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Supreme Leader Kylo Ren/Ben Solo
"Let the past die. Kill it, if you have to. It's the only way to become what you were meant to be."

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)

The son of Han Solo and Leia Organa and nephew of Luke Skywalker, Ben Solo 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 as Kylo Ren. He is the Master of the Knights of Ren. Kylo Ren wears a black mask reminiscent of his grandfather, Darth Vader, and wields an unstable crossguard red lightsaber.

He was second-in-command of the First Order until deciding to "kill the past" by murdering Snoke and usurping him. Supreme Leader Kylo Ren aims to crush the Resistance, turn Rey to the dark side, and conquer the galaxy together.


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  • 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.
  • Accidental Murder: Hennix flings his lightsaber at Ben after believing he'd killed Voe. Ben instinctively uses the Force to deflect the lightsaber, which swings back towards Hennix and kills him. Ben is genuinely horrified. When he tells the Knights of Ren about it later, Ren even lampshades this, saying he's not certain that counts as a 'good death' because Ben didn't intend to kill Hennix.
  • Ace Pilot: In The Last Jedi, he demonstrates piloting skills similar to his father's and grandfather's when he leads an assault on the Resistance flagship and comes through unscathed despite the heavy crossfire. He cripples the Resistance's defenses by flying inside the flagship to blow up the hangar, its complement of X-wings, and many of their pilots with one missile.
  • 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 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 a 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.
  • Ambadassador: Inverted; diplomacy isn't Kylo's area of expertise, but in Age of Resistance he's sent to negotiate with the Benathy king to stop them from expanding their territory. King Kristoff boasts and insults Kylo, so Kylo employs his family's tradition of Aggressive Negotiations.
    Captain Ruthford: That was supposed to be a negotiation.
    Kylo Ren: Yes.
    Captain Ruthford: It's kind of hard to negotiate with dead people.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: He's a Mood-Swinger who goes Ax-Crazy towards his surroundings and subordinates and has a Lack of Empathy towards anyone besides Rey. He holds obsessions such as emulating his idol and grandfather, Darth Vader; pursuing his Arch-Enemy uncle, Luke Skywalker; and trying to bring Rey to the dark side.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: He is a dark side practitioner who leads the evil First Order in opposition to his heroic parents, Han Solo and Leia Organa, and he kills his father in The Force Awakens to go further into the dark side.
  • 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.
  • Arc Words: In each film, he says "I know what I have to do" before a life-altering decision— killing his father, killing Snoke instead of Rey, and making a Heel–Face Turn. In The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker, he follows this with "but I don't know if I have the strength to do it." The Rise of Skywalker has a variation when he tells Rey, "You know what you have to do".
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    • To Rey in the climax of The Last Jedi:
      Kylo Ren: Do you want to know the truth about your parents? Or have you always known? You've just hidden it away.
    • In The Rise of Skywalker, he tells Rey that in The Last Jedi he could sense that she wanted to take his hand, and she doesn't have a response when he asks, "Why didn't you?" Later in the film, she gives him an Armor-Piercing Response.
      Rey: I did want to take your hand. Ben's hand.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: Gives one to Rey during their second Force bond scene, leaving her silent and stunned.
    Kylo Ren: You have that look in your eyes, from the forest. When you called me a monster.
    Rey: You are a monster.
    Kylo Ren: Yes I am.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Kylo is obsessed with his grandfather, Darth Vader, and tries to become an in-universe Darth Vader Clone and "finish what Vader started". When he visits the ruins of Vader's castle in the novelizations of The Rise of Skywalker and claims Vader's wayfinder, he is fannishly pleased and proceeds to reforge his helmet for its Vaderesque intimidation factor.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: He becomes one with the Force upon his death after sharing a kiss with Rey.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority:
    • In Age of Resistance, Kylo subdues the Benathy army by killing their king and then their "god," which is actually a Zillo Beast that Darth Vader failed to kill.
    • When Hux challenges his authority as the self-promoted Supreme Leader in The Last Jedi, Kylo reminds him that it's unwise to go Challenging the Chief when the "Chief" can use the Force to strangle anyone who disagrees.
      Kylo Ren: [Force-choking Hux] The Supreme Leader is dead.
      Armitage Hux: [struggling] Long live the Supreme Leader! [Kylo releases him]
    • During the climax of The Rise of Skywalker, a redeemed Ben demonstrates why he was the leader of the Knights of Ren when he makes quick work of his former subordinates.
  • At Least I Admit It: When Rey scathingly calls him a monster in The Last Jedi, Kylo agrees with her, leaving her visibly stunned.
  • The Atoner: Becomes this in the third act of The Rise of Skywalker, putting all his effort into helping Rey stop Palpatine and nearly singlehandedly taking out all the Knights of Ren. After Rey dies killing Palpatine, he sacrifices his own life to bring her back, also ensuring the Jedi will continue.
  • Ax-Crazy: He has violent outbursts and destroys equipment with his lightsaber when frustrated in The Force Awakens. In The Last Jedi, he is red-faced and spitting when he orders the Millennium Falcon to be shot down and screams for the barrage of gunfire on Luke's position. He uses the Force to choke subordinates who anger him in each of his film appearances and in Star Wars Resistance.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: In The Last Jedi, he teams up with Rey to take on Snoke's Praetorian guards after assassinating Snoke. Rey jumps on Kylo's 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: This trope escalates as his authority increases.
    • In The Force Awakens, he terrifies his subordinates by destroying equipment and they avoid him when they overhear it in case he turns on them. When an officer brings him bad news, he first targets the equipment then telekinetically pulls the officer over to throttle him, albeit he ultimately leaves the officer alive.
    • After giving himself a Klingon Promotion to the First Order's Supreme Leader in The Last Jedi, Kylo violently silences Hux's objections by Force-choking him into submission, and later responds to one of Hux's insolent comments by telekinetically flinging him into a wall.
    • In the finale episode of Star Wars Resistance, he threatens Commander Pyre and Agent Tierny with a Force-assisted mutual suicide if they don't destroy the Colossus immediately. When it's clear they're unable to do any damage to the space station, Kylo decides they've run out of chances and begins to Force-choke Tierny to death moments before the Star Destroyer explodes.
    • He Force-chokes a general and crushes him to death against the ceiling for questioning his command decisions in The Rise of Skywalker, intimidating the rest of the council into asking no further questions.
  • 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, Kylo's own dubious sanity, a case of Blue-and-Orange Morality, or some combination of the above is unclear.
  • Bait the Dog:
    • In The Force Awakens, Han Solo confronts him and begs him to come home. Kylo appears conflicted as if considering a Heel–Face Turn, and asks his father for help doing what he isn't sure he has the strength to do. Han agrees and Kylo holds out his lightsaber. Unfortunately, Kylo means killing Han to further his journey in the dark side and ignites his lightsaber.
    • Kylo and Rey become Back-to-Back Badasses in The Last Jedi to defeat Snoke's guards after Kylo kills Snoke instead of Rey. It appears his growing connection to Rey inspired a Heel–Face Turn until he ignores Rey's request to order a ceasefire and asks her to join him.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
    • Kylo wants to be as strong as his infamously intimidating and powerful grandfather, Darth Vader, but growing stronger in the dark side makes his life worse since Being Evil Sucks.
    • He wants to turn Rey to the dark side for most of The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker so they can rule the galaxy together. She's closest to the dark side during their duel on Kef Bir when she stabs him through the gut with his own lightsaber. He only survives because she stays on the light side and heals him, which helps facilitate Kylo's Heel–Face Turn.
  • Being Evil Sucks: All of his film appearances depict this trope.
    • In The Force Awakens, Kylo kills Han Solo out of the belief that it will make him stronger in the dark side, but he becomes more emotionally unstable and weaker as a result.
    • The Last Jedi:
      • In his first scene, Snoke reprimands Kylo for his prior failures, insults him, and electrocutes him when he moves to attack.
      • When Kylo tries to finish becoming a Self-Made Orphan by killing Leia, he can't go through with it and sees his wingman take the shot instead, apparently killing her.
      • He starts to form an emotional connection with Rey, but his refusal to save the Resistance and return to the light side while asking her to join him returns him to Arch-Enemy status. In the end, he kneels alone on Crait with a hollow expression as his father's dice disappear and Rey closes a door between them.
    • In The Rise of Skywalker, Leia sacrifices herself so he'll turn back, Rey makes clear his evil is why she refuses any connection to him, and his Helpful Hallucination of Han makes him accept that things will always suck if he remains evil.
  • 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, Kylo 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.
  • The Berserker: His lightsaber fighting style is aggressive and reckless. In The Force Awakens, he fights despite a gut wound and pounds repeatedly on it to increase his pain and rage.
  • Big Bad: Kylo is the main antagonist of the first two films in the Sequel Trilogy, serving as The Heavy to Snoke on Starkiller Base who kidnaps Rey in The Force Awakens, and kills Snoke himself to take over as Supreme Leader of the First Order in The Last Jedi. For the Sequel Trilogy as a whole, though, it's horribly subverted, as he gets almost immediatly Demoted to Dragon by Palpatine, who claims credit for Snoke and Kylo's fall to the Dark Side.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Kylo Ren really wants to be a Darth Vader Clone, but he's too emotionally unstable and inexperienced to pull that off in The Force Awakens, and ends the film conflicted and seriously injured. By the end of The Last Jedi, he successfully murders and usurps Snoke as Supreme Leader of the First Order, and becomes the looming background Evil Overlord in works set between films. In The Rise of Skywalker, Kylo loses his power over the galaxy when Palpatine emerges as the true Big Bad, the Resistance shifts its focus away from Kylo, and Rey almost kills him.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Gets one with Rey in The Rise of Skywalker after he revives her.
  • Black Cloak: A Badass Cape that's been singed from multiple battles.
  • Black Knight: Kylo is the leader of the Knights of Ren. His attire is a variation on the Medieval surcoat commonly depicted in artwork of The Knights Templar, his helmet resembles the helmets of that era, and his lightsaber evokes a broadsword or claymore.
  • Blinded by Rage: During the Battle of Crait, Luke sends his Astral Projection to confront Kylo face-to-"face" with an appearance tailored to press Kylo's Trauma Button and drive Kylo into such a rage that the remaining Resistance can escape. It works like a charm; Kylo is so distracted trying to kill Luke that he doesn't notice hints that Luke isn't physically there until it's too late to prevent the Resistance from escaping.
  • Bloodbath Villain Origin: Ben Solo turned to the dark side and became Kylo Ren shortly after destroying Luke Skywalker's Jedi temple, which killed the students inside; he then accidentally killed Hennix, killed the Knights of Ren's leader in a duel, and murdered Voe. Canon and creator sources confirm Ben is responsible for the temple destruction, but Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren is ambiguous about whether he momentarily intended to Let the Past Burn or unintentionally manifested his anger as lightning.
  • Blue Is Heroic: As a Jedi acolyte, he wielded a blue lightsaber. After his Heel–Face Turn in The Rise of Skywalker, he throws away his red lightsaber and uses the blue Skywalker lightsaber to fight the Knights of Ren.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: In The Force Awakens, Kylo leaves Rey in his interrogation room with one guard after she demonstrates her rapidly growing ability to use the Force. She utilizes it to escape. The guard is played by Daniel Craig, an actual James Bond.
  • Broken Ace: He's an Ace Pilot gifted pilot, skilled melee fighter with his lightsaber, and demonstrates powerful Force abilities such as freezing blaster bolts and people in place with telekinesis and exerting little effort to initiate a Mind Probe. He's also an Ax-Crazy Psychopathic Manchild who hypocritically is what he hates in other people.
