‘The Rise of Skywalker’: Why Keeping Ben Solo Alive Wouldn’t Have Worked
Over the years, Star Wars fans have analyzed details of the films and pondered how some things could have turned out differently. And Ben Solo is just one character who has spurred much discussion with differing opinions. Some fans believe killing off the character was the best move in the sequel trilogy while others have a different view of things.
A look back at the ‘Star Wars’ films
With the introduction of Anakin Skywalker as a boy in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, the audience was able to gain a better understanding of Darth Vader and his past. Viewers had a similar introduction to a young Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: A New Hope, witnessing his growth as he learned to use the Force.
The Star Wars sequel trilogy gave us new characters — Rey, Finn, and Poe to name a few — in a familiar tug-of-war between the Light Side and Dark Side of the Force. And Kylo Ren/Ben Solo was a new ominous figure who represented the Dark Side, even though he came from a long line of Jedi.
Who is Ben Solo?
Introduced in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Ben Solo was the son of Han Solo and Princess Leia. As such, he was powerful with the Force, and Luke was training him to be a Jedi. But he was seduced by the Dark Side and ended up killing his fellow Jedi students and joining Supreme Leader Snoke, a puppet of Darth Sidious. He renamed himself Kylo Ren and carried out missions for the First Order.
Throughout the sequel trilogy, it’s clear Ben is conflicted about his association with the Dark Side. While he carries out great acts of evil, including killing his own father, he also has a soft spot for his mother and for Rey. Ultimately Ben sacrifices his own life to save Rey.
‘Star Wars’ fans are conflicted about the death of Ben Solo
On a Reddit thread, fans discussed Ben Solo’s death in the sequel trilogy.
“If you let Ben live at the end, it’s so hard to deal with the consequences of the horrible things he did as Kylo,” one user said. “How would you deal with Ben receiving justice for his crimes?”
Many commenters echoed this reasoning.
“Death was the only probable ending,” another person said. “It’s not as though he could’ve strolled into the resistance camp at the end saying ‘sorry for all the murders.’ Like Vader he sacrificed his life in the service of defeating Palpatine.”
Others felt Ben could have lived and atoned for his crimes, though they did acknowledge this would have taken considerable screen time to make it satisfying.
“There would have absolutely needed to be scenes with him interacting / fighting with the Resistance, which would make them later forgiving him make more sense,” one fan said.
Ultimately, even if they wished he could’ve lived, most commenters felt Ben Solo’s death was the best route to bring closure to both the character and the story.