Kylo Ren had a shitty deadbeat dad who decided to be a smuggler than be there for his kid and a mom who wasn’t a princess or a senator but a general. Kid probably grew up in a war zone. Safe to say his childhood was far from fucking privileged.

Anakin’s reaction to any adversity in his life is to murder every single man woman and child in his path and then blame entire groups of people for his problems. Wife gonna die in childbirth? Good enough reason to fucking murder a bunch of kids.

Kylo has so far on screen killed one person. Had great hesitation to do it. And frankly is an action I’ve thought about a bunch. I think kids of deadbeat dads have all thought about fucking killing your deadbeat dad.

All of your Kylo facts is actually fiction. Nothing you say here is supported by fact. Kylo Ben fans are tripping.

He also killed more than one person on screen. We saw him specifically murder Lor San Tekka and Han Solo on screen. Both unarmed old men.

We saw him order the slaughter of a village which had already been subdued. Every death that his troops caused in compliance with that order is on his head.

We saw him lead the invasion of two planets: Jakku and Takodana. The First Order is not a legitimate government of either planet. Any deaths that occurred during that invasion are on him too.

While he didn’t give the order to blow up the Hosnian system, (BILLIONS DEAD) he willingly assisted the people who did. Moreover, he willingly continued to protect the weapon when their victims attempted to prevent further use. Moreover, he knew it was being aimed at his MOTHER at the time.

He abducted a civilian woman and repeatedly assaulted her. He tortured her as well. He tortured an enemy combatant. He assaulted and attempted to murder a young man who had been enslaved by the First Order.

He is complicit in the abduction, indoctrination, abuse and enslavement of Finn and every other Stormtrooper. The movie makes it clear that he knows the nature of the program and does not object except to suggest clones would be more efficient.

Even if Kylo’s childhood was as described (which it was not, as proven by the Aftermath trilogy and Bloodlines) that is not a valid excuse for any of his crimes. And while I am not much of an Anakin sympathizer, the fact remains that, at this point in time, he has been established to have an objectively worse backstory, which is a valid basis to compare and contrast even though it does not excuse his crimes.

And in the end, Anakin still had to die for his crimes. He did not get a forgiven by everyone, happily ever after with his kids ending. The love he got from his son was still with the mournful understanding that the darkness inside of him was terrible and still his responsibility, not excused by his backstory. He wasn’t offered free forgiveness, he was challenged to be better because he’d established on a number of occasions he had a line he wouldn’t cross. “You couldn’t bring yourself to destroy me before.” is what Luke told him.

Kylo crossed that line. Kylo was furthermore offered several chances to at least establish a line by maybe taking Lor San Tekka alive (but he killed him), maybe just leaving the subdued and not a threat village (but he had them kill everyone), maybe ignoring the girl in the woods (but he kidnapped her), maybe turning the other way while Hux tried to identify the runaway stormtrooper (instead he identified him), maybe if not taking Han’s offer to go home just turning around and leaving his father alive (but he killed him) and he didn’t. Vader at least didn’t go out of his way to be more of an asshole than he had to to get the job done, Kylo enthusiastically threw himself into murder and mayhem, volunteering to go that extra step.

Anakin’s backstory isn’t what got him a redemption arc. It was the little moments when Vader was not entirely fucking evil. Not killing extra people, for example. It wasn’t his previous pain, it was that little tiny spark of goodness he very occasionally indulged, that Luke sensed when they connected minds, that saved Anakin in the end. Anakin’s horrible backstory is only there to explain why that little spark of goodness could still exist, because he was once a genuinely good person and he went to Hell on that path of good intentions, but he still had something that he valued enough that he could drag himself out of the Pit to save.

Kylo is specifically designed and presented as NOT valuing that same thing that Anakin valued. He wants to kill his uncle, he didn’t lift a finger to save his mother, he killed his own father. Desire for power had led Anakin down the Road to Hell, but we knew from the confrontations with Luke that that desire for power did not override his desire for family. Kylo has several lines that establish he wants to be as dark as possible so that he can attain and surpass Vader’s power level. In the movie, he kills his own father to achieve that goal. In the backstory of the movie, he’s establish to have destroyed his Uncle’s life to achieve that goal. During the movie he’s supporting the destruction of his mother’s life’s work to achieve that goal.

It’s got nothing to do with having a sob story and everything to do with WHY they want power and WHAT they will do to achieve it. Anakin wanted power to protect his family, and even after 23 years of darkness he was not willing to allow his son to die. Kylo is willing to kill his father and purposefully harm his mother and her brother to achieve power, and by all indications he wants it for his own vanity.

