The Star Wars franchise is as strong today as it ever was. The world that George Lucas created -- and others like J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson have continued -- has amassed fans in the millions. People from different generations flock to see new Star Wars stories in the theater and on DVD or streaming services like Amazon.
And of course, fans take the time to create funny memes blasting or praising their favorite characters. Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) has been the center of some mild controversy, as fans decide whether he’s a hardcore bad guy worthy of the Darth Vader mantle, or a petulant brat with a chip on his shoulder. In their own ways, both Vader and Ren are overly pessimistic and selfish. But with Vader, audiences got to see his story through to the end. His reason for being and his conclusion. Kylo Ren is, possibly, only halfway through. Either way, it might be a fair argument to say that they both have their problems.
So sit back and enjoy these 15 Hilarious Darth Vader VS Kylo Ren Memes. Spoilers ahead.
15 Grandpa Urn
Apparently, Ren’s love for grandpa Vader extends into some alternate universe where Han Solo (Harrison Ford) is only mildly annoyed by Kylo, and everything looks like it was photographed for a Nicholas Sparks movie.
In case you’re curious, the common theme with most memes concerning Kylo Ren is that they revolve around making fun of him because he’s only evil-adjacent. This is because his character whines, supposedly because he’s not entirely committed to being evil. But, honestly, what’s wrong with putting family first? Sure, the brat took out Han, but he still loves grandpa.
He seeks advice from him, sings him pretty songs (we’re assuming), and even tries to finish what he started (more on that one). That counts for something, right? Okay, not really, but at least the pictures are nice.
14 Meet Calvin and Hobbes
Kylo and Darth as everybody’s favorite existential, happy-go-lucky comic strip! The joke here, of course, is that Hobbes probably isn’t real (depending on your outlook).
An imaginary friend that joins Calvin on all of his rambunctious misadventures. What remains to be seen is whether Hobbes is a bad influence or just a reflection of the part of Calvin that causes trouble without regard to social inhibitions.
It’s fitting that someone would associate the comic strip with Ren and his penchant for talking to the Vader helmet. He also desperately wants to be as evil as he thought Darth Vader was, completely disregarding the fact that in the end, Darth Vader valiantly sacrificed himself to save his son Luke.
13 Star Wars Valentine's Day
Kylo equals Princess Leia (the late, great Carrie Fisher), Darth equals Han Solo. Makes sense. The irony here is that he’s the son of Leia and Han, the latter of whom he ruthlessly killed in a misguided attempt to be the kind of person he thought Vader would want him to be. At this point, it’s more like Kylo Ren is a commentary on the fan love for Darth Vader.
There’s something to be said about the irony of a villain who ended countless innocent lives being loved more than - or at least as much as - Luke, the hero who helped to save the Republic.
Is it unhealthy? Maybe. But you have to admit, the Imperial March and the cape were pretty awesome.
12 Ren Sandwich
While Darth Vader might approve of his grandson’s delinquent behavior, Anakin certainly doesn’t. In this hilarious fan meme, Anakin goes so far as to call Kylo an "idiot sandwich."
Harsh, also probably valid in this case. It’s clear that Kylo Ren doesn’t make the best decisions and he certainly didn’t seem to be very perceptive about people’s feelings. When he does away with Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) and saves Rey (Daisy Ridley), he assumes that she’ll want to give up her cause, let a bunch of people perish, and live happily ever after with him. Really?
Not even a proper first date, and he wants her to live with him for eternity and let the galaxy die. Okay. See? Valid meme.
11 Cut It
This meme features the universal sign for, “Nah, bruh. Cut it.” Which is pretty much what most viewers have to say about Kylo Ren’s behavior in general. Since we see the big picture, as the audience, we’re aware of just how bad his decision-making process is.
Not only does he destroy a bunch of his men and kill the Supreme Leader (which was actually good), he goes head to head with the resistance and loses, despite having a decent grasp on how to use the force. Does he finish what Anakin started? Not even close.
He did, however, prompt Luke Skywalker to come out of retirement, which seemed to eventually lead to a return of the Jedi school for children. In essence, Ren helped undo what Anakin started. So, it worked out fine anyway.
10 Again with the sand
Obviously, Anakin still has some childhood trauma issues with sand, originating from his misadventures with Jar-Jar: his home planet was nothing but sand, he fought with sand people and had countless pod races in the arid desert.
So perhaps his greatest regret is that he never got to remove the bane of his existence from the face of the universe. Surely, there are other planets where sand is a thing, so those have to be taken out too. Now that we think about it, it’s evident that part of the planning for the Death Star probably included some clause about destroying all sand-based planets.
Has no one ever taken the time to tell Anakin the spice must flow?
9 Anything You Can't Do
This one's funny, in a morbid sort of way, and to the point. Luke couldn’t take out Vader, even though Vader had ended so many lives and was clearly evil. Kylo Ren, on the other hand, had very little problem doing away with Han Solo, his father.
This fan meme, stating that Vader would look at Skywalker as being weak for not disposing of him, kind of misses the point of the end of the first trilogy. But that’s all right. The meme is a funny observation on how different the two characters are.
Seeing as how Ren was prepared to take out Luke in a final showdown, this makes sense in another way. Not only did Luke not take out Vader, but he also couldn’t or wouldn’t end Ren.
