One of the latest and greatest comic series in the line of Marvel’s Star Wars has been The Rise of Kylo Ren written by Charles Soule and illustrated by Will Sliney.
The series ironically kicked off the same day that The Rise of Skywalker premiered and right away we learned some interesting tidbits about Ben Solo’s fall.
So originally, in The Last Jedi, we are made to believe that Ben Solo burns down his uncle Luke Skywalker’s temple and likely murders his way out of there. That is 100% false according to comic #1.
The comic shows Master Skywalker encountering Ben during his sleep, just like we see in TLJ, and Ben crumbles the hut down onto his uncle. What happens next is what is a shock.
The young Solo leaves the debris of his hut and looks at the temple and repeatedly asks, “why?!”. His anger is seen growing and then out of nowhere the temple is engulfed by a huge explosion.
“No! I didn’t want this,” says Ben with a concerned face.
Meanwhile a voice is speaking to him, Snoke’s voice we assume. So did Snoke cause this explosion? And since Snoke is a product of Palptine, did Palptine cause this?! Or maybe it was the Knights of Ren somehow.
At the start of the comic we are oddly introduced to the Knights of Ren in a “long ago” sequence. More questions arise as their masked leader, Ren, confronts two brothers. He also refers to his red bladed lightsaber as Ren…soooo what gives here?
Ren essentially murders the two brothers after talking about how to join their crew and being able to “touch the shadow“. Touching the shadow pretty much just means using the force we think…but why do they call it that?
The Knights (the same exact ones we know today from the sequel trilogy) gather around Ren and shoot the shit before Ren says, “Let’s go find something to burn.” Is that ‘something’ the Skywalker Temple? Not likely as the scene is pre-cursed by ‘long ago’ but it must be more than coincidence.
The KOR are quite the mystery. Are they somehow immortal or at least long living beings of some sort? If this is a very long time ago they could be a hundred years old in The Rise of Skywalker for all we know. A stormtrooper does refer to them as “ghouls” in TRoS, so there’s that.
Comic #1 also involves Ben being confronted by his peers as he’s leaving the burning temple grounds. A couple are sympathetic towards him and others want him to pay for what he has done. Ben wants no part of this. With his former friends’ sabers drawn he sends them flying via the force and flees the area with a sad look on his face.
His peers try to once more tail him in a ship but Ben uses his Solo flying abilities to outmaneuver them. Next he goes to a crazy looking bio-dome looking planet…where Snoke resides. This isn’t your evil, crazy looking Snoke either…let’s describe this as “Gardner Snoke” or “Hippy Snoke”.
Ben….hugs…Snoke (ewww) and then chats with him for a few before saying “I’ve been thinking…about the Knights of Ren.” And that’s where it ends.
So what we learned:
-Ben DID NOT destroy Luke’s temple.
-Ben DID NOT kill any of the other Jedi, even Luke obviously.
-Snoke somehow led Ben to believe that Luke was bad for him and so is the Jedi way. Snoke appears as a much more peaceful person than he really is, especially with the look of being surrounded by nature.
-Ben hasn’t seen his mom, Leia, in quite some time and it appears he misses her (his nearly crying face says so).
So all in all Ben is not the monster we all thought he may have been during these events. He’s just a very vulnerable 20 something not knowing how to handle the world…sounds relatable.
I highly recommend this series to any Star Wars fan. The lore and backstory that we’ll be getting will be very interesting as we move forward. Hopefully the mystery of the Knights of Ren will be resolved and we can see how Ben really becomes the evil Kylo Ren.
The AJ rating for comic #1: 8.5/10. Great backstory and revelations. More questions arise as they should in an opener. Beautiful illustrations and writing.