort.
    • In The Last Jedi, Ren preoccupying himself with Luke gives the surviving Resistance time to escape (and give hope to the Galaxy) when he could have easily annihilated them. Again, Kylo lives this trope.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Not so much him personally as his lightsaber, it being one of the few featured in any Star Wars work to have a crossguard, and because the blade and hilt look cobbled together and barely functional compared to the sleek blades and shiny finishes seen on most other sabers. His sword's unstable and second-hand look are of a part of Kylo Ren's overall motif, that behind the scary mask and red lightsaber is a guy who relies on projecting the image of strength to cover his instability.
  • No Social Skills: When he's calm, he can keep a straight conversation, though he tends to be rude, commanding and emotionally distant. If something goes awry, he has a habit of smashing up the room around him and acting violent towards his subordinates. His interactions with Rey, especially in The Last Jedi, are rather awkward. He employs Brutal Honesty and comes across as Innocently Insensitive, antagonizes her and completely ignores her when she asks him to Please Put Some Clothes On. It could be a result of his sheltered and relatively privileged lifestyle growing up (compared to Rey, Finn, and others) and being mostly around adults rather than fellow peers as a child.
  • Not Good with Rejection: He does not take it well when Rey refuses his offer to rule the galaxy together.
  • Obviously Evil: Cloaked in black, masked, skulking about, and wielding a red lightsaber, it's not subtle at all that he's in the dark side. An Invoked Trope, as he actively wants to eradicate his goodness.
  • Oedipus Complex: In The Last Jedi, despite his contempt for and earlier murder of his father, Kylo can't bring himself to do the same to his mother. He also fixates on Rey, who bears a strong resemblance to his mother, and kills his father figure, Snoke, to save her life, before trying to kill his uncle. Kylo's obsession with burning the past, and wanting to clear away the legacy that seems to burden him (whether that of Vader or Luke's) leads him to revolting against and attacking anyone who remotely affects parental feelings towards him (including Lor San Tekka who triggers his Berserk Button by reminding him that he knows his legacy).
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Demonstrates these powers on Starkiller Base when he somehow manages to beat Rey, Finn, and Chewbacca to the planet's surface despite being several staircases below them.
  • Offscreen Villainy: Downplayed with his destruction of the new Jedi Order; thus far, we've only seen the lead-up and aftermath of his Bloodbath Villain Origin. In Resistance, it's mentioned but not shown that he led First Order troops in a massacre of a village on Tehar.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • His expression when Rey turns his Mind Probe back on him smacks of this.
    • After Snoke blasts him with Force lightning, he briefly looks up in alarm at the Praetorian guard, who are ready to pounce on him until Snoke calls them off.
    • In the flashbacks to the night he turned to the Dark Side, he has an expression of growing horror and realisation when he awakens to see Luke standing over him with a lightsaber.
  • Older Than They Look: Often assumed by audiences to be in his late teens or early twenties, around the same age as Rey, but Word of God states that he is about thirty years old. This is especially surprising considering that Vader, his predecessor, first got his armor at age twenty-three.
  • Ominous Opera Cape: Briefly wears one, Vader-style, when he comes to Snoke during their first scene in The Last Jedi. Then he ditches it, signifying his move away from the worshipping of his grandfather along with the destruction of his mask, which Snoke ridiculed. It's back again during the Battle of Crait, though as Star Wars characters are wont to do, he shrugs it off before getting into a lightsaber duel.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: "Kylo Ren" is not the character's real name, but merely an alias that he adopted after joining the Knights of Ren — an organization whose members all take "Ren" as a surname, similar to the Sith Order's title "Darth". His real name is Ben Solo.
  • Parental Abandonment: Kylo felt this is what his parents did to him, especially when they sent him away to his uncle.
  • Parental Neglect: What he perceived his upbringing as having, particularly from his father's end.
  • Patricide: He killed his father, Han Solo.
  • Percussive Therapy: Kylo Ren doesn't kill personnel willy-nilly like his predecessor did: Whenever he succumbs to anger, he instead whips out his lightsaber and vents his frustration on a nearby piece of hardware (console, etc.), slicing it to charred ribbons. The staff are familiar with this, as two Stormtroopers can tell just from the sound that they should leave instead of investigating further.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Is ultimately nicer to Rey than he is to anyone else, unsavory suggestive comment, knocking her out and carrying her bridal-style aside. His interrogation of her is far less violent than Poe's, even when she goads him, and he tries to reassure her not to be afraid throughout it, going so far as to take off his mask for her sake. The novelization additionally has him apologizing before the interrogation and removing her restraints when she wakes up. Also in the novelization, he flat out says to Rey that he doesn't want to kill her in the duel. He takes this even further in The Last Jedi, listening to her troubles and even trying, in his own way, to comfort her when she’s upset. He turns on and kills Snoke to protect her and, although it’s a sign of him still being evil, he asks her to rule the galaxy with him and states that she means something to him.
