Ben's Childhood

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Ben's Childhood

Post by AnneNeville on Thu 31 Mar - 18:06

The Force Awakens film and supplementary materials hint that Ben's childhood influenced him to become Kylo Ren. Actor and director interviews have confirmed. This is a place to discuss how Han and Leia's child grew up to be . . . the man he grew up to be.
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by FrolickingFizzgig on Thu 31 Mar - 18:18



"Jedi Killer" child concept art.

Apparently there's some game coming out that will feature young Ben Solo as well... don't know much about it though, just heard people mention it here.

I wrote this basic outline detailing what we know so far about Ben's past a while back:

> Born shortly after the Battle of Endor
> Powerful Force Sensitive, focal point of the Light and Dark sides
> Parents were busy with the New Republic, son was frequently alone
> Snoke was "always there, watching from the shadows, pulling at him"
> Was lonely, afraid and desperate
> Father thought there was "too much Vader in him"
> Parents sent him to train with Luke
> Remained with Luke for a while
> "Something" happened, a trigger of some kind
> After years of avoiding seduction Ben gave in to Snoke
> Destroyed Luke's new generation of Jedi
> Developed on obsession with Vader at some point
> Luke tried and failed to help him
> Denounced his name and family, becoming Kylo Ren
> Luke exiled himself, Han left Leia
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by Darth_Awakened on Thu 31 Mar - 18:38

No too much to add to subject: but having in mind Leia s and Han s personalities it is hard to believe that even they were around - it was not so peaceful environment to raise a child. Especially the one strong in Force.
Han accepted the "mambo-jambos" (we saw it clearly in TFA), but I do not think so he could ever understand it completely.
Moreover, how much I like him as a character but he was always a bit "Han - it s not my fault- Solo".
Leia, on the other hand is a force sensitive person, but she was never actually trained in a sense Luke was.
She is definitely the responsible parent in the duo - but probably her fully engagement in politics was a bit  too much for a force sensitive child like.


Last edited by Darth_Awakened on Fri 1 Apr - 6:20; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by vaderito on Thu 31 Mar - 18:40


Kylo Ren is someone who is broken. There’s nothing more powerful than genetics. If you really think the stakes of him in his youth having all those powers and having your parents be absent during that process, with their own agendas equally as selfish. He’s lost in the world that he was raised in and feels that he was abandoned by the people he’s closest with. He’s angry because of that and he has a huge grudge on his shoulders. Adam Driver


They (Han and Leia) had this kid who was born equal parts good and evil. He is someone who is broken….But it’s more than just having a bad seed as a kid. Snoke had targeted this kid, knew that this kid was gonna be incredibly powerful in the force and wanted him as an ally. So this mother and father had a target for a son. Someone was watching their boy. And these parents aren’t there enough to guide him.~JJ Abrams, The Secrets of The Force Awakens.

From Documentary







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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by rey09 on Thu 31 Mar - 18:51

It'll be interesting if we get to see Leia's thinking process in Ben's early days. She knew Snoke was lurking, and based on JJ's quotes, sounds like she was very much focused on other things. I want to see her thinking process, how she tried to grapple with getting the republic up and running, and also raising Ben knowing full well the potential for darkness.
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by AnneNeville on Thu 31 Mar - 18:57

@vaderito Great fan art! Could you add links to the artists' pages, please? Some of us may want to admire more of their stuff. Wink
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by vaderito on Thu 31 Mar - 18:59

I think that tons of stuff will be revealed in detail in books, comic books, games, other tie-ins etc. I want to see some of it in the movie but I understand they can't put much.

@Anneneville First and second have website stamped on.
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by jakkusun on Fri 1 Apr - 2:36

I feel like this is the best place to correct the rumor that the Trials of Tatooine game is about Ben/Kylo with the Anakin/Luke lightsaber
Okay, so I am not sure how many people still think the Trials of Tatooine game is about young BenKylo with the anakin/luke blue lightsaber, but I would just like to say I really really don't think it is.

