- 1 Romance
- 2 Family
- 3 Friends and Allies
- 4 Former Enemies
- 5 Enemies
- Rey: "I've never felt so alone."
- Ben: "You're not alone."
- Rey: "Neither are you."
- ―Rey and Ben talking through their bond[src]
Rey is the love of Ben Solo's life. Initially unknown to Ben, Rey forms a dyad in the Force with him, being them actually one in the Force but born as two physically separated individuals. Thus, despite not being related by blood, Rey is Ben's other half, making her his "soulmate" or "twin of the Force". As such, they were connected before they even meet. When Ben was about to kill the previous leader of the Knights of Ren, a very young Rey feels cold while her dyad counterpart is falling into darkness. She also had visions with him at least once prior to their first encounter, when she touched the Skywalker lightaber at Maz Kanata's castle, which makes Rey recognize Kylo Ren as the figure she saw in her daydream and nightmare the first time she sees him in the battlefield at Takodana. Similarly, Ben also probably experienced these feelings and/or visions about Rey as he is mystified upon seeing her for the first time and later seems to recognize her during their first battle on Starkiller Base when she gets the Skywalker saber from the snow. Together, they have an immense power, described as the power of life itself, being able to heal themselves and others, and even revive the dead at the cost of their own life energy. As a dyad, they were destinated to meet since their lifelines are inextricably joined by the Force and their fates are intertwined, with their bond allowing them to understand each other's feelings and to grow stronger together.
Upon meeting for the first time, Kylo and Rey started out as enemies, when she located and rescued BB-8, which led him to hunt her on Takodana. But as he sensed something different about Rey at the first time he saw her, he gives up looking for the droid with the map to Luke Skywalker and he decides to kidnap her. Since the beginning, Ren seems unwilling to harm her. He carries her himself in his arms all the way towards his shuttle, instead of calling for the stormtroopers to take her as he did with Poe Dameron. Her interrogation is also very different than Poe's. Kylo does not leave her to be questioned and beaten at the hands of the stormtroopers as he did with the pilot, and the dark warrior is the first one she sees upon waking up unscathed inside the interrogation room. Ren greets her by saying she is "his guest" and unmasks upon hearing her calling him a "monster in a mask". Kylo intentionally chose not to harm her, even stating that he would prefer not do probe her mind as it would bring him no pleasure and that he would do it as "easily as possible". Rey's mind and feelings intrigue Kylo, and he takes his time examining them instead of immediately searching for the map. But he was surprised when she turned his mind probe against him, causing him to fail to get the map. Upon seeking his master for help, Kylo states that Rey's strength in the Force caused him to be unsuccessful in probing her mind, but Snoke accuses his apprentice of having compassion for the girl and tells him that was the real reason of his failure.
Afterwards, instead of becoming enraged with her for getting Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber (as he was with Finn), Ren is in awe after she successfully called the saber to her when he could not. Since then, he is very convinced of her power, believing even she does not know it. He very much longs to turn her to the dark side and train her, but this ultimately backfires when he offers to be her teacher as they fight on Starkiller Base, and she uses his hesitation to finish her as an opportunity to beat him. Rey's hatred of him increased after he killed Han Solo, and she duels trying to kill him with his grandfather's lightsaber. Rey defeats him, scarring his face and leaving him for dead.
Later, he discovered that she shared a Force-bond with him, as the result of them being a dyad. During the first connection, instead of being angry with her because his previous defeat, Ren shows curiosity and fascination for the bond. Despite of her initial disdain for him, through this bond, the two formed a legitimate emotional connection. Kylo became very fond of Rey, as she was one of the few people to ever treat him with compassion and kindness after his fall to the dark side, to the point she even begins to refer to him as Ben, and he lets her do it despite not liking his birthname. Although Ren is known for being emotionally unbalanced, impatient, and easily irritated, whenever Rey is around, he seems calm and soft-spoken as result of the effect her presence has on him.
As their connection strengthens, they start to feel empathy towards each other through a shared sentiment of loneliness, and they try to comfort the other through their bond. Through their interactions, they also show signs of a growing attraction towards each other. After Rey left the mirror cave feeling lonely and lost because she found no answers about her parents, she searches for him and he listens carefully as she tells him everything about the event. Kylo sympathizes with Rey, as he recognizes in her the same sentiment of abandonment he feels about his own family, so he tries to assure her that he knows what she is going through and that she is not alone. After touching hands with her and seeing her parents, Ren becomes determined to bring her to his side, believing that she will eventually turn to the dark side and join him.
