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Comic Book / Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren

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Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren is a comic book miniseries set in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, written by Charles Soule and drawn by Will Sliney.

Set prior to the events of The Force Awakens, the four-part series revolves around Ben Solo's initial fall to the dark side and how he came to be Kylo Ren, Master of the Knights of Ren and apprentice to Supreme Leader Snoke of the First Order.

The first issue was released on December 18th 2019.


This work contains examples of:

  • Accidental Murder: Ben kills Hennix this way. After Ben throws Voe off a cliff then tries to float her back up, Hennix believes Ben has already killed her and throws his lightsaber at Ben. Ben Force-pushes the lightsaber back at Hennix, unintentionally killing him.
  • Adaptational Badass: The Kylo in this comic is much more formidable than the movie version.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": Ren, leader of the Knights of Ren, says he and his followers follow the "Ren". The "Ren" is a lightsaber.
  • A Good Way to Die: To join the Knights of Ren, someone must cause a "good death". From their point of view, this means intentionally killing someone. Ben initially fails this because Hennix was an Accidental Murder, but he secures two "good deaths" by killing Ren and Voe.
  • Ambiguous Situation:
    • Multiple in- and out-of-universe sources unambiguously stated that Ben destroyed the Jedi Temple and most of his fellow students when he turned to the dark side, but issue #1 turns this ambiguous. In the prologue, Ren tells the Knights of Ren, "Let's go find something to burn." After Ben collapses his hut on Luke, Ben watches with red in his eyes as a red storm cloud gathers over the temple. He's confused and horrified as lightning explodes the temple and kills everyone inside, then tries and fails to run inside the burning temple before another explosion. Ben may have impulsively or unintentionally created the storm then immediately regretted it, or only witnessed the storm created by someone else: the Knights of Ren, Snoke, or Palpatine.
      Ben Solo: I never... I didn't want this.
      Voice: And you did not choose it, Ben. The Jedi did. Skywalker.
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    • In issue #1, Ben meets with Snoke on a garden planet after escaping the destroyed Jedi Temple. Ben comments, "Look what Master Skywalker did to you". Ben could mean Luke caused Snoke's deformities, is the reason Snoke is alone on a garden planet, or possibly both.
    • In issue #2, one of Snoke's droids interrupts a meeting between Ben and Snoke with a message from Brendol Hux. It's unclear when Snoke and Brendol Hux began communicating and what either's role is in bringing the other into the First Order.
  • Call-Back:
  • Call-Forward:
    • Luke effortlessly defeats the Knights of Ren using his lightsaber and the Force. Ben would later do the same thing in The Rise of Skywalker.
    • When Ben joins the Knights of Ren, he holsters his lightsaber on his back and draws it over his shoulder. He uses this same draw in The Rise of Skywalker.
    • When an older Voe and Tai confront Ben, he refers to them as "the past".
  • Call to Agriculture: After whatever happened between Luke and Snoke, Snoke is now in apparent exile in a light sided garden, which he is slowly corrupting. However, it is shown he is still communicating with the galaxy outside, as one of his droids mentions he has a message from Brendol Hux.
  • The Cameo: Issue #4 features two sets of cameos:
    • When Ben fights Ren, other Force users can feel the change as Ben is pushed to the dark side. Snoke, Leia and Palpatine all make appearances, as well as a younger Rey saying she feels something cold.
    • When bleeding the kyber crystal, visions of Ben's parents, Luke, Chewbacca, and Lando appear. His recently deceased friend Tai also appears.
  • Child Prodigy: Ben asserts to the other Padawans he was the strongest of Luke's students. The students later acknowledge Ben really was the most powerful student at the Temple.
  • Cool Mask: Ren's face mask, which he explains is intentionally intimidating.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Luke Skywalker versus the Knights of Ren. Though Luke is outnumbered, this is still no challenge for him and they soon flee.
  • The Corrupter:
    • Snoke is this for Ben, going at least as far back as Ben's early years of apprenticeship to Luke.
    • In issue #4, Palpatine telepathically encourages Ben towards the dark side.