    • He also can't bring himself to fire upon his mother. Which unfortunately doesn't stop his wingmen from trying.
    • At the massacre of Lor San Tekka's village, the camera lingers on Kylo noticing that Finn isn't shooting anyone. He decides not to say anything about it or turn him in for reconditioning, perhaps out of understanding over feeling conflicted. This act of compassion just makes things more difficult for him later down the line.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Snoke refers to him as the Master of the Knights of Ren. Two movies into the Sequel Trilogy and various other media featuring the character, his status as a leader of this group hasn't been shown outside of a flashback, as they have yet to appear in the story's present.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: His dialogue when he asks Rey to rule with him ends up having echoes of this.
  • Power Incontinence: It's suggested he had this as child, as he would telekinetically break objects around the house when he was angry or upset. Being trained by Luke and later Snoke gave him much better control of the Force, although he is occasionally affected by this still; in The Force Awakens he's unable to summon the Skywalker lightsaber to his hand due to a combination of physical injuries and emotional turmoil.
  • Pretty Boy: Much like Anakin before his injuries, Ren is handsome and youthful, although his frequent mask-wearing and mental instability make him look a bit off.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Due to his backstory, Snoke's overindulgent parent attitude towards him and possibly some form of conditioning, he is emotionally underdeveloped. He is prone to throwing temper tantrums when he becomes frustrated, shredding everything in sight with his lightsaber, even though it probably makes him a hell of a dark side Force-user (since "anger" is one thing he's got down pat). His insistence that Anakin's lightsaber belongs to him is also childish.
  • Psychic Link: With Rey in The Last Jedi, which they use to communicate. He also appears to have a weaker one with his mother, Leia. During his assault on the Resistance fleet, they both sense each other. Kylo becomes visibly emotional and cannot bring himself to fire at her. The novelization for The Last Jedi explicitly states he could sense she wasn't angry with him, feeling only sadness and love.
  • Psychic Strangle: In The Last Jedi, he takes yet another page out of his grandfather's book and brutally Force-chokes Hux when he talks back to him.
  • A Pupil of Mine, Until He Turned to Evil: He betrayed the Jedi and actively seeks his former mentor, Luke, to kill him.
  • Pyrrhic Villainy: By the end of The Last Jedi, he has overthrown Snoke, become Supreme Leader, and helped reduce the Resistance to a handful of survivors. Even with this victory, however, he humiliates himself in front of his men when trying to take down his uncle, realizes that he's alienated at least one of the only other four people that care about him — his father, his mother and a potential Jedi protegee— and has truly become alone. His father is dead, and at this point he thinks his mother is dead,. To emphasize the point, he finds his father's golden dice that Luke gave to Leia, but they fade in his hands; they were just an illusion.
  • Raised by Robots: As a young child, his parents had a tendency to leave him in the care of droids when they were busy. This very nearly ended in tragedy in Last Shot, as one droid came with inches of killing two year old Ben after being 'infected' with a virus that makes droids hostile to any organic life.
  • Rated M for Manly: Defied. This is what Kylo Ren tries to be; Darth Vader was very manly and fearsome, and Ren tries to copy his imposing manner and deep voice. However, Ren's true personality is childish and decidedly unmanly, and he just comes across as if he's trying too hard.
  • Recurring Element: A Jedi who turned to the dark side, wearing an all-black suit with a voice-changing mask, Kylo Ren is a deliberate and In-Universe Darth Vader Clone.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: His clothes are all black and his lightsaber is red, befitting his status as a dark sider.
  • Red Baron: He has earned the moniker of "Jedi Killer" from his past exploits.
  • Redemption Rejection: Both when Han offers to take him home and when he has killed Snoke. Rey implores him to spare the last Resistance craft, but Kylo is intent on seizing power, even when it makes her his enemy again.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Hux's blue. He's extremely passionate, plagued with self-doubt and conflicted feelings, prone to violent outbursts, more likely to act on instinct, and more of a fighter than a strategist.
    • Zig-Zagged come The Last Jedi. Initially, the duo seems to flip over the course of the film, with Kylo growing less conflicted and more self-assured and relaxed while Hux gets more emotional, impulsive, and upset by his total lack of respect from anyone. However, this all goes out the window when Kylo sees Luke Skywalker, completely loses it, and Hux is the one who stays calm and rational.
  • Rejected Apology: During their duel on Crait, Luke tells him he's sorry he failed him, while Kylo makes it clear that even though Luke probably means it, he doesn't even care anymore. Especially when it looks like he's about to finish off him and the Resistance, putting an end the war.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Seeing Luke on Crait prompts Ren to focus the First Order's troops on him instead of the remaining Resistance members, and he later stalls them to take on Luke in a one-on-one duel. This gives the Resistance enough time to escape.