When Rey went to meet him in the Supremacy in an attempt to convince him to turn to the light, Snoke reveals that he had manipulated their bond to lead Rey into a trap and starts to torture her in front of Ren. This infuriates Kylo, who at this point had developed strong feelings for Rey. Thus, when Snoke orders him to kill Rey, Ren kills his own master to save her life. Decided to have her with him to rule the galaxy, Ren refused to go with her when she tried to return him to the light side after they fought together against Snoke's guards. Instead, he held out his hand and asked her to join him in the dark side. He even confesses that she is important to him despite her origins and apparent insignifice to the galaxy. As he senses her hesitation, he pleads to her to take his hand, but to no avail. Disappointed after the failed attempt to turn each other, they are both heartbroken.
Following their fight over the Skywalker saber, Kylo wakes up alone but unharmed in the throne room after Rey escaped, and he becomes frustrated but also confused, asking why she didn't kill him when he was unconscious and if she does care at all about him. He also does not understand why she refused his hand as he sensed that she did want to take it. His exasperation because of her rejection is shown as he later even vowed to destroy her and in so doing, snuff out the Jedi for good. However, shortly after, Ren saw her again through their bond and seemed depressed when she closes the door on him, contradicting his earlier vow about ending her life. Besides this, despite of his achievements that include his rise to the Supreme Leader position, Kylo feels that his victories are empty and is unsatisfied because of her rejection. As such, they remained enemies but with a clearly complicated relationship.
Even after being rejected in Snoke's Throne Room, Kylo continued to pursue Rey determined to turn her to the dark side and have her beside him. When the Emperor offered him power and a fleet in exchange for Rey's life, Ren immediately betrays him planning to take the Throne of the Sith together with her. The reveal of her Palpatine lineage, only made him more confident that she would eventually fall to the dark side. At that point, ruling the galaxy with her had become his greatest ambition, and after fighting alongside her on the Supremacy, he came to believe that they would be invencible together. Because of this, he had no desire to kill her, even with Sidious' telling him that her survival would bring the end of the First Order and Ren's death. Nevertheless, despite having no wish to follow the Emperor's instructions, Ren realized that Rey had become the embodiment of the light in his life, thus the one pushing him away from the dark, so he was tempted by the dark side to get rid of his attachment to her. However, as this contradicted his deepest desire to have Rey to himself, he was relieved during their encounter on Pasaana that she was unharmed after he drove his TIE whisper at high speed towards her.
Upon meeting her on the Steadfast, he finally reveals to Rey about her Palpatine lineage and that they are a dyad in another attempt to convince her to join him. He enjoys to see her in person again, and is so focused in watching the face which he calls "lovely" as she reacts to his revelations that he doesn't even bother with all the destruction and dead stormtroopers surrounding him, considering that the First Order's losses are a small price to pay just to encounter Rey once more. To his frustration, the Falcon arrives and Rey refuses his offer again, and he is left behind once again. Ren then claims to hate his father's old ship for believing it to be the only reason that prevented her from taking his hand during that encounter.
During their fight on Ker Bir, Kylo tries to assure Rey again through their bond that he knows her after she stated that nobody does. Throughout this duel, Ren is shown to easily overpower Rey, but he still spends most of the fight defending himself and dodging. He rarely takes the many chances he has to attack, even when she is distracted by Finn's appearance, as he is once again seeming unwilling to harm her. Ultimately, Rey is only able to end the fight because he is distracted by his mother. Following their duel, Rey heals the wound she inflicted herself on him, giving a lot of her own life energy as she is even willing to die in order to save him. Ren is surprised and confused by her actions, not understanding why she would save him. She then confesses to him that she was indeed willing to join him as Ben Solo, which confirmed her romantic feelings but that she would never be with him as long as he was in the dark side.
Right after, Rey was proven correct that he could be redeemed, as Ren renounced the dark side thinking about the wish of his loved ones (his parents and Rey) that wanted him to come back to the light side. As soon as he reclaimed his old identity, Ben was moved by the desire to save Rey. She had gone to confront Palpatine alone, so Ben followed her to Exegol to help her. Upon arriving, he immediately sensed through the Force that she was in trouble, which made him run as he was determined to not let anything stop him from reaching her. Because of his change, he and Rey finally feel that their connection is right and it finally feels like coming home, and this is what inspires her to fight and not submit to her grandfather.
