|Name:||Kylo Ren, Ben Solo|
|Occupation:||Dark Side Force User|
|Relationships:|| Han Solo and Leia Organa (Parents), |
Darth Vader or Anakin Skywalker (Grandfather), Padme Amidala (Grandmother), Luke Skywalker (Uncle), Rey (dyad, love interest)
|Fandom:||Star Wars, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi|
|Other:||Portrayed by Adam Driver|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Kylo Ren, originally named Ben Solo, is the primary antagonist of the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy. He is the son of Star Wars trilogy characters Han Solo and Leia Organa. Though trained by his uncle Luke Skywalker as a Jedi, he has been seduced to the Dark Side of the Force by Supreme Leader Snoke.
In The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren is tasked with finding a map that leads to Luke Skywalker. He tortures Poe Dameron, leads an attack on the castle of Maz Kanata and captures Rey in his quest. While interrogating Rey, he discovers that she has the Force as well. When he confronts his father, Han Solo, he appears to be considering going to the Light Side, but kills Han and is wounded by Chewbacca. He pursues Finn and Rey and fights them with lightsabers, but Rey overpowers him. At the end of the film, Snoke commands Hux to retrieve Ren, planning to complete his training.
In The Last Jedi, Kylo Ren is recovering from his failure on Starkiller Base when he discovers he is linked by the Force with Rey. He develops genuine feelings for her, but Ren still brings her before his Master. He watches Snoke torture her, but when he's tasked with killing the girl, he kills Snoke instead. In the aftermath of their fight, Kylo Ren asks Rey to rule the galaxy alongside him. She refuses and escapes. Kylo Ren as Supreme Leader commands an attack on the remnants of the Resistance. He battles Luke Skywalker while the Resistance fighters escape, only to discover his Uncle is a force projection.
In The Rise of Skywalker. Kylo Ren has been Supreme Leader for over a year. Palpatine offers him an armada with which he can reestablish the Empire, if he first kills Rey. Ben Solo is ultimately redeemed; fighting alongside Rey on Exegol. The fight cost Rey her life and Ben Solo succeeded in bringing her back to life, but died as a result.
Fanon and Common Tropes in Fanworks
- Force User - Kylo Ren is shown to be a powerful user of the Force and this often appears in fanworks with Ren meditating, training and using the force to read minds.
- Emo Kylo Ren- In canon, Kylo Ren appears young and emotional. He aspires to be as powerful as his grandfather, Darth Vader but is prone to temper tantrums. These personality flaws often appear in fandom, with other characters exasperated by his immaturity.
- Emotional Hurt/Comfort - Fanon Kylo Ren often struggles with guilt related to his actions in canon, including killing students at Luke's Jedi school and killing Han Solo. In canon, Ren is shown to be tempted to the light side, and this can lead to a redemption arc in some fics.
- Hurt/Comfort fics following The Force Awakens, often involve a character rescuing an injured Kylo Ren from Starkiller Base.
- Force Bond - Kylo is often one side of a force bond with another character, usually Rey or Hux.
- Master of the Knights of Ren- The Knights of Ren are alluded to in canon but never appear. Ren's relationship with them is often the focus when they appear in fanworks.
- Modern AU
- Ben Solo AU - Many Kylo Ren fics explore what Kylo was like before he had succumbed to the dark side, or if he had never gone to the dark side at all. In these works, Ben may be a Senator, a smuggler, a resistance pilot. Some of the works are also Jedi AUs.
- Rendemption/Bendemption fics explore the redemption of Kylo Ren
- Renperor works are often AUs or future fics, where Kylo Ren is Emperor of the galaxy.
- Fix-its were very popular following Ben's death at the end of TROS
Kylo Ren is shipped mainly with:
- Rey (Reylo) (14,116 on AO3)
- Kylo Ren/Hux (12,958 works on AO3)
- Kylo Ren/Reader, a rarer pairing
- Kylo Ren/Poe Dameron
There has been controversy around the practice of shipping Kylo Ren, a villain, whether with another villain or with a hero. Some fans believe that this validates the ideologies or actions of Kylo Ren and the First Order. Others do not like the Nazi symbolism associated with Kylo Ren and the First Order. The popularity of Kylux and Reylo has to lead to complaints of racism within the fandom. See Racism In and Outside The Fandom.
Another point of controversy is the insistence or demands of Kylo fans that Kylo should have a redemption arc. Reylo shippers often believe that a canon relationship with Rey should be part of his arc. Others argue that Kylo is a villain and does not need to be redeemed and that Kylo fans' insistence that Kylo is a hero dismisses Poe Dameron, Finn, and/or Rey.
But really, it’s not about the looks for me: it’s about giving any screen time at all to a character who sounds like every crybaby Star Wars fan manchild I’ve ever had to avoid at a sci-fi event.
It’s the same reason fandom loves supervillains but hates cheating husbands from realistic dramas. It’s not the level of villainy: it’s how close to home it is.
I agree that most of the meta is stupid and grasping at straws, but the fact is that it does not matter if Kylo is justified on paper. Megan Fox’s character in Transformers is really cool on paper. What matters is the sum total of the impression that viewers are left with after watching.
My impression of Kylo was: extremely realistic manchild I wouldn’t hang out with in real life.I don’t want to hang out with that man in my art either
Tumblr post by Franzeska, (Accessed March 22, 2022.)
Works written Post-TFA
- Interstellar Transmissions by LovelyThings, ricca_riot, Rey’s interrogation at the hands of Kylo Ren triggered an awakening in the Force, as well as a bond that links them across the galaxy and grows stronger every day. An accidental encounter alerts Supreme Leader Snoke to the existence of this bond and he orders his apprentice to capture the girl and bring her to him. Sometimes it's not the big speeches that redeem people, but the actions you inspire them towards. Former PWP, now full scale adventure. (Kylo Ren/Rey)
- Children, Wake Up, a Kylo Ren/Hux series by Hollycomb
- Triptych by antistar_e - The very (very) long road home for Kylo Ren, formerly Ben Organa.
- The Corruption of Ben Solo by dentigerous and wraithnoir.
- Fix Your Attitude, by kassanovella, a Kylo x Reader fanfic
- On protagonists vs. antagonists, heroes vs. villains, and audience perception tumblr post by reynoverthegalaxy, accessed 2016-3-28
- Snoke’s influence on Ben from BIRTH (Jan 2016) by candlewisps
- seems to have an ongoing pattern... (December 2017) by disparatepeace.
- How Star Wars wrote itself into a corner with the character of Kylo Ren by communistlorde (Jan 1 2020)
- Why do people hate Kylo Ren so much? by Franzeska (March 11, 2022)
- Modern Solo Adventures - Manip Gif set AU by mamalazzer.
- Emo Kylo Ren parody Twitter account
- Kairennosuke and the Three Shining Swords - Kabuki adaption of the sequel trilogy focusing on Kylo's arc
Links & Resources
- Tumblr tags Kylo and Kylo Ren
- Kylo Rey character tag on AO3
- Kylo Ren/Ben Solo works on ff.net
- Kylo Ren on deviantArt