  • Royal Blood:
    • Being a member of the Skywalker bloodline, Snoke refers to him as the Heir-Apparent to Lord Vader. Judging from his high position in the First Order's command structure and ability to succeed Snoke as Supreme Leader with little fuss, this title is likely official.
    • He is also an actual prince, as his mother is a princess, despite her being adopted by royalty rather than born into the royal family (adoptive children are considered as much a part of the royal line of succession as biological children In-Universe.) In Age of Resistance Hux is actually able to persuade a former palace guard from Alderaan to help them when their ship crashes, because Kylo is the son of Princess Leia.

    S-Y 
  • Safety in Indifference: After a lifetime of feeling abandoned and unwanted by his parents, and thinking his uncle wanted him dead, he has decided to sever all emotional ties and join the dark side. He is cold towards most people and attempts to murder his own parents. It's...not exactly working out. Killing his father made his pain worse, he can't bring himself to kill his mother and he spends a lot of time in The Last Jedi reaching out to and confiding in Rey. By the end, he's almost begging her to join him so he won't be alone anymore.
    Your son is gone. He was weak and foolish like his father. So I destroyed him.
  • Sanity Slippage: His dedication to the dark side is taking a serious toll on his mental health, much to his own detriment:
    • The Force Awakens: He slashes up equipment and speaks to a melted mask as if it were your long-dead grandfather, and the stand he keeps his own helmet on contains the ashes of various people Ren has killed. His Villainous Breakdown intensifies as the film progresses, especially after killing his own father.
    • The Last Jedi: He initially seems more stable, but hearing Snoke disparage his mask and attempts to emulate Vader lead to Kylo violently smashing the mask to pieces in a fit of rage. After killing Snoke and being rejected by Rey, he becomes even more aggressive and violent and chokes Hux for refusing to acknowledge him as the First Order's new Supreme Leader. When leading the attack on Crait, he's nearly rabid, screaming for the Millennium Falcon to be shot down, ordering a massive amount of firepower to destroy Luke, and slashing wildly at his former mentor when that fails.
  • Scarf Of Asskicking: In The Force Awakens, he appears to be wearing a long, tattered cowl scarf that doubles as a hood. He switches to a cape in The Last Jedi.
  • Sent Off to Work for Relatives: A variation. In his teens, Leia and Han were concerned enough about Ben's mental state and Force abilities that they sent him to train as a Jedi under his uncle, hoping that Luke would able to help him channel his abilities into something good and find some stability. Unfortunately, this backfired horribly – Ben felt abandoned by his parents, only making it easier for Snoke to manipulate him. Luke was so frightened by his nephew's increasingly disturbed nature, it led to an incident where Ben thought Luke was going to kill him, which finally caused him to snap.
  • Serial Killer: He is specifically hunting Jedi, having killed many before. According to Word of God, he keeps the ashes of at least some of the people he's killed.
  • Shadow Archetype: Kylo Ren is essentially Luke Skywalker had he chosen the dark side. They both struggle with temptation from the opposite side of the Force (Luke tries to resist the dark side, while Kylo wants to become immune to the Light), both come into conflict with their fathers, with Luke ultimately redeeming Anakin and Kylo ultimately murdering Han, and they both idolise Anakin Skywalker, with Luke proudly declaring himself a Jedi "like my father before me" and Kylo doing everything he can to emulate Darth Vader.
  • Shed the Family Name: When he fell to the Dark Side, he took the surname of Ren and is angered when Snoke refers to him as "young Solo". Although he has issues with both his parents, he is more openly hostile towards his father than his mother, which likely factors into his rejection of Han's name.
  • Ship Tease: With Rey in The Last Jedi. From their Force bond to their long stares and hand-holding to the History Repeats aspect giving Anakin and Padmé vibes. This subsequently leads into him outright stating that he'll kill Rey after she rejected him, even though he later makes one last attempt to try and connect with her before she metaphorically and literally shuts the door on him.
  • Shoddy Knockoff Product: His lightsaber is poorly made, with exposed wiring, an unstable blade, and a cracked crystal. Though based on the glimpse of his lightsaber he had as Luke's apprentice in the flashback sequences of The Last Jedi, it looks as though it's a modified version of his old, stable lightsaber — with said modifications being the "shoddy" part.
  • Significant Birth Date: He was born on the day the Galactic Concordance was signed, which formally ended the Galactic Civil War, with the New Republic as the victors. It's ironic, considering he later joins the Imperial remnant responsible for decimating the New Republic capital and fleet and kicking off another galaxy-wide civil war.