Though he was gravely injured by the Emperor, Ben survived the fall in the pit and started to panic as he wasn't able to sense Rey anymore through their bond. Upon finding Rey's lifeless body as the result of her confrontation against Sidious, Ben is shaken, feeling a pain worse than any of his physical wounds. Ben is unable to accept her death, thinking that Rey is the strongest person he ever known as she was able to fight her own darkness and bring him back to the light while he couldn't. He mourns that he had just really found her but lost her, and thinks that he wasted his whole life, including the chance to be with her, because of his wrong choices. But as he is hugging her body close to him, he senses that the Force still handn't taken her, so Ben has no hesitation as he immediately decides to sacrifice himself by giving her the rest of his own life energy to revive her, well aware that Rey would have done the same for him as she did after their last duel.
He succeeds in doing so and, as she wakes up, she covers his hand hers, finally taking it. He is then surprised when she smiles and happily says his name since he expected her rejection again. They gaze and smile fondly at each other before finally giving in to their romantic feelings sharing a passionate kiss. Shortly after, while Ben is still in Rey's arms, he succumbs to his wounds and vanishes into the Force. Ben has no regrets in giving his whole self to her and helping to bring Rey back to the galaxy, but Rey is heavily distressed by his disappearance, so she cries feeling that half of her soul was ripped from her, which in fact it was. However, even then, Ben is still able to communicate with her through the Force and he assures Rey that he'll be always with her, and she is comforted in realizing that in some way he is not actually gone and that they would always be together.
- Ben: "I know what I have to do but I don't know if I have the strength to do it."
- Han: "You do."
- Ben: "Dad..."
- Han: "I know."
- ―Ben and Han Solo's memory[src]
Ben deeply loved and admired his father, and as a child he wanted to be a pilot like him. However, because of Han's job as a smuggler and Leia's job as a Senator, they both would be always absent from their home, and as result Ben developed a sentiment of loneliness. At some point, Ben eventually started to consider Han a disappointment, although he never really hated his father.
Despite turning to the dark side, Kylo would still feel strong attachment towards his parents, which he would never be able to get rid of. During his training with his master, Snoke takes him to the Cave of Evil, and Ren is confronted with visions of his family. While Ren does not hesitate to kill his uncle's illusion, he feels conflicted upon seeing his parents. Despite denying that he is Ben Solo, upon hearing them asking him to come home, Ren chooses to destroy the cave instead of killing the illusion of his father and mother.
Sometime after, Kylo still became conflicted and felt a pull to the light when Snoke informs him that the droid with the location to Luke Skywalker was in his father's ship, which meant that he would soon meet and confront Han Solo. In an attempt to get rid of the attachment he felt for his family and to make himself stronger in the dark side, Ren rejected Han's offer to come back to the light and brutally murdered him. However, this ultimately fails to make him stronger, and instead Ben only feels more conflicted and weaker. He deeply regretted assassinating Han almost immediately after it occurred, showing the first signs of how much he cared about him and how that would affect his state of mind afterwards.
Noticing how murdering Han Solo further aggravated his apprentice's internal conflict, his master Supreme Leader Snoke reprimands Ren saying that he has too much of his father's heart and calls him a "child in a mask" because of his sentimentality. Snoke mistreating Kylo while he is feeling depressed for his father's death, only ends up damaging his faith in his master. Later, his vulnerable state makes him very unwilling to do the same to his mother, Leia. This is also what allows Rey to approach and sympathize with him upon sensing his conflict through their newfound connection. Rey states to him that she sensed how his inner conflict is torning him apart and that his father's death has haunted him, as he can't stop to see his face because of the remorse he feels.
Eventually, Leia's intervention during Rey and Kylo's duel on Kef Bir helps Kylo meet and reconciliate with his own memory of his father. Han Solo's memory forgives him and encourages him to definitely leave Kylo Ren's persona behind. Ben becomes very emotional hearing his father's words, to the point that he calls him "dad" and tries to profess his love for him, but Han smiles and replies that he already knows. That is one of the key things to push him back to the light side. Shortly after, he throws his red lightsaber at the sea and becomes Ben Solo again.
- “It's too late. She's gone.”
- ―Ben Solo to the memory of his father after Leia's death.[src]
Ben had a loving relationship with Leia, prior to his fall to the dark side. However, similar to Han, her job as a Senator would prevent her to stay at home, causing Ben to feel alone without his parents. When he started to struggle with his Force powers, which he was untrained to control, Leia became terrified that he would end up like his maternal grandfather Anakin Skywalker. Overhearing his mother discussing with his father about his powers, Ben comes to believe that his parents fear him. Despite this, Ben never hated his father or mother. Eventually, Leia sent him to study under the tutelage of her brother, Luke.