  • Broken Pedestal:
    • Towards his parents, Han Solo and Leia Organa. He loved them as a toddler, but grew older feeling neglected because of their busy lives. He changes from wanting to be like Han in Last Shot to killing him in The Force Awakens. When and how Leia's pedestal broke is unconfirmed.
    • Towards his uncle, Luke Skywalker. Luke was his Jedi master whom Ben used to love and admire, but that changes when Ben thinks Luke is going to kill him. When he believes he killed Luke in The Rise of Kylo Ren, he dismisses the idea of going to his mother and decides he can only trust Snoke.
    • Towards Snoke. In The Force Awakens, Kylo defends Snoke to Han as a "wise" master whom he constantly tries to impress. The Last Jedi shows he also despises his continual abuse by Snoke, and he accepts that Snoke is a parasite only interested in using him for his power, just like Han said. He betrays and kills Snoke after Snoke tortures Rey and orders Kylo to kill her, then assumes Snoke's title as Supreme Leader.
  • Brutal Honesty: In The Last Jedi, Kylo tells Rey that her parents were nobodies who sold their daughter for drinking money and died; The Rise of Skywalker confirms that Kylo believed this was true. He is blunt when he explains to Rey that he was wrong about her parents and reveals that she is Palpatine's granddaughter.
  • Byronic Hero: Kylo is tormented by a split in his soul between the light and the dark, emotional, determined, cynical, and Tall, Dark, and Snarky. His oppression of the galaxy, accumulation of power, and murderous actions put him in conflict with everyone who cares for him and wishes he'd come back to the light; in The Rise of Skywalker, he does.
  • Calling Parents by Their Name: In the films, he always refers to his father as Han Solo until he calls his vision of Han "Dad".
  • 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 The Rise of Skywalker, he has learned to rein in his temper; he no longer goes Ax-Crazy every time things don't go his way and he projects more Tranquil Fury.
  • The Chosen One: Luke Skywalker tells Rey in The Last Jedi he used to believe Ben Solo would be this trope for the current generation until Luke failed to prevent Ben's turn to the dark side.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: He is afflicted with this despite hating traitors.
    • Ben Solo betrays his fellow Jedi and his family by turning to the dark side and joining Snoke.
    • In The Last Jedi, Kylo kills Snoke and usurps his position as the First Order's Supreme Leader.
    • When Palpatine offers power and resources to Kylo at the beginning of The Rise of Skywalker, Kylo accepts then shortly after tells Rey that he intends to kill Palpatine.
    • Kylo betrays the First Order, Palpatine's Final Order, and the Knights of Ren when he turns back to the light side and joins Rey to defeat them.
  • Cold Ham: In The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, he swings from The Stoic and Deadpan Snarker to Ax-Crazy with Large Ham shouting and Bad Boss violence; his moods aren't as extreme in The Rise of Skywalker.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Contemplative Boss: The novelization of The Force Awakens has him looking looking out the front deck window of the Finalizer and apparently in a chatty mood when Lt. Mitaka shows up to bring him some bad news.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist:
    • Kylo wants to be an In-Universe Darth Vader Clone, but he's an inexperienced Psychopathic Manchild who isn't fully trained in the Force despite his innate skill. In contrast, Vader is a Dark Lord of the Sith with a coldly menacing and brooding presence, he expertly channels his rage, and he's a hardened veteran. Anakin became Vader because Love Makes You Evil and he was desperate to gain the power to protect those closest to him; as Vader, he acts towards Luke out of a warped view of what's best for him. Kylo, on the other hand, falls to the dark side when he thinks it's his only path, 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 political successor of Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious after taking the title of Supreme Leader of the First Order. Sidious is old, calculating, methodical, and without feelings, whereas Kylo Ren is a Young Conqueror who's impulsive, unpredictable, erratic, and still torn by emotions that he tries to put aside for his ambitions. Much like Palpatine, Kylo is responsible for the end of his era's Jedi Order and drives its leader into an exile of impoverished seclusion, though in Sidious' case it was because Yoda fought him to a draw and Yoda fled to survive, whereas Kylo shatters Luke's morale, driving him away in shame over their confrontation. Sidious and Kylo both murder their masters, Darth Plagueis the Wise and Snoke respectively, to further their grab for power. Where Palpatine is content to rule from a distance and govern through subordinates (Grand Moff Tarkin, Darth Vader, his army commanders), Kylo Ren is hands on, insisting on micro-managing and commanding his troops and personally executing "traitors" who resist. In many respects, Kylo Ren is the Skywalker heir Palpatine wanted all along, being neither dependent on life support like Anakin, nor incorruptible like Luke, and carrying out the act of Patricide that Luke refused to do at the Emperor's command.
  • Cool Helmet: Kylo's emulates Darth Vader's and covers his entire head to make him look more intimidating, electronically deepen his voice, and give him a constant aggressive glare. Unlike Vader's, Kylo's helmet is only for appearances and not part of any life support system. It serves different roles in each film:
    • In The Force Awakens, it suggests Kylo is monstrous beneath the mask until he removes it and reveals They Look Just Like Everyone Else!.
    • In The Last Jedi, Snoke calls it "childish" and tells him to "take that ridiculous thing off." This enrages Kylo into destroying it, leaving him unmasked for the rest of the film, which showcases his instability and impulsiveness.
    • In The Rise of Skywalker, a Sith cultist reforges Kylo's broken helmet to be stronger than before with a webwork of Sith alchemy; per the visual dictionary, "its fused shards mirror the breaking and rebuilding of Kylo's own identity."
  • Cool Starship: He gains one of these with every film. According to The Rise of Skywalker Visual Dictionary, he pushes First Order engineers to outdo their best efforts.
    • In The Force Awakens he isn't shown personally piloting any starships, but has a personal Upsilon-class shuttle with massive, menacing black wings that slide in on one another.
    • 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.
    • In The Rise of Skywalker, he modifies a TIE whisper to have the wings of his TIE Silencer, resulting in a blazingly-fast interceptor model with the more traditional hexagonal viewport and red armor protecting enhanced stealth and hyperdrive systems.
  • Cool Sword: Kylo Ren modifies his Jedi lightsaber to incorporate a cracked kyber crystal, necessitating crossguard vents for its excess heat and producing an unstable red blade. Kylo prefers it this way and makes no efforts to repair it.
  • Corruption of a Minor: Snoke began observing and manipulating Ben when he was a child, and they had telepathic conversations during Ben's early Jedi training. Aftermath: Empire's End implies Snoke or Palpatine started this while Ben was still in Leia's womb.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Deconstructed. The galaxy has it out for him and it has been disastrous on his emotional and mental state. Snoke began corrupting him to the dark side in his infancy, a killing virus-infected droid almost attacked him as a toddler in Last Shot, he felt abandoned by his parents who struggled with his outbursts and growing power, and his uncle considered killing him as shown in The Last Jedi. It's implied that this culminated with his turn to the dark side and Psychopathic Manchild state.
  • Costume Evolution: Kylo Ren adds a Badass Cape to his costume in The Last Jedi and smashes his Cool Helmet in a fit of rage after Snoke humiliates him, while also trading his robes for a more pratical tunic. In The Rise of Skywalker, he has his helmet repaired to include a lattice of red lines where it was welded together.
  • Creepy Souvenir: In The Force Awakens, Kylo puts his Cool Helmet on a table topped with ashes that J. J. Abrams says are the remains of Kylo's dead enemies.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Ben Solo fell victim to Corruption of a Minor by Snoke. His uncle and mentor, Luke Skywalker, instinctively ignited his lightsaber and almost used it when he sensed Ben's turn to the dark side, which appeared to Ben as if Luke came to murder him in his sleep. Ben retaliated, Let the Past Burn, fled to Snoke, and became Kylo Ren.
  • Dark Is Evil: Kylo dresses only in black and aligns himself with the inherently evil dark side of the Force. In The Force Awakens, Kylo refers to "the power of the darkness" in his Surrogate Soliloquy to Vader's helmet. One of his goals is resisting the light side by dedicating himself to the dark.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: He still wears black clothing following his Heel–Face Turn in The Rise of Skywalker, minus the Vader-esque elements such as the cape, gloves, and tunic.
  • Darth Vader Clone: In- and out-of-universe, Kylo Ren is inspired by Darth Vader's appearance and mannerisms. As Han says, "There's too much Vader in him."
    • Like Vader, Kylo dresses like a Black Knight with a Cool Helmet, and he adds a Badass Cape in The Last Jedi. With his helmet on, his voice is deeper and electronically distorted. He wields a red lightsaber, and as a dark side practitioner The Power of Hate makes him stronger.
    • He is related to the good guys; his parents are Han Solo and Leia Organa, and his uncle is Luke Skywalker. Through Leia, Vader is his grandfather and Kylo is obsessed with him; in the junior novelization of The Rise of Skywalker, Kylo thinks of Darth Vader rather than Anakin Skywalker as his true grandfather. He wants to become as powerful and intimidating as Vader was, and be even more resistant to the light side.
    • Vader and Kylo are both bad bosses who punish failure with violence or death.
    • Han reveals that Kylo was once a Jedi apprentice before betraying and killing the others, and with Han acting as mentor to Finn and Rey in The Force Awakens, Kylo's Patricide kills the mentor of the film.
    • Like Vader tried with Luke, Kylo tries to convince protagonist Rey that We Can Rule Together, fails, but eventually makes a Heel–Face Turn and dies in a Heroic Sacrifice to save the protagonist's life.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Kylo Ren's birth name is Ben Solo, as in Obi-Wan "Ben" Kenobi. He hates being named after a legendary Jedi Master he never even knew and rejects the expectations that come with such a name.
  • Deadpan Snarker: What else do you expect from the son of deadpan snarkers Han and Leia?
    • In a moment of Black Comedy, he snarks at Lor San Tekka before murdering him.
      Kylo Ren: I'll show you the dark side.
      Lor San Tekka: You may try, but you cannot deny the truth that is your family.
      Kylo Ren: You're so right. [cuts Tekka down with his lightsaber]
    • After Finn's desertion, Kylo has this response when Hux insists his troops are the best:
      Kylo Ren: They're obviously skilled at committing high treason.
    • Poe's defiant attitude under torture brings out the snarker in Kylo:
      Kylo Ren: [to Poe, who is shackled to a metal slab] Comfortable?
    • In The Last Jedi, during a Force bond moment with Rey:
      Rey: [tiredly] I'd rather not do this now.
      Kylo Ren: [drily] Yeah, me too. [turns around and reveals he's half-naked]
  • Deceptive Legacy: A grandparent variation. Ben's parents and uncle did not share with him the dark family secret that Darth Vader was Luke and Leia's father. Ben learned he's Vader's grandson when he was twenty-three, after Leia was publicly outed and vilified as Vader's daughter, and she could no longer put off telling Ben. It's unclear how Ben reacted to the revelation, but within months he turned to the dark side and decided to follow in Vader's footsteps as Kylo Ren.
  • Demoted to Dragon: Kylo became Supreme Leader of the First Order in The Last Jedi, but Palpatine's return in The Rise of Skywalker makes Kylo lose his power over the galaxy and temporarily play along.
  • 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.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Kylo is generally unhappy and cynical, but in The Rise of Skywalker he gives up hope after he realizes his mother has died and Rey confesses she would've joined him as Ben Solo. He realizes that Being Evil Sucks, but thinks there's no one left who would accept him if he returned to the light side. A conversation with a Helpful Hallucination of his late father convinces him otherwise.