Here is an official article from starwars.com and it has zero mentions of Kylo Ren or Ben Solo and does not say the lightsaber is Anakin/Luke's light saber. In fact, the pictures of the lightsaber show that it does not have the same hilt.

The article also says:  "You learn that Luke Skywalker, having defeated Darth Vader and the Emperor, is looking to rebuild the Jedi Order. One hopeful Padawan is heading to Tatooine. That Padawan is you." I really don't think that this means you are playing as Kylo Ren or Ben Solo, but that this is a self-insert game and you are a generic padawan.

Here are three other articles that describe the game so far and there is no mention of Kylo Ren or Ben Solo
http://www.roadtovr.com/hands-on-star-wars-trials-on-tatooine-let-me-wield-the-iconic-lightsaber/
http://nerdreactor.com/2016/03/28/gdc-2016-star-wars-trials-on-tatooine-will-make-you-feel-like-a-jedi/
http://www.polygon.com/2016/3/16/11246238/star-wars-vr-trials-on-tatooine-hands-on-video


So, in conclusion, the theory that Kylo Ren/Ben Solo used the Anakin/Luke legacy lightsaber is not proved or disproved by the Trials of Tatooine game. I really don't think that the game is about Ben/Kylo. Okay, maybe it still could be, but I can no official information that it is, so it cannot be used as evidence. Even then, the lightsaber doesn't even have the same hilt, so it is still can't be used as evidence.

And I say all this still believing with all my soul that Kylo Ren/Ben Solo really did use the Anakin/Luke lightsaber as a young padawan. I just don't think the Trials of Tatooine has anything to do with it.
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by panki on Fri 1 Apr - 3:19

I wonder if the lightsaber Ben is holding in his left hand in Rey's force vision of the KOR is his old lightsaber while studying with Luke (the trials on Tatooine lightsaber)



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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by SoloSideCousin on Fri 1 Apr - 5:28

@Darth_Awakened wrote:No too much to add to subject: but having in mind Leia s and Han s personalities it is hard to believe that even they were around - it was not so peaceful environment to raise a child. Especially the one strong in Force.
Han excepted the "mambo-jambos" (we saw it clearly in TFA), but I do not think so he could ever understand it completely.
Moreover, how much I like him as a character but he was always a bit "Han - it s not my fault- Solo.
Leia, on the other hand is a force sensitive person, but she was never actually trained in a sense Luke was.
She is definitely the responsible parent in the duo - but probably her fully engagement in politics was a bit  too much for a force sensitive child like.

I agree with all of this, but in particular the bolded.  I never really thought about the fighting of Han and Leia beyond the general "It's bad for a kid to have their parents fight all the time and their Dad run off in a huff for days/weeks/months? at a time" unhealthiness.  But until something tells me different, I am convinced that Ben Solo was and is an intensely sensitive person.  Having parents like that would be hard for a regular kid, even harder for a sensitive, empathetic kid, but it would be insanely difficult for an emotionally sensitive *and* extremely force sensitive kid.  I bet he would know they were going to have a fight before they did, because he would be able to start to recognize certain energies.  He would become hyper-aware of the kinds of things that would set either of them off because he'd feel them getting worked up repeatedly over the same issues.  He probably got to the point that he could predict a few words into the fight whether the fight was going to go anywhere or not.  And if he really is that sensitive, the emotional overload probably proved to be unbearable to him at times.

So then imagine this emotionally overworked kid then being ignored, misunderstood or flat-out temporarily abandoned half the time in the midst of all this intense anxiety.  I've said it before, I'll say it again.  Han and Leia seem to be tougher, "water off a duck's back" types.  IMO, Ben is absolutely not, and I bet neither of the parents understood that part of him too well, even Leia, who could feel him more than Han of course, but who probably never needed the emotionally soothing and reassurance that Ben probably required when young.  Add to that the fact that he is ridiculously powerful.  I know this is a point of controversy over who is more powerful, but we can all agree on this that *no one* froze things and people like Kylo Ren (a not-fully-trained Kylo Ren at that) and nobody reads minds like Kylo Ren.  Then couple this power with all this emotional uncertainty and lack of guidance, and I bet he's blowing up things all over the place without knowing how.  And then, at some point, he makes the connection that when he blows things up he gets attention.  So then he becomes a powerful, force-sensitive version of that kid who starts up just so his parents will pay attention to him.  Add to that his equal propensity for light and dark to the lack of guidance and he really is on the road to "never having a chance" to be normal.  And that's before you even bring in the Evil Child Brain/Force Predator/Manipulator Snoke! Good grief.

@FrolickingFizzgig: Good list of what we know thus far. Also, I really love that particular piece of child "Jedi Killer" concept art. It's so much more human than all the cyborg-ish ones. It's childlike enough to appear almost innocent, except the helmet looks ominous on such a young body. I think it embodies the confusion that might have really been at war within him during his early teen years (12-14).
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by Moonjump05 on Fri 1 Apr - 5:57

I think him being born so early after Endor might have to do with it too.  Think, Ben was likely an oops baby from some Endor celebrations born to two prominent war heroes.  One of which just found out her biological father was Darth Vader- did Leia have any time to digest that information?  Legends had her wait for years and come to terms with the legacy she inherited before Jacen and Jaina were born- now she ends up with an extremely force sensitive kid with the "power she doesn't have and could never understand".

How did she deal with this?  I really hope Bloodlines delves into the Vader-Leia-Ben connection.
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by Saracene on Fri 1 Apr - 8:57

I was a very intense, sensitive kid growing up and I took any kind of disharmony or conflict very hard - and my parents didn't even openly fight a lot.

Also, I'm not sure if I'm projecting from my own experiences or not, but young Leia in the OT doesn't really strike me as someone who would be naturally maternal. I'm not saying she would have made a terrible or cold mother, but she might not have been a particularly warm one, either. My own mother has mellowed out a great deal with age, but early on I don't think she found being a young mother an easy or natural thing at all.
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by guardienne on Fri 1 Apr - 10:24

i think he was emotionally neglected. like, all his problems with emotional regulation stem from childhood, he essentially behaves like a very yound child in places, i think snoke enabled that when luke et al would probably have wanted to curb it without understanding it.

what puzzles me is how being overemotional in itself is dark side... i guess in-universe that's how it works.
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by rey09 on Fri 1 Apr - 11:35

@Saracene I also get that impression of Leia. We also weren't given much emotional Leia so who knows, hopefully the next movie, we see her vulnerabilities. Or even in Bloodline. In TFA, she was very much the leader who had to be tough and strong for everyone else.
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by Napoleon Solo on Mon 4 Apr - 3:41

I see Ben's childhood as knowing he had potential for great things but feeling like his family were afraid of him for it.
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by SoloSideCousin on Mon 4 Apr - 3:53

@Napoleon Solo wrote:I see Ben's childhood as knowing he had potential for great things but feeling like his family were afraid of him for it.

I definitely think that this is a possibility, particularly if he was emotional and sensitive as a child. I could see him doing things like causing glass around him to break or the room to shake when he got upset and couldn't control it. Leia never seemed to get much training, and well Han, for as much as I love him, would get a little freaked out by that. And frankly, how much would Luke know what to do? I know he supposedly has the Force Ghosts, but they can't know everything, or he wouldn't have to find the original Jedi temple. I have a feeling that Ben/Kylo could really be something of a prodigy considering his equal dark/light force composition. I think that is indicative that he will be able to do things others can't do. After a while, they might have started looking at him like a bomb that might go off, and if he had even a fraction of the mental powers he has an adult, he would have sensed that. Also, based on what JJ and Adam Driver say in the documentary, it sounds like he did not get as much parental support as he needed to deal with his powers. I wonder if that could have been of a purposeful "out of sight, out of mind" thing at times on Han and Leia's part because they didn't understand their kid and sometimes just could not deal with him. It's a sad explanation, but very human behavior.
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by MeadowofAshes on Mon 4 Apr - 4:07

