This week I am reviewing another single issue in the Star Wars Age of Resistance maxiseries. Last week I reviewed the Rey comic issue. This time the character focus is on Kylo Ren – or Ben Solo if you see things from a certain point of view. I take everybody is familiar Ben became Kylo Ren.
The story of Kylo Ren # 1
This comic issue is set some time before The Force Awakens. It is seen through veteran storm trooper commander Captain Ruthford – now a member of The First Order. He is sent with his troops and Kylo Ren to subdue the Benathy species. For Kylo Ren this mission holds special meaning as Darth Vader had to do the same thing. The comic shows various battle scenes from both timelines in an attempt to highlight the similarities. Ruthford however things Kylo Ren too inexperienced, but Kylo does not show his characteristic arrogance.
As you may have guessed the negotiations for a peaceful settlement fails. The First Order is committed to fighting the Benathy when their ‘god’ shows up. It is actually a extremely large monster called a Zillo Beast. Kylo Ren commandeers a ship and flies above the beast. Much to the astonishment of the captain he allows himself to fall down and eaten by the beast. Captain Ruthford even makes a joke of Kylo Ren’s apparent demise. But, the master of the knight of Ren survives by cutting the alien from the inside out. Its a classic monster trope, but no less fun for that matter.
Kylo Ren is such a complicated character. The character embodies the most important story arc of the sequel trilogy. The question that hangs on the lips of fans is simple: ‘will he or won’t he?’. Will Kylo Ren turn to the light, like his grand father, or will he betray his family’s legacy once and for all and remain in the dark. During The Last Jedi it appeared for a moment he would turn to the light – after he killed Snoke – only for his turn into the other direction in the last act. With just one more movie to go there is not much room for character to change. I had expected this comic to offer some insight, but nothing firm can be concluded.
The story is a basic action story. Though I enjoyed the interaction between Captain Ruthford and Kylo Ren. It shows The First Order are not mindless. The similarities and contrast between Kylo Ren and Darth Vader was also enjoyable, but to what end I do not know. At just 22 pages this is a short comic issue. Without there being any follow-up I am not certain as to its value. The Star Wars tie-in comics and novels are all hampered by the fact they cannot progress the story on their own. And without an Expanded Universe to lean on they cannot make use of established lore. Even though I like this Age of Resistance maxiseries it plays second fiddle to The Rise of Skywalker set for a December 18th release.