Unfortunately, Luke's mistake of contemplating killing his nephew upon sensing how strong his connection to the dark side of the Force is, would be definitive to push Ben towards the dark side, and later become Kylo Ren. Leia was heartbroken that her son had become evil and mourned his fate bitterly, yet, despite all the atrocities that Kylo had committed over the years, she still believed that Ben could come back to the light and be redeemed.
Meanwhile, Kylo was still struggling with his inner conflict because even after turning to the dark side, he was not able to get rid of the strong feelings he had for his family. When Snoke brings him to train in the Cave of Evil, Kylo is deeply conflicted upon seeing a vision of his parents. The illusion of his mother tells him that he is their son and they still love him and then asks Kylo to come home. Although he denies to his mother that he is Ben Solo, he is not able to harm Leia's or Han's illusion, so he decides to destroy the whole cave instead.
Afterwards, when he kills Han Solo, Kylo thought he would become stronger in the dark side by severing his ties to his family, but he only becomes even more conflicted and emotionally unbalanced as result. Because of this, when he was given a chance to kill Leia, he couldn't bring himself to do it, shedding tears of remorse and guilt for even considering killing his mother.
Later, when Leia spents all of her energy trying to reach him, which eventually kills her, Ren is distracted and emotionally shaken in feeling his mother's death, to the point he is completely defenseless during his duel with Rey. The duel ends with Rey impaling him with his own lightsaber, but regretting her action immediately afterwards. She also senses Leia's death and for a moment, when she heals him and they recociliate, they both mourn her together.
Right after Rey left him confused and reflecting alone on the Death Star ruins, Ren has a vision of his father that encourages him to return to the light but he seems to have lost all hope in his own redemption after his mother's death. Han's memory then reminds him that even if Leia is dead, her ideals and the cause that she fought are not. Thinking about his loved ones, including his mother, that wanted him back in the light side, is what motivates Ren to definitely abandon the dark side.
- “Did you come back to say you forgive me? To save my soul?”
- ―Kylo confronts Luke on Crait[src]
When Ben started to struggle with his inner darkness, he was sent to study under Luke's tutelage at the request of his mother, Leia, in the hope of preventing him from ending up like his maternal grandfather, Anakin Skywalker. Luke taught Ben of the ways of the light side of the Force and lightsaber combat, and they once had a good relationship, with Ben being known as Luke's most prized student and his favorite. At that point, Ben really admired his uncle, considering him a legend while dedicating himself to become a Jedi like him.
Unfortunately, Luke made a mistake by contemplating and nearly considering killing him upon sensing how strong his connection to the dark side of the Force is. This proved to be extremely disastrous, as Ben's former faith in his uncle was shattered and he tries to defend himself from his uncle atempt murder by colapsing the hut there are in. Hurt by his uncle's betrayal, Ben is enraged, unable to understand the reason of Luke's actions. After the Jedi Temple's destruction, Ben went to meet Snoke as there was no one left of his family he trusted since he also felt abandoned by his parents. At this point, his previous admiration for his uncle is completely gone. Later, he even states that neither Luke nor Snoke never saw him as a person, but just as a set of expectations because of the potential of his power for the light and dark sides. He then assumes the Kylo Ren persona and goes to terrorize the galaxy as a leader of the First Order. Meanwhile, Luke was deeply grieved and wracked with guilt, blaming himself for his students' deaths and Ben's turn to the dark, so he went to hide into exile.
Ren, under the orders of Snoke, is instructed to find and kill Luke. Snoke knows that as long as Luke is alive, a new generation of Jedi Knights can rise once again. Ren himself resents Luke for trying to murder him. Although Kylo feels strong attachment to his family, as shown when he hesitates to harm a vision of his parents upon being brought by Snoke to the Cave of Evil, he does not hold back against a vision of his uncle, which he immediately attacks and kills. During the Force connections with Rey, he is also constantly bitter when talking about Luke and believed his uncle would just toss her aside like he did with him.
They finally met when Ren was on the verge of complete victory over the Resistance. Kylo showed his rage towards his uncle by shifting from being initially mocking to soon showing hatred when he looked at Luke as they fought, though astonishingly despite remaining calm and focused, Luke showed some remorse for failing Ren but coldly said that he would not even attempt to save him. Luke was successfully able to anticipate that Ren's rage towards him would hamper his ability and mind, although even had Ren fought at full clarity, he most likely wouldn't have beaten Luke anyway. Being Ren's teacher in lightsaber combat, he was obviously far more skilled and experienced than his hot-headed nephew, and used this to his advantage, tricking Ren into fighting with him while the Resistance escapes, after easily dodging all of his nephew's attacks, openly showing how had he wanted to, he could have killed him many times over, Luke finally revealed his deception once sensing Rey had finally saved the Resistance and before dying, he taunted Ren one last time as Ren could do nothing but accept his failure in anger.
