According to Han, Supreme Leader Snoke is responsible for Kylo Ren abandoning Luke's tutelage and moving to the Dark Side.

How did he accomplish this?


2 Answers 2


According to fully Disney Canon official novelization by Alan Dean Foster, we know 2 things:

  1. Han and Leia suspected that Ben always had a pull towards a dark side, like Anakin. That was a reason he was sent to study under Luke

  2. However, a guess by @user3574984 in another answer is wrong - he didn't just fall to the Dark Side on his own, and then went off and hooked up with Snoke. Snoke had integral part in seducing him to the Dark Side - although at this point, we have no canon information of any level pointing at details of "how".

What could he say to that? What possible response could he give to a willful denial of reason? “He’s gone, Leia. He was always drawn to the dark side. There was nothing we could’ve done to stop it, no matter how hard we tried.” His final words were the hardest to get out. “There was too much Vader in him.

“That’s why I wanted him to train with Luke,” Leia said. “I just never should have sent him away. That’s when I lost him. When I lost you both.”

Han dipped his head. “We both had to deal with it in our own way.” He shrugged. “I went back to the only thing I was ever good at.”

“We both did,” Leia admitted.

He met her eyes steadily. “We’ve lost our son, forever.”

Leia bit her lower lip, refusing to concede. “No. It was Snoke.”

Han drew back slightly. “Snoke?”

She nodded. “He knew our child would be strong with the Force. That he was born with equal potential for good or evil.”

“You knew this from the beginning? Why didn’t you tell me?”

She sighed. “Many reasons. I was hoping that I was wrong, that it wasn’t true. I hoped I could sway him, turn him away from the dark side, without having to involve you.” A small smile appeared. “You had—you have—wonderful qualities, Han, but patience and understanding were never among them. I was afraid that your reactions would only drive him farther to the dark side. I thought I could shield him from Snoke’s influence and you from what was happening.” Her voice dropped. “It’s clear now that I was wrong. Whether your involvement would have made a difference, we’ll never know.”

He had trouble believing what he was hearing. “So Snoke was watching our son.”

“Always,” she told him. “From the shadows, in the beginning, even before I realized what was happening, he was manipulating everything, pulling our son toward the dark side.”


Note that since it is not directly said in the movies, we can just guess and speculate. I am pretty sure that if there will be a sequel, they will talk his history and how he was caught from the dark side.

What we see / hear in the movie:

  • He was an apprentice of Luke and he was trained with a new generation of Jedi;
  • Then he then killed all the other apprentices;
  • He is obsessed with his grandfather, Darth Vader, and feels the necessity to be as strong as he was;
  • He built his own lightsaber with an unstable crystal.

The movie doesn't give more tips about his past. Here there is my guess:

  • He was seduced from the dark side during his training, without the intervention of anybody else. I think it is reasonable thinking that as Finn and Rey discovered their powers without a proper training, it is plausible that Ben had felt the dark side during his Jedi training due to his fear of being inadequate to be a great Jedi as Luke and Anakin were before him. He was particularly vulnerable to the dark side even if he wasn't really aware of it due to his personality. After killing his fellow apprentices, he decided to follow the steps of Darth Vader and roamed the galaxy searching for the remains of the old Empire until he found Snoke that took him as his apprentice.

It may be an unpopular opinion, but I believe that Han never really understood Kylo and the reason why he betrayed Luke.

  • Sorry, canon contradicts your guess. Snoke seduced him.
    – DVK
    Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 7:40
  • 1
    Np, mine were just speculations knowing the seven movies and nothing more! ;) your answer is much better! Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 13:11
  • @user3574984 No problem. There's nothing wrong with a well-reasoned answer based on the primary cinematic sources either. Noone blames you for not reading fan-fiction or pseudo-canonized bookifications.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Dec 25, 2015 at 16:10
  • @NapoleonWilson - don't let Richard see that comment :) Also, I'm 99% sure WGA film script confirms the book.
    – DVK
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 19:44
  • @DVK I think he knows my stance towards his penchant for unnecessary bookifications already.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 20:46

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