  • Determinator:
    • Despite being shot in The Force Awakens, Kylo chases down and fights Finn and Rey through lightsaber injuries they inflict, only stopping when Rey wounds him too badly to even get up.
    • In The Rise of Skywalker, the Knights of Ren beat the crap out of him, Palpatine drains his life force and flings him down a chasm, then he still climbs back up and half-limps, half-crawls across the ground to help Rey.
  • Deuteragonist: Kylo joins Rey in experiencing the most pronounced development across the films, mostly as the primary antagonist then becoming a protagonist alongside Rey in the last act of The Rise of Skywalker. Rian Johnson describes him as a "dual protagonist" in The Last Jedi in terms of story focus.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Ben marks his Heel–Face Turn in The Rise of Skywalker by throwing away his red crossguard lightsaber, the enduring symbol of his devotion to the dark side. This leaves him armed with only a blaster when he arrives on Exegol to help Rey. He gets his ass kicked by the Knights of Ren until Rey sends him the Skywalker lightsaber.
  • 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.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: He dies in Rey's arms after giving up his own life to save her.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Even though the beginning of The Rise of Skywalker reveals Palpatine is behind everything, Kylo Ren still continues as the primary antagonist for most of the film as he pursues and tries to turn Rey to the dark side. Kylo and Rey battle one last time on Kef Bir, ending with him defeated and undergoing a Heel–Face Turn. After that, the focus shifts to Palpatine as the true Big Bad.
  • 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": Kylo rejects the use of his birth name and claims he always hated it. He tells Han in The Force Awakens That Man Is Dead and reacts angrily in The Last Jedi when Snoke calls him "Young Solo." The First Order is forbidden from mentioning his birth name.
  • The Dragon:
    • Kylo serves Supreme Leader Snoke as his dark side apprentice and as a warlord in the First Order, until Kylo kills Snoke in the third act of The Last Jedi and takes his place.
    • Kylo becomes one for Palpatine in The Rise of Skywalker when Palpatine's return results in him dropping on the threat hierarchy.
  • Dragon with an Agenda:
    • In The Last Jedi, he decides to "let the past die" and seize power for himself, so he kills Snoke and becomes Supreme Leader.
    • In The Rise Of Skywalker, Palpatine claims he wants to make Kylo as the new Emperor if Kylo kills Rey, but Kylo wants to turn Rey to the dark side so they can kill Palpatine and rule the galaxy together.
  • Drama Queen: When things don't go his way, he flips into the furious screaming side of Cold Ham, engages Ax-Crazy mode, and often takes out his anger on surrounding objects or subordinates.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: His idolization of Darth Vader completely disregards the good in Anakin Skywalker that ultimately emerged, with Kylo'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 Kylo, where it was mostly necessary for Vader.
  • Dramatic Drop: Kylo Ren drops his lightsaber in the middle of his duel with Rey on Kef Bir when he feels his mother die contacting him one last time.
  • 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, Snoke orders Kylo to take his mask off. Kylo stares at it in an elevator, then smashes it to pieces.
    • In The Rise of Skywalker, he takes his reforged mask off when telling Rey about her lineage and extending another We Can Rule Together offer.
  • 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: Kylo believes he never had a choice in turning to the dark side. Snoke's Corruption of a Minor and his perception of Parental Neglect pushed him closer to darkness, which Luke saw and feared to the point of momentarily contemplating murdering Ben in his sleep. Luke was immediately ashamed of himself and didn't, but Ben woke up to see his uncle standing over him with a drawn lightsaber, and came to the obvious conclusion. He fled the temple destruction to join Snoke. After choosing the dark side, he rejects pleas to turn back from his close friend, Tai; his father; and Rey.
  • Dual Wielding: When Kylo duels the Praetorian guards in The Last Jedi, he briefly wields both a lightsaber and a guard's electro-bisento, a weapon similar to a spear.
  • Dueling Scar: In the climax of The Force Awakens, he receives a diagonal scar across his face and down his upper torso during a lightsaber duel with Rey. After their final duel in The Rise of Skywalker, it disappears when Rey heals him.
  • Dying as Yourself: Ben gives his life to save Rey, something he would never do if he'd remained on the dark side as Kylo, and Rey recognizes him as Ben before he dies.
  • The Emperor: By the end of The Last Jedi, Kylo has assumed his master's position as Supreme Leader of the First Order, a rogue state that seizes control of the galaxy and has no legitimacy behind the title. In Rise of Skywalker, the resurrected former Emperor Palpatine offers to pass his title and empire on to Kylo if Kylo does his bidding.
  • 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?: Ben perceived Luke, his uncle and Jedi Master, as betraying him and attempting to murder him in his sleep. Although Luke only had a momentary instinctive response to Ben's darkness, his ignited lightsaber made it appear otherwise, so Ben attempted to kill him first. By The Last Jedi, Luke still regards his Moment of Weakness as failing his nephew, his family, and the galaxy; Luke's perceived betrayal led to Ben destroying Luke's Jedi temple and becoming Kylo Ren.
  • 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.
    • When he hears Leia calling to him in The Rise of Skywalker and then senses her death in the middle of a duel with Rey, it affects him so much he just stands her while Rey stabs him. His mother's death and the realization she loved him right to the end is part of the reason for his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Even Evil Can Be Loved: His parents and uncle love him very much despite his turn to the dark side.
    • Leia sends Han to bring their son home in The Force Awakens, but Kylo kills Han after Han tries convincing him to turn back to the light; Han touches his son's cheek as he dies.
    • Kylo's uncle Luke has never forgiven himself for his role in Kylo's fall and apologises to him. Luke also encourages Leia not to give up hope when she despairs that her son is gone.
    • Leia felt Ben's Face–Heel Turn into Kylo, and maintains hope he'll "come home" until she senses him kill his father. Luke rekindles her hope before he dies. She dies reaching out to successfully call Ben back to the light.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Deconstructed in The Last Jedi, which shows Kylo still loves his mother to the extent that he can't kill her himself, but it doesn't stop his evil actions. He also tells Rey that he "didn't hate" his father and is clearly troubled after killing him, but he still killed his father in an attempt to distance himself from the light.
    • Reconstructed in The Rise of Skywalker; his love for his parents and Rey's compassion after his mother dies contacting him help him make a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning:
    • Kylo twirls his lightsaber which can put more weight into his strikes.
    • In The Last Jedi, he takes a page from his grandfather's book and sends his TIE/vn Silencer into a flashy, impractical spin.
  • Evil Counterpart: To multiple characters.
    • To Luke Skywalker. Both resist the lure of one side of the Force to stay loyal to the one they choose; the dark side tempts Luke and the light calls to Kylo. When faced with possibly committing Patricide after a mentor's warning they must be ready for it, Luke nearly kills Darth Vader before coming to his senses and tossing his lightsaber aside, but Kylo pushes through Han's appeal to come home and kills him. In The Last Jedi, Luke and Kylo both express disillusionment with the Jedi and the Force; while Luke overcomes this for a Heroic Sacrifice, Kylo further descends into villainy because of his inability to let it go.
    • To Finn. Finn was taken from a family he can no longer remember and subjected to brutal conditioning by the First Order to turn him into a stormtrooper. Snoke became The Corrupter for Ben Solo at a young age, lured him to the dark side, and moulded him into a First Order warlord after Ben rejected the Jedi and his family to become Kylo Ren. The first time Finn is ordered to fire upon innocents, he knows it's wrong and bolts, and soon develops into a Resistance hero; Kylo views his better impulses as weaknesses and actively suppresses them, and kills Snoke to take over as Evil Overlord.
    • To Rey. In The Last Jedi, Snoke explicitly describes Rey as the light that rises to meet Kylo's darkness. They are strong in the Force with contrasting allegiances — the dark side and the First Order for Kylo, the light side and the Resistance for Rey. They were both sent away from their parents as children, Ben to his uncle for Jedi training and Rey into hiding on Jakku. They have opposing views of their families; Rey waits in vain for her family to come back after they abandoned her to hide her, while Ben feels emotionally abandoned by his parents' concerns about his uncontrolled powers and his uncle Luke's attention getting divided among multiple students. They also view Kylo's own family differently: Rey idolizes Luke until she meets him, sees Han as a surrogate father figure, and becomes Leia's apprentice; Kylo betrayed Luke and wants to kill him, kills Han, and believes he can't return to Leia. Their story roles are in opposition, with Kylo as The Heavy and Big Bad Wannabe versus Rey as The Hero. Their leitmotifs are the inverse of each other, as noted by The Star Wars Oyxgen podcast in their breakdown of the The Force Awakens soundtrack.
  • Evil Is Cool: In-universe, and a deconstruction. Kylo 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. 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 Overlord: By the end of The Last Jedi, Kylo assumes his master's position as Supreme Leader of the First Order, which dominates the galaxy through terror and military might rather than political succession or legitimacy. Much of this is All in the Manual or depicted in novels and comics between film releases.
    • Kylo is even more of a Bad Boss as Supreme Leader.
    • Under Snoke, the First Order secretly abducted children and people on the margins. Under Kylo, they continue to take children to brainwash into stormtroopers but no longer hide it, openly arrest people on the streets or in nighttime raids, fabricate or exaggerate charges, and send people to labor or death camps without trial. They specifically target anyone outspoken or remaining neutral who might pose a threat, and anyone with ties to the old Rebellion.
    • Speaking against the Supreme Leader is a crime, and by Kylo's decree, Resistance "collaborators" and "subversives" or defiant worlds that oppose First Order rule will be crushed by stormtrooper patrols, the Knights of Ren, or complete obliteration via orbital bombardment. For instance, the neutral world Tah'Nuhna is destroyed for helping the Resistance escape the Battle of Crait. Destroying the Resistance is the primary goal:
      Kylo Ren: We can and will chase every rumor, every scrap, every vapor trail across the galaxy! We will mobilize every bounty hunter and informant and turn over every rock to find all of them... and wipe every one of them out of existence!
    • When an official from the independent Fondor Shipyards refuses a request for aid from the Resistance, Kylo frames this communication as "contact" with the enemy, immediately punishes the "treasonous" official with beheading, and seizes the shipyards.
      Kylo Ren: We have learned from the mistakes of the Empire— they were too lenient.
  • 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, and lets Snoke believe whatever he wants.
  • 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, Nod, Action: During the climax on Exegol, Ben and Rey connect through the Force and silently communicate a plan; Ben nods once to confirm it and Rey then passes him one of her lightsabers through their bond. Cue the Curbstomp Battle.
  • 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 when Kylo removes his mask in The Force Awakens; despite the suspense leading up to it and unlike Darth Vader, Kylo reveals to Rey's surprise that he has a perfectly normal face. When he gains a Dueling Scar at the film's climax, it still avoids becoming this.
  • Failed a Spot Check:
    • During his duel with Luke on Crait, Kylo's single-minded determination in killing his former master causes him to overlook the inconsistencies in Luke's appearance and his lack of footprints on the salt flats.
    • When he and Rey talk through their bond as he tries to determine her location on Kijimi, he doesn't notice that she's holding the Sith dagger in one hand that had been in his quarters and it takes their duel accidentally sending Vader's helmet to him for him to realize where she is.
  • Fan Boy: Kylo is completely obsessed with Darth Vader and tries to emulate him in every way except for one: his sentimentality for his family. 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: Zig-zagged across his films; Kylo Looks Like Cesare, but twice provides appearance-related Fanservice.
