Kylo Ren is Officially Darth Vader 2.0
No matter how readers interpret the combination of Vader's actions and words, and those eventually repeated by Kylo Ren, one thing is clear: the Darth Vader comics have made the similarities between the two explicit, and canonical. Not at the cost of the character of Anakin Skywalker, either. As each issue has expanded upon the story of Anakin's fall - the doubts, fears, and the light pulling him back from the edges of his mind - every step has made him a richer, deeper villain. And with the words "let the past die" ringing in his ears, Vader has his connection to Padmé completely severed.
The most obvious conclusion is that Vader's path is now the exact same one that Ben Solo would follow years later. Anakin was raised to believe in the righteousness of the Jedi, only to be betrayed by those who served their ideals. Ben was raised to believe the same, until his Uncle Luke's inability to control him manifested in betrayal, as well. Vader took a new master, eventually realized his lies and manipulation for what they were, and struck him down. Kylo Ren did the same, but with one key difference.
Where Darth Vader came to understand that the legacy of the Jedi had to die, his feelings towards the Empire or Sith weren't clear. Remembering who Anakin was through his entire life, and not just after his fall to the Dark Side, it seems most likely that he would view the Sith and its Empire as part of that same past that be killed. That's the mission Kylo Ren has embraced, and now with this comic backing up our suspicions, it seems more likely than ever that Kylo Ren has learned the lessons of Darth Vader... because Vader is the one teaching them to him directly.
Could Darth Vader Be Kylo Ren's True Master?
There are a few different interpretations that fans will likely draw from this comic book moment. The first, and perhaps the least likely, is that the words of Kylo Ren are applied to Vader for dramatic effect, and nothing more (not at all the tone of the issue, or the series). It's also possible that these words are The Force speaking to Darth Vader to reflect his own path, and the all-encompassing field... decided to stick with a phrase that sounded great. Or, as we propose, these words are a great truth learned by Anakin on his path of no return - and eventually taught to his grandson, Kylo Ren.
Those wondering how Vader could pass on such wisdom will want to read our explanation of the comic's new mythology. Particularly the revelation that the helmets of Sith Lords keep their spirits alive. So even if readers interpret this scene as further evidence of the Force encompassing all events in past, present, and future, the layers of new mythology in the series can't be coincidence. Is it possible that the Darth Vader comic gave Anakin his mantra, and a way he could pass it on to his grandson, but ask fans not to do the math? Perhaps.
If Anakin watched as the Jedi clawed their way back into existence, and once again turned the galaxy into a warzone, was he the kind of man who would believe that everything old must die, once and for all? We'll leave that to the fans to decide. But no matter how Star Wars 9 does or doesn't explain Kylo Ren's fall to the Dark Side, the comics have shown he really is finishing what his grandfather started. Whether or not the films ever confirm Vader's helmet is showing him the way.
Darth Vader #25 is available now from Marvel Comics.