Kylo Ren’s role as the primary villain in the Star Wars sequel trilogy has sparked plenty of divided opinions. Some have hailed him as a timely portrait of a major threat to modern society, while others have dismissed him as a bargain bin Darth Vader. Regardless of the spectrum of opinions, there’s no doubt that Kylo Ren’s become one of the most recognizable antagonists in current pop culture.
Since he comes from a line of Force-users with curious details about their bodies, it’s not a surprise that a lot of speculation also surrounds Kylo, especially since there’s so little canon info about him. Plus, his association with Snoke— whose physical appearance prompts numerous questions— and the way his outfit covers his entire body have added to the mystery. On a lighter note, with popularity and notoriety come the countless memes, particularly about Kylo’s idolization of Vader - and his inexplicably luscious hair.
While he might not have the cybernetic limbs of Vader or the intriguing alien anatomy of other Star Wars species, there are still plenty of strange little details about Kylo Ren. All these fun facts have been compiled from canonical works in the Star Wars universe as well as behind the scenes.
There are spoilers from all across the Star Wars franchise, including the books, movies (The Last Jedi among them), and Star Wars Rebels. If you’re not all caught up, do keep in mind that major reveals are mentioned right from the get-go.
Here are 20 Strange Details About Kylo Ren’s Body.
Kylo Ren gets his strong Force sensitivity from his mother Leia, who in turn (along with his uncle Luke) inherited the abilities from Kylo’s biological grandfather, Anakin Skywalker. Even his incredible pilot skills are passed down from his father Han Solo.
With so many big names in his family, it’s no wonder that Ben Solo grows up to become such a formidable force for the First Order.
This does make it seem as though one’s parentage plays a pivotal role in determining greatness, but luckily, you don’t have to belong to a major family to be Force-sensitive. Most notably, Rey’s parents are described as nobodies in The Last Jedi, and she has no problem kicking Kylo’s butt.
Since both Leia and Kylo are both Force-sensitive, it’s not surprising that Leia could actually sense him through the Force when he was still in her womb. His struggle with the light and the dark seems to have started ever since he was in Leia’s tummy.
In Aftermath: Empire’s End, she senses him as though he were a band of light with occasional bursts of darkness. On the other hand, Han (who’s about as Force-sensitive as a potato) lacked that kind of Force bond with baby Ben Solo.
That said, father and son still had no shortage of ways to bond with each other. It’s revealed in the novelization of The Last Jedi that a young Ben liked to play with his father’s gold dice.
Given how famous both of Kylo’s parents are, it’s no surprise that rumors circulate around the time of his birth. One of them is the length of time Leia spends in labor, as revealed in Aftermath: Empire’s End.
One story claims that he easily popped out in a painless birth.
Another says that his birth took three whole days. There’s no clarification whether or not the three days include the early phase of labor, which isn’t unheard of in our own galaxy.
The phrasing of the rumor does make it seem like Leia spent three days in active labor despite the advanced medical technology in space. If the rumor is true, Leia really is one tough cookie.
Another rumour about Kylo’s birth in Aftermath: Empire’s End is that he is born with a full set of teeth and hair. He may have inherited Leia’s Force-sensitivity and Han’s piloting skills, but not their deep brown locks. Instead, he sports black hair that has sparked a thousand memes, including the suggestion that he’s naturally brown-haired but dyes his hair black to complete his look.
However, he’s got the same black hair in the flashback scenes in The Last Jedi, before he really dedicated himself to the dark side. Plus, the rumor specifically says that he’s born with a head of black hair, so he probably had always had black hair.
No, it’s not space cosmetics, Ben’s (allegedly) born with it.
Even though Kylo spends a lot of time wearing his helmet, his hair seems impervious to the headgear. His luscious locks are voluminous and shiny whenever he whips off his helmet, even if he’s been running around, doing Snoke’s bidding and waving a lightsaber.
Based on behind-the-scenes footage, Adam Driver actually has his hair braided underneath the helmet to help keep his hair out of the way.
In-universe though, it’s nice to imagine him meticulously caring for his hair to preserve the image that he projects, just like grandpa. After all, let’s be real: Vader’s cape flaps around in the vacuum of space, which means he must be using the Force for dramatic effect.
It’s not uncommon for folks to get a new hairdo when the going gets tough, like a fresh start. Kylo was apparently close to doing the same in The Last Jedi.
Getting his butt kicked by Rey and Finn must have been really rough for his morale. One is an untrained Force-sensitive scavenger, while the other is a former Stormtrooper who hasn’t been confirmed as a Force-user.
