Kylo Ren is obsessed with Darth Vader and vows to finish what he started.

He wields a red lightsaber.

He opposes the Jedi.

He fights for the Empire... err First Order

Does that mean he is a Sith?

  • Side note: the question arose because I started whining to myself (in Luke's voice) "but The Prophecy of the One said there will be no more Sith or Jar-Jar! How can Episode VII square with that?". To which I answered "Know that Kilo Ren is a Sith, you do not". – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 17 '15 at 19:57
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    I'd call him an adolescent Sith Wannabe... – Dronz Dec 26 '15 at 20:44
  • See also scifi.stackexchange.com/q/42955/4918 "Could General Grievous be a Sith?" – b_jonas Dec 28 '15 at 16:48
  • It's becoming clearer that this trilogy will move the Force from a dipole to a gradient. Ren, having, you know, killed his own father as his father was offering his help, is veering heavily dark. But there is no more Sith vs. Jedi. I have a feeling The Last Jedi will make this very clear. – Alan Leuthard Jul 27 '17 at 23:44
  • i hopefully am correct by disagreeing with you @alan The last move was the Last Jedi . But it did not say the Last Jedi Ever. Yes the temple was destroyed, and there is no more "master" But for star wars to continue it cannot just be people that play nice with the force and ones that dont. Sith somehow disfigure as the more dark they become why does that happen? – MichaelEvanchik Apr 3 '18 at 19:57

In the visual dictionary for The Force Awakens, it mentions that Kylo Ren "is the archetype of a new generation of dark side users that have emerged to fill the void left by the Sith's demise." Later on, it says: "The Supreme Leader [Snoke] believes Ren to be the ideal embodiment of the Force, a focal point of both light and dark side ability." It says that Kylo Ren is the "embodiment of conflict, drawing upon contradictory teachings and deriving power from discord."

Based on the evil things he does in the film, however, and the way he uses the Force, it appears that Kylo Ren is much closer to being a Sith than a Jedi. Nevertheless, this information proves that he is a different user of the Force, neither Sith nor Jedi.

Near the end of the film,

when Rey has defeated him in their lightsaber battle, Supreme Leader Snoke orders General Hux to bring him to him so that he can complete his training.

Whatever Kylo Ren is aspiring to be, then, he isn't completely 'there' yet, and we'll probably get to see him in complete power in Episode VIII.

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    There are things other than Sith or Jedi. Only a Sith thinks in absolutes. And Obi-Wan Kenobi :) Great answer, i'll change my accept :) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 2 '16 at 18:36
  • Hmmmmmmmmmmm if he gains power from discord and contradictoin then he was quite erronous when he did what he did at the bridge as part of the discord was resolved there (I only say lightsaber) – Thomas Jan 2 '16 at 22:42
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    @DVK: Obi-Wan only thinks in absolutes from a certain point of view. Namely, not his. – Codes with Hammer Jan 11 '16 at 19:42
  • "a focal point of both light and dark side ability.", sounds like Kreia from KOTOR 2. – xdhmoore Feb 27 '16 at 15:56
  • And in ep.VIII he travels to Dxun... – Mindwin May 4 '16 at 14:05

Found an answer myself.

  • According to J.J. Abrams, in an interview to Empire magazine, He is NOT a Sith (despite being a Dark Side user of the Force):

    "Kylo Ren is not a Sith," confirms JJ Abrams in the new issue of Empire. "He works under Supreme Leader Snoke, who is a powerful figure on the Dark Side of the Force.”

  • In addition, canon Visual Dictionary explicitly says that he's not a Sith on page 24:

    ... His ability to use the Force grants him many impressive combat skills, but Kylo Ren is no Jedi, nor is he a Sith.
    He is the archetype of a new generation of Dark Side users that have emerged to fill the void left by the Sith's demise

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    I say we call him a Sith-lite. – iMerchant Dec 18 '15 at 2:10
  • In addition to this we know there is a dark sider sect since the aftermath books. So it is possible they jsut recruited him. Furthermore anakin fullfilled the prophecy by destroying the sith......so wouldnt make much sense to suddenly get them into the picture again – Thomas Dec 18 '15 at 16:39
  • I think its a really hard question to answer, or would be short of a direct quote from the director, because "what is a sith?" exactly? He does, feels, says, and follows all tennants of the sith faith. But he hasnt exactly been accepted as a full sith apprentice yet, which just opens things to inturputations. Based on what we see in the movie, I think its fair to agree with JJ(DUH), but because Snoke never claims or is revealed as being a Sith Master, so technically, there are not sith at the time of the movie. – Mayshar Dec 23 '15 at 18:43
  • @Mayshar - in my answer, I give BOTH a direct quote from a director (producer? they all are the same to me), AND from a canon book written by one of 5 top canon experts at Lucasfilm. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 23 '15 at 18:53
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    @iMerchant "Get rid of tantrums by going premium!" – Kevin Jan 11 '16 at 13:59

We don't have to go to the Expanded Universe / Legends to determine whether or not there are dark users of the force who are not Sith. Both The Clone Wars and Rebels both contain dark-force-users who are not Sith.

