Kylo Ren is many things: Darth Vader fanboy, tantrum-throwing dark side convert, committer of patricide. But he is also still good, or so his mother General Leia Organa told Han Solo before he flew off to his death at the hands of his own son. #StarWars always did have a penchant for fraught family relationships. The Force Awakens pulled no punches in showing how the good guys were affected by Han Solo's death, but what about bad boy Kylo Ren? Did he feel any grief over his actions, and how will this affect his dark side ambitions?
In Vanity Fair's latest issue, the magazine delves deep into the making of The Last Jedi, spilling secrets about state of the relationship between Luke Skywalker and Rey, while hinting at a reunion between the Skywalker twins. But it's not all about our heroes. Vanity Fair also checks in with Adam Driver about how Kylo Ren's feeling after #TheForceAwakens.
Finn, of course, didn't fare well in that final battle, and he'll spend much of the opening scenes of The Last Jedi in a bacta tank recuperating. Driver commented on this, as well as Kylo Ren's journey in the sequel movie.
"I feel like almost everyone is in that rehabilitation state. You know, I don’t think that patricide is all that it’s cracked up to be. Maybe that’s where Kylo Ren is starting from. His external scar is probably as much an internal one."
This isn't good news for Snoke's golden boy. Urged on by his Supreme Leader, Kylo Ren killed Han Solo because he felt this would resolve the "great conflict" he felt within him — the battle between the light and dark side (known to us mere mortals as the battle between a conscience and the urge to be a total psychopath). And yet, it seems that Kylo's plan didn't exactly pan out. Driver explains that the galaxy's new bad boy has serious doubts about killing his father — or at least, the action was so traumatic that it left an un-healable "internal scar".
Revealed by the script and the official novelization of the movie, Kylo Ren did indeed feel grief after he murdered his father. This grief and guilt consumed him, physically weakening him and confusing him even further, as this extract from The Force Awakens novel explains.
Stunned by his own action, Kylo Ren fell to his knees, Following through on the act ought to have made him stronger, a part of him believed. Instead he found himself weakened. He did not hear the roar of the enraged Wookiee above, but he did feel the sting of the shot from the bowcaster as it slammed into his side, knocking him back on the walkway.
We can only speculate about how Kylo Ren's murder of Han Solo will continue to affect him in The Last Jedi, but it certainly seems — from Adam Driver's comment and the official #StarWars books — that this act has caused yet more turmoil inside Darth Vader's grandson. How he will react to this remains to be seen.
As we all know, emotions like grief and guilt only lead to the dark side, so it could be that Han Solo's murder sends Kylo Ren spiraling into deeper depths of darkness. However, there is a possibility, however slight, that the light which Leia believed in so strongly will guide Kylo Ren back to his mother, his regret making him realize that he's on the wrong side of this war.
Tell us in the comments: Would you like to see Kylo Ren get even more evil, or return to the light in The Last Jedi?
(Source: Vanity Fair, Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster)