Excitement swells as Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’s December release date nears. Fans may have been unhappy with Rian Johnson’s controversial The Last Jedi but that won’t stop them seeing the final outing of a franchise that has become one of the most iconic in movie history over its 42-years-and-counting tenure.
Buzz surrounds the character of Kylo Ren. He’s now Supreme Leader, having murdered Snoke, and we’ve got glimpses of him in the trailer footage so far. So, pouring over that, we now take a look at 10 things we know about Ben Solo’s involvement in ninth Star Wars film.
10 He’s Confident
Kylo Ren has certainly come a long way since The Force Awakens. In that movie, and its sequel, he comes across as a youngster stuck in the crossroads, one bullied by his master Supreme Leader Snoke and looked down on by the vile General Hux as he battles the conflict within himself.
But he looks to have his swagger and confidence back - despite being humiliated by Luke Skywalker on Crait at the end of The Last Jedi. He walks with a powerful, purposeful strut that looks far less angsty than we’ve seen before. And that means this Kylo Ren means business.
9 He’ll Destroy Darth Vader’s Mask
Kylo Ren has grown up idolizing Darth Vader, despite him probably knowing that his grandfather was redeemed shortly before his death in Return of the Jedi. In the first movie of the sequel trilogy he’s seen talking to Vader’s charred mask, which had been salvaged from the planet of Endor. And given how Snoke mocked him over wanting to be like his grandfather, it would be no understatement to say he’s besotted by Anakin Skywalker.
But footage from the third trailer appears to show him destroying it during a fiery showdown with Rey. It looks as if he’s doing it deliberately, but some have suggested the destruction of the object merely to be an accident. Either way, Kylo is definitely at least partly responsible for it being reduced to mere pieces.
8 He Still Wants Rey
Kylo Ren has never wanted to really harm Rey. When he took her prisoner in The Force Awakens he treated her relatively well, taking off his mask and exchanging pleasantries before then offering to teach her. In The Last Jedi he actually extends his arm in hope of persuading her to join the dark side - but she turns him down.
He’s persistent, however, we’ll give him that. He says "I do" when Rey speaks about nobody knowing her, showing that he’s not given up his aim of an alliance being struck. Whether that ends up happening in the movie, however, is something only time will tell.
7 He Embarks On A Personal Mission
Much of the promotional, and merchandising, marketing for The Rise of Skywalker shows Kylo Ren surrounded, whether it be by normal stormtroopers or the new, red, shiny Sith Troopers who will be making an appearance in the film. But in the D23 trailer, it shows him landing on a planet by himself, igniting his red lightsaber as he walks towards something we can’t see.
This suggests that Kylo Ren will try to do some things himself, despite being Supreme Leader and having various weapons and soldiers at his disposal. We don’t know exactly what the mission is but some have suggested the scene shows him landing to fight Emperor Palpatine alongside Rey. Again, it’s something we’ll have to wait to find out.
6 He’ll Get His Mask Fixed
When we first met Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens, he was also wearing a mask. He spent most of the movie with it on, only taking it off when he talks to Rey on Starkiller Base. In The Last Jedi, he’s wearing it again. However, he destroys it in a fit of rage when he’s mocked by Supreme Leader Snoke, who cruelly labels him a "child in a mask" during an intense scene in his throne room.
We thought we’d seen the last of the object, but the first Rise of Skywalker trailer, as well as other promotional material, has shown he gets it fixed. Not only that, but it has a snazzy red pattern from where Star Wars superglue holds it in place. Will it last a whole movie this time?
5 He’ll Fight On The Frontline
When it comes to Kylo Ren fighting, he’s mostly been alone. He fought Rey on Starkiller Base with very little help and chooses to snub the offer of other soldiers when he goes head to head with Luke Skywalker on Crait during The Last Jedi.
But the first trailer for the movie shows him making his way through a forest with stormtroopers all heading in the same direction. This appears to show he’ll be active on the frontline, despite holding the most-important rank in the entire First Order. And we also took something away from that scene as well...
4 He’ll Fight The Knights Of Ren
Finally, nearly four years on from their first appearance in a Star Wars movie, we’ll get to see what the mysterious Knights of Ren are all about. We know that Kylo Ren is their master, and they all dress a gothic black with weapons on their possession, but that’s about it.
Yet in the same scene where Kylo makes his way through a forest with stormtroopers all around him, he also appears to bodyslam one of the Knights of Ren to the floor. They certainly don’t look like any Resistance member we’ve met so far, so why would he do it? Well, some rumors have suggested he’ll turn against them once they begin to side with Palpatine. It appears there can only be one villainous heavyweight in Star Wars.
3 He’ll Get Bruised Up Along The Way
Kylo Ren has taken two big blows during his time in the Star Wars franchise so far. The first is a physical one, when Rey slices his face up pretty bad after their showdown on Starkiller Base in The Force Awakens. And a second is mental, when Luke Skywalker humiliates him on the planet on Crait by force-projecting himself to the planet.
And it appears as though Ben Solo will suffer more blows, this time definitely physical, during the movie. There’s a brief moment in the third and final trailer where he stands while lightning flashes across the sky, definitely looking a tad less-composed than before. It could be the lighting yet the outline of a bruise can also be spotted on his features as well.
2 He Will Fight Rey Again
A rather obvious pick from the trailers, but one that still sets our pulses racing. Kylo Ren and Rey are destined for another showdown with all three pieces of footage showing them locking lightsabers not just on the remains of the second Death Star, but also in what appears to be the villain’s personal chambers.
It’s been brewing, after all. But the question is will they stay on opposing sides? It’s long been hinted that Kylo will eventually be redeemed, taking the same path his grandfather Darth Vader had chosen all those years ago. But then there’s that "Dark Rey" scene. It’s not wholly out of the question that both will become dark side users, especially with the evil Palpatine now back in the fold.
1 He Won’t Go With Rey To Face Palpatine
The very last scene of the third and final trailershows Rey facing Palpatine, whose face is concealed by a hood. However, intriguingly, she goes alone. It definitely looks early into them meeting each other for the first time due to the fact she walks away in shock at seeing his face. Given how ugly he is, who wouldn’t right?
And this suggests that Kylo Ren won’t be there for the start of their interactions. Rumours have backed this up, claiming he’ll only enter the fray after dispatching The Knights of Ren using Anakin’s old lightsaber first. While we love the idea of Kylo and Rey teaming up against Palpatine, we’re also excited by the prospect of Ben Solo acting as a hero.