By Megan McCluskey
December 15, 2017

Warning: This post contains major spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

After killing his father, Han Solo (Harrison Ford), in The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren found himself torn between the Dark Side of the Force and his remaining ties to the Light in The Last Jedi.

After First Order Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) dresses him down for failing to defeat Rey (Daisy Ridley) in the forest of D’Qar, Kylo becomes aware that he is somehow bound to Rey through the Force. This connection allows Kylo Ren and Rey to both see and speak to each other from across the galaxy, as well as eventually touch hands for a brief moment.

Believing that the Force had shown her a future in which Kylo turned back to the Light and joined the Resistance, Rey leaves Luke (Mark Hamill) behind on Ahch-To to help show Kylo the way. However, when she boards his ship, Kylo immediately brings her before Snoke, who tortures her before revealing that he had been the one to create and manipulate the link between them.

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Snoke then orders Kylo to kill Rey in order to finally complete his Dark Side training. But just as his grandfather, Darth Vader (James Earl Jones), turned against Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) to save Luke in The Return of the Jedi, Kylo betrays his master. While staring down at Rey, he uses the Force to rotate her lightsaber — which was sitting on a table next to Snoke — toward the Supreme Leader. He then turned it on, stabbing Snoke through the heart.

What followed was one of The Last Jedi’s most epic sequences, as Kylo and Rey team up to take down Snoke’s personal bodyguards, the Elite Praetorian Guard. But after the dust settled, Rey was distraught to learn that Kylo had no intention of helping her save the Resistance. Instead, he implores her to join forces with him in order put an end to all the powers that be — the Jedi, the Sith, the Resistance and the First Order — and rule the galaxy together. Rey quickly rejects that idea and manages to escape the ship thanks to Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo’s (Laura Dern) ingenious lightspeed maneuver.

Without her, Kylo is forced to resort to plan B, declaring himself the First Order’s new Supreme Leader and attacking the Resistance’s severely depleted forces on Crait. But it wasn’t until Luke showed up to face his former apprentice that it became clear how deep the Dark Side was still rooted in Kylo.

With Luke (presumably) dead, it’s unclear what Kylo’s main objective will be in Star Wars: Episode IX. But as the new Supreme Leader, it seems that he will take on the role of the main villain in the final installment of the sequel trilogy.

Leia, Kylo’s mom, will not play a part in the events of Episode IX due to Carrie Fisher’s death. This means Rey is likely the only one who could bring him back to the Light. But with her Jedi training still incomplete — and the pull of the Dark Side stronger than ever — that’s no easy feat.

Episode IX will hit theaters Dec. 20, 2019.

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