Kylo Ren’s Real Name Is Ben In ‘The Force Awakens,’ Which Is Both Sweet & Heartbreaking
Not to brag but I'm usually pretty good at picking up foreshadowing in movies, but there was one moment in the latest Star Wars movie in which I honestly gasped out loud. Spoilers for The Force Awakens ahead. Han and Leia's son Ben Solo became Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Force Awakens , and the moment we learned the villain's true name was absolutely heartbreaking. Let's have a minute to talk about the name Ben Solo, and all of that entails. The path Adam Driver's character is following in Episode VII could not be more different than his namesake.
To be fair, Ben's original last name could be Organa, Organa-Solo, or Skywalker-Solo — we don't know how that family rolls. I'm actually gunning for Ben Skywalker-Solo, because that ups the likelihood that he used a name generator to come up with Kylo Ren. Did you ever do those as a kid, where you take the last two letters of your last name, the first two letters of your mother's maiden name and the first three letters from the town you were born... etc. As for his first name, he was presumably named after Obi-Wan Kenobi, who went by "Ben Kenobi" for decades on Tatooine to disguise his identity and look after Luke Skywalker.
From Renesmee Carlie Cullen to Albus Severus Potter, it can get a little controversial when fictional characters go out of their way to name their children, but this was really sweet, though it doesn't make a lot of sense. Leia didn't ever formally meet Obi-Wan Kenobi, though she had obviously heard of the Jedi. Still, he was more Luke Skywalker's mentor. In the Star Wars Expanded Universe books, which are no longer considered canon since Disney acquired the franchise, it's Luke who names his child after Old Ben. Sure, Luke is plenty important to Han and Leia too, but unless they had a contest with Luke to see who had a son first, one might not think that "Ben" would be their first pick.
I like to think that the name was Han's idea, as a tribute to the old wizard who brought all of them together. Think about it. Without Leia's plea for Obi-Wan to carry on the rebellion's mission, nobody — not Luke, C-3PO, R2D2, Han, Chewie, or Ben himself, would have become such an epic team. Han and Leia certainly would not have met. Ben is the one who hired him, after all. The smuggler may have made fun of Kenobi back in the day and called his religion "hokey," but he owes a lot to him. We could get deeper, and talk about how it's a name that signifies "hope" — because back then Obi-Wan was Leia's only hope.
Now I'm sad all over again. The Light Side was pulling at Ben in The Force Awakens, and while what Kylo Ren did was unforgivable for Star Wars fans everywhere including myself, I am crossing my fingers that this kid with major Granddaddy issues will ultimately step awaaaaaay from the Dark Side.
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