‘The Rise of Skywalker’: The Critical Scene Fans Define as the Moment ‘Kylo Became Ben’
Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker had its fans and its detractors, splitting the fan base as to its quality. One thing no one can deny, however, is that it closed the narrative arc for the character of Kylo Ren, also known as Ben Solo.
By the time of the third film, Kylo’s story had reached its conclusion. There were two scenes in particular that best highlighted his descent into darkness and his ascent into the light. There’s one scene that fans of the film hail as the scene where “Kylo became Ben.” Let’s take a closer look at the character’s journey and the scene that brought it full circle.
Kylo Ren was a new kind of ‘Star Wars’ villain
In The Force Awakens, Kylo kills his father, Han Solo, in the most shocking scene in the sequel trilogy. It’s a heartwrenching scene, especially for anyone who grew up with the original trilogy.
Kylo, still feeling conflicted about his turn from the light side to the dark side, tells his father he knows what he has to do, but he’s not sure if he has the strength to do it. He asks for Han’s help, which Han agrees to.
In that scene, unbeknownst to Han, Kylo is seeking the strength to do what he believes must be done to solidify his turn to the dark side – kill Han.
Of course, he does this. But before Han dies, he puts his hand on Kylo’s face as one last loving gesture before passing away.
When Ren became Ben
Star Wars fans took to Reddit to discuss one critical scene in Rise of Skywalker in which they believe Kylo became Ben. The scene occurs at the end of the film’s second act. After a duel with Kylo that gives him a fatal blow, Rey uses the Force to heal him.
Kylo then encounters a vision of his father, Han, who tells him to return to the light and help Rey. Han informs him that Kylo Ren is dead, but Ben Solo is still alive. He then puts his hand on his son’s face, consolingly, just like he had during his death scene.
Ben says he knows what he has to do, but that he’s unsure if he’s strong enough to do it. Han encourages him, just like he had before – only this time, they’re both talking about the same thing.
One Redditor pointed out that the scene was a reflection of Han’s death scene, making the two parts bookends for Ben’s story:
“I love how this scene was a mirror of how Han died in the TFA. In TFA it was when Ben became Kylo and in Rise it was when Kylo became Ben.”
The scene works perfectly in tandem with the earlier scene from Force Awakens.
The other clever nod to Star Wars lore in the Ben Solo scene in ‘Rise of Skywalker’
Ben and Han’s interaction included one reference to the past that big fans of the series were sure to notice. After reaching the conclusion that he must help Rey, and that Han was right, an emotional Ben makes a plea to his father.
He says, “Dad…” as if he wants to say more. It doesn’t take a psychic to tell you that he wants to tell his father he loves him at that moment.
True to Han’s character, he responds, “I know.” It mimics the same response he made to Leia in The Empire Strikes Back when she declared her love for him.
Say what you will about the Star Wars sequel trilogy, but they did have some great moments that worked well together as part of a larger franchise.