What Caused Ben Solo to Become Kylo Ren?

If you are a reader of this blog, you know the story of Anakin Skywalker and his fall to the dark side. You probably also know the story of Darth Plagueis the Wise and how it relates to Anakin’s fall.

However, none of you will know how Anakin’s grandson Ben Solo fell to the dark side. That is because no one outside of the Lucasfilm story group knows and they have done little to clue us in via the new canon.

A few lines in TFA and a cross reference of databank entries on Supreme Leader Snoke, Kylo Ren, and Luke Skywalker give us a basic outline that goes as follows: Ben Solo is born to Leia Organa and Han Solo, Ben goes to train with Luke at the new Jedi academy, Ben is seduced to the dark side by Snoke, Ben kills his classmates and Luke goes into hiding.

What is missing from this narrative is a reason for Ben turning to the dark side. If the narrative mirrors Anakin’s seduction by Palpatine, it will involve Yoda’s proverbial warnings from the prequel area.¬†Every Padawan knows that fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.

What was the catalyst for Snoke’s seduction of Ben? Was it fear of losing his parents? Perhaps a hatred of his parents for sending him off to Jedi boarding school?

I suspect a narrative that focuses on Leia and Han’s reluctance to teach Ben about his family lineage. In Bloodline, Claudia Gray’s excellent book about Leia’s post Endor life, a key plot point is Leia being outed as Darth Vader’s daughter to the New Republic. During this time, Ben was supposedly off world training with Luke. It is possible that Ben learns of his grandfather’s true identity and becomes angry at his parents and uncle for hiding this secret. This could create the emotional instability needed for Snoke to exploit. Imagine Snoke promising infinite power to Ben so that he could become more powerful than Vader and do what he could not — kill the last Jedi.

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