This evening I watched Star Wars episode VII – The Force Awakens. –spoiler alert-
I was very much intrigued by Kylo Ren and more particular why he turned to the Dark Side. We know very little of how it came to pass. But we do know that he is the son of princess Leia and Han Solo. Also he received a Jedi training by Luke Skywalker. Then apparently something went amiss. He was turned to the Dark side by an evil figure called Snoke. In the movie, Kylo shows a huge admiration for his grandfather Darth Vader…
As an ‘evil’ character Kylo Ren is interesting in the sense that he can be a cold blooded killer, very hot headed but also very sensitive. He is very powerful, yet he loses the fight with the strong-willed but weak trained Rey. Like a teenager he has not yet learned to control his emotions.
How is this possible after being trained as a Jedi and not having suffered a trauma (that we know of) in his youth like Anakin?
I see two possible explanations. The first one is a depressing deterministic one: deep within himself Kylo is evil. No matter what teaching he would have had, Kylo would eventually turn to the Dark Side. This explanation would defeat the purpose of the battle for good and evil and thus cannot be true.
The second explanation would be Kylo’s upbringing. At first glance nothing much seems to be wrong here (that we know of). He has special and loving parents and his Jedi teacher Luke is also gifted and positive.
So how could evil Snoke find Kylo, and even persuade him to turn to the Dark Side?
My guess is: Kylo’s parents and Luke never told him of his dark inheritance: his grandfather Darth Vader. Just like with Anakin and Luke, the Jedi training consist of focusing on the good and there is no room for negative emotions. As Yoda put it: “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” And as a result fear is not addressed.
And thus Snoke was able to convince Kylo to turn to the Dark Side. That his loved ones lied to him about his illustrious grandfather Darth Vader and. Surely, a teenager like Kylo wants to go and find out who this intriguing Darth Vader is?!
The question is: would Kylo still have turned to the dark side when his loved ones would have taught him about Darth Vader and, more importantly, also about Anakin Skywalker?
I think not. I think that Kylo Ren turned to the Dark Side, because the Jedi were not able to learn from their mistake with Anakin. The tendency of the Jedi training to repress the negative instead of facing it and integrating it, eventually leads to the Dark Side.