- “Show me again, the power of the darkness, and I'll let nothing stand in our way. Show me, Grandfather, and I will finish what you started.”
- ―Kylo Ren to Darth Vader's melted mask[src]
Anakin died before Ben was born. However, Ben came to greatly admire and revere his maternal grandfather's power, but he also came to fear that he may never be as powerful as the Chosen One. He came to admire more of his grandfather's dark aspects than his light aspects, regarding Vader as Anakin's true-self. Upon turning to the dark side, like Anakin before him, Ben became known as Kylo Ren and swore to live up to his grandfather's legacy, stating he would finish what Vader started.
Kylo is very possessive of his grandfather's relics. He recovered Vader's burned helmet and kept it in his chambers. He would talk to it everytime he wanted guidance from his grandfather, as he does when he is conflicted with the pull to the light he feels after knowing he will soon confront his father, Han Solo. Kylo also becomes enraged when Finn uses his Anakin's lightsaber against him, as he believes that the weapon rightfully belongs to him.
Ren was seemingly becoming worse than his grandfather when he killed his father, because although Vader was brutal and ruthless, he never killed a member of his own family, not even for power, which ultimately led to Anakin's redemption. Because of Snoke's and Palpatine's corruption, Kylo believed that attachments and feelings as love and compassion made him feel weak besides pulling him back to the light side, so he would try to keep himself from having them. Ironically, the act of killing Han Solo had the opposite effect than the one expected, leaving Kylo consumed by remorse and further increasing his internal struggle.
In the end, Ben not only follows his grandfather's footsteps when he returns to the light side. At the Battle of Exegol, a redeemed Ben Solo finally wields his grandfather lightsaber after Rey gave to him through their bond so he could fight the Knights of Ren. Afterwards, upon bringing Rey back to life, he accomplishes to save the woman he loves from death, which was something that Anakin wanted to do with Padmé but failed. Thus, Ben is able to finish something that his grandfather started even if it was not in the way he initially expected.
Friends and Allies
Luke Skywalker's other apprentices
- Ben: "No. NO! I never... I didn't want this."
- ???: "And you did not choose Ben. The JEDI did. Skywalker."
- ―Ben Solo and Palpatine or Snoke about the death of Luke's apprentices[src]
While Ben is the first of the apprentices at Luke's Jedi Temple, others quickly joined Luke's new Jedi Order. He soon becomes his uncle's prize student with superior skills to all of them, but this does not prevent him from considering them his friends, as displayed especially with his friendship with Tai, Hennix and Voe. Despite this, Ben is shown not to be above holding them in contempt in case of competition, as seen with Voe who constantly tried to surpass Ben in everything but never succeed.
Futhermore, as noted by Tai, Ben was very reserved and wouldn't show his feelings easily to the others. Ben isolating himself from the other apprentices, allows Snoke and Palpatine to approach him through communications in the Force and they both start to poison Ben's mind with negative thoughts about the Jedi and his uncle Luke.
When Jedi Temple is destroyed by a sudden lightning storm (which Ben perceived as accidentally caused by himself) Ben's fellow apprentices are killed and he, despite his anger towards his uncle, becomes clearly horrified. Ben feels guilty and runs towards the temple while trying to save the other students but fails. He mourns the others, stating that he never wanted them dead, showing he truly cared for them.
At this moment, a voice inside his mind (Palpatine's or Snoke's) attempts to "comfort" Ben for his loss, stating that the fault is really of the Jedi and Luke Skywalker, not Ben's. Unfortunately, not being able to do anything to save his friends is another reason for Ben thinking that he can't go back to his family. Thus, he reluctantly goes to Snoke, turning to the dark side, taking the blame for the massacre of his fellow apprentices and later becoming known as the "Jedi Killer".
- “I had no idea we had the best pilot of the Resistance onboard. Comfortable?”
- ―Kylo Ren to Poe during the interrogation[src]
Kylo and Poe become enemies when the pilot is captured during the First Order attack on the Jakku village to reveal the location of the map of Luke Skywalker, a very similar situation in which Rey is later kidnapped. However, different from the way he treats Rey, Kylo shows no mercy or compassion for Poe. Upon capturing him, Ren orders the stormtroopers to take him and Poe is dragged to a First Order ship. Afterwards, Kylo leaves Poe to be interrogated and beaten at the hands of the stormtroopers, before going himself to interrogate the prisoner. Kylo scorns Poe by calling him the best pilot of the Resistance, and immediately probes his mind with no restraints. When Poe still is defiant, Ren slams the pilot's head on the interrogation chair and painfully tortures him. Ultimately, looking into his mind, Kylo easily manages to discover that Poe had hidden the map inside BB-8 and that the droid is still on Jakku.