  • 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, Kylo compliments him on enduring torture and for being the Resistance's best pilot before personally torturing him with the Force.
  • First Kiss: His and Rey's first kiss is also their last, as he dies in her arms moments later from having transferred his life force to save her.
  • Flaming Blade: Kylo's lightsaber has an unstable blade with visible heat surrounding it, giving it a fiery yet wavering aspect that befits his personality. This appearance is caused by using a kyber crystal that he cracked and refuses to fix, which is also a good metaphor for the kind of person he 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:
    • In The Last Jedi, Rey and Kylo share multiple Force connections through their Psychic Link. Kylo has a Shirtless Scene that unnerves Rey, they maintain intense Held Gazes in every scene together, empathize with each other's loneliness, and touch hands through their bond before Luke interrupts. They both believe the other will change sides to join them, and become emotional when the other doesn't turn after all. Kylo extends a We Can Rule Together offer to Rey, and when she rejects his offered hand, he demonstrates he's Not Good with Rejection.
    • In The Rise of Skywalker, Kylo and Rey are revealed to be a "dyad" that makes them one in the Force. Kylo obsesses over "reigning side by side with her," stalks her, and threatens to kill her if she won't join him. She continues rejecting him and their dyadic connection, and is horrified yet tempted by visions where they share the Sith Throne. After she nearly kills then heals him out of compassion, she confesses she did want to take his hand—as Ben. Post-Heel–Face Turn, their previously antagonistic dyad feels right to them and they work in sync. Ben sacrifices himself to revive her, and they share a kiss before he dies.
  • 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 Kylo's resolve and earns him a Villainous Breakdown for his troubles.
  • Freudian Excuse: Although Kylo is ultimately responsible for his own actions, his Dark and Troubled Past makes clear that a lot of his issues stem from it:
    • The novelization of The Last Jedi reveals that as a child, Ben would overhear his parents talking worriedly about his destructive outbursts, which he interpreted as them viewing him as some kind of monster. He felt neglected by his parents and when they sent him away to train with Luke so he could learn about the Force, he took this as abandonment. As an adult, he acts resentful towards and dissociates himself from his father before committing Patricide to strengthen his dark side powers.
    • Kylo hates his uncle Luke and desires to kill him. Luke was his guardian and Jedi master for thirteen years, but Luke grew concerned about Ben's growing darkness and decided to confront him. Sensing the depths of Ben's darkness, Luke had a momentary impulse to kill Ben and prevent his future evil. Ben woke to see his mentor standing over him with his lightsaber ignited, and he lashed out to defend himself and attempt to kill Luke first. Ben's rage and confusion led to the destruction of Luke's temple and all of the students who were inside, and he decided to commit to the dark side as Kylo Ren. His primary goal in The Force Awakens is finding Luke to kill him.
    • Snoke was Ben's confidante in his youth, and they held psychic conversations where Ben expressed his frustrations and Snoke provided emotional support to manipulate his trust. When Ben fled the Jedi temple destruction, he believed Snoke was the only one he could turn to. He was aware that Snoke was using him as he became Kylo Ren, but believed he didn't have another choice after starting towards the dark side. Snoke takes advantage of Kylo's insecurities and self-hatred, inflicts physical and emotional pain, and uses Kylo for his power while caring nothing for him. Slowly accepting this truth leads Kylo to resent and despise Snoke. When Snoke orders him to kill Rey in The Last Jedi, Kylo instead murders Snoke.
  • Friendly Address Privileges: Kylo usually doesn't tolerate people calling him "Ben", but in The Last Jedi he is only mildly surprised when Rey calls him Ben. In the film, he never corrects her; in the novelization, he revokes the privilege after they defeat the Praetorian guards.
  • 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. The Rise of Skywalker opens with him leading an attack on a group of Sith cultists on Mustafar, in which he completely wipes the floor with them and barely even needed his troops at times.
  • Full-Name Basis:
    • Kylo starts off always referring to his father as "Han Solo," disassociating himself from Ben Solo. He finally abandons this upon making a Heel–Face Turn in The Rise of Skywalker, addressing an image of Han as "Dad."
    • Kylo is usually referred to as "Kylo Ren," though on occasion people use "Kylo" or "Ren" to refer to him. He's only called "Ben" by his parents, by Rey in The Last Jedi when she has temporary Friendly Address Privileges, and after his Heel–Face Turn in The Rise of Skywalker.

  • General Failure: In The Last Jedi, he orders all of his pilots on Crait to pursue the Millennium Falcon just to erase his past and kill Rey, even though the First Order is trying to eliminate the Resistance in a single battle. This gets all of them destroyed.
  • Genius Bruiser: Downplayed; Kylo prefers to fight with brute force, but his assassination of Snoke while tricking Snoke into misinterpreting his thoughts displays cunning. His tendency to let his anger dominate his thought process hampers his intelligence.
  • Generation Xerox:
    • Of his grandfather, Darth Vader. They grew up with a loving family, were former Jedi who were seduced to the dark side, become the feared enforcers of dictators, kill their masters, make Heel Face Turns, and die to save the lives of people they care about.
    • Of his dad, Han Solo. They have difficult relationships with their fathers, become Ace Pilots in their youth, outwit and kill their Evil Mentors who were manipulating them.
  • The Gift: Ben was born incredibly strong with the Force, and Luke says he'd never met anyone with as much raw power until he encounters Rey. As a child, Ben inadvertently broke things with the Force when upset. At twenty-three, he pulled a roof down without seriously injuring himself yet catching the older and more experienced Luke off-guard. His control of his Force abilities is disrupted by the severity of his emotional issues, and his power 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.
  • Good Costume Switch: In The Rise of Skywalker, his post-Heel–Face Turn appearance ditches Kylo Ren's garb for the simple black shirt and trousers he wrote underneath, representing that he is Ben Solo once again.
  • Go Out with a Smile: After sacrificing his life force to revive Rey and sharing a kiss, Ben gives her a warm, genuine smile and appears finally at peace as he accepts his death.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: After killing and usurping Snoke, Kylo becomes this for the final season of Resistance. He only appears in the finale as the greater threat to Pyre and Tierny but remains detached from the immediate plot beyond threatening them with death for failure.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Kylo goes from calm to extremely angry 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.
  • Healing Hands: In The Rise of Skywalker he uses this ability on Rey to restore her to life by transferring his own energy to her.
  • Hearing Voices: From a young age, he heard voices communicating with him, including Snoke and what he believed to be his grandfather. The voices told him he needed to listen to them if he wanted to overcome his weaknesses, and he told no one about them. This was how Snoke swayed him to the dark side and why Kylo talks to Darth Vader's mask as if hoping for a response. All of the voices came from Palpatine to manipulate him.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Kylo Ren only drops his steely or enraged demeanor when he comes close to killing Leia, when he hears her and senses her Heroic Sacrifice to save him, and when cradling Rey's lifeless body in his arms as Ben before he revives her with his own life force.
  • The Heavy: Similarly to Vader's relationship with Palpatine, Kylo is a violent enforcer and the most visible antagonist in the films while subservient to Snoke.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely: In The Rise of Skywalker, he loses his Dueling Scar after returning to the light side, has a healthier complexion, wears casual clothing that emphasizes his build, and his hair is pushed back from his face.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Zigzagged
  • Held Gaze: Kylo and Rey share a lot of intense looks, especially in The Last Jedi. The type varies with the context of the scene, usually Antagonistic, Platonic, or Supernatural, or all three at once. At their most intense, they touch hands through their Force bond while gazing into each other's eyes until Luke interrupts.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Kylo ditches his signature helmet multiple times so the filmmakers can highlight his facial expressions, even though he's engaging in battles where it would be very useful.
  • Helpful Hallucination: During his Villainous BSoD in The Rise of Skywalker, he has a conversation with the memory of his murdered father that helps him turn back to the light side.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: The Knights of Ren all wield weapons, but only Kylo Ren carries 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.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: At the end of The Rise of Skywalker he transfers his own life force to Rey after she's fatally weakened by Palpatine.
  • Hero Killer:
    • Kylo is known as the "Jedi Killer" for his backstory of hunting down remnants of the heroic Jedi Order and preventing its return.
    • His father, Han Solo, was a major hero in the Star Wars original trilogy, but Kylo murders him in The Force Awakens as the new protagonists watch.
    • Indirectly, he's responsible for Luke Skywalker's death since Luke dies exerting himself to distract Kylo and save the Resistance.
  • Hey, You!: At first, Kylo refers to Rey as "the girl." When they are growing closer in The Last Jedi, he begins calling her by her name. After she turns down his offer to rule with him, he goes back to calling her "the girl" and "the scavenger." When trying to turn her to the dark side in The Rise of Skywalker, he addresses her by name.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • According to the Visual Dictionary for The Last Jedi, Ben used to do calligraphy in his spare time before his Face–Heel Turn, and a flashback has a Freeze-Frame Bonus of his calligraphy set in his bedroom.
    • Despite the confident demeanor he presents, Kylo is very insecure about how he compares to his grandfather, Darth Vader. He confesses to Darth Vader's mask that he feels the lure of the light side. When Rey turns the tables on Kylo during her interrogation, she picks up on his fear that he'll never be as strong as Vader.
    • Although he's an Ax-Crazy Psychopathic Manchild, Kylo can think his way out of problems instead of violently lashing out. He demonstrates cunning when he assassinates Snoke by dodging Snoke's mind-reading powers through Exact Words and using the Force to maneuver the lightsaber at Snoke's side.
    • His interactions with Rey via their Force bond in The Last Jedi shows he's capable of empathy and can be kind when he wants to. He 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."
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: To remain on the dark side, Kylo has to suppress any potential for compassion, empathy, and selflessness as these qualities are considered weaknesses, and he is harshly criticized for "compassion" towards Rey by Snoke. He acknowledges in The Force Awakens that he feels a call to the light. By the end of The Rise of Skywalker, he embraces it and has a Heel–Face Turn.
  • History Repeats:
    • Anakin Skywalker started out hot-tempered and cocky yet compassionate and selfless, but his Trauma Conga Line made him increasingly vicious, desperate to save his wife, and disillusioned with the Jedi Order, all encouraged by his evil mentor Palpatine who promised he knew how to save Padmé. Ben Solo and his family deeply love each other before Snoke sows doubt and dependence on him, leading Ben to turn to Snoke after believing his uncle and Jedi Master Luke tried to kill him. Anakin and Ben both turn to the dark side, respectively becoming Darth Vader and Kylo Ren.
    • Vader impulsively attacked his wife after spending the entirety of Revenge of the Sith trying to save her, which resulted in her death; in The Force Awakens, Kylo deliberately kills his father, who has been trying to reconnect with him for years.
    • In The Last Jedi, Kylo turns on Snoke and kills him which saves Rey, and this initially appears to mirror Vader killing Palpatine to save Luke. However, Kylo did it to usurp the position of Supreme Leader and ask Rey to rule the galaxy with him, while Vader died to save Luke's life and thus redeemed himself in Return of the Jedi.
    • Kylo asks Rey to rule the galaxy together in The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker and gets rejected each time. Vader asked Padmé to rule the Empire with him in Revenge of the Sith, and urged Luke to turn to the dark side and rule the Empire with him in The Empire Strikes Back; both rejected Vader. Kylo extends his gloved hand to Rey like Vader did with Luke. In The Rise of Skywalker, Rey backs up to a perilous drop from the sky and she almost chooses to jump before the Millennium Falcon appears and she leaps inside it instead. This parallels Luke's perilous perch over a pit, but differs since Luke chose to fall and was later rescued in the Falcon.
