Kylo Ren knows the full history of Anakin Skywalker from his former master. Kylo Ren is a Darth Vader fanatic. He should therefore know the concept behind how the two are different: How Anakin died when Vader came into being, how Vader is not Anakin.

Why then does he not emulate Vader to the end? Is he permitting his birth identity to live?

  • 37
    Yet another case of that wacky Kylo screwing up. Will he ever do anything right?
    – DavidS
    Jan 13, 2016 at 11:19
  • 17
    He actually tells Han, "You're son no longer exists. I killed him."
    – PiousVenom
    Jan 13, 2016 at 15:40
  • 2
    Force of habit? it isn't clear in the movie how long he's been a Knight of Ren and maybe he hasn't had that many opportunites to ignore it.
    – GreenMatt
    Jan 13, 2016 at 19:35
  • 7
    "Blimey, I wonder who this fellow behind me is hollerin' at! Ho, hum not my problem..." continues walking
    – ejrb
    Jan 14, 2016 at 14:32
  • Same "reason" Snope put him in charge: 'cuz he's a poser wannabe Sith who gets almost nothing right? Rage at colossal mess-ups clearly fuel the Dark Side, which is why they keep building planet-sized bases with "secret" blow-this-up buttons - they're actually sacrifices that keep their mean streaks hot.
    – Dronz
    Jan 14, 2016 at 22:34

3 Answers 3


If you're referring to the scene where...

he helps his father to have a peaceful, cost-effective retirement

part of the point of that scene is that, for this once, he takes down the walls around the side of him that's a vulnerable, non-evil emo kid and son of Han and Leia.

His challenge is to face that side of himself - the side that still more Ben than Kylo - overcome it, and eliminate it.

So when he's facing Han, he:

  • removes his mask
  • answers to "Ben", awkwardly (he tries to claim that side of him is dead, but it's clearly not completely true - yet)
  • slowly lets his vulnerable side show
  • slowly lets the repressed feelings of the "Ben" side of his personality come out
  • allows a tender father-son moment to happen...

...Then, having let Ben out the bag, his challenge is to muster up all his inner darkness and overcome and eliminate that side of himself for once and for all.

You could see it as an empowering example that we can overcome our challenges and be the person we want to be.

In a way. ;-)

(although the novelization apparently reveals that...

...This personal triumph actually made him weaker, when he expected it to make him stronger. Be careful what you wish for and all that.)

  • 73
    +1 "helps his father to have a peaceful, cost-effective retirement"
    – Tom Bowen
    Jan 13, 2016 at 15:26
  • 26
    Poor Kylo, he's, like, soooo misunderstood. Jan 13, 2016 at 15:31
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    I'm trusting that people who haven't seen the film and intend to do so aren't clicking on questions with titles like "Why does Kylo Ren respond to his birth name?" then continuing to read past text like "the scene where he..." Jan 13, 2016 at 17:47
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    @JonStory: I think it was wise to add the spoiler tag, but not sure if it needed to be rephrased. The original phrasing was pretty clever, and worth keeping IMHO.
    – Lindsey D
    Jan 13, 2016 at 18:46
  • 4
    @JonStory you might be over-thinking this... Jan 13, 2016 at 21:04

He responds to it, as it's clear that Han is addressing him. Why would he ignore him, especially when he:

Wants to confront and kill Han


SL Snoke speaks to him acknowledging his father as Han. I don't think Vader or Ren refused to believe they were not their former jedi selves, just spoke that way poetically sometimes. (I am your father) not (Anakin was your father)


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