  • Dark Reprise: Ben's meeting with Snoke in the garden is an evil parallel of Luke's interactions with Yoda on Dagobah.
  • Deadly Graduation: Ren offers a Force-sensitive fugitive the opportunity to join him if he kills his non-sensitive brother. The non-sensitive brother strikes first, only for Ren to tell him the offer wasn't for both of them.
  • Deadpan Snarker: When Ren anticipates killing Luke, Luke fires back with this gem of a retort.
    Luke Skywalker: Can we just skip to the part where you all run out of here crying?
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Ben Solo hates his name. He never met Obi-Wan and resents being named for someone he never met, and he considers Han a "fake" after learning "Solo" isn't his father's real last name.
  • Doomed by Canon:
    • Voe, Hennix, and Tai were off-world when the Jedi Temple was destroyed, but they were still screwed because by The Force Awakens, Luke is once again the last of the Jedi. Hennix dies in issue #3, and Voe and Tai both die in issue #4.
    • Ren is doomed since Kylo is the leader of the Knights of Ren before the start of "The Force Awakens.'' Kylo kills Ren in issue #4.
  • Dramatic Irony: The three Jedi learners assume Luke perished in the collapse of his temple. Anyone who watches the movies know that this is not the case.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Ben finds a holocron containing a recording from Avar Kriss, a Jedi from the time of the High Republic.
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold:
    • Luke and Ben both mention they feel cold right before the dark side aligned Knights of Ren appear.
    • Rey feels Ben's fall to the dark side, describing it as something that "feels... cold."
  • Evil Wears Black: The Knights of Ren wear all black, and when Ben joins them, he changes into a black to reflect he's turning to the dark side.
  • Exact Words: After getting the information from the Mimban miners, Ren says to release them. The Knights of Ren then kill them all, "releasing" the miners from life.
  • Fan Disservice: Ren is constantly shirtless and has a pretty impressive physique, but his torso is covered in scars and burn marks.
  • Freudian Trio: The three students who found Ben after the temple's destruction and tracked him down are Voe, Hennix, and Tai:
    • Id: Voe is the most impulsive and views Ben as her rival.
    • Ego: Tai has the closest bond with Ben, and acts like The Heart and The Empath.
    • Superego: Hennix views the Force like a puzzle to solve and wants the others to think things through.
  • Foreshadowing: During their initial confrontation, Ben accidentally injures Hennix. Hennix ends up being the first apprentice to die, inadvertantly killed by Ben in self-defense.
  • Garden of Evil: Where Ben meets with Snoke. Although very beautiful, it seems the plants inside are largely carnivorous and the bones of the original landscapers form a layer just under the topsoil.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Hennix is Killed Offscreen via a thrown lightsaber, even though his corpse is shown afterward.
  • I Am the Noun: After Ren kills Tai, Ren accuses Ben of not wanting to live in the "Shadow". Ben tells him "I am the Shadow."
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Tai attempts this on Ben and it almost works. Unfortunately, Ren snaps Tai's neck using the Force before he can continue.
  • Ironic Echo: Ren is always commenting on giving others a "good death." In issue #4, Ben kills Ren, telling Ren his is a "good death".
  • Killed Off for Real: Occurs to several characters throughout the story.
    • Hennix dies from a thrown lightsaber.
    • Tai dies from a Neck Snap by Ren.
    • Ren and Voe are both impaled with a lightsaber by Ben.
  • Klingon Promotion: Ben kills Ren, upon which the Knights of Ren accept him as their new Master.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: After Luke beats the Knights of Ren, Ren knows they can't win and activates a kill switch on his lightsaber. He comments that if Luke takes the blade, it will explode and kill them all. Luke allows Ren and his Knights to escape.
  • Large Ham: Snoke greets Ben with a ridiculously dramatic entrance, is shown Milking the Giant Cow when discussing his past, and has some seriously weird facial expressions.
  • Man-Eating Plant: While Snoke is showing Ben around the space station, he notes that the giant greenhouse was a futile attempt to create a nexus of the light side in a dark side-influenced area. He then opens up a plant to reveal a skeleton inside, implying that the dark side influenced the plants and led them to turn on the station's creators.