I like that Pablo Hidalgo went to the effort to state that no matter what, Kylo Ren and Kylo Ren alone is responsible for his actions. Many people have a tough childhood, but choice defines us. I think this is beautifully illustrated in the Harry Potter series with Harry and Tom Riddle having many similar traits and growing up under similar circumstances yet Harry chooses love and friendship while Tom becomes Voldemort, a paragon of evil. So no matter what happened during Ben's childhood, I want him to take full responsibility for his actions and become motivated to make amends and come to the Light.

What I'm interested in is, who was Ben Solo and who will he be when he comes back? Kylo Ren says to Han that Ben Solo was "weak and foolish like his father, so I destroyed him."
Han tells Leia, "I know when you see me you're reminded of him". I don't imagine this was in looks only, especially since Kylo says Ben was like his father in characteristics. So how is Ben like his father? Whichever of his father's traits Kylo considers to be weak and foolish also apply to Ben Solo. We already see with Kylo Ren that sometimes empathy and compassion win out. He shows compassion to Finn in the first scene by letting him go and Rey during the interrogation. He also has integrity. Call him many things, but Kylo Ren/Ben is essentially honest. He doesn't lie to Rey or Han.

We see some of his mother's dry snark with Mitaka. "The droid... stole a freighter..." How can one not picture Leia saying this? It reeks of "Aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?" He even nails her dry tone of voice.

We see he has both his parents' passion and impatience. Not to mention the Skywalker and Solo penchant for falling hard for a beautiful and tough woman.

Who is Ben Solo? He is equal parts his mother and his father, and an element of something more. I can't wait to see what else we find out about Ben. Smile
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by Napoleon Solo on Mon 4 Apr - 6:55

Ben is definitely responsible for his own actions but I hope we find out just how much Snoke was involved in twisting his perception and morality. I also sensed a dark cloud of guilt surrounding Han and Leia.

Did anyone else think that Chewy was confused when Kylo was outed as Ben, almost like he never knew?
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by guardienne on Mon 4 Apr - 9:32

@SoloSideCousin wrote:
@Napoleon Solo wrote:I see Ben's childhood as knowing he had potential for great things but feeling like his family were afraid of him for it.

I definitely think that this is a possibility, particularly if he was emotional and sensitive as a child.  I could see him doing things like causing glass around him to break or the room to shake when he got upset and couldn't control it.  Leia never seemed to get much training, and well Han, for as much as I love him, would get a little freaked out by that.  

i keep thinking of looper. isn't it the story of a scarily powerful child who needs protection from his mother?
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by AnneNeville on Mon 4 Apr - 11:34

@MeadowofAshes wrote:I like that Pablo Hidalgo went to the effort to state that no matter what, Kylo Ren and Kylo Ren alone is responsible for his actions. Many people have a tough childhood, but choice defines us. I think this is beautifully illustrated in the Harry Potter series with Harry and Tom Riddle having many similar traits and growing up under similar circumstances yet Harry chooses love and friendship while Tom becomes Voldemort, a paragon of evil. So no matter what happened during Ben's childhood, I want him to take full responsibility for his actions and become motivated to make amends and come to the Light.

Don't forget that Snape, too, has a similar background: half-blood with one pureblood and one muggle parent, abused during his childhood, social outcast (unlike Tom, but like Harry). He represents a third way of responding to these pressures--by eventually becoming a rather morally grey character.