In The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the initial concept art shows Kylo with his head completely shaved and a large scar running up the left side of his face and neck. It’s not clear what the reasoning behind this is, but one theory is that it makes him aesthetically more similar to Vader and Snoke.
When the first trailer for The Force Awakens dropped, Kylo’s introduction to the Star Wars fandom was inextricably tied to his bright red lightsaber with a crossguard.
The color of his blade prompted speculations that Kylo is a Sith Lord, or one in training.
After all, the colors of lightsabers have always been a major indicator of the wielder’s allegiance. Jedi predominantly have blue or green lightsabers, whereas Sith wielded red ones. Ahsoka Tano notably switched to white lightsabers after leaving the Jedi to reflect her independence from both the Jedi and the Sith.
However, JJ Abrams clarifies that Kylo isn’t a Sith, which also explains why he doesn’t have the title of “Darth” added to his name.
Kylo Ren’s idolization of his grandfather Darth Vader has been the butt of countless jokes by now. Even Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens makes a joke out of it, depicting Kylo as a fanboy with Vader merch all over his room.
However, according to First Order Agent Terex, Kylo is nowhere near Vader’s level of power or intimidation. In the Poe Dameron comics, Phasma informs Terex that his failure has caught Kylo’s attention, but Terex merely brushes off the threat. Having met Vader before, Terex suggests that Kylo is nowhere near as menacing or skilled as the Sith Lord.
Bacta does seem like a magical cure-all in the galaxy far, far away. Luke gets put in a bacta tank after getting rescued from a wampa on Hoth, and pretty much fully recovers. Finn quickly recovers from the lightsaber wound on his back thanks to a flexpoly bacta suit filled with artificial bacta.
The medical technology in the Star Wars universe is so advanced, characters like Darth Maul regularly survive major injuries.
That said, Kylo still has a scar on his face, courtesy of Finn.
According to Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary, Kylo is able to fully recover from his facial injury because it’s sealed with mechnosutures. However, the bacta isn’t applied soon enough to prevent scar tissue from forming.
Not many people are aware of Darth Vader’s past life as Anakin Skywalker, and much like his grandfather, Kylo Ren hides his past.
Vader wore a helmet as part of his life support system due to the severe injuries he sustains on Mustafar, and it doubled up as a way to obscure his identity. Emo Vader fanboy jokes aside, Kylo wears his helmet not just because he wanted to be like his grandpa, but also because it conceals his former identity.
And he doesn’t simply ask his buds in the First Order to call him by his new name. According to Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary, Snoke specifically orders that Kylo’s birth name must never be spoken.
According to the now obsolete encyclopedia on the official Star Wars website, Anakin is 188 cm tall, or just over 6 foot 2. After Obi-Wan severs both of his legs on Mustafar, Anakin gets prostheses and a full suit of armor that boost his height up to 203 cm, almost 6 foot 8. Leia doesn’t seem to inherit the height, standing at 150 cm (4 foot 11).
That said, according to Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded, Ben is a solid 189 cm, taller even than Han (180 cm).
His height hasn’t changed since he adopted the new identity of Kylo Ren, despite his major makeover.
But what’s to say he’s never been tempted to sneak some insoles to be closer to grandpa?
Not much is known about Kylo’s childhood as Ben Solo, so many rumors and fan theories have sprung up. These range from the idea of Uncle Chewie letting Ben ride on his shoulders to theories about having grown up knowing Poe since their parents know each other.
Last Shot— the tie-in novel to Solo: A Star Wars Story— follows Han’s exploits after settling down with Leia, and provides a better idea of Ben’s childhood.
As an infant, he had trouble falling asleep, and Han would hold him to try to coax him to sleep. At one point, father and son get woken up by the household droid after Ben had finally fallen asleep, much to Han’s annoyance.
Eagle-eyed fans have pointed out that Kylo’s facial scar has been moved for The Last Jedi. In The Force Awakens, Finn slashes him with Luke/Anakin’s blue lightsaber. The resulting injury runs between his eyes, along his nose and bisects his forehead.
According to a now-deleted tweet from Rian Johnson, he decided to adjust the placement of the scar because the original position looked “goofy”.
With the new adjustment, the scar is now over his right eye, somewhat similar to his grandfather, Anakin. Anakin’s scar also comes from a lightsaber. In a duel against Asajj Ventress, the Dathomirian Force-user slices Anakin across the eye to taunt him, claiming that she could have easily taken his head instead.
