This is my first post on MoviePilot, and I'll totally confess that this follows on from a Reddit post i made. I have linked my original post at the bottom. It had some pretty confused replies, typically because I didn't fully flesh out my ideas. So, here I am again.
Let's get down to it
Kylo Ren WANTS to be dark, but why?
When Kylo is in his chamber, he talks to Vaders mask, and says he can feel the pull of the light. By nature then, Ben is good. He doesn't strongly DESIRE the dark side, or he wouldn't experience the pain he says he feels when he speaks to his Father.
He is disappointed in Han Solo as a father, for one reason or another, but the act of killing him was difficult. He had to find the strength to do it, and he even sought Han's permission and help.
Kylo, somehow, sees the Dark Side as the only way ahead to 'finish what anakin started'.
Why did Anakin Skywalker choose the Dark Side?
Say what you like about the filmmaking of the original trilogy, but one thing that AOTC and ROTS showed us, was how conflicted Anakin was.
What turned Anakin to the dark side in the end? His desire to SAVE Padme. He wanted what the Dark side promised, the power to save those whom he loved.
As we know, Darth Vader later saved his son, Luke, from the Emperor, at the loss of his own life.
Anakin likely regrets what he did as Darth Vader, but would he do it again?
Theory: Kylo has had a vision that someone he loves will die.
He wants to stop that death! Of course he does. Kylo is full of angst. He is full of a feeling that he isn't powerful enough to stop it.
He wants to gain the power enough to save someone he loves. This totally isn't Han, I would guess not Rey - he doesn't know her, he tried to kill her.
Anakin, even as a force ghost, would totally relate.
We saw the same conflict in Anakin, and as Darth Vader, we saw conflict in him, too. We even saw him acknowledge that the emperor was EVIL, and that he wanted to overthrow him. Obi Wan sensed that conflict. LUKE sensed that conflict.
When tempting Luke to the dark side, it was 'Join me, WE will defeat him'. He still believed his use of the Dark Side was altruistic.
Plus, we have moments like this (although, full disclosure, this is from a comic that is now non-canon).
Anakin found balance before death enough to retain his personality in the living force after death (he managed this without having to be trained, too). That isn't enough reason to presume that he would change his reasoning on some core matters, emotional matters.
He transcended his physical body, but does that mean his opinions changed? I doubt it. He saved his son unselfishly and redeemed himself, but now he has no reason to be either light OR dark, he is pure force.
He has reverted to his pre-vader appearance. His dress implies Jedi, but he is now in a state where he answers only to the force.
So, What Happened in Kylo's Chamber?
Kylo went to TALK to vaders mask. He did this consciously. He's not crazy. He's unhinged because he's emotional. Canon has never seen an example of a totally crazy person, whos just crazy for no reason. The most popular theory I've seen is that Snokes is communicating through the mask. I'm unconvinced:
If a force-user communicates telepathically, the force-users voice is heard in the recipients head.
Ben wouldn't be fooled by a voice he already knows (Snokes), he's had a different experience. Maybe this was a forceback vision he got from Vaders mask, but for him to keep it, return to it, and to talk to it asking to be shown more implies that he's gotten response before, at least once.
This leads me to the following conclusion:
Anakin / Darth Vader has Contacted Ben
Anakin has gotten in contact, because he totally understands how Ben feels. Not only that, he thinks Ben is right. Anakin sacrificed himself to save Luke, but lost the chance to have the relationship he wanted with his children, and did not destroy the dark side completely.
Anakin could easily still believe that loss prevention is possible - ESPECIALLY if he, now part of the living force, is conscious that he had no father, and if Darth Plagueis has survived death.
Anakin wants to protect his family from the evil he sees (Snokes). He sees Ben/Kylo being warped by Snokes. Anakin will do all it takes to protect his family. Vader believed that turning luke to the dark side would allow them together to defeat sidious. He never had the chance to see if this was right or not.
The Jedi disconnect from emotional connection, so would let the loss happen. The Sith have actually had success in saving people - even though this is for selfish reasons.
He's even CONFIDING in vader, telling vader he feels the pull of light, and that he is worried Snokes has felt it. He is keeping these talks, these meetings, secret from Snokes.
Before you say it - no, we didn't hear this in the movie. We didn't see any response at all. BUT, Kylo believed that Anakin was listening, he CONFIDED in him that he felt the pull of the light. He was ASKING what was needed to be able to be strong enough.
Anakin may well be advising Ben on how to achieve the power needed.
He needs to kill someone close to him to shut off his light connection. Perfect person? Disappointing father, and also - not family.
I'm not the only one who thinks that Ben's decision to go dark is a conscious decision, like Anakin's, either. This actually goes in line with this excellent theory:
Disagreement in the Living Force
Anakin thinks Kylo should be helped to have the power needed. Obi Wan and Yoda disagree.
Is there any evidence of this? Circumstantial evidence at best, though. Rey hears Obi Wan's voice and Yoda's voice during her forceback. Where was anakins voice? Nowhere.
I'm not suggesting that Darth Vader wants to regain control as Vader, but I AM suggesting that Anakin is willing to help Ben go dark to defeat Snokes, to save his loved ones, to protect the whole Skywalker family.
A quick summary of events, according to this theory
- Ben gets a vision while training with Luke that someone he loves will die. He is contacted by Snokes, who convinces him to join the Knights of Ren to gain the power needed to save his loved one.
- He renames himself to Kylo (skywalker solo? see: https://www.reddit.com/r/starwarsspeculation/comments/3xrlkg/kylo_rens_name/)
- Snokes advises him to attack Lukes new setup as Kylo Ren, for his own selfish reasons. Kylo kills the other Jedi, but does not face Luke himself. Kylo would be injured if Luke and he had fought, and Kylo appears to be intact. Kylo, probably, doesn't want to kill Luke at all. Maybe Snokes does, and that's why snokes looks like he does.
- During this fallout, Kylo finds Darth Vaders mask, and receives a forceback vision, learning he is his grand father.
- Kylo calls out to Vader asking for help to be powerful enough to do what he wants to do. Snokes is a means to an end.
- Vader (or Anakin) gets in contact, and explains it is possible to get enough power to save the ones he loves. He wants Snokes to be defeated, fears for all his family still, and finds Ben willing to do anything it takes to be powerful enough to make that happen.
- Anakin advises him on how to achieve the darkness he needs.
- As per Piroutek's theory, Kylo wants to get the map to Luke, to prevent the First Order getting hold of it, to save his own uncle. He wants to do it. He doesn't want anyone else doing it.
- As per Piroutek's theory, Kylo wants to 'finish what darth vader started', and totally destroy the dark guys, and save his family.
So there you go, my entire 'Why Kylo Ren is Dark / Darth Vader lives' theory.