- ―Kylo Ren insulting Finn for defecting the First Order[src]
Ren and Finn have been enemies ever since the former stormtrooper defected from the First Order. Even before his defection, Kylo seems to notice something different about him when Finn refuses to fire on the villagers during the First Order attack on Jakku. Because of this, when Kylo hears that one of the stormtroopers defected and escaped along with Poe Dameron, the dark warrior correctly assumes that the one who defected was Finn. Since then, Kylo hunts Finn along with Poe's droid BB-8, and they eventually face each other after Kylo captured Rey and killed Han Solo.
At Starkiller Base, Ren accuses Finn of treason and becomes enraged when Finn uses Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber against him. Kylo states that weapon belongs to him, in which Finn tells him to come and get it (unaware that Ren is in fact Anakin's grandson, and the lightsaber rightfully belongs to him). The two engage in a lightsaber duel as Finn tries survive while denfending Rey that is unconscious, and trying to avenge Han's death. Although he is able to hold his own reasonably well for a relatively short period of time and even manages to lightly wound Ren's right shoulder, ultimately, Finn is defeated by Ren, mainly because of his opponent's superior experience and skills in lightsaber combat. Kylo disarms him of Anakin's lightsaber and deals him a severe wound to his back. In fact, the only reason why Finn was able to last that long against Ren without any experience in the Force was that Ren was injured and was grieving for Han, had Ren been fighting at full strength he would have likely had no trouble at all killing Finn.
- “She tried to beat me. She couldn't. That was her whole problem. She couldn't just be herself. I think that made her angry, and that made her ashamed. Jedi aren't supposed to get mad about things.”
- ―Ben about Voe[src]
Ben and Voe were fellow apprentices of Luke, being both friends and rivals. Voe was irrationally jealous of Ben's natural gifts and Ben in return held her capabilities and inferiority complex towards him in contempt, believing that she was never a true Jedi from the way she acted.
After Ben almost killed Luke and the destruction of the Jedi Temple, Voe was the one most hostile towards Ben, wanting to bring him to justice. Ben in return does not hesitate to point out how he surpassed her and easily overpowers her with the Force. Despite this, at that time, Ben still cared enough for Voe to not want to kill her. This is seen when he chooses to disable her ship while he could have easily killed her by bringing it down, though that may be more because Tai, who Ben was much closer to, was there. Later, upon lashing out by nearly shoving her off a cliff after Voe continuously blamed him and called him a murderer, Ben immediately regrets and tries to save her, though it is apparent that his anger unbalances him enough that he struggles to do so.
However, any such feelings are lost, with Tai's death at the hands of Ren in the Minemoon of Mimban. After killing Ren to avenge Tai, he turns to Voe who also had came to Minemoon to pursue Ben. At that point, Ben had decided not to deviate from his path in the dark side anymore. Maybe blaming her for the death of the only friend he had and having had enough of the lengths which she would go to defeat him, knowing well it was influenced by her inferiority complex towards him, Ben ruthlessly kills her. Thus, in the end, Ben becomes the monster and murder she always unfairly accused him to be.
- “There is always hope. You can start from wherever you are. No path is forever. [...] Kill me if you have to, Ben. Or... don't. Be the man I know you are. Just be.”
- ―Tai to Ben just before being killed by "Ren"[src]
Ben and Tai were best friends, the closest out of the friends Ben had when he was still at the Jedi academy. Tai and Ben had a type of bond in the Force, which allowed Tai to sense Ben's feelings and know his whereabouts. Tai would often help Ben cope with the pressures of being around the other apprentices, as Ben was very isolated and reserved, not showing his thoughts and feelings to others. In return, Ben was more open with him than he was with any of the apprentices, not minding Tai sensing his conflicts and appearing to appreciate that Tai believed he could be himself.
However, the strong friendship between them broke after Ben almost killed Luke and the destruction of the Jedi Temple. Despite this, they still cared for one another. Tai is the only one who correctly believed that Ben didn't kill his fellow apprentices, and tried to convience Voe and Hennix that Ben is not a murder.