  • Sinister Schnoz: Has a prominent hooked nose which accentuates his evil appearance when he removes his mask. A feature he has inherited from his father, Han Solo.
  • Slain in Their Sleep: What finally tipped Ben Solo over to the dark side was his belief that Luke, his Jedi master and uncle, was intending to do this to him. Luke clarifies to Rey he only ignited his lightsaber on pure instinct and was never going to go through with it, but Ben woke up at the worst possible moment.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: In stark contrast to his insanely violent behaviour, he hardly ever raises his voice.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: Kylo is a violent, moody, cold-hearted and rage-filled dictator-wannabe. But beneath that, he suffers from a lot of insecurity, loneliness and inner conflict. Despite his devotion to the dark side, he isn't ever happy or at peace with any of his life choices. The only time he comes close to looking happy is when Rey shows him compassion and empathy.
  • Speak Ill of the Dead: If he's right about Rey's parents being dead, he has no problem talking smack about them, calling them "filthy junk traders" who "threw [Rey] away like [she] was garbage". Then again, considering they did sell off their four/five year old daughter for drinking money and left her alone on Jakku, he's got a point.
  • Spin-Offspring: He's related to the three main leads of the Original Trilogy. Han Solo and Leia Organa are his parents, while Luke Skywalker is his uncle. Furthermore, he's also related to the three main leads of the Prequel Trilogy; Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala were his maternal grandparents, and he was named after Obi-Wan "Ben" Kenobi.
  • Spoiled Brat: Kylo Ren could be seen as this within the First Order. Snoke treats him as a favored child and he is given the run of their facilities and full access to their resources, despite not being in the military chain of command. His destructive tantrums of their equipment and overriding their objectives with his own goals furthers this.
  • Stealth Mentor: He's an unintentional one for Rey — every time she uses the Force, it's after he did something similar, and her own powers don't fully manifest until he tries to probe her mind for information. By the end of The Force Awakens he catches on to what's going on and flat out offers to train her.
  • The Starscream: He becomes the primary antagonist of the Sequel Trilogy after killing Snoke himself in The Last Jedi.
  • Start of Darkness: It's been stated that throughout his life, he was being manipulated by Snoke and that the dark side was growing within him. But he didn't become a full-fledged villain until he thought that his uncle, Luke, was trying to kill him, which is revealed in flashbacks in The Last Jedi.
  • Stereotype Flip: Kylo was born and initially raised on Chandrila, the first capital of the New Republic. Chandrilans tend to be thought of as being diplomatic and politically-oriented, if not a bit haughty and pedantic, who try to avoid violent conflict if they can help it. Kylo, on the other hand, is Hot-Blooded with No Social Skills; his idea of politics and diplomacy tends to skew more towards Asskicking Equals Authority and what his granddad terms "aggressive negotiations."
  • The Stoic: Defied, as it's yet another of Vader's apparent traits that Ren tries — and fails — to emulate. He tries to be calm, collected, and imposing, but doesn't have the discipline, mental and emotional stability, or anger management skills to maintain his composure under pressure.
  • Story-Breaker Power: Justified. Being that Kylo uses the Force in a era where most Force-users are nonexistent, his ability to use the Force makes him a gamebreaker for the First Order.
  • Straw Nihilist: Perhaps this is what his troubled life was leading to. He suggests that destroying the past is the only way one can achieve their true potential.
  • Super Toughness: Being shot by a bowcaster, a weapon shown blowing up people, with only a gut wound is not something his armor or species can do, it's more likely the Force hardens him.
  • Surrogate Soliloquy: Whether its because he's not all together there in his own head, or just because Snoke and Hux have no patience for his angst (or that showing such emotion can be considered a weakness), Kylo has highly disturbing, one-sided conversations with Darth Vader's half-melted helmet. Worse, he appears to be hoping for a response from it (which maybe implies that at some point he did receive some kind of message from someone who appeared to him as Vader), especially given the "again" part of his plea to the helmet.
  • Symbolic Mutilation: The scar Rey gives him in the climax of The Force Awakens is in the same place Han touched him on the face after he fatally stabbed him, symbolising that Kylo has been emotionally and psychologically scarred by the act, as well as a visual reminder of his failure on Starkiller Base. It also echoes the scarring his grandfather Anakin received at various points in his life.
  • Sympathetic Murderer: Despite most of his victims not being assholes (with one notable exception), Kylo is so lost and troubled that he still comes across as this.
  • Sympathy for the Hero: In The Force Awakens Kylo expresses sympathy to Rey for her lonely childhood, and even offers to teach her the ways of the Force during their duel on Starkiller Base. This goes even deeper in The Last Jedi, where he listens to and empathises with her sense of isolation, even taking the time to tell her that she isn't alone.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: He stands 6'2" and is dark, attractive and very apathetic, as well as creepy and twisted. He's feared for his strength and sometimes shows a dry sense of humour.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: He has zero affinity or respect for Hux, and the feeling is mutual.
