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At the very beginning of The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren confronts Lor San Tekka on Jakku, because the First Order has learned that

Tekka has part of a map that leads to Luke Skywalker.

In the film, Kylo Ren demonstrates on several occasions that he can

use the Force to extract information from individuals' minds.

It is also made abundantly clear that Supreme Leader Snoke is very interested in

obtaining the map, rather than simply preventing it from finding its way to the Resistance.

Finally, it is clear that Kylo Ren believes

that reading one's memory of the map is sufficient — which is why he suspends the search for BB-8 after he learns that Rey has seen the map.

So, instead of

executing Tekka,

why didn't Kylo Ren attempt to extract the information from his mind?

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  1. He was (as noted previously) basically a whiny emo teenager inside. Novelization is VERY clear that he basically killed Tekka in a fit of temper tantrum.

    First, he negotiates with Tekka to get the map:

    You know what I’ve come for.
    “I know where you come from.” ...
    From behind the mask, a growl: feral, but still human. “Careful. The map to Skywalker. We understand you’ve acquired it. And now you’re going to give it to the First Order.” ...
    “You don’t belong with them.” Tekka spoke calmly, ...
    Impatience on the part of the visitor gave way to exasperation. “How is it possible that a conversation becomes so tedious, so quickly?” A sweep of one long arm encompassed the boundaries of the village. “Don’t turn a simple transaction into a tragedy for these people.” A tincture of undiluted sadism stained the voice behind the mask. “Hasn’t your presence here done enough for them already?”
    “I made my peace with these folk and this place long ago. As to the other, to turn away from your heritage is the true tragedy.”

    Then Tekka's whole line of conversation gets to him, and he throws a tantrum:

    Ren stiffened ever so slightly as he leaned forward. “Enough witless banter.” He held out a hand. “Old man, give it to me.”
    ...
    “You may try,” Tekka responded with quiet defiance, “but you cannot deny the truth that is your family.”
    Kylo Ren seemed to grow before him. Rage flared behind the mask as reason gave way to fury. A lightsaber appeared in one hand, flaring to life, a barely stable crimson shaft notable for two smaller projections at the hilt: a killer’s weapon, an executioner’s fetish of choice. “So true.”

  2. Having said that, it likely wouldn't have mattered:

    • Tekka probably would not have seen the map, so reading map contents from his mind is impossible.

    • Ren knows they can find the map themselves, since there's no way he could have secreted it away from the village (he doesn't find out about Poe until AFTER he kills Tekka and Poe attacks him). And he doesn't find out about BB-8 until after mind-reading Poe

      “Your orders, sir?” she murmured.
      Kylo Ren surveyed his blazing surroundings. He had already spent too much time here, to only partial satisfaction. He disliked such delays. “Kill them all, Captain Phasma, and search the village. Every building, every possible storage facility and place of concealment. When your troops have razed it to the ground, search the ground. Scanners, perceptors. You know what to look for.”

  • Thanks. How do we know that Tekka has not seen the map? Whether or not he has actually seen it, Kylo would need to read Tekka to find out. (Kylo discovered that Rey had seen the map by reading her on Takodana.) – Praxis Dec 27 '15 at 1:53
  • @Praxis - we do not know for sure, but that's really not relevant in light of #1. #2 is merely my speculation that it didn't matter if Tekka was killed or not. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 27 '15 at 1:55
  • Okay, in that case, you might want to make it clear that it is speculation. :-) – Praxis Dec 27 '15 at 1:56
  • @Praxis - done. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 27 '15 at 1:56
  • 3
    My speculation is that Tekka had seen the map, and he clearly knew of Kylo Ren and was likely aware of his powers to extract information. So, perhaps Tekka purposely goaded Kylo Ren into killing him just so Ren wouldn't be able to extract the map using his powers. A good way to plant a seed of doubt into someone that's out of control is to make him go out of control and destroy something valuable to himself, so perhaps Tekka's death was not in vain. – Johnny Dec 27 '15 at 7:30

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