When costume designer Michael Kaplan was coming up with Kylo’s Knights of Ren costume, it wasn’t the all-black outfit that sparked many an emo meme.
Instead, Kylo was originally envisioned as the Lord of the Stormtroopers, covered in shining silver armor. The concept art by Dermot Power was promptly rejected by Abrams because it wasn’t a good fit for the character. However, Kathleen Kennedy expressed satisfaction for the design, and J.J. ended up writing the character of Captain Phasma.
Of course, working for the First Order and executing their horrors doesn’t exactly make Phasma a shining beacon of feminism. But Gwendoline Christie is a joy to behold in interviews, so thankfully the original concept for Kylo turned into Phasma.
Like most productions, the creative team went through countless iterations for each character in order to nail the best design for each role. The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens compiles various pieces of concept art, chronicling the evolution of Kylo’s design.
Some of the proposed ideas depict the dark side Force-user as a sort of cyborg.
He has a bionic arm in some of the art, much like his grandfather Vader - although it’s not clear whether or not his parentage had already been decided at this point. In one drawing, the Kylo figure even has a chest plate that is vaguely reminiscent to Vader’s iconic life support suit. Maybe Kylo will eventually end up with a bionic hand— it does seem to run in the family.
With his carefully maintained hair and spotless outfit, Kylo’s apparent vanity has been the subject of many jokes. In canon, however, he’s definitely not oblivious to the power of propaganda and projecting a carefully curated image.
In Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary, Pablo Hidalgo places a caption next to Kylo’s outstretched hand that literally says “accusatory finger reinforces unquestioned authority.”
Light-hearted notes like this one are scattered throughout the whole book, including remarks about Poe’s flawlessly tousled hair and Hux’s pale complexion.This fun fact about Kylo does underline how cognizant he is about his body language, and how it shapes his public image and establishes his authority in the First order.
It’s clear by now that the various visual dictionaries in the Star Wars franchise are treasure troves of in-universe information, providing details that illuminate character dynamics that simply don’t fit into the films.
One of these details is how Snoke considers Kylo to be “the ideal embodiment of the Force,” occupying a unique position that straddles both the light and the dark sides.
It’s fairly obvious from the sequel trilogy that Snoke has sensed the way Kylo’s been tempted by the light, and that there is both light and dark in everyone. So it’s curious that Snoke would consider Kylo to be a paradigm of the Force when Kylo himself tries so hard to leave the light behind.
In The Last Jedi, Ren and Kylo have conversations via Force Skype, and one of these discussions happen while Kylo is shirtless. According to Rian Johnson, Driver was perfectly comfortable with the moment, even though it’s framed as an uncomfortable encounter between the two characters.
Johnson explains that Driver had been training for six months by then in preparation for the hard-core fight sequences.
Johnson featured a shirtless Kylo partially because he thought Driver looked good, and also because it amped up the awkwardness of the Force connection scenes.
It’s hard enough having a telepathic convo with someone who has forcibly entered your mind, slashed your friend’s back and attempted to end your life. Having Kylo shirtless during the conversation ups the discomfort for Rey.
In the early stages of the design process, Kylo wasn't named, but the designs certainly convey the vibe of violence and distruction. The design team went through iteration after iteration of concepts for Kylo, many of which have been discarded once they’d settled on his all-black ensemble.
However, the Guavian Death Gang is actually based on one of the early designs for the First Order warlord. The red and black outfit (minus the hood shown in the visual dictionary) can be seen in The Force Awakens when the gang confronts Han about delayed payments.
If that still doesn’t jog your memory, the leader of the gang is known for the meme-ified quote, “Tell that to Kanjiklub.”
The Star Wars franchise sprinkles references throughout its films, TV shows, and various other tie-ins. Kylo makes a brief appearance in Star Wars Rebels, or at least, his voice does.
In the year 1 BBY (“before the Battle of Yavin”), Ezra Bridger enters a mystical dimension called the world between worlds via a painting of the Mortis Gods at the Jedi Temple on Lothal. While in the mystical plane, Ezra hears the voice of Kylo Ren.
Ben is born in 5 ABY (“After the Battle of Yavin”), several years after Ezra accesses the world between worlds.
Since it’s a mystical place existing between time and space that links together all moments in time, it makes sense that Kylo’s voice could be heard even before he’s born.
Do you know any other strange details about Kylo Ren's body in Star Wars? Share them in the comments!