  • That Man Is Dead: Like Darth Vader, he prefers to bury his past in favor of his new identity. He even tells Han that "Ben" was weak and foolish, which is why "Kylo Ren" destroyed him, though it is later revealed that Snoke forbade the use of his birthname. While he reacts angrily to Snoke addressing him as "young Solo" in The Last Jedi, he has no problem with Rey calling him "Ben" throughout the film.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: Especially in The Last Jedi. In The Force Awakens, Han states he thinks he’s got “too much Vader in him” and The Last Jedi novelization reveals that young Ben overheard his parents talking about how they were concerned about his lack of control over his Force abilities and were even afraid of him to an extent, inadvertently implanting into him at a young age that he was to be regarded as dangerous. When he believed Luke was trying to kill him out of fear of what he might become, it cemented in him the idea that he was a monster and he chose to embrace it.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: A firm believer. His signature weapon is an enormous, overpowered lightsaber with laser quillions, and he responds to any threat with maximum aggression and maximum firepower. His reaction in The Last Jedi to seeing Luke's Force projection is an excellent example.
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: When Rey snarks about being hunted by "a creature in a mask", Ren simply takes it off, revealing ... a pale young man, which visibly surprises her. In the novelization, she even thinks that he could be some nobody she met on Jakku (except for the laser-intense stare). Even the scar he picks up is minor next to Darth Vader’s entire body being horrifically burnt and mutilated.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: He hates Finn for turning on the First Order, busting out Poe and getting his droid to the Resistance, and then helping Rey escape Starkiller Base.
  • This Loser Is You: Kylo Ren is an in-universe representation of the Misaimed Fandom surrounding Darth Vader — he's a creepy, emotionally-stunted nutcase who acts as a fanboy to a truly vile individual, distancing himself from others in order to more closely resemble his idol. Naturally, he doesn't live up to those expectations and finds that there's a lot of baggage that comes with emulating Darth Vader.
  • Threshold Guardian: Kylo Ren fills the role of the Threshold Guardiannote  who guards the entrance to the "special world" and tests The Hero's resolve in this film. When Rey faces him, he offers to teach the ways of the Force (read: the dark side), testing The Hero's commitment to the light. After defeating him, Rey is ready to enter the "special world" of the Jedi and flies into the Unknown World to search for Luke Skywalker (and presumably learn from him).
  • Tom the Dark Lord: From birth he had the quite inconspicuous name: "Ben". For comparison, Darth Vader was Anakin Skywalker, while Darth Sidious was Sheev Palpatine.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In The Force Awakens, he had trouble pulling a lightsaber to him using the Force and got his ass handed to him in a duel by "a girl who had never even held a lightsaber." He was having an 'off' day as he was injured and suffering a Villainous Breakdown. In The Last Jedi, he comes across as more competent, controlled and formidable. He fights off the entire Praetorian guard with Rey's help while taking on and dispatching multiple opponents. As a skilled pilot, he causes serious damage to the Resistance fleet and takes out their starfighter bay without taking any damage himself. He and Rey are shown to be equally strong as they struggle over her lightsaber until it snaps in two, sending both of them flying across the room. Kylo also uses trickery and the Force to outwit and kill Snoke himself without laying a finger on him, then claims the title of Supreme Leader for himself.
  • Torture Technician: He uses the Force to interrogate and torture Poe Dameron aboard the Finalizer. He also tries it on Rey, but...
  • Tough Act to Follow: In-universe, as it's emphasized that Kylo lacks the maturity and discipline to be as fearsome and powerful as Vader, something that he himself is insecure about (as Rey finds out). Even Snoke calls him out on his inability to live up to Vader's legacy while berating Kylo for his defeat on Starkiller Base.
    Snoke: Alas, you're no Vader. You are just a child in a mask.
  • Tragic Villain: Kylo had some very hard issues growing up—having a rough relationship with your parents, your uncle apparently trying to murder you in your sleep, and being manipulated by Snoke since before birth will do that to you—and they had a hand in his fall to villainy, but his choices ever since then have only continued to be bad ones. Thus he murders his own father trying to cement himself as evil, which conflicts him but was freely done. At least part of him knows his actions are abhorrent, even confessing to Rey he believes he's a monster, but he feels rejected by the light and also admits to his father that he thinks "it's too late" for him to change his path.
