There's no telling where Star Wars - Episode 9 wll take the series, but it's promised to bring an end to the Skywalker Saga. Which may still include Kylo Ren, Luke Skywalker, and even Darth Vader. Because the more we examine The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, the more it seems like Snoke was wrong to believe he had corrupted Ben Solo. That mission, and the birth of Kylo Ren... seems to be the work of Darth Vader instead.
This theory will sound like absolute nonsense to some, with Darth Vader long dead before Luke Skywalker even took Ben Solo on as a student. But now that we can look back at Episode 7 with the truth Luke finally admitted in Last Jedi, a different picture begins to take shape. One that leaves the actual reason Ben Solo fell to the Dark Side to become Kylo Ren as a mystery. That is, until you focus in on Darth Vader's helmet, and the power Star Wars writers have confirmed it could hold even after Vader's death.
If Luke Skywalker is going to be working as a Force Ghost to save Rey, Ben, and the rest of Episode 9's heroes, he may first have to realize that it was the legacy of Darth Vader that pulled Ben Solo to the Dark Side - and may still be doing it in this final chapter.
- This Page: Darth Vader's Helmet 'Seduced' Ben Solo
- Next Page: How Last Jedi Confirms Vader's Link to Kylo Ren
Luke & Leia Claim Snoke Seduced Ben Solo
If it isn't clear already, our theory that is was Vader who corrupted Ben Solo dictates that Snoke had almost nothing to do with it. Despite never seeing him be a "teacher" in any way beyond manipulation, Snoke's first appearance suggested the classic apprentice/master relationship of the Sith. And when Ben Solo's fall was revealed, it made sense for Leia to blame her political rival, Supreme Leader Snoke for the entire tragedy: "It was Snoke. He seduced our son to the Dark Side. But we can still save him."
It turns out that Leia may have been as off-the-mark on that first claim as the second. As we learn in Last Jedi, Luke never told his sister or Han the whole story. Not about his moment of fear upon witnessing what was taking over Ben Solo, and certainly not about having a far clearer role in the creation of 'Kylo Ren' than Snoke. Nobody knows the Force better than Luke, but as he recounts, "by the time I realized I was no match for the darkness rising in him, it was too late. Leia blamed Snoke, but... it was me. I failed."
If you look at what's actually used to define Kylo Ren's determination to defy the Light, another answer seems far more persuasive, as well. Ben Solo's parents stop short of pinning all the blame on Snoke, but Han Solo reassures Leia that "there's nothing more we could have done" to save Ben from his fall, since "there's too much Vader in him." Not Anakin, his grandfather, but Vader, the man his grandfather spent much of his life channeling the Dark Side into keeping alive. Han didn't know how right he was...
Vader Was 'The Darkness' Luke Felt in Ben Solo
For the casual Star Wars fans, the idea of a helmet luring somebody to the Dark Side doesn't make sense. Especially not since the Jedi bias in the Star Wars movies suggests people are naturally good-leaning, unless being "seduced" by the draw of the Dark Side. But the Force works in mysterious ways... and recent changes to the Star Wars mythology have greatly expanded the effects of a Dark Side 'aura' around relics, weapons, and armor once belonging to powerful Sith.
It's one of the most lasting changes brought by the new wave of Star Wars comics, expanding the universe an issue at a time. When Luke and Vader both wielded the dual lightsabers of the Sith Lord Darth Atrius, and were soon overcome by anger and rage, the door was opened to the idea of Sith "haunting" their old accessories. When even more recent comics showed the Sith Lord Momin's helmet manipulating those in its presence to violence and hate, the link to The Force Awakens became perfectly clear.
Snoke may have been Kylo Ren's commander, but it would be an understatement to say Kylo seemed... less than enthralled by the Supreme Leader (certainly not when compared to the fiercely loyal Admiral Hux). But in private, it is emotion and family that wage war within Kylo Ren. So he fact that his grandfather Darth Vader's helmet is the subject of this unguarded meditation can't be ignored. Especially when you realize that as soon as Kylo Ren put distance between himself and the ghost of Darth Vader... he started to see things from a less evil perspective.