It's apparent this is a question that Kylo Ren had some trouble answering. While he thought he knew what his grandpa would do, he only got part of it right. Like Darth Vader, he turned on his master to save someone dear to him.
Whereas Darth Vader sacrificed himself, Kylo chose to ask Rey to join him after the fact. He had to know how that would go, right? So, this meme can be summed up as a way of saying that even if Kylo knows what Vader would do, he probably wouldn’t follow it anyway.
After his moment of clarity when he helped Rey fight in the throne room, he reverted to his old ways and then some.
7 Chill Out
This one is a little bit of pot and kettle, isn’t it? Darth Vader was a fantastic villain, but he also wasn’t known for having a sunny outlook on life. Maybe Ren does take it a step further, being somewhat petulant in his inexperience.
Though that is not that different from Anakin when he decided to join the dark side. By that point, he had already fought in a war and was about to become a father. He then took out a bunch of innocent Jedi. If Darth Vader is telling Kylo Ren to chill out, maybe there’s something to it.
After all, he's been there and done that. Not to mention the fan who created this meme took it all the way back to the '80s with this classic phrase. Now, that’s serious.
6 It's The Little Things
Darth Vader is just a grandparent disappointed by the lack of respect he gets from his children. But hey, at least his grandson likes him! Leave out the fact that he cut off his son’s hand, for discipline maybe?
There’s an old saying somewhere about sparing the lightsaber and spoiling the child. Also, don’t mind the fact that he tried to end his daughter and encased the love of her life in carbonite. Maybe he just didn’t approve of her choice of a companion and was trying to save her from heartache?
At any rate, Darth Vader is just like every other galactic ruler in the known fictional universe, and so is Kylo Ren, right? Two peas and a sand-laced pod.
Aretha Franklin sang it best. And remember Rodney Dangerfield? His catchphrase was, “I get no respect!” That’s pretty much the case here, as this meme points out the fact that Kylo should have had a bit more restraint like his grandfather. Maybe then he would have realized that Luke Skywalker was distracting him with a mental projection at the end of The Last Jedi.
Instead, he just kind of shouts orders at everybody and can’t make up his mind as to whether he’s evil or just mad that Luke betrayed him. Despite his lack of self-control, he’s surprisingly more like his grandfather in the early years than he realizes. This isn’t a good thing, and, unlike Vader, he doesn’t even get to date the girl of his dreams. Overall, it sucks for him.
4 Imaginary Friends
Reality sets in for Kylo Ren. He finds himself face-to-skull-helmet with a non-responsive Darth Vader. You would think since Anakin showed up at the end of Return of the Jedi (new version) that he’d make an appearance here and talk sense into his oh-so-like-him grandson.
Even Yoda returned to talk to Luke in The Last Jedi. Maybe Ren just couldn't handle the truth? If the rest of his actions were any indication, he probably would have just tried to fight Vader’s ghost, and cried about how unfair it was that his own grandfather didn’t support his capacity for evil and destruction. Sadly, the conversations with the helmet aren't very fruitful and don't give much advice to Kylo Ren.
3 How'd That Work Out For You
Here's another meme playing on the fact that if Vader had it to do all over again, maybe he would make some different choices - like not contributing to the destruction of an entire planet or incapacitating a bunch of Jedi. You know, the little things.
Kylo Ren made it clear that he was going for the gold in terms of following in his grandfather’s footsteps. Maybe it would have helped if he had fought his master in a lava pit and gotten burned, so that imitation Vader mask he wears would be more than just symbolic. If he’s going to go for the gold, he might as well do it right.
All in all, Kylo Ren was more interested in proving himself than Vader was, and maybe that was his biggest problem. He was so interested in proving how evil he was, he couldn’t see the big picture.
2 Love, Love, Love
Rey believes Ren can be saved, then realizes he’s too far gone to the dark side. His devotion to the dark side is so complete, he doesn’t even realize the Darth Vader he worships so much is nowhere near the ruthless powermonger he thinks he is.
It's a tale of love lost and battles won. Really, it would probably be kind of strange if Ren and Rey truly fell in love. Where’s the set up? A few times yelling at each other through the Force, and a story about a being betrayed by Luke? Who are they, Romeo and Juliet?
Let’s not forget – for one thing, Romeo had a lot of good qualities and for another, it ended pretty badly for them. Ren might meet that fate in some form with the way he’s going, but that certainly shouldn’t be the outcome for Rey.
Darth Vader destroyed planets and ended Jedi, Lord Voldemort made it his mission to destroy one person. But at the end of the day, even though Vader did all of that, he had a change of heart.
Voldemort remained evil, and had his demise handed to him by a bunch of kids. Who’s the evilest of them all? It doesn’t really matter, but it’s funny that this meme takes it to that level, with “devotee” Ren trying to convince Harry Potter to join the dark side.
Can you imagine, Kylo Ren like a Dementor, sucking all of the joy out of the fact that at least Harry Potter managed to vanquish his thorn-in-his-side Dark Lord rather than becoming like him? Looks like this might be a moment for an Expecto Patronum spell.
When it comes to Star Wars, are you team Vader or team Ren? Let us know in the comments!