  • Training from Hell: His training under Snoke borders on or outright crosses over into abuse (be it physical or psychological). Makes sense given that a lot of it revolves around encouraging Kylo to give into anger and cut out any 'weakness' such as compassion and mercy. In Age of Resistance, part of Snoke's training involves levitating him over a cliff with jagged rocks at the bottom and taunting him for feeling afraid, then suddenly dropping him and forcing Kylo to save himself with the Force. When Kylo questions if his master would've caught him if he hadn't been able to do so, Snoke strongly suggests he wouldn't have. He also sends Kylo into the cave on Dagobah (or rather provokes him into it by saying he can run away if he'd prefer). Snoke's idea of completing Kylo's training also involves encouraging him to kill people he loves, be it his family members or Rey, and brutally tearing him down if he fails. The only thing this training really seems to accomplish is making Kylo even more mentally unstable and conflicted than ever, and he eventually turns on Snoke.
  • Trauma Button: Word of God is that Luke's appearance at the end of The Last Jedi, where he looks as he did the night he apparently attempted to kill Kylo, was specifically orchestrated to trigger him. It shows—the minute Kylo sees Luke, he freezes up, then flies into a truly extraordinary rage, even for him.
  • Trying Not to Cry: Kylo struggles to hold back tears when he kills his father, when he contemplates and ultimately decides against killing his mother, when he listens to Rey telling him how alone she feels and when Rey leaves following the Battle of Crait. He desperately tries to be seen as The Stoic so crying is a no-no.
  • Turn Out Like His Father: Or more specifically his grandfather. Leia and Han were both deeply concerned that Kylo could end up like Anakin Skywalker (both of whom they only knew as Darth Vader). They attempted to avert this by never telling Kylo who is grandfather was and sending him to train as a Jedi under Luke (who had redeemed Anakin). Unfortunately, this had the opposite effect and Kylo ironically spent years trying to be as much like Vader as possible.
  • Twitchy Eye: Has one as of The Last Jedi, particularly when talking to Rey.
  • Tyrannicide: In the third act of The Last Jedi, Kylo turns on and kills Supreme Leader Snoke, which did everyone a favour...unfortunately, Kylo then decides to take the title of Supreme Leader for himself.
  • The Unfettered: He's actively trying to become this. His murder of Han is a major step towards destroying any restraints he still has. He takes this even further in The Last Jedi; having killed Snoke, Kylo announces his intent to be free of the past, Sith and Jedi alike, in favour of forging his own path, seeing this as becoming who he was meant to be.
  • Unreliable Expositor: A downplayed one towards Rey. Kylo tells her that the night he turned to the dark side, he awoke to Luke trying to kill him out of fear of his power. Rey later learns from Luke that he had foreseen his nephew's fall to darkness and the destruction he would bring, and contemplated killing him for only a moment. However, Kylo wasn't really lying to Rey, as from his perspective, he woke up to see his uncle brandishing a lightsaber, so it was a reasonable conclusion to draw.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: He has a lot of raw power when it comes to the Force; however, he lacks control and his training hasn't been completed yet. It shows in his fighting style, too; while heavily wounded, his strikes are stiff and clumsy and make it appear as if he doesn't have very much single combat experience. He even gets nicked by Finn during their brief duel; Finn not only has little experience with lightsaber combat, but isn't even a Force-user. After the events of The Last Jedi, once forced to duel Luke one-to-one, his wilder and more emotional form shows in spades compared to his former master who dances around his strikes.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Zigzags between this and Tranquil Fury due to his Mood-Swinger tendencies.
  • Unwitting Pawn: To Snoke.
    • According to the novelization of The Last Jedi, Snoke's main goal in corrupting a teenage Ben was to get at Luke, trick him into trying to rebuild the Jedi, then destroy him and any chance of their being rebuilt. Everything else was a distant second.
    • In The Last Jedi his master uses him to lure Rey into a trap. Snoke says he was the one who created the Force bond between them, anticipating that they would form a connection and that Rey would be compelled to meet with Kylo in the hopes of either joining or helping him, thus playing right into Snoke's hands. Given Kylo's shocked reaction to this and Snoke's comments, he had absolutely no idea and his feelings for Rey are genuine. It ends up backfiring on Snoke, as Kylo is not happy about him manipulating them this way.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: If the flashbacks in Bloodline are of any indication, Ben Solo had been a decent son to Han and Leia. He's positively adorable as a two year old in Last Shot.
  • Villain Has a Point:
    • When talking with Rey, the only uncontestable point he makes to her is that she has to stop living in denial about what she already knows about her past. She's known all along that her parents sold her for "drinking money" and died on Jakku, buried in the desert. They weren't legendary heroes, or people coming back for her. She was wasting her life on Jakku for nothing.
    • He makes a compelling point that the light side vs dark side morality is a fallacy that only causes cycles of violence. Given how the Jedi and the Sith cycle of revenge led to multiple civil wars, his solution of creating a new order would be a genuine break from the past institutions that promote the galaxy-ruining dogma would be commendable if he was actually sincere and not really trying to manipulate Rey into his side.