I think a lot of fans don’t realize or remember that when Vader’s arc came about, we didn’t KNOW Anakin Skywalker’s backstory at all.

All Luke (and the audience) knew, even at the end, was that Anakin Skywalker was a Jedi and a pilot, who at some point, for some reason, became a monster.

We didn’t have Revenge of the Sith to explain it until twenty years later.

The roots of Darth Vader’s redemption comes entirely from Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

Vader was scary in A New Hope, and he hurt Leia and killed Obi-Wan.  But at that point in time, he was basically a faceless machine.  Cold, terrible, cruel.  But not personal or human.

In Empire, Vader is a terrifying monster who knowingly stalks and brutalizes his son while still furthering the Empire’s atrocities.  There’s no question about his evil.  But there is the faintest glimmer for hope in the way he’s reaching out for a connection to his son.

Unfortunately, because Vader is a monster, the only connection he can forge with him is monstrous.  But he is still trying.  He wants Luke to join him.  He’s offering him power WITH him.  In the warped and terrible way that Vader perceives the universe, that’s the closest he can come to love.

This is the first glimpse of Vader’s humanity that we get.  And while it’s terrible and monstrous, it’s all about wanting a connection with his son.

And that’s where the redemption moment becomes possible.  That’s what Luke is able to draw on later to save Vader from the Dark.  He uses the fact that Vader reached out to him for connection to offer that connection back.  But not the power exchange that Vader understands, but forgiveness and love.  And when the choice is before him, in clear, uncertain terms.  Vader takes that offering.

This doesn’t work for Kylo Ren, because we’ve seen Kylo Ren as a human all along.  The unmasking during Rey’s interrogation was deliberate.  It showed us that he wasn’t a faceless machine, but a man.

And that’s what destroys the chance of Vader’s redemption arc.  Vader’s a machine, whose sole glimpse of humanity is reaching for a familial connection.  But Kylo is a human man, with a human face, who is repeatedly offered that human connection all along.

Lor San Tekka tries to appeal to Kylo as a man, in his family’s name, citing his origin in the light, and gets murdered.

The Starkiller is aimed at the Resistance base, where Leia is sitting.  Kylo defends it.

And finally, of course, the most explicit: Han Solo begs Kylo to come home.  Reaching out to him, unarmed, crying.  And Kylo shoves a saber through him.

That’s why Kylo loses in this comparison.  It’s not a measure of evil deeds or sob stories.  It’s because he rejected what Vader chose to save.

I am fed up to my eyeballs with the Kylo defenders trashing Han and Leia and Luke and blaming everyone but Kylo – it’s his terrible parents (bullshit), it’s Snoke, it’s the village that’s armed, it’s Lor San that didn’t give up, it’s a war.

Who then demand that we love their prince and want his redemption or we don’t understand the narrative or we don’t love Han, Luke & Leia (well obviously not the OP), or we don’t understand Kylo and therefore when we hate him we are also taking it out on them because they identify with his issues.

No, we’re not. Many of us don’t like Kylo. We don’t care about his redemption because in universe he evidences NO EFFORT towards wanting one and in “real world,” characters we love were warped and destroyed to create him (many of us feel, not all). Many others are interested in how he will work as a villain and still don’t care about his redemption until he decides to work towards one.

Again, redemption DOES NOT EQUAL riding off into the sunset and having babies with Rey after Leia sends him to his room for a month. It means exile or prison. Or he can die doing something noble. His choice.

And let me say something else. If you think Han Solo deserves to die because he’s a deadbeat dad (which is all so wrong I can barely type it) then let me ask you this.

I give you thirty year old man who stood by while genocide was committed by an organization he was a part of. Who killed two unarmed old men, one his father. Who killed his uncle’s students. Who betrayed his parents and uncle by going off to join their enemy. Who committed war crimes like torture and murder of innocents. Who was standing by while his mother was next to be killed.

What does he deserve?

There is nothing to add to this. It’s a great comparison between Vader and Kylo and what i’ve been trying to say for ages. Redemption has to earnt. It’s not enough for Ben to regret what he’s done now: he has to do something to absolve his sins. Vader kills the Emperor, ending the empire, saving his son and dies. Kylo will have to do something at least as big, but at this point I don’t know what the turning point for him could be anymore.

Kylo stans live in a fandom bubble where everything in the first reply is hard fact, not to be questioned. They won’t listen to these responses, but man I’m glad they were made.

Great thread.