ByPrince Bell, writer at
I'm just a guy trying to live like a real-life Jedi. I love meditation, martial arts, and talking about Star Wars.
Prince Bell

What do you think is motivating Kylo Ren? 

About two weeks ago, I ran across a fan speculation that he was being motivated by his jealousy of Rey. While that piece made some strong points, if we assume that Rey and Kylo Ren met when they were younger, I don’t think jealousy is Kylo Ren’s motivation.

I think that something else is motivating Kylo Ren that would actually make his character the most important person in the saga—I mean the saga films do focus on the Skywalker family, and Ben Solo is the grandson of Anakin Skywalker.

So let’s talk about what I think is really motivating Kylo Ren.

I Will Finish What You've Started

When we first see Kylo Ren alone in [Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens](tag:711158), he is either in his private quarters or some type of meditation room and he is speaking to the charred remains of Darth Vader’s helmet. He’s pleading with his grandfather to show him the darkness because he still feels a pull to the light.

During his monologue, he says,"I will finish what you’ve started."

What did Vader start, and what is Kylo Ren attempting to finish?

Why does Kylo Ren feel that he needs to complete his grandfather’s work?

What I think is that Kylo Ren is attempting to fulfill the Prophecy of the Sithari.

The Prophecy of the Sithari

Darth Bane with Yoda on Moraband
Darth Bane with Yoda on Moraband

The Prophecy of the Sithari comes from the Legends Canon, and It’s basically a myth. That’s what it means when something is a Star Wars Legend—it’s a myth, some of it could turn out to be true—like Ahsoka said,”there’s always a bit of truth in Legends.”

The Prophecy of the Sithari says that “The Sithari will be free of limits. The Sithari will lead the Sith and destroy them. The Sithari will raise the Sith from death and make them stronger than before.”

Vindican, Pureblood Sith Master of Darth Malgus
Vindican, Pureblood Sith Master of Darth Malgus

The Sith Pureblood race believed that the Sithari would be a perfect being, or a god, and while some believed the Sithari had already come, like with most messianic figures, many were expecting the Sithari to return.

It is believed that Darth Bane was the Sithari because he literally destroyed the Sith and rebuilt them “stronger than before.” How that happens, we don’t know, and that's because the events on Ruusan that led to the destruction of the Brotherhood of the Sith are just a legend.

What we do know is that from the ashes of the old Sith order, Bane recreated the Sith in his image following the Rule of Two. Bane believed that because of the limited nature of the Dark Side, it should only be contained to a Master to wield the power and an apprentice to crave the power.

Following the Bane Order, there would only be two Sith Lords. At any point, the Apprentice could rise up to kill their Master in order to assume the mantle of the true Dark Lord. The goal is that each line of succession will become stronger in the Dark Side of the Force and in their influence in the galaxy. This all culminated in Darth Sidious and his apprentice, Darth Vader, who was the Chosen One of the Prophecy of Mortis.

Darth Sidious and Darth Vader
Darth Sidious and Darth Vader

According to the notes found in the Book of the Sith, Darth Sidious believed himself to be the Chosen One because he is the one who finally defeated the Jedi and ruled the Galaxy. If we go a step further by introducing the work that Darth Plageuis was doing in his quest for immortality, then perhaps we have to consider an alternate interpretation of the Sithari as a god—a god of the dark side.

Darth Plagueis, in his quest to achieve immortality, learns with his apprentice, Sidious, the final secret of the dark side— a ritual requiring two Sith, one to serve as bait for the dark side, the other to be the vessel. Success would grant them the power to harness the full powers of the dark side, and allow them to rule for ten thousand years.

How do we tie all of this back to Kylo Ren?

We know from looking at Kylo Ren’s crossguard lightsaber that he is a student of history—but it is a possibility that he is obsessed with Sith history.

In the new continuity, we’ve been introduced to the idea of these mini-satellite Jedi Temples and Sith shrines spread throughout the galaxy.

Sith Temple on Malachor
Sith Temple on Malachor

In Star Wars Rebels, we’ve seen the Jedi Temple on Lothal and the Sith Temple at Malachor. We’ve been introduced to the First Jedi Temple on Ach-To where Luke has been for an unknown period of time. There is even the fan speculation that there is some kind of Jedi Temple in Rey’s vision.