    • In the final battle of The Last Jedi, his tactical decisions were perfectly sound, considering his situation, what he had to work with, and the information he had at hand. Leaving The Millenium Falcon unattended was certain to lead to the total loss of his forces, sending all his Tie fighters to shoot it down still left him with an overwhelming ground force advantage, and commanding all his heavy vehicles to fire on "Luke" and then engaging him in a light-saber duel were the only methods by which he could counter the latter's use of the Force.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Kylo Ren has a few:
    • First, when he learns that BB-8 escaped Jakku, he hacks a nearby computer to bits.
    • When he learns that Rey escaped her cell, he slices up the room he's in. Some Stormtroopers who were going to report to him wisely decide to come back later.
    • Most dramatically, he breaks down completely when he confronts his father, Han Solo. When he goes through with murdering Han, he completely loses it. In the climactic battle against Rey and Finn, he's pounding masochistically on the wound where Chewbacca shot him, falling apart emotionally and physically.
    • In The Last Jedi, the sight of the Millennium Falcon and Luke Skywalker on Crait sends Kylo into a furious rage, ordering that both be destroyed. When artillery fails to do the job, Kylo tries to kill Luke in person, slashing at his former mentor in an ineffectual fury — only to find himself swinging at air, as Luke had merely used the Force to create an Astral Projection as a diversion that would give the Resistance time to escape.
  • Villainous Crush: He all but admits to having one on Rey. In The Force Awakens, Kylo carries Rey around bridal style, watches her before she wakes up, refers to Rey as his guest, keeps staring at her and getting too close during his interrogation, and is gentle when probing her mind in comparison to Poe. Snoke accuses him of caring about her in the novelization, and the only time he half-smiles in the movie is when he's reading her mind and sees her dreams. In The Last Jedi, he opens up to her and tries to comfort her when she's upset, tries to help her or offer her advice in his own way, lets her call him Ben, kills Snoke to save her life, asks her to rule with him and tells her she's important to him despite what anyone else may think – although he frames that last one in a harsh and insensitive manner (he is the bad guy, after all).
  • Villainous Rescue: In The Last Jedi, he saves Rey from Snoke by bisecting his master with Rey’s lightsaber, whilst tricking him into thinking he’s going to kill Rey. His feelings for her had a lot to do with it.
  • Villainous Valour: Kylo Ren treats the dark side like a knight's code of honor (he worries aloud at one point that he's being corrupted by the light side, then follows through with a horrifying interpretation of Honor Before Reason when he tries to prevent this by putting the dark side before his family). His Determinator attitude when starting and eventually losing his duel with Finn and Rey, even after being shot by Chewbacca also smacks of this.
  • Villain Protagonist: Is the Big Bad of the story, but gets just as much focus and development as the heroes.
  • Villain Takes an Interest: Kylo Ren shows an interest in Rey the moment he first hears of a girl involved in BB-8's escape from Jakku — either because he is displeased with an unknown element complicating things, or because he is aware of her identity (implied in the novel). Whatever the reason, that interest snowballs throughout the movie to border/full on Villainous Crush territory but still manages to also exist as this trope. During the duel between Kylo Ren and Rey, he has her trapped against a cliff edge and could easily kill her if he wanted to. Instead, he recognizes Rey's potential and offers to mentor her in the ways of the Force.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Is stated to be a "hero" from the perspective of the First Order. His subordinates still know to stay far away from Ren during his temper tantrums.
  • Walking Spoiler: His true identity and actions are very plot-revealing, even though they're revealed less than halfway through The Force Awakens. And in The Last Jedi, there's also the matter of what he does in the third act of the film.
  • Warrior Prince: He's technically a prince through his mother and often fights alongside his troops, both on the ground and in space. He's also capable of taking on opponents single-handedly (though the end results vary).
  • Weaponized Exhaust: The "crossguards" on his lightsaber are actually stabilizing vents, due to the cobbled-together construction. He can still use them offensively, as Finn found out the hard way.
  • Weapon Twirling: He really likes doing this with his lightsaber, especially in The Force Awakens. Presumably it's to put more weight into his strikes, though it's also likely an intimidation tactic; when he approaches Finn after knocking out Rey, he rather menacingly spins his lightsaber around before screaming "Traitor!" at him. He also gives his saber a quick twirl when Rey ignites the Skywalker lightsaber to defend herself.
  • We Can Rule Together: Offers this to Rey in The Last Jedi. Unlike Darth Vader, however, he does this after completing a coup to ascend to the throne.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy:
    • He wants to live up to Supreme Leader Snoke's expectations, and desperately wants to live up to the legacy of his grandfather Darth Vader. In The Last Jedi, however, Snoke's manipulations and cruelty bring an end to Kylo's need for his approval, leading him to slay the Supreme Leader and take his place.
