In The Force Awakens there is a scene inside Starkiller Base.

  • Rey and Finn were right by an open door leading to the snowy exterior
  • Kylo Ren is about 3 or 4 levels down on a long bridge
  • Rey and Finn make eye contact with Kylo Ren and probably realize he's going to pursue them so they turn around and run outside
  • Seconds later they are intercepted by Kylo Ren in the snowy forest

How did he get there so quickly?

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  • 7
    He had a bicycle.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 6:38
  • 1
    Seconds later in the film—but unless I'm misremembering, we don't even see Starkiller in the background of the fighting scene(s). Is there anything to imply that Finn and Rey haven't been running for a good while, getting as far away from Starkiller as they can, before he catches up with them? (Of course, given his injury and generally heavier and bootier gear, they ought to be faster than him anyway, until he does indeed Force Run—but that's a different matter.) Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 7:04
  • Related question: How did Kylo Ren get ahead of them?.
    – TARS
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 10:38
  • 1
    One hell of a Force Jump.
    – DavidS
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 15:49
  • 2
    “Rey and Finn were right by an open door leading to the snowy exterior” — I think the door led to the top of a pretty tall ladder that provided access to the snowy exterior. Whereas Kylo was already at ground level. Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 17:20

3 Answers 3


He was very determined. On the other hand, they were wandering and were forced to stop and take a break for a few minutes.

According to Chapter XVII of the official Alan Dean Foster novelization,

...Kylo Ren struggled to stand [on the catwalk]. As he did so, his gaze turned upward. To meet the stares of a Finn and Rey peering down at him. The shock of recognition helped him to regain his footing. Rising to his full height, he started back along the still-standing walkway, moving with determinantion. Heading upward.

Then in Chapter XVIII,

Seeking a path through the snow, shadows, and increasingly dark forest, Finn finally slowed. Where were they running to? In any event, he and Rey were out of breath...It was good, anyway, to stop.

So it seems that they were somewhat lost, had no idea were they were going, and were tired enough to be forced to take a break.

Kylo, on the other hand, was resolved to find them and was not stopping for even a moment despite his injury. Given that Rey is strong in the Force but not yet skilled enough to shield her emotions, he may have also used the Force to sense Rey's fear and track her (as @thegreatjedi suggests below).

  • 2
    Did he really "know the forest"? Knowing the terrain usually requires you to have spent time in it to gain that knowledge by experience, which I doubt a dark lord would do with no good reason. To me, it makes more sense that he knew where to go because he knew Rey is strong in the Force and she wasn't actively controlling her emotions at the time. Fear gives her away, more likely. Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 17:06
  • @thegreatjedi : Fair point, but I think the main thing is that they were slowing down to a halt while he was speeding up...
    – Praxis
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 17:10
  • This answer says Finn and Rey had to climb down the ladder first, is there any evidence to support that? I can't remember for sure.
    – RedCaio
    Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 20:48
  • @RedCaio : No, not explicitly in the film or the novel. It stands to reason that they had to climb down. But when the answer you linked to says "I believe Kylo was already at ground level", note that the novelization says "...moving with determination. Heading upward", and so that seems cancels out the notion that he had a ground-level advantage.
    – Praxis
    Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 21:42

Finn and Rey had to climb back down the ladder the climbed to get up onto their level. Climbing down a ladder can be pretty slow work.

I believe Kylo was already at ground level or one level below, and he would only have stairs to climb up not ladders to go down and could run the whole way.

  • 6
    I really hope there's a deleted scene on the DVD that consists of nothing but 5 minutes of Finn and Rey climbing down ladders. One tracking shot, no music, no sound except boots on metal and at one point Rey yelling "Hey!" and Finn mumbling an apology after accidentally knocking Rey in the head. Then it cuts to Kylo in the forest, folding up a fold-up bike. Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 11:14
  • This combined with the answer by Praxis seems like a very likely reason. Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 17:04
  • This seems like a good explanation. +1 I can't remember if that's really how it happened. Do you have any sources?
    – RedCaio
    Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 20:49
  • @RedCaio just observations from watching the film and logic Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 21:08

Force Run

Kylo Ren is a Force user who trained (albeit however briefly) with Luke Skywalker. It is possible that he was able to use the Force to move quickly to intercept Finn and Rey before they were able to escape. This is purely speculation on my part, though, as the movie does not have a clear answer as the original poster mentioned.

  • While I suppose it's possible, I'd be quite hesitant to believe this... Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 16:52
  • 1
    There have been questions in the past asking why Force users don't just Force Speed their way around the galaxy (i.e. why don't they have Force Autorun enabled?). The answers usually describe the obstacles as being either: 1) It takes significant skill to use this power, or 2) It drains one's Force energy reserves (i.e. Force mana) quickly. It cannot be sustained for long. Basically, Force Speed appears to be an energy-intensive power, and a wounded Kylo Ren with incomplete Jedi or dark side training expecting a lightsaber battle coming up may not be prepared to spend those reserves. Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 17:11

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