The Rise of Kylo Ren #2 Review

by Sam Jarron on January 08, 2020

Issue #1 of The Rise of Kylo Ren was pretty incredible; it re-contextualized everything we thought we knew about Ben Solo's fall, and felt like a truly necessary Star Wars comic. I'm happy to say that Issue #2 is no different. It doesn't have any huge plot twists like Issue #1's Temple Destruction, but it has more character moments that feel just as significant, though it does of course advance the plot, through the main story and a flashback section, similar to the first issue.

The beginning of the issue continues where #1 left off; Ben says that he's interested in the Knights of Ren. Snoke brings up Ben's name, and we get the first incredible character moment I mentioned earlier. Ben says that he always hated the name Ben Solo. He always thought he had to live up to the legacy of Ben Kenobi, and that Solo wasn't even Han's real last name! A lot of people didn't like how Solo: A Star Wars Story made Solo a completely random last name that an Imperial officer came up with, and that Han's child took that name (I was always fine with it though). This little moment completed changes it, and makes it an important part of why Ben hates his father and the legacy he thinks he has to live up to so much. 

Anyway, Snoke says that Ben has to find the Knights himself to prove himself, and that leads into the flashback of this issue. It's back during the beginning of Ben's training; he's taken along with Luke and Lor San Tekka to a Jedi Outpost from the era of.. the High Republic! For those who don't know, the High Republic is a new era to Star Wars; it's been seeded in a few different stories, from Jedi Lost to this. The interesting thing is that all the stories seeding it come from authors that are a part of Project Luminous, Lucasfilm's upcoming multimedia project. Some recent rumors suggest that Luminous may take place in the High Republic era, and this seems to further conrfirm that. It's pretty exciting to see future content being seeded like this, and it feels really natural too.

Anyway, they arrive at the Outpost, and meet the Knights of Ren. This is Ben's first encounter with the Knights, and of course, Soule had to create some parallels to make us all sad. The whole issue, Ben has felt isolated and ignored by Luke; after Luke singlehandedly fights off all the Knights, Ren removes his helmet and reveals his surprisingly normal-looking face. It's a parallel to Kylo removing his helmet for the first time in The Force Awakens. Ren tells Ben that if he wants to try out a different path, he'll always be there to show him. Jumping back to the present, we see Ben return to the Outpost and use Ren's discarded helmet to contact the Knights and get their location... but before he can leave, the three apprentices find him!

The issue ends there; we won't find out how Ben escapes this predicament until next issue. This issue continued to be incredible. It's turned Ben into even more of a complex and compelling character than he already was; the small character moments like with Ben's name add so much, and the hints of things to come are really exciting. Soule continues to be the best Star Wars author out there, and Will Sliney's art is really good too (but not perfect..... young Ben looks kinda bad). I can't wait until #3!

Our Score:


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