    • Vader and Ben both sacrifice their lives to save the hero from the death at the hands of the same Big Bad, Palpatine. Vader was injured and his life support was fatally compromised by Palpatine's Force lightning, while Rey dies after facing Palpatine's lightning and Ben revives her.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Kylo 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 mid-blade lock to volunteer himself as her teacher in the ways of the Force. This reminds Rey that she is Force-sensitive, and she uses it to overcome a severely wounded Kylo.
    • Kylo seeks to become more powerful and gain mastery over himself by killing his father. But when he does, the crime weakens him by making him more mentally and emotionally unstable.
    • His Mind Probe of Rey not only truly awakens her to her own Force potential, but her glimpse into his mind unsettles him so much that he flees the room to consult Snoke. This gives Rey the knowledge and confidence she needs to successfully pull a Jedi Mind Trick on her lone guard and escape.
    • Kylo 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 Kylo squandered an opportunity to snuff them out once and for all for the sake of his vendetta against Luke.
    • In The Rise of Skywalker, his attempts to sway Rey over to the dark side enrage her to the point that she stabs him through the side with his own saber.
  • Holding Hands: During a Force connection with Rey in The Last Jedi, she offers him her hand and he reciprocates, taking off his glove so they can press their hands together despite being lightyears apart. It symbolizes their growing empathy for each other and the intensity of their connection, and Rian Johnson describes it in Ship Tease terms.
  • Hope Bringer:
    • In The Last Jedi, Rey and Kylo learn about and empathize with each other, leading Rey to believe he can be turned back to the light. She tells Luke she believes Kylo is "their last hope" of stopping the First Order if Luke won't leave Ahch-To with her. When Luke refuses, she goes to the Supremacy hoping Kylo will turn. Unfortunately, she's wrong.
    • Played straight in The Rise of Skywalker; Rey is on the verge of turning to the dark side to save her friends, but when she sees through their Force-bond that Ben has turned back to the light and come to help her, she's resolved to keep fighting.
  • Hot-Blooded: Kylo's fiery temper is one of his signature traits, and he tends to be impulsive, erratic, passionate and crazily determined once he's set his mind to something.
  • Hypocrite: In The Last Jedi, Kylo fails to convince Rey that "it's time to let old things die," including the Jedi and the Sith, so they can "bring a new order to the galaxy." Despite espousing these beliefs about letting go of the past, he is unable to live up to them in The Rise of Skywalker.
    • His First Order is roughly the same as the Empire, ruling through fear and firepower in the service of the dark side.
    • The visual dictionary for The Rise of Skywalker elaborates on Kylo's goals as Supreme Leader; he wants to "return the Sith to power and fulfill his grandfather's legacy." He plans to exploit the Sith Eternal's resources, kill Palpatine to secure another Klingon Promotion, and rule over this new Empire with Rey by his side.
    • He hasn't moved on from Rey's rejection of him, despite shouting in her face in The Last Jedi that she needed to let go of the past.
    • He characterizes the Resistance fighters as bad people for purportedly committing the same kinds of acts he frequently engages in— see You Are What You Hate.
  • I Am a Monster: In The Last Jedi, Rey and Kylo revisit her condemnation of him from The Force Awakens, and 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 and invade Rey's mind, Kylo keeps his eyes downcast to the floor. He doesn't look up again until it's over to give Snoke a quick Death Glare.
  • 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, Rey rejects Kylo's offer to join him in leading the First Order and he is Not Good with Rejection. He orders his troops to shoot down the Millennium Falcon knowing she's inside and tells Luke that he'll kill her himself.
    • He threatens to kill Rey in The Rise of Skywalker if she won't turn to the dark side to rule with him, and they try to kill each other twice.
      Kylo Ren: I don't want to have to kill you. I'm going to find you, and I'm going to turn you to the dark side. When I offer you my hand again, you'll take it.
  • Ignored Epiphany: Repeatedly rejecting epiphanies keeps Kylo Ren on the dark side until his Heel–Face Turn.
    • Several times in The Rise of Kylo Ren, Ben briefly realizes he's caused harm to his fellow Jedi students before turning stoic and continuing his journey to the dark side. He stops having these epiphanies when Ren kills Tai in the middle of Tai trying to convince Ben to turn away from the dark side. Ben duels and kills Ren, murders Voe, and becomes Kylo Ren.
    • After Kylo kills his father in The Force Awakens, he looks unsure of himself; the novelization says that he feels weakened instead of strengthening him against "the light". This doesn't stop him from attacking Finn and Rey or remaining Snoke's apprentice.
    • In The Last Jedi, Kylo gets emotional targeting his mother and doesn't take the kill shot, but his wingman makes the shot instead and Leia nearly dies. After killing Snoke and taking over as Supreme Leader, Kylo orders his troops "no quarter; no prisoners" battling Leia and the remaining Resistance, and pursues their annihilation thereafter with no exception for Leia.
  • 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.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Rey runs Kylo Ren through and with his own lightsaber as he's stunned, feeling his mother fade away. It would have been fatal had Rey not double-backed on her own actions and immediately treating his wound.
  • Implacable Man:
    • In The Force Awakens, Kylo isn't stopped when Chewbacca blasts his side with a powerful crossbow. Despite being visibly pained and bleeding, he turns his pain into motivation and intercepts Finn and Rey. Finn strikes him with a lightsaber, but Kylo takes him out. Kylo keeps Rey on the run for most of their lightsaber fight, and even when the fight shifts in her favor and she gets a couple of hits in, he keeps going. She stops him by slicing his face and torso to knock him down and he still pushes himself up to look at her in shock.
    • The Last Jedi shows Ben attempting to kill Luke with his lightsaber because he believes Luke is trying to do the same to him, and when that doesn't work, he pulls down the roof while they're both inside. Ben collapses a building on himself and survives despite lacking Luke's decades of experience, and The Rise of Kylo Ren shows he wasn't even injured by it.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Whether due to his strength in the Force or an inheritance of his father's skills, the climax of The Rise of Skywalker shows Ben Solo to be a crack shot with a blaster, never once missing or needing a second shot while mowing down Sith cultists, and killing one with an Offhand Backhand.
  • Incompletely Trained: When Kylo debuts in The Force Awakens, he's got work to do before approaching Darth Vader's level; his lightsaber technique is rough and heavy-handed, and his lightsaber looks cool but channels dangerously unstable energy from a cracked crystal. As the film ends, Snoke remarks that it's time to finish Kylo's training. Supplemental materials explain that Kylo killing Snoke in The Last Jedi completes his training as an unwitting Sith, but it's unclear if Snoke intends that outcome.
  • 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.
  • Informed Attribute:
    • In the movies Kylo Ren is described by Snoke and Luke Skywalker as if he has more raw power in the Force than previous characters, but he doesn't demonstrate this. His abilities have either been seen before, are new applications but not stronger versions of known Force powers, or are attributable to his Psychic Link with Rey rather than individual ability.
    • Averted in the comics, in this case Kylo does have feats that support his reputation such as defeating a zillo beast or destroying a temple.
  • In the Blood: Luke refers to Kylo's "mighty Skywalker blood", meaning their shared strength in the Force from the Chosen One, Anakin Skywalker. Though Ben was born with the potential for both the dark side and light, he turned to the dark side as Kylo Ren and makes a conscious effort to embrace and emulate Anakin as Darth Vader instead of the Jedi he once was.
  • In the Hood: Kylo's original costume in The Force Awakens includes a black cowl worn over his face-covering helmet, indoors or outdoors, which doesn't serve a purpose besides aesthetics. No Peripheral Vision isn't a problem when you have the Force.
  • 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 turned Supreme Leader of the neo-Imperial First Order was born and raised on Chandrila— a planet defined by its peacefulness, the homeworld of Rebel Alliance leader Mon Mothma, and the New Republic's first capital.
    • Kylo's obsession with becoming The Unfettered and wiping out his past becomes a bigger weakness than his connections to the people he once loved, leading to his humiliation over the course of The Last Jedi.
    • After two-and-a-half films trying to ease his inner conflict by rejecting the light side, he only finds peace in The Rise of Skywalker when he embraces it.
  • Is That What He Told You?: Back-and-forth in The Last Jedi. Kylo asks Rey if Luke told her what happened the night Kylo destroyed the Jedi Temple, and she says Luke did. Kylo senses that Luke didn't tell her the whole truth and proceeds to tell her what "really" happened — but it's distorted from his point-of-view, too. He believes Luke feared Kylo was becoming more powerful than Luke and attempted to murder him in his sleep with a lightsaber; Kylo omits that he wasn't defenseless. Luke didn't originally tell Rey about his lightsaber, but Rey learns when she confronts Luke that he 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 so he ignited his own...
  • 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. After making a Heel–Face Turn, he also flings his crossguard lightsaber into the ocean.
  • It's Personal with the Dragon:
    • Kylo is Rey's counterpart in the Force and her Arch-Enemy whom she loathes for his murder of Han Solo, feels empathy towards when she glimpses his inner conflict, then hates and wants to kill when he won't stop trying to turn her to the dark side. In contrast, Rey sees Snoke as just some twisted monstrosity that heads the First Order, an impersonal enemy.
    • Kylo's enmity with Luke is personal as his nephew and former apprentice; his turn to the dark side was accelerated when he believed Luke tried to kill him in his sleep. Luke feels he failed Kylo and retreated from the galaxy over it, whereas Luke's conflict with Snoke is backstory and distant to the point that the two share no screentime before Kylo kills Snoke and assumes his role.
  • I've Come Too Far: After destroying Luke's Jedi temple, Ben believed the only way forward was joining Snoke and becoming Kylo Ren despite his friend Tai's entreaty that could still change his path. One of Kylo's motives for not going back with Han when he asks is that Kylo 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: In The Last Jedi, he attempts it on Rey through their Force-bond by 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's claiming 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. Later subverted as he has a genuine Heel–Face Turn in The Rise of Skywalker.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope:
    • Kylo feels tempted by the light side in the middle act of The Force Awakens after murdering and torturing in the first act. When he confronts Han Solo in the third act, he is genuinely conflict, leading Han to believe that he's going to choose the light. Then he murders his father and thanks him for it.
    • The Last Jedi raises the possibility that he didn't hit bottom after all but is sliding down; Snoke says his soul is split after killing his father, he hesitates to kill his mother, empathizes with Rey, and kills the unquestionably evil Snoke which saves Rey's life. Then he eliminates doubt by asking Rey to join him in assuming control of the First Order and fully embracing the dark side. Even Leia fears any remnant of her son is gone now after killing Han, ordering the deaths of the entire Resistance (including Leia), and becoming an evil overlord, although Luke encourages her to hold out hope for redemption.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Kylo cuts down his old acquaintance 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, Kylo orders his troopers to kill everyone in Lor San Tekka's village, even though they were defending themselves against a hostile invasion and were already pacified.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch:
    • Kylo kills Snoke via telekinetic lightsaber bisection after Snoke tortures Rey, and earlier blasted Kylo with lightning and verbally cut him down.
    • Kylo uses the Force to throttle Hux and other First Order underlings; most of these are disproportionate responses, but Hux is just as murderous and psychotic.
    • Killing King Kristoff mostly for insulting him isn't exactly one of Kylo's greatest sins, seeing as Kristoff boasts about how he 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: Kylo kills the Benathy's god, which is actually a nigh-indestructible Zillo Beast, by deliberately diving into its mouth and cutting his way out of its stomach.
