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In reference to Kylo's words during this particular prayer session in the movie:

Show me again the power of the darkness, and I'll let nothing stand in our way. Show me, grandfather, and I will finish what you started.

What significance and meaning does the use of the word "again" have? Has he spoken to Anakin's spirit in his younger years? Is there any chance Vader had not been completely destroyed, and had thus managed to surface and directly influence Kylo in the past?

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    who is to say that it isn't snoke that manipulated the lil emo disney prinsess there into thinking that it was Vader?? Last we saw Vader was no more and Anakin was reborn! To my knowledge Anakin wouldn't speak in favour of the dark side and couldn't even be seen as sith dont posses the power to become force ghosts. – Cherubel Apr 25 '16 at 9:28
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    He's speaking to a molten mask. The only things Vader showed him and talked to him about are probably in his little disturbed head. I know, it's a bit fashionable to go on about "emo Kylo", but personally I actually think that Driver really pulled off the protrayal of a severely torn and disturbed kid pretty well. I don't know why, but it reminds me of Rand Al'Thor when he heard Lew Therin Telamon in his head, which turned out to be Madness. – Marakai Apr 25 '16 at 9:58
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    Even if we don't know, I'm pretty sure that Kylo never spoke to Anakin's ghost. Otherwise Anakin should have told him that the dark side is not so cool and that he returned to the light. – Neow Apr 25 '16 at 10:21
  • This is your brain on Spice... any questions? – pleurocoelus Apr 25 '16 at 12:10
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    @Neow My cynical take would be more along "dude, you can absolutely go on a power trip, slaughter kids, wipe out planets, it's awesome! Then, at the end do something you probably want to do anyway, like throw Snoke down a shaft, and boom! instant redemption and Force ghostery! You can't lose!" – Marakai Apr 26 '16 at 1:16
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It's not really clear whether Ren is communing with Vader's living spirit, but what's clear from the novelisations is that as an artifact of evil, imbued with dark Force, the helmet remains a potent object through which one can access dark Force visions in a similar way to Rey experienced Force visions when she touched Luke's lightsaber.

From the Junior Novel

He knelt in his dark chambers aboard the Star Destroyer. Though he was alone, he spoke in a low and respectful tone. “Forgive me. I feel it again. The pull to the light. The Supreme Leader senses it. Show me again the power of the darkness, and I will let nothing stand in our way. Show me, Grandfather, and I will finish what you started.”

The shrine’s centerpiece was a symbol that once was feared throughout the galaxy. Flames had warped and melted it into a shape even more monstrous than before. Though cool to the touch, evil emanated from it as if it continued to burn.

The Official Novelisation has a slightly different take, emphasising that whatever answers Kylo Ren has been getting, they're probably coming from his own fevered imagination, not from Vader.

The alcove where Kylo Ren was kneeling and speaking was darker than the rest of the adjoining chambers. He kept it deliberately so, as seemed appropriate for its function. He spoke now in a tone different from the one he usually employed when conversing with others. There were no orders to be issued here, no pathetic underlings to command. The one with whom he was presently communing would understand everything Ren chose to say, in whatever voice he chose to employ. No need here and now for intimidation, for fear. Kylo Ren spoke, and the object of his words listened in silence.

Trembling slightly, he rose from where he had been kneeling and strode off to another portion of his private quarters. There was no response from the one to whom he had been talking: neither argument nor agreement. Only silence from the shape that had been the object of Ren’s fervor: a ghostly, deformed mask that had once belonged to another. To a figure of rumor and legend and fear.

  • One point there though as it is shown in shattered empire....places and objects can hold a connection to the dark force feeling like the dark side user who was there even if he did NOT die there (example darth maul and Naboo). Thus it is possible that he can feel the darkness that was Vader in the mask according to that part of the canon (as strange as it sounds though) – Thomas Apr 26 '16 at 19:23

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