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Who is Kylo Ren in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens?

The Force Awakens villain carries a unique lightsaber and appears obsessed with Darth Vader. He also stars in Disney Infinity 3.0.
This article is over 8 years old and may contain outdated information

Considering the massive amount of hype surrounding Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Disney continues to do an excellent job keeping spoilers under virtual lock and key. The company squashes leaks while offering fans hints in the form of made-for-TV movie trailers (more questions than answers, really) with seconds of new footage and hints on toys and Lego sets. 

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Among the biggest mysteries is Kylo Ren, the film’s prominent bad guy; his boss, Supreme Leader Snoke is arguably the best kept secret. Kylo receives the most attention because of his obsession with Darth Vader, crossguard lightsaber and his attention-grabbing mask (on sale now where most Star Wars toys are sold), but who is this guy, and what is his fascination with the Dark Side of the Force? 

We know this much, Kylo Ren commands The First Order, presumably under Snoke’s direction. He is Force sensitive but not a true Sith like Vader, Emperor Palpatine and Darth Maul.  He makes Force gestures in the different Star Wars trailers (he seemingly attempts to scramble Poe Dameron’s brain at some point) and is cable of deflecting blaster fire with his lightsaber, but his powers are questionable.  Either he uses the Force in some fashion or he’s a nut job who thinks he can.  

This may tie into his lightsaber, which looks crude compared the others we’re used to seeing. At first people assumed the crossguard was for protection (characters tend to lose their limbs in Star Wars movies), but now there’s speculation the weapon requires ventilation of some sort to keep the unstable energy in check.

He’s a member of the Knights of Ren, and as we mentioned has a thing for Darth Vader. His two most famous lines thus far are “I’m immune to the light” and “I will finish what you started.” The latter deals with Vader or it’s a clever editing trick that has nothing to do with the former Dark Lord of the Sith.

If he joined the Vader fan club, he most likely doesn’t know about his idol’s true identity, and Anakin Skywalker’s subsequent redemption and Force ghost ascension, where he pals around with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda. Some fans want to know why Force Ghost Anakin doesn’t tap Kylo on the shoulder, but apparently Force Ghosts cannot visit everyone. Vader’s real identity is also a closely-guarded secret in the Star Wars universe. 

Unless director J.J. Abrams knows something we don’t, actor Adam Driver plays Kylo Ren and the mask comes off at least once in the film; we can see Driver’s hair from behind during the brief fight scene between Kylo Ren and Finn.  Some fans think he’s really Luke Skywalker (doubtful), but Kylo Ren being Luke or Han Solo/Princess Leia’s son makes more sense.  Kylo Solo sounds a bit odd though, right? 

Kylo Ren is one of the playable characters in Disney Infinity 3.0. You’ll be able to purchase a play set based on The Force Awakens, along with his figure, both of which release the same day as the movie on December 18. 

Let us know what you think of Kylo Ren.  Will he fill Vader’s boots or is he Snoke’s puppet? And who wins that lightsaber battle in the forest?

Now check out these tips for the Disney Infinity Rise Against the Empire play set.

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