The main antagonist in The Force Awakens is called Kylo Ren, but that's not his real name. The "Ren" part is a title, from the Knights of Ren, but we also learn that his birth name was

Ben Solo. Switch "Kylo" and "Ren" around: Ren Kylo. "Ren" sounds like a lot like "Ben" and "Kylo" sounds like "Solo". The names are also the same number of characters.

Am I being a conspiracy theorist here?

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    You and I must pronounce "Kylo" and "Solo" very differently. – phantom42 Dec 18 '15 at 16:34
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    ky are from skywalker, the lo from solo, your welcome, mind blown – Himarm Dec 18 '15 at 16:40
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    I also wonder about the similarities between the names Ren and Rey. I mean, they look like binary opposites: n for no and y for yes. But then I may be a conspiracy theorist too. Let's just wait for Episode VIII. – Mr Lister Dec 18 '15 at 16:45
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    I'm not sure what you're asking? Are you asking if real name and picked name sound similar? Or if there's canon confirmation of WHY he picked that specific new name? – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 18 '15 at 16:49
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    @MrLister I don't want to wait. I want to talk about Star Wars with you guys. >.< – Nate Dec 18 '15 at 16:54

10 Answers 10


When he turned to the Dark Side he forsook his birth name and took the name Kylo Ren. "Ren" is similar to "Darth" in that it is sort of a title signifying Kylo's membership in the "Knights of Ren", a group of other Dark Side followers.
- source

We learned in an interview with Abrams in Entertainment Weekly, "Ren" is the title, which refers to a mysterious organization called The Knights of Ren. "Kylo" is the unique signifier, a name Kylo Ren chose for himself for some equally mysterious reason.
- cinema blend

It seems the meaning behind "Kylo" might be intentionally kept a mystery.

Is appears to be purely coincidental that his birth name and Ren are so similar as we have no further info on the subject of how the name "Kylo" was chosen.

Even more interesting, though also likely coincidental:

Ky + Lo = "Kylo", who is the son of a Skywalker and a Solo. The "ky" comes from Skywalker, and the "lo" comes from Solo.

It's just a possible out-of-universe connection, as in maybe the filmmakers came up with Kylo's name that way.
(thanks @Himarm)

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    It seems counterintuitive that he would borrow from his parents' names to create his new one, when he's disowning them and the name 'Ben' in the first place. – user33616 Dec 20 '15 at 21:34
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    @MarkEdward you're right. I meant it as an out-of-universe connection, as in, maybe the filmmakers came up with Kylo's name that way. :) – RedCaio Dec 20 '15 at 23:41
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    Yeah, that was my original question: is the name coincidence or did the writers mean for the connection? – Nate Dec 21 '15 at 18:49
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    re. the cinema blend quote, I don't suppose you have a link to the original EW interview they're referring to? If it's this one, they might be over-interpreting it. – user56reinstatemonica8 Jan 13 '16 at 10:35
  • The cited Cinema Blend article is embellishing badly from Entertainment Weekly; Abrams never told EW that "Ren" is a title. ew.com/article/2015/08/12/star-wars-force-awakens-kylo-ren/2 – 2540625 Feb 12 '18 at 5:09

"Caelo" (classically pronounced "kylo") has two meanings in Latin.

  1. As a verb, "to cut or hew," as one might do with a lightsaber.

  2. "Sky," as mentioned here before.

"Ren" (Mandarin pronunciation "run") does have a Confucian meaning, but I'm interested in the written symbol for the word: a man walking.

"Sky" + "walker," perhaps? It's a stretch, but it wouldn't surprise me.

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Try the latin word caelo (pronounced the same way as Kylo). It means sky, a possible reference to his Skywalker heritage that he idolizes. Ren in welsh supposedly means ruler and Ren from the Latin renascere (I think that is the correct spelling) means rebirth/birth. This could symbolize how they are reborn by forsaking the light and everything they had in there old life (and by doing this and joining the dark side, they are reborn).

