This is a speculative article pertaining to events from, Star Wars: Aftermath and contains spoilers for the book. This article also contains spoilers pertaining to The Force Awakens, proceed with caution.
As someone who is a huge fan of the villainous characters from the Star Wars saga, it is very exciting for me going into The Force Awakens knowing a new menace will be present on film to cause all kinds of upheaval for the new, and old heroes. I’ve speculated previously on the motivations of Kylo Ren, and his mysterious superior, Supreme Leader Snoke. Although details are scarce on these two characters, I’m going to present to you, the reader, some possibilities.
I just want to reiterate, most of what you read here is speculation based on my own theories. However some of the content below can be considered spoilery. I felt that some of these subjects would be great fun speculate upon, so here we go.
“The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities, some, consider to be unnatural”, a telling quote from the most powerful mastermind the galaxy ever saw, Darth Sidious. It’s an obscure quote and could mean many different things. However, it’s important to understand that what I’m about to discuss here could be considered, unnatural. Also the fact we don’t know too much about the dark side of the Force, apart from, those that tap into it normally lust power, makes it open to interpretation.
On September 4th the first post Return Of The Jedi novel was released; Star Wars: Aftermath, although this book follows the Rebellion and Empire in their struggles to gain control over specific systems, there are some interesting interludes. One interlude in particular intrigued me greatly. This interlude involves a mysterious trio who go by the name of the “Acolytes of the Beyond”, an interesting name for sure but that’s not it, what they want and why they want it is the real shocker here. They enter a junk shop and ask the junk dealer about a lightsaber they want to purchase, that lightsaber(apparently) belonged to Darth Vader, yes, Darth Vader, what’s even more interesting about this is why they want it. When asked by the junk shop dealer why they want to purchase it, the pale women responds by telling the junker that they want to destroy it, and return it to their master in death. Now, this interlude in particular could have implications I mean, why add this into a post Return Of The Jedi novel that is telling a separate story, maybe to set up our future villains? It’s a possibility that I’ve been pondering on since I heard about it, so now let me speculate on the implications this interlude could have on the story of the dark side going forward.
Okay so, we know now that Kylo Ren joined a group called the Knights of Ren and in doing so obtained the title Ren in his name, we also know that Kylo is a Vader obsessive whose look is inspired by the dark lord. Could these mysterious Acolytes of the Beyond also be Vader obsessives, it’s possible, and going by the interlude from Aftermath it sure sounds like they worshiped Darth Vader in some way. Another subject I’ve seen many speculate is, could the Knights of Ren be a group that was formed from the Acolytes, maybe someone or something tamed these illusive Acolytes, and in turn lead to the formation of the Knights of Ren? Today I was speaking to my good friend and Making Star Wars’ artist, Jared Jones about the possibilities being presented by all these juicy tidbits, and we came to something very interesting indeed.
At the end of Return Of The Jedi we see Anakin redeemed from his evil actions as Darth Vader and appear as a Force ghost alongside Obi-Wan and Yoda. His redemption cleansed him of all his atrocities, and bought balance to the Force, seems simple right? However, I do not believe that all of his atrocities were just forgotten and I do not believe that his inner torture and hatred disappeared after his death. Vader’s actions would have left their mark on many, they may have even left there mark on the Force, a scar so to speak, what if his actions tainted the Force leaving the possibility open for some dark side user to come along and awaken that darkness once again.
So far I’ve mentioned the Acolytes of the beyond, the Knights of Ren and Darth Vader a lot. So how could they all link to the ominous new villain, Kylo Ren. I believe there is more to Kylo Ren than just being some crazy evil dude commanding First Order missions, we know he works under Supreme Leader Snoke and we know Kylo is strong in the Force; what we don’t know is why he joined the Knights of Ren and why he answers to Snoke in particular. Let me break that down a little further.
Let’s say the Acolytes of the Beyond did go onto destroy Vader’s lightsaber in an attempt to fulfill their own prophecy, what implications could that particular act have? Let’s look briefly at this from an out-of-galaxy perspective, in reality many cults and sects will hunt down particular artifacts and destroy them in an attempt to awaken evil entities, scary but true. Now let’s go in-universe again; what if these Acolytes believed destroying Vader’s weapon and returning it to him would lead to his awakening, the lead Acolyte does refer to Vader as “their master” which is also interesting.
So how do these Acolytes possibly tie in with Kylo? If they truly believe that they can awaken the dark side of Anakin, they will most likely need a subject body. Early on I speculated that this could be Snoke, and that’s why his appearance is being so closely guarded, however if the theories are correct on Kylo being Vader’s grandson, who better to use than someone with a blood connection to the former dark lord. If there is any grounding to my theory here(which is quite out there) then it’s also possible Kylo has been brainwashed into believing what he is doing is right, probably from an early age too. Maybe the Knights of Ren used Kylo as a test subject, but he became so powerful that he destroyed them? It’s all up for conjecture still and I could be grasping at straws here. I have been told Vader is important to the story going forward, and in my speculative state right now, this seems like a good place to begin.
This would also be a great way to present a different perspective on the Force, especially the dark side. We know those who use it have unnatural abilities Darth Plaguies did create life after all, what’s to say that the darkness that resided in one being can’t be reincarnated through somebody else? We also have that interesting line of dialogue from Kylo Ren in which he says, “I’m immune to the light”. Is that because he’s been born out of complete darkness and has no redeemable aspects to him? I don’t know the answer right now, but it definitely implies that he believes he is the dark side warrior.
So that’s it for today I hope you enjoyed reading this article, if your imagination is running wild right now wondering about the story possibilities for Star Wars: The Force Awakens: then I’m sure you will. Remember, the only facts in this editorial are stated with most being speculation based on information we’ve received through the new canon so far. I love the villains of Star Wars, and I adore Vader. To see my favourite characters legacy continued in some manner makes me extremely excited!
Just under three months until some of the truth is revealed people, I can’t wait.