We have a trio of abandoned children in both HP and the ST.
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by jakkusun on Mon 4 Apr - 11:48

@AnneNeville wrote:
@MeadowofAshes wrote:I like that Pablo Hidalgo went to the effort to state that no matter what, Kylo Ren and Kylo Ren alone is responsible for his actions. Many people have a tough childhood, but choice defines us. I think this is beautifully illustrated in the Harry Potter series with Harry and Tom Riddle having many similar traits and growing up under similar circumstances yet Harry chooses love and friendship while Tom becomes Voldemort, a paragon of evil. So no matter what happened during Ben's childhood, I want him to take full responsibility for his actions and become motivated to make amends and come to the Light.

Don't forget that Snape, too, has a similar background: half-blood with one pureblood and one muggle parent, abused during his childhood, social outcast (unlike Tom, but like Harry). He represents a third way of responding to these pressures--by eventually becoming a rather morally grey character.

We have a trio of abandoned children in both HP and the ST.
I think Kylo also could have some similarities with Draco Malfoy. There is the sense of "entitlement" that Pablo sees, but also there is so much fear/feeling trapped. I feel like Kylo and Draco are very similar with their scenes where they have to kill Han/Dumbledore. However, Kylo actually goes through with it. Honestly, I think Kylo is like a combination of Snape, Draco, Tom/Voldie, and Harry. The relationship between Harry and Voldemort is a little bit like Kylo and Snoke. Dang, Kylo is one complex character.
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by MoonFyre on Mon 4 Apr - 12:17



http://sevenmileorz.tumblr.com

This art reminds me of the Trials on Tatooine where young Ben is starting his Jedi training with Luke... he just wants to go home but then Han told him, "Sorry, kid."
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by AnneNeville on Mon 4 Apr - 12:33

@MoonFyre

Beautiful. Just beautiful. Sad

Did you post that in the fan art section, too?
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by MoonFyre on Mon 4 Apr - 12:37

@AnneNeville wrote:@MoonFyre

Beautiful. Just beautiful. Sad

Did you post that in the fan art section, too?

Oh I haven't... I'll post it now!

I'd love to see a scene like that in episode 8, maybe Rey can see it through the force bond. Sad
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Re: Ben's Childhood

Post by MeadowofAshes on Mon 4 Apr - 14:04

@jakkusun wrote:
@AnneNeville wrote:
@MeadowofAshes wrote:I like that Pablo Hidalgo went to the effort to state that no matter what, Kylo Ren and Kylo Ren alone is responsible for his actions. Many people have a tough childhood, but choice defines us. I think this is beautifully illustrated in the Harry Potter series with Harry and Tom Riddle having many similar traits and growing up under similar circumstances yet Harry chooses love and friendship while Tom becomes Voldemort, a paragon of evil. So no matter what happened during Ben's childhood, I want him to take full responsibility for his actions and become motivated to make amends and come to the Light.

Don't forget that Snape, too, has a similar background: half-blood with one pureblood and one muggle parent, abused during his childhood, social outcast (unlike Tom, but like Harry). He represents a third way of responding to these pressures--by eventually becoming a rather morally grey character.

We have a trio of abandoned children in both HP and the ST.
I think Kylo also could have some similarities with Draco Malfoy. There is the sense of "entitlement" that Pablo sees, but also there is so much fear/feeling trapped. I feel like Kylo and Draco are very similar with their scenes where they have to kill Han/Dumbledore. However, Kylo actually goes through with it. Honestly, I think Kylo is like a combination of Snape, Draco, Tom/Voldie, and Harry. The relationship between Harry and Voldemort is a little bit like Kylo and Snoke. Dang, Kylo is one complex character.

You are so right. Kylo is very Draco-ish with what we can glean about his privileged upbringing. I didn't even think about Draco. Kylo's got that whole tortured brooding thing going on too. And I'd wager a guess Draco feels torn between his family and what he knows to be right.

Yeah, Kylo's just such a well written character. No wonder he's the writers' baby.
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