  • Metaphorically True: Snoke tells Ben he was "not born Snoke"; he "became Snoke". With the revelation that Palpatine created Snoke in the first place, this is partially true.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Snoke comments to Ben he was named after legends. Specifically, Obi-Wan "Ben" Kenobi and his father Han Solo. Ben comments he hates his name.
  • Neck Snap: Ren kills Tai this way after Ben refuses to kill Tai.
  • Noodle Incident: Upon seeing Snoke, Ben comments "Look what Master Skywalker did to you". What did Luke do to Snoke exactly?
  • Prequel: It's set several years before The Force Awakens and covers several time periods. One is set shortly after the destruction of Luke's Jedi school and another earlier one showing Ben and Luke's first encounter with the Knights of Ren.
  • Psychic Link: Leia and Rey feel Ben's fall to the dark side through their bonds with him.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Luke effortlessly defeats the Knights of Ren using his lightsaber and the Force. He comments while they've tapped into the dark side, they aren't properly trained in using it and use it "like a hammer". In The Rise of Skywalker when Ben faces off against the Knights, he also defeats them for the same reason. Despite their superior numbers, their lack of training and weapons shows that they're still no match for a fully trained Force user.
  • Reclaimed by Nature: The space station Snoke resides on has a giant dark side-influenced plant breaking out of the greenhouse and taking over the exterior, somehow surviving in the vacuum of space.
  • The Resenter: Ben in his early years is shown to be one. Even though he respects Luke as a teacher, he wishes Luke would actually let him do something. Snoke continues to incite his resentment.
  • The Rival: Voe, another Padawan, views Ben as her rival. The feeling is not mutual, also making her The Lancer to Ben.
  • Series Continuity Error:
    • In The Last Jedi, Luke states that a handful of students left with Ben after he slaughtered the rest, likely implied to be the Knights of Ren. However in the comic, only three other students leave besides Ben, decidedly as his enemies, and the Knights are instead an unconnected group of marauding Dark Side adepts.
    • Another reference book, Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, Updated and Expanded, states that the Knights of Ren took part in the destruction of Luke's temple, but in the comic they aren't even aware of it until after the fact.
  • Shout-Out: Issue #4 takes place on a moon of Mimban where the Knights of Ren are after something called the Mindsplinter.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Ren talks big but his Knights are little more than looters and thugs who can't even touch Luke and Ben with superior numbers.
  • Smug Super: Ren is extremely proud of his ability to "touch the Shadow". He only accepts Force-sensitives into his ranks after they've killed a non-sensitive.
  • Start of Darkness: The series tells the story of how and why Ben Solo fell to the dark side in more detail than previously released works.
  • Student and Master Team: The cover of the second issue depicts Ben and Luke facing off against the Knights of Ren.
  • Telepathy:
    • Snoke communicates with Ben this way.
    • After Ben finds Ren's discarded helmet and puts it on, Ben and Ren communicate this way.
    • In issue #4, Ben uses his Mind Probe ability for the first time to interrogate a Mimban miner. He calls it a variation of the Jedi mind trick and was taught to use it from Snoke.
  • That Man Is Dead: Voe and Tai believe Ben is "lost" after killing Hennix.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil:
    • The other Padawans, Voe, Hennix and Tai, call Ben a murderer. Ben accepts their accusations and Force pushes Voe down in mid leap sending her to her death. Subverted when Ben immediately tries to save her by catching her with the Force.
    • Voe is shocked when Ben kills Ren, upon which he repeats her accusation of him being a murderer, then stabs her with Ren's lightsaber, killing her.
  • Villainous Friendship: While not exactly friends, Ren trusts Snoke when Snoke vouches for Ben to join the Knights of Ren.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Ren is never seen wearing a shirt.
  • We Can Rule Together: On Elphrona, Ren offers Ben a variation of this. Ren senses the dark side in Ben and offers him a chance to come with them to learn more. Years later, Ben does so.
  • The X of Y: The Rise of Kylo Ren.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: After Ben kills Ren, Ben becomes the new leader of the Knights of Ren.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: At the end of issue #2, Voe, Hennix and Tai confront Ben on Elphrona to prevent him from leaving.


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