When confronting the last three of Luke's apprentices, Tai is the one who Ben hesitated to engage the most. In their final encounter, despite besting Tai, Ben seemes to be unable to bring himself to kill Tai and appears to consider Tai's words of redemption being possible for him. Unfortunately, before he could think more about it, Tai is killed by Ren. Ben is visibly angered by the death of the one true friend he had and proceeds to avenge Tai's death by killing Ren in return.
- “Snoke was completely wrong about you. You're fighting this every step of the way.”
- ―Ren about Ben's hesitation to kill Tai[src]
Ben first met Ren when he and Luke were collecting ancient Jedi artifacts. Because Ben still respected a lot his uncle at the time, he finds highly disrespectful when Ren insults Luke. On the other hand, Ren becomes interested in Ben upon sensing the "shadow", the darkness within him. Because of this, Ren offers Ben a chance to join the Knights of Ren if he ever abandons Luke. Ben at first did not want to join the knights, showing he still had a negative impression of Ren over their first meeting. However, after he went to Snoke upon turning to the dark side, he remembers Ren's offer and decides to seek for the knights with the intention to learn from them. When Ben finds them, Ren accepts that he can accompany the knights because of Snoke's recommendation, but expects Ben to prove himself to be worthy of joining the group by executing a "good death".
Even so, Ren and Ben never really become friends. Ben becomes very uncomfortable with how Ren ruthlessly kill others. At the Minemoon of Mimban, Ben attempts to extract information about an artifact from a group of miners without killing them by using mind probe. However, after Ben suceeded to obtain the information, Ren orders the knights to murder all the miners anyway, surprising Ben since Ren had said the miners would be released. In return, Ren eventually realizes that Ben is still conflicted about his decision to follow the dark side path and join the knights. Ren disapproves Ben's reluctance to kill, starting to doubt if Ben really is all that Snoke told about him. Seeing his hesitation while fighting Tai, who Ben still considered a good friend, Ren decides that Ben could never be a Knight of Ren. Ren murders Tai, which makes Ben's hatred for him escalate, resulting in Ben attacking and killing him. With Ren dead, Ben was accepted by the other knights as their new leader.
Thus, besides being the one resposible to push a conflicted Ben even more towards the dark side path, Ren ironically ends up being the "good death" that Ben needed to join the knights, resulting in Ben renaming himself Kylo Ren upon becoming the master of the Knights of Ren.
Although Ren and Hux both serve the First Order to destroy the Resistance and conquer the New Republic, Ren does not get along with Hux at all, partly due to them both trying to win the approval of Snoke and mainly because Hux's arrogant, rude, short-sighted and delusional traits.
Ren once threatened Hux, stating that if he ever pushes him too far he will kill the latter without hesitation. Hux on the other hand, dislikes Ren, partly because of his hot-headed temper and part due to the scientifically inclined Hux having little patience for "mysticism" regarding the Force.
Tensions between them grew when Ren killed Snoke. Though he did not know Ren had murdered his master, Hux tried to kill Ren regardless so as to try and claim power for himself. However, Hux, regardless of ambition, was swiftly put into place when Ren used the Force to choke him into submission. Ren also was more abusive towards Hux afterwards, slamming him into a wall with the Force when Hux angered him during the Battle of Crait.
- “I've given everything I have to you... to the dark side...”
- ―Kylo to his master[src]
During the time Ben was at the Jedi academy, Snoke started to communicate with him through the Force. Snoke presented himself a "friend" to him and soon became a confident who Ben would share thoughts and feelings he wouldn't tell to the other students or his uncle, as Ben was a very reserved person. Snoke planted doubts on Ben's mind about the Jedi and his uncle Luke, slowly corrupting him. At this period, Ben also started to hear Palpatine's voice in his mind, and before meeting the Sith Lord at Exegol, he thought this voice also belonged to Snoke. After Luke almost killed him in his sleep, Ben feels betrayed and is convinced that the voices in his head were right. Feeling he cannot go back to his family, Ben goes to Snoke as he had nobody else that he trusted.
Despite this, Ben is actually aware that Snoke does not truly care about him and is only using him for his power. While confronting his former fellow apprentice and best friend, Tai, Ben states that he knows that both Snoke and Luke never saw him as a real person but just as a legacy and set of expectations because of his potential for both the light and dark sides. Nevertheless, after Ben turning to the dark side, Ben later kills "Ren" (the leader of the Knights of Ren) and Snoke anoints him with the name of Kylo Ren. From this point on, Ren serves him loyally, believing that the Supreme Leader is wise and that overthrowing the New Republic is the right thing to do.
