• Steven Loftin

Love & Lightsabers: Love to Death

Infatuation? Hero worship? Egotism? LOVE? What is the deal with Kylo Ren’s longing for the spirit of Vader? Let’s break it down…

We are dealing with a situation that can only become more intense as the storyline within the Sequel Trilogy develops. If we look at Kylo Ren’s infatuation with Vader as a sense of hero worship, we must ask ourself is this a shallow issue or is it a form of deep rooted psychosis? Is Ren ACTUALLY speaking to Vader? Does he ACTUALLY hear from him? At this point in the game, we really don’t know. Everything is just speculation and theory. However, to take the fiction out of it and view Ren’s action as a legitimate mental issue, we can discern that he may have some issues.

It’s been a popular trend among fans on the internet to dismiss many of Ren’s actions as tantrums. On the surface, this is an easy answer. Honestly, when I first saw the scene where he receives bad news form the First Order officer, I thought that he was throwing a tantrum as well. It seemed that he was reacting as a whiny little kid that didn’t get his way. Destroying things and hurting people just for the sake of making himself feel better. I actually thought it was a WEAKNESS in the storytelling. In other words, on the surface, it seemed like a bit of unnecessary violence thrown into an otherwise engaging plot. “Why did they even put that scene in the film? It makes Ren look pathetic and weak.”, I thought to myself. But then I took some time…and I thought some more about this scene.

Once I realized the importance of Ren’s “over the top” reaction, I immediately understood why he was like this. His “love” for Vader controls him. Ren is so infatuated with Vader, or rather “his idea” of Vader, that he can’t handle becoming less of what Vader was as a tyrant. What does that mean? Well, in simple terms, Ren has obviously heard stories, legends, and rumors about his grandfather. Ren’s idea of Vader has set him up on such a high pedestal that anything less than perfection is a failure in his grandfather’s eyes. At least that seems to be the rationalization that Ren uses. Vader was known for hurting, torturing, and even killing people to get what he wanted. Why would Kylo Ren be so different? It is this type of warped, maniacal love that drives Ren to be such a good villain. He’s the one that you WANT to hate. Never has this recipe for the characteristics of any villain gone wrong.

If this is indeed the case with Kylo Ren and his idea of love for a man that he never knew, then what about the love between brothers in arms? In the next installment, we take a look at Chewbacca and Han Solo to find out how their relationship stands up to the others.

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