  • 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 the "god" isn't a supernatural deity but a Zillo Beast, an overwhelmingly powerful and dangerous creature that the Benathy worship. Kylo kills it through its stomach, prompting the Benathy to submit to him.
  • The Kingslayer: Kylo kills two rulers, King Kristoff who is ruler of the Benathy, and his own ruler, Supreme Leader Snoke. He blames the latter on Rey so he can become Supreme Leader himself, and anyone who suspects otherwise either approves or is too afraid to challenge it.
  • 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 and spiritually, requiring further work to reject the lingering guilt.
  • Klingon Promotion:
    • He became master of the Knights of Ren by dueling and killing the previous leader, Ren, after which the other Knights knelt before him.
    • He appoints himself Supreme Leader of the First Order after killing Snoke and blaming it on Rey.
  • Knight Templar: Kylo is convinced that his path is morally justified and that the light side is wrong, to the point his actor said he approached the role as a "religious fanatic" rather than a one-dimensional evil person. Kylo has literal Knights Templar aspects in his visual design, including a garment that resembles the medieval surcoat armor popularized by artwork, and a cross-guard lightsaber that resembles a more traditional sword and their symbol of a large red cross.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em:
    • When the Resistance shows up on Takodana and turns the tide against the First Order, Kylo orders a tactical retreat. Since he has Rey, who has seen the map he needs, fighting the Resistance to obtain BB-8 is no longer necessary.
    • In The Last Jedi, 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 he doesn't bother trying it again.
  • Large Ham:
    • Downplayed in The Force Awakens, which shows him bellowing while wrecking equipment and hollering "Traitor!" at Finn, but not hammy overall.
    • By the climax of The Last Jedi, he's hammy to the point of Suddenly SHOUTING! several lines while wild-eyed and red-faced.
    Kylo Ren: Blow that piece of junk out of the sky!
  • Last Kiss: Rey and Ben share their First Kiss and only kiss just before he dies from transferring his life force to her.
  • Last of His Kind: When Leia dies in The Rise of Skywalker, he becomes the last living member of the Skywalker family. Then, after Rey dies in her efforts to kill Palpatine, Kylo uses the Force to revive her at the cost of his own life. Thus, the Skywalker family bloodline is no more. Rey does subsequently adopt the surname herself, but she's not a Skywalker by blood or marriage.
  • Last-Second Chance: Overlapping with Redemption Rejection; Han says it's not too late and invites Kylo to come home in The Force Awakens and Rey tries to convince him to turn back to the light in The Last Jedi, but Kylo refuses both times.
  • Let the Past Burn: Ben Solo's Jedi past ends with the destruction of the Jedi Temple and the students inside; The Rise of Kylo Ren depicts the incident, and The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi show glimpses of the burning aftermath.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Kylo Ren is certainly no saint, but he's marginally better compared to the other First Order leaders— Snoke, Hux, and Phasma. Unlike them, Kylo actually feels conflicted over his villainous acts and enough remorse for some of them to exasperate Snoke. He doesn't outwardly express any pleasure in torturing and killing people, whereas Snoke and Hux are sadistic and love humiliating their victims. Kylo shows he's capable of empathy and compassion, although he actively tries to suppress this (usually unsuccessfully). As a result, the audience is more inclined to root for him when he starts butting heads with Hux, Snoke, and Palpatine. He eventually has a Heel–Face Turn and that was never a possibility for the others.
  • 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 Father, Like Son: He has 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. Post Heel–Face Turn, Ben shows off some of Han's daredevil attitude (running off to confront Palpatine armed with a blaster) and adopts some of his father's cocky body language during his battle with the Knights of Ren.
  • Lima Syndrome: In the novelized version of The Force Awakens, he displays this towards Rey. When interrogating her, he releases her restraints, and states that he would've preferred not to take the information from her mind and it won't give him pleasure. Snoke accuses Kylo of feeling compassion for Rey. In The Last Jedi, it's developed into a crush; he places her in handcuffs when she comes to him aboard the Supremacy, but he isn't rough with her, speaks politely to her before they meet with Snoke, and gets pissed off when Snoke tortures her. This is one of the reasons he kills Snoke.
  • Lineage Comes from the Father: Zigzagged — Kylo 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 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: He's an Ax-Crazy Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette with Creepy Shadowed Undereyes and Messy Hair. This is exaggerated during his breakdowns. As Kylo Ren, he only wears black.
  • Loony Fan: Kylo is the grandson of Darth Vader, and he admires Vader's legacy to the point of enshrining Vader's charred helmet and talking to it about finishing what Vader started. Kylo's Cool Helmet and wardrobe emulate Vader's.
  • Love at First Punch: It's not explicitly clear when his Villainous Crush on Rey began, but he's very much into her even after she stabs him in the shoulder, cuts at his leg, and then slashes him across the face with a lightsaber.
  • 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.
  • Love Redeems: Ultimately, it's Ben Solo's love for his parents and feelings for Rey that turn him away from the dark side and bring about the end of "Kylo Ren".

  • 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, Kylo 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 Kylo 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: Kylo 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. In The Rise of Skywalker, he's still standing (barely) even after having the crap beaten out of him by the Knights of Ren and being chucked down a chasm (possibly breaking something in the process judging by the cracking sound).
  • Malevolent Masked Men: He wears a mask that shares similarities in design with Darth Vader's mask and stormtrooper helmets. 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.
  • Manly Tears: He openly sheds tears twice in The Rise of Skywalker; first when he talks with a mental projection of his father and turns back to the light, and later when he finds Rey's body following the fight with Palpatine.
  • 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: Kylo attempts to project a cold, menacing facade like that of his grandfather, Darth Vader, even using a mask to help. But when things don't go his way, his emotional and mental instability comes to the surface and he explodes in fits of rage and irrational decisions.
  • 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 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 fights using brute force, can take a lot of punishment, and prefers a slow pace rather than charging at his opponents.
  • Mindlink Mates: Subverted with Rey; their Psychic Link grows stronger over the course of the trilogy and they share a kiss in The Rise of Skywalker, but Ben dies moments later.
  • 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 who considers Vader rather than Anakin Skywalker to be his "real" grandfather, and models himself on the very qualities that Anakin hated and rejected in the end.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal:
    • In flashbacks within The Last Jedi, Ben wakes up to see Luke standing over him with an ignited lightsaber, draws his own conclusions that Luke came to murder him, and attempts to kill Luke with his lightsaber and then by collapsing his hut on them both.
    • The Rise of Kylo Ren picks up after the hut collapse as Ben rages about Luke; in the process, Ben sets the Jedi temple on fire which kills everyone inside. Although he's immediately remorseful, he turns his back on the Jedi and calls the still-burning temple a lie that's now over, and flees to Snoke to join him and continue his journey in the dark side.
    • In The Last Jedi, Kylo is fed up with Snoke thanks to years of being insulted, hit with Force lightning, and emotionally manipulated. After Snoke callously manipulates him through his interest in Rey, he pretends he's obeying Snoke's command to kill her, but instead murders Snoke and usurps his power as Supreme Leader.
  • Mood-Swinger: He can shift between The Stoic and Ax-Crazy within moments. In The Force Awakens, a messenger informs him that the droid with the map escaped, and he wordlessly slashes a computer terminal over and over again with his lightsaber while the messenger cringes and trembles. When Kylo stops, he immediately turns back to the messenger and matter-of-factly asks, "Anything else?" The messenger mentions a girl and Kylo swings back around, Force-drags him across the room to grab him by the throat, and asks "What girl?"
  • Moral Event Horizon: Invoked Trope. He wants nothing more than to become completely immune to the light side, avoiding Darth Vader's ultimate fate, so he tries to erase any remaining goodness in himself by murdering his own father on Snoke's orders. Deconstructed as his guilt over it temporarily weakens his resolve, and he has more success through the less overtly evil act of betraying his abusive master Snoke and seizing his throne as Supreme Leader.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • Near-Death Experience:
    • In Last Shot the family culinary droid turns temporarily psycho with orders to kill all organics and advances on two-year old Ben. The signal is stopped just before the droid reaches Ben, leaving both parties unaware of how close they came to tragedy.
    • In The Force Awakens, Rey comes close to killing him after defeating him in lightsaber combat; in the film, she stops attacking him and the collapse of Starkiller Base opens a chasm between them, and in the novelization, she rejects the urging of the dark side to kill him just before the chasm opens. Kylo survives his injuries from this battle, his gut injury from Chewbacca's bowcaster, and the destruction of Starkiller Base.
    • In The Rise of Skywalker, Rey stabs him with his own lightsaber while he's distracted by his mother reaching out to him, but she immediately regrets it and heals him.
  • 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. Ben was raised by Han and Leia, but they sent him to his uncle Luke for Jedi training, hoping Ben would gain stability with the person best equipped to guide him. Luke initially gave his complete focus to his adoring nephew, but he had to divide his attention when he took on more students. This would come back to bite him in the ass since Ben felt neglected and fell to the dark side.
  • Nerd in Evil's Helmet: It doesn't make him less dangerous, but under that helmet is an Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette who doesn't look monstrous or threatening. In private, he shows a fanboyish obsession with Darth Vader and generally behaves like a Psychopathic Manchild. Saturday Night Live had a field day with this, as did Emo Kylo Ren on Twitter.
  • 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 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 Kylo'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 Kylo 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, Kylo preoccupying himself with Luke gives the surviving Resistance time to escape (and give hope to the Galaxy) when he could have easily annihilated them.
  • No Body Left Behind: After he dies, his body disappears and he becomes one with the Force.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: When he has his head on straight, Ren is very focused and determined. His first instinct to seeing his uncle Luke is to shred him with artillery fire. Only going to engage him in single combat when it fails.
  • No Social Skills: Kylo can hold a conversation when he's calm, though he tends to be rude, commanding, and emotionally distant. If something goes awry, he turns violent, destructive, and shouty. In his interactions with Rey, he employs Brutal Honesty, antagonizes her, and tries to kill her for refusing to turn to the dark side with him. Before his own turn, he was closed off from his peers at the Jedi temple, even his friend Tai.
  • Not Good with Rejection: In The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, Kylo responds by threatening and trying to kill Rey for refusing his offers and demands that she turn to the dark side and rule the galaxy with him.
  • 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: 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 around the same age as Rey, who is nineteen in The Force Awakens, but he's ten years older than her. Adam Driver is several years older than his character.
  • 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. He wears a cape throughout The Rise of Skywalker until he makes a Heel–Face Turn.
  • 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.
  • Overarching Villain: Kylo is the only primary villain in the sequel trilogy to be present for the entire trilogy. He's only the Big Bad for the third act of The Last Jedi and makes a Heel–Face Turn by the third act of The Rise of Skywalker, but he's prominent and predominantly a villain in all three films.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Kylo Ren is an exceptionally powerful Force User, to the point where Luke mentions in TLJ that he has the greatest potential he has ever known. But despite that, he does not have the same power that Vader had (which is pointed out by Rey during an interrogation) and is completely stomped by Darth Sidious.
  • The Paragon Always Rebels: A villainous variant; Kylo Ren, master of the Knights of Ren, is the one who, post-Heel–Face Turn, wipes out the organisation.
  • Parental Abandonment: Kylo felt this is what his parents did to him, especially when they sent him away to his uncle.