However, in spite of his loyalty, Kylo has to endure Snoke's physical and psychological mistreatments everytime his master is displeased with him. His master also does not approve Kylo trying to emulate his grandfather with a mask. In an event that Snoke takes Kylo to the Cave of Evil, his master hits him upon becoming annoyed for Kylo wanting to enter the cave using his helmet. The training under Snoke is also intense, as his master holds him above jagged rocks of a pit in order to teach Kylo how to use the Force to stop himself from falling to his death. Right after, inside the Cave of Evil, Kylo sees visions of his family, which he is supposed to destroy to get rid of his weaknesses, but he only manages to kill Luke's illusion, not being capable to harm the one of his parents.
After Kylo's failure at Starkiller Base, Snoke becomes infuriated with his apprentice. His master humiliates him for losing to a girl with no experience using a lightsaber and for feeling remorse after Han Solo's death. Due to the trauma and conflict from killing Han, in addition to Snoke's mistreatments towards him, Ren begins to doubt his own master, eventually causing the dark warrior to start to lose faith in him. However, upon being called a "child in a mask", Kylo initially becomes determined to prove that his master wrong, so he immediately attempts an attack at the Resistance. But this completely fails when Kylo senses his mother aboard the Raddus and can't bring himself to harm her, leaving him even more conflicted.
The increasing doubt Ren feels towards Snoke is even more aggravated when he starts to interact with Rey through their Force-bond. Kylo develops a close relationship with Rey and starts feeling genuine affection towards her, so when Snoke reveals that he had manipulated their bond and tortures her in front of Ren, he looks furious at his master. Thus, when Snoke orders Ren to kill Rey, he chooses to save her and kill his master instead. Ren then assumes the role of "Supreme Leader" for himself.
- Kylo: "What could you give me?"
- Palpatine: "Everything. A New Empire. [...] It'll be yours if you do as I ask. Kill the girl. End the Jedi. [...] You will rule all the galaxy as the new Emperor. But beware, she is not who you think she is."
- Kylo: "Who is she?"
- ―Kylo Ren and Palpatine[src]
When Ben was at the Jedi academy, at the same period that Snoke started to communicate with him through the Force, Ben also started to hear Palpatine's voice in his mind, and before meeting the Sith Lord at Exegol, he thought this voice also belonged to Snoke. Despite being scared of Palpatine's voice, Ben also started to trust and be comforted by it. After feeling betrayed by Luke, he is convinced that the voices (Palpatine's and Snoke's) were right about his family fearing his power, causing Ben to seek Snoke and chose the dark side path.
After Sidious broadcasted his return to the galaxy, Kylo saw him as a threat to his power as Supreme Leader, so he decided to investigate Sidious reappearance. Upon finding the revived Sidious on Exegol, Kylo threats to kill him like he did to Snoke. But Palpatine approves his action of killing Snoke, since Kylo acted as a true Sith by murdering his master. Palpatine reveals to Kylo that he was the one behind Snoke and the voices in his head that corrupted his mind during his whole life, causing him to fall to the dark side. Because of this, Sidious states to Kylo that he secretly has been his master all along. Kylo, however, after killing Snoke and becoming the Supreme Leader, refuses to serve Palpatine as his new master.
Kylo is not fooled by the Emperor's promises when he is offered power, the command of the Sith Eternal fleet and the Throne of the Sith if he kills Rey. Kylo knows that Palpatine would not give up his throne and grant all that power to him that easily (and unbeknownst to him, Sidious is indeed just using him to reach Rey and turn her into his new vessel). Additionally, he has no wish to kill Rey, even after Sidious warning him that if she lives, she will become a Jedi and bring the fall of the First Order as well as Kylo's death.
Thus, instead of doing what Sidious asked him to, Kylo uses the information that Palpatine told him about her origins to convince Rey about the darkness within her and that she belongs with him in the dark side. Kylo is convinced that if Rey joins him, they will be able to kill and overthrow the Emperor together, granting them control of the Sith fleet and the Throne of the Sith. He is also determined not to let Rey to go to confront Sidious before accepting his hand, so he destroys the second Sith wayfinder to stop her from finding the way to Exegol without him.
Upon coming back to the light side and reclaiming his former identity, Ben's only desire is to save Rey from the evil Emperor. But when Sidious sees Rey and Ben together and realizes they are a dyad, he exploits the energy of their powerful connection for his own benefit, restoring his imperfect cloned body. Sidious then attempts to dispose of Ben, showing his contempt for him as the last Skywalker, as he throws him into a pit to mock his previous death at the hands of his grandfather.