    • Inverted with his actual father, Han Solo — whom Kylo describes as "a disappointment". Furthermore, Kylo kills him in order to assert his allegiance to the dark side and his loyalty to Snoke. This apparently wasn't always the case, though; it's mentioned that as a child he looked up to Han a lot, always following him around and telling everyone he was going to become a pilot like his dad before their relationship went south.
  • What You Are in the Dark:
    • For all his apparent outward devotion to the Dark Side, when he's alone with Darth Vader's helmet he confesses that he feels a strong pull to the Light and fears he's failing Snoke, begging for his grandfather's guidance and soundly utterly lost in the process.
    • In The Last Jedi, given the chance to open fire upon and kill his mother, Kylo seriously hesitates before accepting that he can't bring himself to do it. His wingmen, on the other hand, face no such struggle.
    • When he visits Dagobah with Snoke in Age of Resistance, he enters the Cave of Evil and is faced with visions of his uncle and parents. With Snoke's urging, he fights and kills his uncle, but he ultimately can't bring himself to kill his parents and instead destroys the entire cave, leaving Snoke none the wiser.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: When Kylo sees Luke for the first time at the end of The Last Jedi, Kylo's reaction is to order every single gun at his disposal to fire on the Jedi Master. As the barrage continues, Kylo begins screaming for More Dakka until Hux cuts him off and even utters a Deadpan Snarker line in response:
    Hux: "Do you think we got him?"
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Snoke used the dark side to influence him during his mother's pregnancy, and manipulated him from a young age. He grew as a lonely child, and his own uncle Luke considered killing him out of fear of what he might become. Although Luke ultimately decided not to go through with it and was horrified by his actions, Kylo didn't know this and attacked Luke in self-defense, feeling terrified and betrayed. It proved to be the trigger that sent Kylo to the dark side, making Luke's concerns a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. Snoke then regularly insulted and baited Kylo in one breath whilst praising him in the next in a patronizing manner. As a result, Kylo became even more mentally and emotionally unstable.
  • Worf Had the Flu: The key reason that he loses his fight with Finn and Rey is that he was severely wounded from being shot by Chewbacca shortly before the fight. The novelization also implies that killing his father shook him up and weakened him in his fight.
  • Would Harm a Senior: Ruthlessly cuts down the defenseless Lor San Tekka, and his own father. And Snoke, though unlike the other two, he really had it coming.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He knocks out Rey by using the Force to fling her against a tree and later engages her in a lightsaber duel. Unfortunately for him, Rey is more than capable of hitting him back.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: According to the Visual Dictionary, Snoke considers Kylo to be the "ideal embodiment of the Force, a focal point of both light and dark side ability."
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are:
    • He gets a speech from Lor San Tekka, who insists that Ren, unlike the First Order, didn't come from the dark side. Kylo Ren murders Tekka for his troubles.
    • His own father, Han Solo, pleads with Ren to turn away from the dark side and rejoin his family only to be impaled by him, although Kylo Ren's internal strife during Han's speech implies that there may be more good in Ren than he's willing to admit.
    • Rey spends the majority of their screentime together in The Last Jedi trying to convince Kylo that there's still good in him, even repeatedly using his old name (Ben) to drive this point home. Like Tekka and Han before her, Rey is ultimately unsuccessful, although unlike them, she survives the experience.
  • You Are Not Alone: Says exactly this to Rey when she confides in him how lonely and lost she feels. She responds that he’s not alone, either.
  • You Are What You Hate: Kylo Ren calls Finn a traitor several times, even screaming the word at him before their fight. Somehow, the insult doesn't seem so offensive coming from a man who betrayed his family, destroyed his uncle's temple and just murdered his own father — who only wanted to help him.
  • You Have Failed Me: Subverted. Unlike Darth Vader — his grandfather — he does not execute an officer for reporting that BB-8 had escaped. He instead takes out his anger and frustration on a computer terminal. Once he's calmed down, he politely asks the officer if there is anything else. Unfortunately for the officer, he mentions a girl (Rey) which sets Kylo off again- he Force-pulls the officer over, grabs him by the neck, and demands to know more.
  • Young Face, Old Eyes: In Last Shot, Han muses on then-two-year-old Ben's "ancient eyes."
  • Young Conqueror: Becomes Supreme Leader of the First Order, aka, the political successor of The Empire and the Sith, at a very young age.
  • Younger and Hipper: Palpatine was quite senior when he became Emperor. Ren as the Big Bad of the sequel trilogy is far younger than he was, but already catches up to his grandpa's boss in terms of accomplishments as a villain (purging the Jedi and usurping his master).
Advertisement:


Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report