The Clone Wars featured Asajj Ventress and her sisterhood. While she worked alongside Dooku for much of the series, he made it abundantly clear that she was not a Sith - that there were only two Sith, himself and his master, Sideous.

Rebels features characters known as Inquisitors. These people are force-users, and definitely dark, but again, they're not Sith.

Given that there are force-using bad guys in established Canon who are not Sith, there's really no reason to believe that Kylo Ren is a member of the Sith simply because he's a bad guy who uses a lightsaber and the force. :-)

  • The fact that other Dark Force users aren't sith doesn't necessarily imply that Kylo Whine is. – DVK-on-Ahch-To May 4 '16 at 16:33
  • Of course not. But the only reason to suppose that Kylo might be a Sith is "he's a bad guy and he uses the force". The fact that there are other force users who aren't Sith shows that this logic is flawed. All other evidence (most notably Anakin fulfilling the prophecy of ending the Sith by destroying both the master (Palpatine) and the apprentice (Vader/himself) at the same time) points to the Sith being destroyed, so there's no reason to believe that Kylo is Sith. – Paul L May 4 '16 at 16:47

In this movie they begin to diverge from the EU by separating the dark side and the sith. Instead of all dark side users being Sith, the Sith were just one manifestation of the dark side of the force at one point in time. Yes, the Sith were behind the empire but the Sith are no more (so we think...) and now the Knights of Ren are the current manifestation of the dark side of the force.

The idea is that there are two sides of the force. The light side and the dark side and that there is a balance that must be upheld. Very Ying / Yang. The Jedi were the manifestation of the light side while the Sith were the manifestation of the dark. Both have been nearly obliterated from the universe but the force doesn't stop existing because of this and now the light side and dark side are now moving forward in new manifestations.

I will not post my "proof" as its all spoilers from the movie.

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    That separation existed in EU as well. There were plenty non-Sith Dark Side users – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 28 '15 at 16:39
  • Yes that is very true....but that was only in much later books...and in those cases they started creating more of a "rainbow" version of the force that had many aspects not just light and dark – Bill Garrison Dec 28 '15 at 16:41
  • Earlier on they basically force fed you sith vs jedi as if it was a millenia old battle between them. In the new episode it clarifies and distinctly seperates the force into two categories...light and dark and shows jedi and sith as simple manifestations of those two sides – Bill Garrison Dec 28 '15 at 16:43
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    This is a useful answer because it easily frames Jedi and Sith as some sort of "organised religions" formed around the grander concept of Light side and Dark side. – SaltySub2 Apr 27 '18 at 14:31

I'd say in Episode 7, Kylo is nothing more than a fallen Jedi with a healthy obsession with his grandfather's legacy, but isn't a full sith. Snoke is the Sith; Kylo is a mere pawn for him to use the "face" of the sith but not a true Sith like Vader, Dooku or Palpatine.

  • Do you have a source to back this up? – Vanguard3000 Jul 27 '17 at 12:04
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    Nice answer. But could you clarify what it was that make Kylo not a full sith? – Edlothiad Jul 27 '17 at 12:20

The name "Sith" has meant a number of different things over the history of Star Wars, in-universe and out. As of the time of The Force Awakens, the Sith were most recently an organization of Force-users bound by a number of traditions. Their most famous tradition was serving the Dark Side of the Force, but they were also recently famous for only having two members at a time (though this rule seems to have been honored in the breach more often than not).

At this time, Kylo Ren is not known to be a Sith. He does indeed serve the Dark Side, but the First Order is a different organization. Given his obsession with Darth Vader, it is certainly possible -perhaps even likely- that he would seek out knowledge of his grandfather's organization. He may even hope to re-found it one day, or possibly to cast the First Order as "heirs to the Sith" in some way. But if he has plans in this direction, then he does not seem to have made his move just yet.

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