After writing about Snoke last week I got to thinking about the other new characters (Kylo, Rey, Finn and Poe) and where exactly they come from; Parentage, history, and what that means for the future. We’re going to highlight of one character each Wednesday for the next few weeks putting together what we know and what we suspect. As always possible spoilers ahead.
From TFA we got confirmation that Kylo was once Ben Solo and though not confirmed it does suggest his new first name is and amalgamation of his last name soLO and sKYwalker. We also know that Kylo was still with Luke six years before the events of TFA and they were hunting down secrets of the Jedi. According to Leia, Snoke was the one influencing Kylo “from the beginning” though we don’t know how or what exactly the means. Why was Kylo with Luke hunting the Jedi lore down? Was it so Luke could keep an eye on Ben or was it because Ben was Luke’s most trusted and powerful apprentice?
I personally believe it was the second, Luke trusted his nephew completely and looked at him as more than just another padawan but his eventual successor and peer. I think the biggest mistake we’ve assumed is that when Leia says from the beginning she means since Ben was a child. Instead I believe it refers to the end of his time on the lightside. Once it became known that Vader was his grandfather, a fact he was unaware of, Ben’s faith was shaken. That is when Snoke began to influence him.
HAN:There was too much Vader in him.
LEIA: That’s why I wanted him to train with Luke. I just never should have sent him away. That’s when I lost him. That’s when I lost you both.
HAN: We both had to deal with it in our own way. I went back to the only thing I was ever good at.
LEIA: We both did.
HAN: We lost our son, forever.
LEIA: No.(long beat) It was Snoke.
Han takes this in.
LEIA: (CONT’D) He seduced our son to the dark side. But we can still save him. Me. You.
HAN: If Luke couldn’t reach him, how could I?
LEIA: Luke is a Jedi… you’re his father. There’s still light in him. I know it.
There much not said in this dialog but I believe that Leia sends Ben back to Luke to train after Ben learns about Vader and this is what she is referring to. Han blames himself for not going to his son to help him understand what it means that Vader was his grandfather and Leia blames herself for not recognizing that Han should have been the one to handle this instead of Luke.
If this is true, and I believe it is, then that means Ben did not become Kylo for at least one year after the end of Bloodline possibly more. That puts Luke’s disappearance and the destruction of the new Jedi between one and five years before the start of TFA. I suspect its closer to two or three years than the five or six we have been assuming. We know the reason that Rey thinks Luke is a myth is because he kept himself and his Jedi in training away from Galactic affairs. The amount of time he has been gone is inconsequential to the galaxy.
This timeline also explains why Kylo needs to complete his training. Snoke has apparently relied on Luke’s training in the Force and given only basic lessons on using anger to fuel his powers while sending him on tasks that let him kill and continue his fall. This is also why Kylo still feels the pull to the light, he’s not been truly trained in dark side. Yet.