While the first six Star Wars movies focused on the story of Anakin Skywalker, the three sequel trilogy blockbusters spent plenty of time on the character’s legacy, and it turns out that Ben Solo, the son of Rebel Alliance heroes Han Solo and Leia Organa, would take the same dark path as his grandfather.
So, let’s take a look at 10 similarities between Darth Vader and Kylo Ren, two of the biggest villains within the franchise.
10 They Wear Masks
We’re starting with a simple one. Both Vader and Kylo don helmets to hide their faces, though for two very different reasons.
Anakin is forced to wear his mask so he can stay alive after having sustained horrific injuries as a result of his battle with former mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi on Mustafar in Revenge of the Sith. Ben, in contrast, merely wears it because he wants to be like his grandfather. He destroys it in a fit of rage in The Last Jedi, but he fixes it again in The Rise of Skywalker.
9 Born Powerful
Luke Skywalker claims that Ben was born with ‘that mighty Skywalker blood’. Summed up, the villain was born powerful due to the fact both his uncle and his grandfather were both extremely powerful Jedi Knights, while mother Leia Organa was force-sensitive.
Anakin’s origins remain hazy but it’s established in The Phantom Menace that he has an extremely high midi-chlorian count. This means that he was born strong and always destined to achieve greatness – even it took him a while to get there.
8 Abusive Masters
Neither Anakin or Ben was born evil. Instead they were both manipulated, and then later exploited, by two evil masters.
It was Palpatine who turned young Skywalker, spending years grooming him before finally securing his apprentice during the bloody events of Revenge of the Sith. In The Force Awakens, it’s revealed that Supreme Leader Snoke was the one who was able to entice Kylo into giving in to darkness, forcing him to abandon his family as a result.
7 Upsetting Loved Ones
Kylo’s decision to take the same route as his childhood idol definitely upset Han Solo and Leia Organa. It ruined their marriage, with the duo splitting up as a result of their son’s decision to turn his back on them in favor of Snoke instead.
Anakin also upset the people he was close with when he sided with Palpatine over the Jedi during the prequel trilogy. Both Padme Amidala and Obi-Wan Kenobi were horrified by his actions – yet he refused to ever back down and remained determined to do Palpatine’s bidding.
6 Turned On Wise Masters
In Obi-Wan, Anakin had a wise master. Yes, somebody who would occasionally put him down once too often. But somebody who had his best interests at heart nonetheless and always acted with the intention of helping his padawan.
Luke Skywalker made the mistake of contemplating whether to kill his nephew Ben but, as one of the most-powerful Jedi, he was somebody worth learning from. Luke’s slight moment of weakness, though, was what ultimately convinced his family member into turning to the dark side – fracturing the family along the way.
5 They Grew Up With Blue Lightsabers
Anakin Skywalker always preferred a blue lightsaber over a green one when rising up through the ranks of the Jedi. He had one in Attack of the Clones and had it confiscated, while also getting a new one by the time of the events of Revenge of the Sith.
Ben also went down that route. In the flashback of his fight with Luke as a youngster he wields a blue blade while his uncle uses a green one. It’s a nice little touch, showing just how much the two villains echo each other.
4 They’re Ruthless Towards Their Own Side
You’d think that, as long as you’re fighting alongside the two characters, you’d be safe from their wrath right? Well it turns out that both Vader and Kylo act just as brutally towards people on their side than the enemies who oppose them.
Both make their way through their fair share of officers. Vader famously chokes two to death in The Empire Strikes Back, while Ben acts ruthlessly towards his allies in both The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker. We wouldn’t want to be in their employment to be honest…
3 They Have Conflict Within Them
Both Vader and Kylo do some abhorrent things to people during their time fighting with the villains. However, despite that, they also still had light within them no matter the evil deeds they carry out.
It’s clear from The Force Awakens that, while Ben murders his father, he isn’t totally loyal to the dark side. Vader, meanwhile, had the good in him coaxed out by Luke Skywalker during his epic confrontation with Emperor Palpatine in Return of the Jedi.
2 They Die Redeemed
We mention above how both Kylo and Vader always still had some of the light side in them, no matter how dastardly their deeds. And both die having re-embraced the good side of their character.
Vader perishes on board the Death Star II after throwing Palpatine down the space station’s core. Ben, meanwhile, passes away after choosing to transfer his life into Rey in order to bring her back. It means both end up being redeemed, with their acts of heroism just about making up for all the bad things they do.
1 They Both Turned On Palpatine
Both Vader and Kylo were once allies of Palpatine, but both turn on the Sith Lord in order to save the people they care about.
In Anakin’s case, that’s Luke. He throws the Emperor to his apparent death – only for him to return over 30 years later. Ben works alongside the villain but ends up rejecting him, too, in favor of fighting alongside Rey and saving the galaxy from years of brutality in the process.
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