  • Parental Neglect: Ben perceived himself as being neglected, particularly by his father. While Han and Leia weren't intentionally neglectful and clearly love Ben, Leia was frequently away working to repair the galaxy and Han constantly second-guessed his parenting. Neither parent knew how to help their child with his Force abilities (especially Han, who was skeptical about the whole thing) and they privately feared he could end up like Darth Vader, so they sent him to Luke to learn about the Force and stabilize his destructive outbursts. Ben's doubts about his parents and their feelings about him were increased by his mental conversations with Snoke; he believed that instead of fears for him, they had fears of him.
  • Patricide: He killed his father, Han Solo.
  • Percussive Therapy: Whenever Kylo succumbs to anger in The Force Awakens, he doesn't kill personnel willy-nilly like Vader did; instead, he whips out his lightsaber and vents his frustration by slicing nearby hardware into 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.
    • This is arguably an expression of his light/dark struggle. Darth Vader KILLED his underlings when he got upset, but the worst Ren does is a Neck Lift.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Kylo Ren in the comics has feats like being able to destroy a Jedi temple, not so much in the movies.
  • Perpetual Frowner: When he fails at being The Stoic, he's this. He only smiles once in the sequel trilogy, when he brings Rey back to life and they kiss.note 
  • Pet the Dog:
    • He is nicer to Rey than he is to any other character. Before the interrogation in The Force Awakens novelization, he removes Rey's restraints and tells her that he would have preferred not to take information from her mind and will not take pleasure from it; in their duel, he says he could kill her now or he could teach her instead. In The Last Jedi, he listens to her troubles and tries to comfort her when she's upset during their Force bond scenes. Protecting her is one of the reasons he kills Snoke, then asks her to rule the galaxy with him and states that she means something to him.
    • In The Last Jedi, he comes close to firing upon his mother then backs off, and he is shaken when his wingmen complete the attack instead.
    • The Rise of Kylo Ren reveals he didn't massacre Luke's other students when the Jedi Temple was destroyed; he only attacked Luke in self-defence and then tried to leave peacefully, saying he would only use violence against three surviving students if they tried to stop him. He's true to his word; when Voe and Hennix attack him first, he defends himself but only incapacitates them (he does rather seriously injure Hennix, but only by mistake). When they try to pursue him into space, he disables their ship even though he could've easily killed them, which Tai points out to the others.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: He holds Rey like this after her fight with Palpatine.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Snoke refers to Kylo as the Master of the Knights of Ren in The Force Awakens. Nothing further is shown about his status as the leader of this group until The Rise of Skywalker. His role appears to involve leading their dramatic walking, and directing them to seek his enemies for... dramatic looming and standing. Whatever it is they do, the audience doesn't see it; they're only active after Kylo becomes Ben again and they fight him.
  • Power Incontinence: As a child, 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, emotional turmoil, and Rey calling it to herself.
  • Psychic Link:
    • Rey and Kylo are a "dyad," a rare Force bond that makes them "one in the Force." It allows them to communicate across space, physically interact from a distance, and in The Rise of Skywalker they can transfer matter to each other. The bond grew stronger when they worked together, eventually becoming so strong that Palpatine was able to absorb its energy to physically restore himself back to his prime.
    • His mother, Leia Organa, can sense him and vice versa during his assault on the Resistance fleet in The Last Jedi. Kylo becomes visibly emotional and cannot bring himself to fire at her. In The Rise of Skywalker, Leia uses the last of her strength to psychically contact him.
  • Psychic Strangle: In The Last Jedi, he takes another page out of his grandfather's book and brutally Force-chokes Hux for talking back to him. In The Rise of Skywalker, he not only Force-chokes an underling who gets on his nerves, but simultaneously flings him up against the ceiling.
  • Psychological Projection: He sees himself in Rey and expects her to become like him over the course of the Sequel Trilogy. His commentary on the supposed truth about Rey's parents, commenting that they sold her off to slavery (in spite of not actually knowing this), reveals his own insecurities about how he felt that his parents abandoned him to effectively be his uncle's pawn.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: He has little emotional regulation and stunted emotional development.
    • In The Force Awakens, he yells and destroys objects with repeated lightsaber slashes when he's frustrated. His insistence to Finn that the Skywalker lightsaber belongs to him resembles a child saying "mine!"
    • In The Last Jedi, he yells about and at Luke, and screams in rage when Luke disappears.
    • By The Rise of Skywalker, he is more emotionally stable while remaining a Bad Boss to one First Order officer that gets on his last nerve. However, he throws no tantrums at all. Tellingly, in his final duel with Rey, he's the stable one and she's the aggressor.
  • A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: He betrayed the Jedi and actively seeks his former mentor, Luke, to kill him.
  • Putting on the Reich: In keeping with the Nazi aesthetic inspirations for the Galactic Empire and the First Order as "Nazis in Argentina", Kylo's helmet has a flared edge over the neck reminiscent of the German Stahlhelm helmet.
  • 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, and realizes that he's alienated or killed anyone who cares about him and has truly become alone. 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: Downplayed in Last Shot when Han and Leia have a droid with caretaker programming to help watch two-year old Ben when both parents are working, and to assist Leia with senatorial duties. This nearly ends in tragedy when the caretaker droid temporarily turns over Ben-watching duties to a culinary droid, and the culinary droid is infected with a virus that makes droids hostile to any organic life. Works mentioning Ben's later childhood don't include droid caretakers.
  • Rated M for Manly: Defied. This is what Kylo Ren tries to be; Darth Vader was very manly and fearsome, and Kylo tries to copy his imposing manner and deep voice. However, Kylo'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. In The Rise of Skywalker, his repaired helmet also has red cracks on it.
  • Red Baron: He has earned the moniker of "Jedi Killer" from his past exploits.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Ben knowingly gives his life to resurrect Rey, aware that he can't undo his many crimes but can bring her back to help the galaxy he tore apart.
  • Redemption Rejection: Overlapping with Last-Second Chance.
    • Han implores Kylo to come home and offers his help in The Force Awakens, but Kylo kills him instead.
    • Rey mistakenly thinks he's turned back to the light and asks him to save the Resistance in The Last Jedi, but Kylo refuses and instead asks her to join him. After that, he's back to being her Arch-Enemy.
    • Averted in The Rise of Skywalker when Kylo's vision of Han mirrors their conversation from The Force Awakens, but this time Kylo chooses to abandon the dark side once and for all.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Hux's blue. He's extremely passionate and intense, 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 Kylo 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.

  • Sanity Slippage: His dedication to the dark side takes a serious toll on his mental health, much to his own detriment:
    • The Force Awakens: He slashes up equipment and speaks to the melted mask of his long-dead grandfather as if Vader hears him, and the stand Kylo keeps his own helmet on contains the ashes of various people he 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 leads 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.
  • Sanity Strengthening: In The Rise of Skywalker, he's much less unstable and childish. He even makes a Heel–Face Turn in the third act. Not having Snoke breathing down his neck probably helps (Palpatine is around but Kylo appears largely immune to his manipulations, making it clear to Rey he has no interest in following his plan and intending from the start to off him).
  • Scarf of Asskicking: In The Force Awakens, he wears a long, tattered cowl scarf that doubles as a hood he can pull over his mask for extra intimidation. He switches to a Badass Cape in The Last Jedi.
  • Self-Made Orphan: He kills his father, prepares to kill his mother before pulling back, then becomes indirectly responsible for her death to save him. He's utterly miserable about his parents' deaths and regrets them.
  • Sent Off to Work for Relatives: A variation. When he was 10 years old, Leia and Han were concerned enough about his mental state and inability to control his Force abilities that they sent him to train as a Jedi under his uncle. They hoped that Luke would be able to help him channel his abilities into something good and find some stability. Unfortunately, Ben felt abandoned by his parents, which made it easier for Snoke to manipulate him.
  • 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. The Rise of Kylo Ren reveals he dislikes the name Solo partly because he found out it wasn't even Han's "real" surname (he was given it by an Imperial recruiter just to fill out form), and so he considers it just another lie he's been fed his whole life.
  • Shoddy Knockoff Product: His lightsaber has rough modifications with exposed wiring, an unstable blade produced by a cracked crystal, and crossguard vents for the excess heat it generates. It was once the well-made, stable lightsaber he had as Luke's apprentice, but he didn't have the know-how to modify it at a higher skill level.
  • 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.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: He reforges his Vader-esque mask in The Rise of Skywalker, but it now has red cracks on it, symbolizing how fractured his allegiance to the dark side and First Order has become (which Rey actually points out). By the film's third act, he ditches the mask for good upon making a Heel–Face Turn. He also ditches the Vader-elements of his costume, wearing a dark shirt and pants reminiscent of clothing his father used to wear.
  • Sinister Schnoz: He has a prominent hooked nose which accentuates his villainous appearance.
  • 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.
  • So Happy Together: The bad guys's been defeated, Ben and Rey acknowledge their connection and share a kiss, Ben smiles... and then he dies, because he gave his life force to her.
  • 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: Kylo calls Rey's dead parents "filthy junk traders" who "threw [Rey] away like [she] was garbage" and considers them "nothing", though he's got a point since he believes they sold their young daughter for drinking money and left her alone on Jakku.
  • 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.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Towards Rey in The Rise of Skywalker until his Heel–Face Turn. He's intent on making Rey join him in ruling the galaxy or he'll kill her, so he uses their Force connections to invade her mind and track her down while she rejects and fights him.
  • The Starscream: He turns on Snoke in The Last Jedi, believing that Jedi and Sith are both too trapped in their old ways of thinking and eager to wipe the slate clean. He also becomes this to Palpatine in The Rise of Skywalker, seeking to displace him as leader of the Final Order.
  • Start of Darkness: Ben was being manipulated from afar by Snoke and the dark side was growing within him, but he didn't commit to the dark side until he thought that his uncle, Luke, was trying to kill him. The initial incident is depicted in flashbacks in The Last Jedi, while The Rise of Kylo Ren comic goes into detail about his fall to the dark side.
  • 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.
  • 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 Kylo 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.
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death: Ben gives Rey his own life force to revive her, they smile and kiss, but he falls backwards and his body fades as he becomes one with the Force. Rey looks shocked and confused before she understands what he did.
  • Superior Successor: His goal throughout the Sequel Trilogy is to become one to Darth Vader, to mixed results — while he becomes Supreme Leader and assumes a level of power that Vader never did, he inherits many of his failures and doesn't find any peace. However, by the end of The Rise of Skywalker, he's become one to Anakin Skywalker in one key respect — he was able to keep the woman he cared about from dying, even if the cost of reviving her came at his own life.
  • Surrogate Soliloquy: Whether it's because he's not all there in his own head, or just because he doesn't want to confide in any living person, Kylo has a disturbing, one-sided conversation with Darth Vader's half-melted helmet about the power of darkness and resisting the call of the light. It's implied when he says "again" that this isn't the first time. He seems to await a response from it, as if he did receive some kind of message from someone who appeared to him as Vader.
  • Symbolic Mutilation: The Dueling Scar Rey gives Kylo in the climax of The Force Awakens is in the same place Han touched his face after Kylo fatally stabbed Han, symbolising that Kylo has been emotionally and psychologically scarred by the act, and providing a visual reminder of his failure on Starkiller Base. It also echoes the facial scar his grandfather Anakin had during the Clone Wars.
  • Sympathy for the Hero: In The Last Jedi, he listens to and empathises with Rey's sense of isolation after her lifetime of loneliness on Jakku and her fears about her newly awakened connection to the Force, 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 tells Han that "Ben" was weak and foolish, which is why "Kylo Ren" destroyed him. While he reacts angrily to Snoke addressing him as "young Solo" in The Last Jedi, he has no problem with Rey calling him "Ben" in the film.
