Vader's Helmet Puts Kylo Ren on Endor, Too
Assuming that the facts are what they appear to be, the reveals or suppositions seem clear enough: the heroes return to Endor in search of some final objective, locate the remains of the second Death Star where Palpatine died, and encounter (in some form) what remains of his spirit or Force Ghost. The specifics can't and shouldn't be guessed at for fear of spoilers, but those steps alone help Kylo Ren's story come into focus. After all, the heroes are retracing the steps he would have to have taken to recover the partially melted helmet of Darth Vader, burned along with his body on a funeral pyre by Luke in Episode VI's final scenes.
So if the heroes encounter what remains of Emperor Palpatine... it's a safe bet that Ben Solo would have, as well. And if he did, there was no way the Emperor would let an opportunity like that pass him by
From here fans can use their imagination to add color and drama to the seduction and fall that soon followed. Just as Sheev Palpatine had identified Anakin Skywalker's need for a father, a friend, a confidant, and a tempting voice inside his head, Ben Solo would have embodied the same (made all the more tragic by the fact that Luke effectively chased him into Palpatine's arms). And even if Snoke soon filled the role as the commander pointing Kylo Ren's anger, hate, and aggression towards enemies to kill, it was Palpatine urging his heart and mind to descend further into the Dark Side.
If true, then Kylo Ren became more like his grandfather than anyone expected. And just as sadly, Luke Skywalker followed in Obi-Wan Kenobi's footsteps... all the way to ruin and betrayal for another generation.
The Emperor Couldn't Pass Up Another Skywalker
This is still all speculation on our part, at least until Star Wars 9 finally ends the Skywalker story and hopefully confirms or disproves our reading of the evidence. Even so, we hope fans will see that our connecting of the dots seems the simplest, based on the confirmed movements of Palpatine, Vader, Ben Solo, and now the movie's Resistance heroes. If our theory proves accurate, then Emperor Palpatine's seduction and corruption of a second generation if Skywalker will have finally been achieved. However, Luke was able to resist his hate and anger... and even if he's become one with the Force, he's not out of the picture yet.
Will it be too late for Kylo Ren to be saved, and Ben Solo return to the light, just as his grandfather managed before his own death in Return of the Jedi? Only time will tell if The Rise of Skywalker will include the last of the family line, or be a symbolic tribute to all of the Fallen Skywalkers--Ben Solo included.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019