As part of the First Order, Kylo Ren would have access to Imperial Records and all of the information from the Jedi Temple Archives. He would also be privy to whatever wisdom and knowledge that Supreme Leader Snoke has.

I believe that Kylo Ren probably travelled around, seeking knowledge, and it’s likely that he stumbled onto the Sith’s prophecy of the Sithari.

Will the Skywalker Lineage fulfill the Prophecy?

Anakin Skywalker turns to the dark side
Anakin Skywalker turns to the dark side

Kylo Ren, or Ben Solo, is the grandson of Anakin Skywalker, who is the Chosen One. As Darth Vader, Anakin destroyed the Bane Order of Sith and the Sith are now gone. By destroying his master and sacrificing himself, Vader accidentally fulfills the Prophecy of the Sithari, but he dies in the process.

Luke is the only known trained Force user left at this point in the Skywalker clan, and Luke is a Jedi—like his Father before him.

So who is left by the time of The Force Awakens to fulfill the rest of the prophecy?

This is the only way I can interpret Kylo Ren’s statement,”I will finish what you started.” If we think about that statement—it sheds a completely different emphasis on the character of Ben Solo, or Kylo Ren.

Kylo Ren on Jakku (The Force Awakens)
Kylo Ren on Jakku (The Force Awakens)

We see Kylo Ren as a broken character. Look at his lightsaber—it is an extremely lethal weapon, but it is unstable. He has an unstable temperament throwing tantrums and tearing up his ship.

I mean there is this talk of Kylo Ren not being strong enough in the Force—but when have we seen someone use Force stasis displayed at that level?

It’s likely that Kylo Ren is actually a force prodigy, but his glaring flaws mask his potential.

Just look at those ashes—he keeps the ashes of his defeated enemies, and that’s crazy.

Ashes of Kylo Ren's defeated enemies
Ashes of Kylo Ren's defeated enemies

We actually see that Kylo Ren is probably dealing with the same struggles, frustration, and confusion that Anakin had when he turned to the dark side. Kylo Ren is just as naive as his grandfather, Anakin. Anakin told Padme that he believes someone wise should rule, and this mirrors Kylo Ren devoting himself to Supreme Leader Snoke, who he believes is also wise.

Why follow Snoke?

We have to question why Kylo Ren has chosen to become one of Snoke’s students. What’s in it for him? Does he have an ulterior motive?

Is Kylo Ren following Snoke simply because he craves Snoke’s wisdom?

If this story is about Kylo Ren completing the work of Darth Vader, and in his mind, that means completing the Prophecy of the Sithari—well that makes Snoke not as important as many people have made him out to be.

If Kylo Ren is successful, it means that he will kill Snoke; he will create a new Order of the Sith; and he will declare himself as the new Dark Lord of the Sith.

Supreme Leader Snoke (Force Awakens)
Supreme Leader Snoke (Force Awakens)

Now I realize I’m taking a huge guess with this speculation, but recall a year ago when the fandom was making up all kinds of speculations leading up to the Force Awakens.

The New Darth Caedus?

The popular thought was that Rey and Kylo Ren were the Solo twins—Jacen and Jaina. In the story of Jacen and Jaina, Jacen studied with other sects of Force users before things eventually led to him becoming a Sith Lord by the name of Darth Caedus.

So when you think about it, the foundation is already there for Kylo Ren to complete his fall to the dark side; betray Supreme Leader Snoke and assume leadership of the First Order; and to become the Dark Lord of a new Order of Sith.

As for Rey—I don’t think he’s jealous of Rey. Look back at their lightsaber battle—I would think Kylo Ren would want to dominate her, turn her to the dark side, and make her his apprentice. Her fear and desire to kill him actually falls in line with what Darth Bane says regarding an apprentice to crave their master’s power.

So I will admit, this is all a creative guess on my part. It’s not a theory—because I currently have nothing to support what I’m saying. I am only trying to guess at what Kylo Ren means when he says he will finish what Vader started.

So I’d like to hear from all of you now.

Do you think that Kylo Ren believes that he is the Chosen One who will fulfill the Prophecy of the Sithari? What do you think Kylo Ren is trying to complete?


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