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    Pah. The Welsh also have a word for ladybird that translates to 'small red cow' ;) – Peter May 9 '16 at 16:30
  • @Peter and "microwave" is "oven that goes ping". – OrangeDog Jan 8 at 13:57

Kylo means sky, this references to his grandfathers last name Skywalker.
Ren means ruler. Although there is a group of people that are on the dark side, knights of Ren.
So this brings his masked name to be Sky-Ruler or Sky-King, or even to Galaxy-King. You can also connect this to Rey's name meaning king. Rey and Ren sound alike to English speakers and king and ruler are very similar.

sources 1 sources 2 sources 3 sources 4 sources 5

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    Do you have a source for any of this? What language are you referring to? – Politank-Z Feb 6 '18 at 4:07
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    "Caelum" (pronounced Kie-loom) is Latin for sky. – Chris B. Behrens Feb 6 '18 at 4:55
  • i added my sources, i hope this helps... i literally looked up what the names mean, if you have other meanings for the names you can comment below what they are. – Allison Kelly Feb 7 '18 at 14:31
  • Linking to Google searches is not how sources are cited. – 2540625 Feb 12 '18 at 5:02
  • i know, but i'm using a school computer therefore because of our stupid district i cant actually go into the pages that i want to with out them being blocked, so i did my best. just click into the first page that comes up. – Allison Kelly Feb 12 '18 at 14:33

I have no idea what Kylo might mean, but I have an idea for why part of his name is Ren. Ren in Confucianism means benevolence and kindness. Perhaps this has some implication as to his inner nature. Just as Darth Vader had some good left in him, so too may Kylo Re.

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  • It’s possible, certainly. Has anyone associated with the production said anything that would hint at this? – Adamant Oct 24 '16 at 5:13

Kylo Ren and Rey balance each other on opposite ends of the force. The name Rey is like a “ray” of light, and the name Ren spelled backwards is “ner” which means “candle” or “light” in hebrew.

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    Er... what? How do we know this is what the creators intended? – amflare Dec 15 '17 at 19:03
  • We don’t, it could be coincidence. But it’s no secret that past star wars carachters names have been inspired by biblical or latin words which mean light or darkness. – Aryeh Salovey Dec 15 '17 at 19:40
  • whats yar in hebrew, tho ? – beppe9000 Jan 29 at 18:08

The name Kyloe/Kylo has existed for centuries but that may just be a coincidence. It means either cow pasture or scottish highland cattle. It has been on my top two baby names for years long before Star Wars had the character.

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  • Welcome to SFF.SE! Do you have any evidence that this was the meaning intended by the filmmakers? If not, please avoid speculation in answers. – Null Mar 9 '16 at 5:01
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    Well you might want to reconsider your name list now that this character is around. It wouldn't do to appear to name a baby after a Star Wars bad guy. XD – Pwassonne Mar 9 '16 at 7:36
  • @Pwassonne - well, I can see that the name might still appeal to some people. But agreed; it will certainly have additional connotations now; anyone thinking of naming their kids Kylo need to be aware of that. It will be a really difficult name to carry through school. – Simba Jan 25 '17 at 15:30

the star wars droids cartoon the bad guy is called (not sure how the spelling is) kybo ren now id say that could be a nod to the cartoon star wars just like all the other films relate and so call "nod" to eachother lol

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  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. I believe that character's name was "Kybo Ren-Cha," but do you have any evidence that this was the meaning intended by the filmmakers? If not, please avoid speculation in answers. – DavidW Jun 10 at 0:32

"Ren" because he is a part of the Knights of Ren. I have a theory of where the name "Kylo" comes from. Maybe it is a combination of his parents names. If you take "Ky" from S"ky"walker, and "lo" from So"lo", and merge them, you get "Kylo". My theory is most likely wrong, but it's a thought.

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Most likely resembles his Skywalker legacy. Kylo comes from a latin word meaning sky and Ren from a word meaning ruler. Sky Ruler, perhaps making him a very powerful Skywalker. Or it may mean that he knows about the true history of the Skywalkers predating Anakin. Anakin may have had an ancient history to his mothers heritage.

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    Can you provide any evidence for the claims in your answer? From the script, novelization, interviews or the like? That would be really interesting. Or is it just your speculation? – Jan Johannsen Apr 12 '17 at 15:51

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