[SPOILER ALERT! The following post contains HUGE SPOILERS for The Force Awakens!]
Star Wars: The Force Awakens left us with a lot of unanswered questions. Who is Rey? Who are the Knights of Ren? Did The First Order really kill Jar Jar?
However, while it did leave a lot to be answered over the course of the new trilogy, it also gave us a valuable insight into other details that have kept the internet alive during the build up to the movie's release.
For example, it's now clear that Kylo Ren is in fact the leader of the Knights of Ren, rather than another disciple, and that they are most likely named after him. He's also something of a Sith artifact connoisseur, gaining possession of the legendary Darth Vader's helmet and an ancient lightsaber design.
He's also shown worshiping his fallen grandfather, Anakin Skywalker A.K.A. Darth Vader, but is he Ren's only inspiration?
In what many call the "Great Expanded Universe Purge of 2014," many great storylines and characters where thrown out with the bathwater. One such storyline, "Knights of the Old Republic," is often regarded as the #5 on the "Top 5 Things With 'Star Wars' In The Name" list. It's engaging characters and compelling story have made it a fan favorite and even caught the eye of some of the new Star Wars big wigs. JJ Abrams himself is rumored to be a big fan.
Of all the old EU stories made non-canon, KotOR is possibly the most deserving of a second chance. It's got an excellent plot, a huge amount of lore and is set four thousand years in the past, meaning it has barely any knock on effect on the new movies. When you factor in the fact that The Old Republic MMORPG is still going, it makes it highly likely that KotOR is far from dead.
And it makes sense, because our new fallen hero, Kylo Ren, draws several parallels between himself and another Sith Lord of that era.
I am of course talking about Revan, an ancient fallen Jedi that led his own personal army into the darkest depths of the galaxy only to emerge as a powerful Sith.
It's incredibly likely that during his studies, a young Ben Solo would have heard the ancient legend of a masked Jedi turned Sith leading his own order of Force-users against the light side. Could it be possible that he instead took inspiration from this ancient, godlike figure? Let's take a look at the evidence...
1. The Look
There's no denying that these guys look very similar. While Revan's mask is of Mandalorian origin while Ren's is of a more Vader-esque design, they're still close enough to be considered alike. I mean, the best thing about the Legends banner is that things can get lost in translation over the years. Kylo may have not had the full image of his hero and did the best he could with what he had.
As well as the mask, the rippled cloak is also very similar, with Ren's whole appearance having a general Old Republic vibe right off the bat. With rumors of a KotOR remake somewhere in the pipeline, maybe we could be seeing a rebooted Revan look even more like Kylo Ren in the near future.
2. They Both Have Their Own Order Named After Them
So, a bit of backstory.
Approximately 4000 years before Luke Skywalker destroyed the Death Star, the Galactic Republic was facing yet another threat, this time from the Mandalorians. The Jedi declared that they wouldn't get involved, but young Revan wasn't too keen on that idea. Instead, he launched his own assault on the enemy alongside the Republic armies, with a few Jedi following him. These Jedi, known as the Revanchist, would follow Revan into the Unknown Sector in search of the power controlling Mandalore, only to stumble upon the lost Sith Empire and fall to the dark side. Following Revan's defeat, they would reform as the new Sith Empire under Darth Malak.
Kylo Ren also has a team of fanboys known as the Knights of Ren. However, his setup differs slightly to that of Revan. Kylo's organization existed long before he did in the form of The Acolytes, featured in Chuck Wendig's Aftermath. However, much like Revan, they appear to idolize Kylo as the coming of a new age.
3. They Both Have Equal Potential To Follow The Light or Dark Side.
Revan is (spoilers) the main character of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and, despite being raised a Jedi and choosing to become a Sith, can follow any path once the player gains control. As a result, Revan has the chance to start over and become whatever he wants during the course of the story.
Kylo Ren had a similar upbringing. He too was brought up on Jedi ideals but fell to the dark side after some coercion from a powerful Sith. Right now, it's clear Kylo is still being "torn apart." If the theories are to be believed, Han ignited the lightsaber himself to spare his son the burden of killing his own father. This would have prevented Kylo from succumbing entirely to the darkness and would have left him in that morally grey area. At this stage in the game, it's still all to play for.
Of course, there's no solid evidence to back up any of this, but it's always fun to speculate. Ever since images of Kylo Ren leaked way back in 2014, fans have been trying to push the Revan thing. Even if there's no canon connection, it's still great to see all these little nods to past heroes.
Did you notice any other similarities? Drop me a line in the comments below!
Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be released on Blu-Ray in April