Ever since I’ve watched The Force Awakens I have been constantly struck by the incredible similarities between Anakin Skywalker and his grandson, Ben Solo. There have been so many parallels between the two characters and here are some of the most striking examples.
1. Their Features
So here’s Anakin with his scar, that long hair and dark brown robes.
And then you have Kylo Ren who looks nearly identical in everything but his face. His hair is long and curled like his grandfather’s, he bears a scar eerily similar to that of Anakin’s, and he wears dark robes like he did.
2. They Both Despise Masters
Anakin didn’t entirely trust the tutelage of his master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, or that of the Jedi Council and that led him to eventually joining Emperor Palpatine as the Sith Lord promised him power and everything that he desired.
And Kylo Ren didn’t fully trust Luke Skywalker either, that’s why when he saw his uncle over him with a drawn lightsaber he was so quick to turn against him and join Snoke. He even turned against his master Snoke. Both of them had issues with masters and both of them joined the dark side.
3. Goodbye With the Shirts
Anakin had a couple of (not-so-great) shirt off scenes in the prequel trilogy,
and Kylo Ren shocked everyone with a surprise shirt off scene in The Last Jedi that was legitimately hilarious and awkward. Both of these guys are the only characters in Star Wars (besides Luke submerged half-naked in a bacta tank and Finn walking around in a bacta suit, but that doesn’t count) who have had shirt off scenes. That can’t be a coincidence.
4. They Both Have Family Issues
Anakin Skywalker was all about family and his attachments were his downfall. When he lost his mother he became a complete rage monster and the thought of losing Padme as well ultimately converted him to the dark side. It was also the concept of family, however, that brought him back to the light as his love for his son, Luke Skywalker, outweighed his loyalty to the evil Darth Sidious.
And Kylo Ren’s story is the exact opposite. Instead of trying to save his family he wants to eliminate them and erase his childhood past along with them once and for all. Snoke promised him power over his weaknesses and the ability to rid his life of those that brought so much pain and sorrow to his days. That meant his mission was to eliminate his father, Han Solo, his uncle, Luke Skywalker, and his mother Leia and unfortunately he did manage to get rid of two out of the three of them, one he killed and one he wore out. Sorry Han and Luke.
5. They Tried to Get Those They Loved to Join Them
When Anakin went to the dark side he tried to keep the truth from his wife, Padme, but, thanks to Obi-Wan that didn’t last long. She went to him to try to save him and bring him back to the light but he was too far gone. As he tried to get her to join him she backed away from him, afraid of this new man she had once known and loved. Same thing happened with Kylo Ren.
When he confronted Rey about her joining him she wasn’t exactly afraid of him like Padme was of Anakin but she was very wary of his offer. And the parallels between these scenes is striking, for she backed away from Kylo Ren like Padme backed away from Anakin in the same slightly horrified way. And they both, in the end, didn’t end up joining these two crazed wielders of the Force. Anakin and Kylo Ren have had some hard times haven’t they?
And 6. They Both Have Serious Attitude Problems
One of the most annoying elements to Anakin’s character is his aggravatingly angry attitude (when he turns to the dark side.) Hayden Christensen clearly isn’t a great actor and so these scenes were made all the more difficult to watch as he tried to convey an evil Anakin but wasn’t very good at conjuring a demented villain face. Even when he had yellow eyes he didn’t entirely convince me that he was an evil Sith lord.
And yet Kylo Ren is that exact same bratty character that Anakin was except Adam Driver is a much better actor. When he’s angry you know it. He never looks corny or annoying, if anything he’s actually intimidating, and his anger sessions make the scenes so much more enjoyable. In fact, his childish anger is part of the reason why I like his character so much. He is literally the Anakin Skywalker I always wished for in the prequel trilogy and I am so glad he’s in this trilogy now.
So, if these characters are so similar what does that mean for Kylo Ren’s story? Well if you look at Kylo Ren throughout The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi it’s as if Kylo Ren is experiencing Anakin’s story in reverse. In The Force Awakens he was more like Darth Vader and as the story of this trilogy has progressed he has become more and more like Anakin. He already betrayed Snoke to save Rey like Darth Vader betrayed Palpatine to save Luke. Only this time Kylo didn’t turn to the light. He decided to stay on the path of darkness and tried to make his own road to the preservation of the galaxy. So what’s next for Kylo Ren?
Anakin was a hero in his early days but the fear of losing those that he loved turned him to the dark side. Kylo Ren is already at the prime of his evilness and so can he become any more villainous? I don’t think so. If he’s so similar to Anakin there has to be a point when he turns from being a villain to a hero right? I hope so because that would be a very awesome development in his story. And they’ve already teased us with him turning good. LucasFilm, just relieve us of this suspense, please.
Well, this is just an interesting theory that I’ve cooked up after watching The Last Jedi several times and noticing the surprising parallels between Anakin and Kylo Ren. I’ll have to wait until next December to see if this theory holds up or not but hopefully it does. 🙂
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a magical day. May the Force be with you.