    • On the verge of a Heel–Face Turn after Leia uses the last of her strength to reach out to him and Rey had saved his life after mortally wounding him, Kylo is faced with a vision of his father. Although Kylo claims, with far less conviction than he once did, that Han's son is dead, Han corrects him: Ben Solo is alive, and Kylo Ren is dead. Accepting the truth of this, Ben discards his red lightsaber, symbolically ridding himself of the last remnant of Kylo Ren.
      Kylo: Your son is dead...
      Han: No. Kylo Ren is dead. My son is alive.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: The Last Jedi novelization reveals that young Ben overheard his parents' concerned discussions about his lack of control over his Force abilities and believed they were afraid of him as if he was a monster, which he internalized as being dangerous. When he believed Luke was trying to kill him, he retaliated and believed he'd killed Luke, then his raging about it set fire to the Jedi temple and killed everyone inside. He told three fellow students he'd done it himself and Voe accepted it. In a confrontation with them, Voe shouted at him that he was a murderer, to which he responded by shouting "Is that what you want me to be?!" and attempting to murder her. Not realizing Ben had quickly changed his mind to save Voe, Hennix yelled at him that he was a monster and tried to kill him. As Ben completed his journey to become Kylo Ren, he told Voe "I'm a murderer, remember?" before murdering her.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Kylo's signature weapon is an enormous, overpowered lightsaber with laser quillions, and he responds to any threat with maximum aggression and maximum firepower. For instance, his reaction in The Last Jedi to seeing Luke's Force projection is ordering all of his troops to fire upon Luke.
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: When Rey says she was "being hunted by a creature in a mask" in The Force Awakens, Kylo takes his helmet off and reveals he is a pale young man, which visibly surprises her — and the audience, who up until that point expected that as a Darth Vader Clone, he had a scarred visage underneath the helmet. In the novelization, she thinks that he could be some nobody she met on Jakku except for his laser-intense stare.
  • 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: In The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren fills the role of the Threshold Guardian who guards the entrance to the "special world" and tests The Hero's resolve. When Rey faces him, he offers to teach the ways of the Force (read: the dark side), testing her commitment to the light. After defeating him, Rey is ready to enter the "special world" of the Jedi and seeks out Master Luke Skywalker, hoping to learn from him and recruit his help in the galactic conflict.
  • 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.
  • Torture Technician: He uses the Force to interrogate and torture Poe Dameron aboard the Finalizer. On Takodana, he painfully invades Rey's mind before knocking her unconscious, but when he interrogates her again, she inadvertently learns how to reverse it on him.
  • Touch of the Monster: After hunting a terrified Rey through the forest on Takodana and invading her mind, he knocks her unconscious and abducts her for further interrogation. He carries her unconscious in his arms and into his ship while Finn yells her name.
  • Training from Hell: Kylo's training under Snoke involves psychological and physical torment. Snoke manipulates him into questioning his family's feelings for him, encourages him to give into his anger, taunts him for his fears, tells him he must cut out any "weakness" such as compassion and mercy, backhands him, and strikes him with Force lightning. The training succeeds in making Kylo loathe his master and he turns on Snoke.
  • Trauma Button: Luke's appearance at the end of The Last Jedi, where he looks as he did the night he apparently attempted to kill Kylo and wields Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber, was specifically orchestrated to trigger Kylo. It shows—the minute Kylo sees Luke, he freezes up, then flies into a murderous rage that's extraordinary even for him.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Before the film events, Kylo was emotionally manipulated for years to depend on Snoke and believe his family was neglecting him, experienced what he perceived as his uncle trying to murder him in his sleep, and endured horrific dark side training under Snoke that encouraged breaking all ties to the past through murder. When given an opportunity to go home in The Force Awakens, he instead murders his own father and gives himself more angst; a year later in The Rise of Skywalker, he feels his mother die contacting him one last time to project all her hope and love for him despite all he's done.
  • Trying Not to Cry: Kylo struggles to hold back tears when he confronts and then murders 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 and rejects their Force connection following the Battle of Crait. He fails to stop his tears after he feels his mother's death and hallucinates his dad prompting him to come back to the light.
  • 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 his 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: He has one in The Last Jedi, particularly when talking to Rey, emphasizing his Sanity Slippage.
  • 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.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Zigzags between this and Tranquil Fury due to his Mood-Swinger tendencies.
  • Unwitting Pawn:
    • According to the novelization of The Last Jedi, Snoke's main goal in corrupting Ben was to get at Luke, trick Luke into trying to rebuild the Jedi to support Ben, then destroy Luke and any chance of the Jedi Order being rebuilt. Everything else was a distant second.
    • In The Last Jedi, Snoke uses Kylo to lure Rey into a trap. Snoke claims he 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 betrays and murders Snoke... all according to laws of the Sith, making Kylo an even more unwitting pawn to someone he believes long dead, Palpatine.
  • 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 in The Last Jedi, he points out she needs to stop living in denial about what she already believes about her past. She's "known" all along that her parents sold her for drinking money and died on Jakku, rather than legendary heroes or adoring parents who left but intended to come back for her. She wasted her life staying on Jakku for nothing.
    • He has a compelling point that the light versus dark and Jedi versus Sith conflicts caused cycles of violence and revenge which led to multiple civil wars; however, he's a hypocrite who undercuts his own argument about breaking from past institutions and dogma since he becomes the galaxy's evil overlord with the same style of tyranny as the previous Sith-led Galactic Empire.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • In The Force Awakens:
      • When Kylo learns that BB-8 escaped Jakku, he hacks a nearby computer to bits while yelling.
      • When he learns that Rey escaped his interrogation, he slices up the room while bellowing. Some Stormtroopers who were going to report to him wisely decide to come back later.
      • His eyes are tearful and he's emotionally shaky when he confronts his father, Han Solo. After he murders Han, he completely loses it. In the climactic battle against Rey and Finn, he pounds masochistically on the wound where Chewbacca shot him, yells that Finn's a "traitor", and falls apart emotionally physically as he incurs further wounds and gets rejected by Rey.
    • In The Last Jedi, the sights on Crait of the Millennium Falcon with Rey and Chewbacca inside and Luke Skywalker walking out to confront him both sends Kylo into furious rages as he orders their destruction. 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. This makes him wordlessly bellow in rage, and after walking inside the base, he drops to his knees while holding the illusion of his father's gold dice.
  • Villainous BSoD: In The Rise of Skywalker, he knocks Rey to the ground and starts swinging his lightsaber down when he's interrupted by Leia dying as she reaches out to her son across the galaxy. He remains frozen as he senses Leia's death, leaving himself open for Rey to impale him with his own lightsaber. After she senses Leia's death, she heals him and confesses she wanted to take Ben's hand while he silently watches her. He subsequently has a conversation with his dead father and turns back to the light.
  • Villainous Crush: Kylo develops one on Rey. During their Force connection scenes in The Last Jedi, they open up to each other emotionally, he lets her call him Ben, kills Snoke which saves her life, asks her to rule with him, and tells her that she is nothing but not to him. His response to her rejection is If I Can't Have You..., and this continues into The Rise of Skywalker.
  • 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 Villainous Crush on her and ambitions to rule the galaxy with her have a lot to do with it.
  • Villainous Valour: In The Force Awakens, Kylo treats the dark side like a knight's code of honor and worries aloud 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. Even after being shot by Chewbacca, he's implacable and starts (but loses) duels with Finn and Rey trying to prevent their escape.
  • Villains Never Lie: Kylo claims to Rey in The Rise of Skywalker that he has never lied to her; everything he told about his relationship with Luke is metaphorically true to him, and what he reported seeing in her mind about her family is true as far as he knows. He stalks her while badgering her to listen to his new information about her history. In the junior novel, she thinks about how he uses truth as a weapon against her, and in the expanded edition thinks about how he uses truth for falsehood. Still, he succeeds at creating enough doubt that she caves and asks him what he knows.
    Kylo Ren: I've never lied to you.
    Rey: [inner narrative] Oh, but he had deceived. Kylo's words always had an element of truth, even when their intent was pure falsehood.
  • Villain Takes an Interest: During the duel between Kylo and Rey in The Force Awaken, he traps her against a cliff edge and could kill her if he wants to. Instead, he recognizes Rey's potential and offers to mentor her in the ways of the Force.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: He is a "hero" within the First Order. After he becomes Supreme Leader, anyone who speaks out against him or the First Order is declared "subversive." His subordinates still know to stay far away from him during his violent outbursts, and he continues to Force-choke them.
  • Weaponized Exhaust: The "crossguards" on his lightsaber are actually stabilizing vents to prevent overheating due to the cobbled-together construction and cracked kyber crystal. He can use them offensively, as Finn found out the hard way.
  • Weapon Twirling: Kylo twirls his lightsaber behind him to lead into downward strikes, presumably to put more weight into them. Other twirls appear to be intimidation demonstrations; when he approaches Finn after knocking out Rey, he menacingly spins his lightsaber around before screaming "Traitor!" at him, and gives it a quick twirl when Rey ignites the Skywalker lightsaber to defend herself.
  • We Can Rule Together: Kylo offers Rey joint rulership of the galaxy in The Last Jedi after he kills Snoke, and demands she join him or he'll kill her in The Rise of Skywalker.
  • "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 cave, leaving Snoke none the wiser.
    • Following Palpatine's defeat, he comes across Rey's body, killing the Emperor having proved fatal to her as well. Ben could've just left at that point and moved on with his life. Instead, he willingly gives his own life to revive her.
  • When He Smiles: After saving Rey with the Force, for the first and only time in the trilogy, he gives a genuine, warm smile.
  • 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 utters a Deadpan Snarker line in response:
    Hux: Do you think you got him?
  • Worf Had the Flu:
    • One reason that he loses his fight with Finn and Rey is that he was 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.
    • He's only outmatched in his fight against the Knights of Ren because he fought them without a lightsaber. As soon as he gets one, he takes them out like yesterday's trash.
  • 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 Kylo Ren, unlike the First Order, didn't come from the dark side. Kylo murders Tekka for his troubles.
    • His own father, Han Solo, pleads with Kylo to turn away from the dark side and rejoin his family only to be impaled by him, although Kylo's internal strife during Han's speech implies that there may be more good in Kylo than he's willing to admit.
    • In The Last Jedi, Rey tries to convince Kylo that there's still good in him, even using his discarded birth name 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 in The Last Jedi, when she confides in him how lonely and lost she feels. She responds that he's not alone, either.
    • In the novelization to The Rise of Skywalker, his voice reaches out to Rey, distraught by his death, that he's still with her in spirit:
    Ben Solo: I will always be with you.
    Rey: No one's ever really gone.
  • You Are What You Hate: Kylo hates and characterizes the Resistance as murderers, traitors, and thieves, to the point of screaming "traitor" at Finn— however, he himself is a thief, traitor, and murderer; he often takes what he wants through force, betrays his family and Jedi ideals by turning to the dark side, and murders various innocents, including his own father.
  • You Have Failed Me:
    • Subverted in The Force Awakens. Unlike his grandfather, Darth Vader, he does not execute an officer for reporting that BB-8 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. No death is shown.
    • After becoming Supreme Leader, Kylo responds to failures with immediate throttling, murder, or murder by throttling.
  • Young Conqueror: Becomes Supreme Leader of the First Order, aka, the political successor of The Empire and the Sith, at a very young age.
  • Young Face, Old Eyes: In Last Shot, Han muses on then-two-year-old Ben's "ancient eyes."


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